BIOS is the first function run by a computer when turned on. It is known as "Boot Firmware," and it checks and initializes other components in your computer, such as your video chip, hard disk or sound card. Because this is the initial process in a computer, it can be troublesome for users who forget their BIOS password and need to access the BIOS. There are several main strategies to attempt when trying to bypass a BIOS password, including accessing the hard disk (which should contain the BIOS password), trying backdoor BIOS passwords (backdoor passwords are generic passwords created by manufacturers in case the user password is lost or forgotten), and flashing the BIOS (flashing is the process of overwriting the original data with new data).
Accessing the Hard Disk
Enter the CMOS start-up menu when you turn on the machine by pressing DEL, F2, or CTRL + ALT + DEL during the boot sequence. Go to STANDARD CMOS SETUP.
Find control options for the hard disk. Change both TYPE and MODE to: AUTO. Reboot the system.
You will now have access to the hard disk. From this menu, you should be able to find basic system passwords, including the BIOS password.
Trying Standard Backdoor Passwords
For AWARD BIOS, try the following passwords: "AWARD SW, AWARD_SW, Award SW, AWARD PW, _award, awkward, J64, j256, j262, j332, j322, 01322222, 589589, 589721, 595595, 598598, HLT, SER, SKY_FOX, aLLy, aLLY, Condo, CONCAT, TTPTHA, aPAf, HLT, KDD, ZBAAACA, ZAAADA, ZJAAADC, djonet."
For AMI BIOS, try the following passwords: "AMI, A.M.I., AMI SW, AMI_SW, BIOS, PASSWORD, HEWITT RAND, Oder."
For all other types of BIOSes, try the following passwords: "LKWPETER, lkwpeter, BIOSTAR, biostar, BIOSSTAR, biosstar, ALFAROME, Syxz, Wodj."
Flashing the BIOS in Software
Access MS DOS and type "DEBUG" at the command prompt. This will bring up the DEBUG menu.
Type the following code for AMI/AWARD BIOS (note: the Os are the letter "oh," not the numeral "Zero"): "O 70 17 O 71 17 Q"
Type the following code for Phoenix BIOS (note: the Os are the letter "oh," not the numeral "Zero"): "O 70 FF O 71 17 Q"
If the previous steps yield no results, try the following code: "O 70 2E O 71 FF Q"