How to Change the Hard Drive Password on a Dell Laptop

By Will Conley

Setting a password on your hard drive is an important step to keeping intruders from tampering with your Dell laptop. You can set or change the hard drive password by entering the BIOS setup during startup. Even if your hard drive is transferred to another computer you will still need to use the password to access the hard drive.

Step 1

Shut down your computer.

Step 2

Press the power button on your computer. While it is booting, press F2 repeatedly (do not just hold it down) until you arrive at a system screen showing a series of options. This screen is called the BIOS Setup.

Step 3

Use the down arrow key on your keyboard to scroll down to "Security" in the left-hand column.

Step 4

Arrow right to display a sub-menu under Security in the left-hand column.

Step 5

Arrow down to "Internal HD PW" in the left-hand column. (That stands for Internal Hard Drive Password.)

Step 6

Delete the old password (if any) and, in the same box, enter a new password of at least four characters in length in the main screen at right.

Step 7

Write the password down and keep it in a safe place.

Step 8

Hit Enter.

Step 9

Hit the Escape button on your keyboard to exit the Internal HD PW menu, then hit Escape again to proceed to the Exit screen of the BIOS Setup.

Step 10

Arrow right to save the changes you made to the password, then hit Enter on your keyboard to exit the BIOS Setup.

Step 11

Restart your computer and use the password you created in the BIOS Setup to gain access to your hard drive.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ideally, the password should contain a complicated mixture of characters such as a combination of upper and lower case characters, numbers and punctuation.
  • Do not lose your password. You will need it each time you start up your computer or when it returns from Standby mode.