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Make USB Boot First Regardless of BIOS Order


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#1 Alexander Ceed

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 10:10 AM

I was thinking whether or not this is possible.

 

Considering the following situation, I have an old laptop that has the BIOS locked with a password and set to only boot from HDD (NO CD, NO USB). I know I could take out the HDD, install windows using imagex and then boot off it but I was thinking if it would be possible to boot from USB when the BIOS is set to boot only from HDD.

If at all possible, mind sharing your thoughts with me?

 

Thank you.

 



#2 steve6375

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 10:37 AM

If you disconnected the internal HDD, it might boot from USB, then you could reconnect the internal HDD once booted from the USB drive?



#3 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 02:57 PM

Well, if it is "old" it has an IDE drive, and hot-pluggin a IDE drive is NOT a good idea.

 

Exactly because it is a "Old" it is possible that there is a way/method to find (or reset) the BIOS password, you should post (as always) EXACT information on the involved hardware, this would remove a lot of the guessing.

 

In any case you can (if the laptop now boots to a working OS) to install to it a recent grub4dos (which includes a "own" USB stack) and/or PLoP (if the laptop does not boot you need anyway to tae the hard disk out of it and connect it to another PC in order to make the install).

 

In any case, before anything else, some attempts to recover/reset the BIOS password is advised, on some models it is easy, in some it is complex but can be done, in some it is impossible or too costly to be worth it.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#4 Alexander Ceed

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 06:57 PM

No, we're talking about laptops of year period 2007 - 2010. One model I'm using for tests right now, a DELL Latitude 4310. These uses SATA drives so these are hot-pluggable.

 

In any case you can (if the laptop now boots to a working OS) to install to it a recent grub4dos (which includes a "own" USB stack) and/or PLoP (if the laptop does not boot you need anyway to tae the hard disk out of it and connect it to another PC in order to make the install).

 

Good idea. Boot to it, install plop and then boot to network or USB. This by far the fastest way.

If it the OS is severely damadged I'll have to take it out, of course.

 

In any case, before anything else, some attempts to recover/reset the BIOS password is advised, on some models it is easy, in some it is complex but can be done, in some it is impossible or too costly to be worth it.

 

 

I know there is a possibility of reset mostly the time spent is not worth it to just boot a disk.



#5 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 07:39 PM

I know there is a possibility of reset mostly the time spent is not worth it to just boot a disk.

Sure :), but a "locked" set of BIOS settings may well make the use of the laptop sub-optimal, possibly not the specific case, but there are a lot of more recent laptops that need to have "trusted Computing (or *whatever*) disabled to boot some OS that is not Windows 8.1, or maybe (this applies to old and new laptop as well, generically) there is the need to enable/disable "Legacy USB" in order to boot from USB, or maybe the current (locked) settings have disabled the serial or parallel port (or something else).

It would be like having a (second hand) car for which you were not given the key for the (locked) trunk and for the (unlocked) doors, you have just the ignition key, you can drive it fine and carry your family in it but the time when you will need to have some luggage with you or leave it on the road the missing keys may become of use. 

 

:duff:

Wonko



#6 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 01:27 PM

One model I'm using for tests right now, a DELL Latitude 4310.

Try here:

https://bios-pw.org/

or contact DELL:
http://www.dell.com/...en/19/604021/EN

 

:duff:

Wonko



#7 IAmTheTrueMeaningOfCovfefe

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 04:31 AM

This is only possible on some hardware, some machines will always seek to boot the internal HDD first regard of whether a USB is plugged in. On machines where it isn't possible you will simply have to either explicitly change the BIOS boot order, or remove the internal drive then hotplug it.

 

My friend's Toshiba laptop will only boot his internal even if he selects USB to boot, and this can only be overridden by setting USB as first in the order. He also has an an HDD in a optical caddy which cannot be made to boot first even by explicit selection, he has to physically swap it into the primary SATA port first. It seems his BIOS is hardcoded this way.



#8 Alexander Ceed

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Posted 15 April 2016 - 07:53 AM

Isn't there some way to mask a USB device as an internal SATA hdd?



#9 andykivo

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 05:38 AM

I have exact same problem but lil bit worse.
we're in recycling business and recently we bought in a public auction 79 dell vostro 3400 i3 notebook.
happen that theses system used to be from university located in florida and all of the notebook have a administrator password.We have access to the bios but only the time and date, hard drive and network can be enable disable.everything else is locked ( USB, CDROM, WIFI, Etc,etc ),I call the university IT department to see if may they tell me the password Info, and they said Nope, they don't give that info  to no one. Then I'd contact dell support and after 3 hours on the phone they provide me a very long master password for one system, I input more than 10 times and didn't worked, i called back and they told me that mother board have to be change with a cost near of $700. So i tried some conventional ways and many programs to reset bios with no luck.

On monday i'll flash the bios, not too sure but hopefully it do the job of resetting or delete the pass...  


Edited by andykivo, 03 December 2016 - 05:39 AM.


#10 agni

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 07:29 AM

Does removing the BIOS battery trick work ? I am not sure if I am correct, but removing the bios battery for some time used to reset the BIOS password.

 

http://www.askvg.com...-cmos-password/


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#11 steve6375

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 09:52 AM

Sometime flashing the BIOS will reset the BIOS defaults (there may be a command line version with parameters to clear passwords or set defaults.).

I would suggest offering to pay the University technician some $$$.

Take the 70 notebooks to the University plus a few charged batteries and get the technician to come out to your car during lunch and clear the BIOS password from all of them.

Modern notebooks and PCs store their password in EEPROM not CMOS these days. This makes it pretty secure.



#12 steve6375

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 10:05 AM

P.S. If the BIOS is one that gives hints, see http://rmprepusb.blo...hp-fujitsu.html

 

Also, you can try contacting Dell with the Hint codes and they may be able to tell you the emergency codes.

You would need to prove ownership...

 

This site may help?


Edited by steve6375, 03 December 2016 - 11:00 AM.


#13 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 12:01 PM

Does removing the BIOS battery trick work ? I am not sure if I am correct, but removing the bios battery for some time used to reset the BIOS password.
 
http://www.askvg.com...-cmos-password/

Generally speaking no, that applied (and in some case still applies) to desktops and a few old laptops, modern laptops store it - usually - in non volatile memory.

:duff:
Wonko

#14 cdob

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Posted 03 December 2016 - 12:21 PM

This is a general statement, may match a dell vostro 3400:
Often Laptops store the BIOS password in a EEPROM. A CMOS reset dosn't clear this.

Sometimes the password is stored in CMOS and EEPROM.
At normal boot the password is read from CMOS and the machines coninues without user input.
The EEPROM password is required, if you like to changes settings.
If you clear the CMOS, then the laptop won't boot without user input.
Hencefore a empty CMOS battery makes the laptop unbootable too.


http://icheckinu.blo...-page_4111.html

DELL EEPROM/BIOS UNLOCK (Manually and Free)
******AT YOUR OWN RISK*****

To remove Dell Bios password manually:
Open the laptop, and find the EEPROM Chip, Generally it´s numbered 24C02, on the motherboard, and Short circuit the legs 3 and 6 during booting.


Leg 3 seems to be connectoed to ground. The VGA Connector screw is grounded too,
Insert a srew to the VGA Connector, attach a cable to the screw and short connect leg 6 at boot.

Once again:
******AT YOUR OWN RISK*****

#15 andykivo

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 05:50 PM

Hi,

 

I flashed the eprom and still the same. The University IT department have 3 members and seems there not just technician, there are a big shot (Engineer or something) and they told me clear : "We sell equipment AS IS, we don't know the password, but even if we know, we can't provide you!". When i spoke with Dell i give then the ownership documents and didn't solved. As a matter of fact i spoke with 4 Support crew member and the girl who supply me the master password was so Rude that tempt me to speak with her supervisor (but i didn't, that's her job i guess) .

I Saw a site with an advertising:
"BIOS/CMOS Password Recovery Tool, 

100% Guaranteed Removal of BIOS/CMOS passwords  

Problem:  You do not have access to change the settings in BIOS? . Have bought a laptop from the other people or Auction website, but they did not tell you the BIOS/CMOS password? Not a problem! Forgotten BIOS/CMOS passwords can be reset or removed in a matter of seconds."

   

 
I Purchased the piece of software and guess what?, They sent me a Administrator password removal for OS Windows, Not for the Bios,
Pure scam!

Well guys, thank you so much!


Andy
Best regards from Miami.  

Anyway i think i have 2 more steps that haven't tried: The Pin 3 and 6 short circuit and the Debug Dos Command  


Edited by andykivo, 09 December 2016 - 05:52 PM.


#16 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 06:50 PM

What EXACT model is it?

Does it provide a "challenge code"?

http://dogber1.blogs...eered-bios.html

https://bios-pw.org/

has a provision for some Dell models, but maybe yours are newer. :unsure:

 

:duff:

Wonko



#17 andykivo

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 08:20 PM

Hi Wonko The Sane

they are Dell i3 Vostro 3400 and on Service Tag it only display plain 7 digitsr, None of these model have the extra 4 digits/letter as Bios-pw.org suggest to enter in the box, e.i   -595B, D35B, 2A7B, It just have 1234567 digits.

When i type the Service Tag Numbers in the box, bios-pw generate a password and when i set the generated password in the bios and it won't change anything (password still active).

This model don't have a lil reset button on board,, disconnecting the battery for 3 days won't do nothing, short circuit battery connector pin1 and 2 won't do nothing as well.  Yes, indeed i'm a trouble   :)

Andy

 

Best regards from Miami

 


Edited by andykivo, 09 December 2016 - 08:21 PM.


#18 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 08:38 PM

I see, like this one?dell-enter-system-password.jpg

http://dell-service-...d.pwd4bios.com/

 

Please understand how I have no idea if the above is legit nor if it actually works or how much does it cost.

 

 

:duff:

Wonko



#19 andykivo

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 08:58 PM

Hi Wonko the Sane,

I don't have a system with me but it doesn't look like that.the Bios setup Menu have like 5 or 6 tabs, the password is located on "Security" Tab.
Can't find a picture online, but By monday i'll take one and post it. 

 

 

Thanks

 

 

Andy

 

Best Regards from Miami.



#20 Alexander Ceed

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 10:00 PM

Can I assume the only universal sollution is to just take out the HDD, plug it into a SATA-to-USB adapter and use WinNTSetup to install Windows?



#21 andykivo

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 10:14 PM

Hi Alexander Ceed,

 

I thought about that, but problem is that we have 79 vostro, actually my main concern is to unlock the bios password because people whom will buy from us They will ask : "hey, i want to be able to change the bios setting..." ,.

 

Thank you 

 

 

Andy

 

Best regards from Miami.



#22 steve6375

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 09:57 AM

Did you try entering a BIOS password (any one) up to 10 times in one session?

Did it give you any hint/message/text/form when you did this?



#23 steve6375

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 10:36 AM

According to this page

http://pwd4bios.com/...s-password.html

You should see some sort of system disabled message?? 

 

P.S. It may be worth downgrading the BIOs to an earlier version. Earlier versions may have less sophisticated password protection...

 

From the code, it seems that one of these strings must be present (code may be case sensitive)...

595B

D35B

A95B
2A7B


Edited by steve6375, 10 December 2016 - 11:29 AM.


#24 andykivo

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 11:09 AM

Hi Steve6375.

 

Yes, i entry password many times 15+ times and still remain the password.
BTW that page http://pwd4bios...charge $20 bucks using Dogbert program (bios-pw) which is free to use.

 

Bios-pw is so good with dell as long the 7 digits Service Tag have the additional 4 digits  e.i 
1234567-595B
1234567-D35B
1234567-2A7B
1234567-1D3B
1234567-1F66
1234567-6FF1

The Vostro 3400 have only seven digits.

Thanks

 

 

Andy

 

Best Regards from Miami.



#25 steve6375

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 11:34 AM

So the Dell will allow you to enter the wrong password 15 times in a row without giving you any error message or preventing you from re-trying?

 

Just to be clear...

  1. You switch on Dell 3400
  2. Enter BIOS using F key
  3. You get prompted for BIOS password
  4. You enter FRED
  5. It says it is wrong so you enter FRED again
  6. It says it is wrong so you enter FRED again
  7. It says it is wrong so you enter FRED again
  8. It says it is wrong so you enter FRED again
  9. It says it is wrong so you enter FRED again
  10. It says it is wrong so you enter FRED again

etc.

 

??? Is that correct?

 

Usually BIOSs only allow 3-5 tries and then it locks you out.

 

So you get no lock-out message at all???






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