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Unveiling Your PC's BIOS (Back to Basics!)


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#1 ispy

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 06:04 PM

:lol: Hi Everyone! :thumbup:
PART 1
If you are anything like me & you are starting out in the bewildering world of computers this is one topic that used to scare the pants of me, the system setup or BIOS and the reason being that you can easily screw up your system unless you know what you are doing! So here is the customary warning message

Please note: altering the settings in your BIOS setup program can be dangerous if not done properly. This guide does its best to be as safe as possible. Please read all the steps carefully and you will be as safe as a pro!

The system BIOS is fundamental to just about every PC on the planet, without it you would not be able to load your favorite operating system or carry out hardware detection checks that are essential to the smooth running of your PC. Also from a Booting perspective you need to be familiar with your PC's BIOS to change the Boot sequence from hard drive to floppy or to CD/DVD-Rom drives USB & lately firewire is under consideration. More often than not you can configure your PC to run through a sequence of Bootable awareness checks e.g.
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This extract from a bios set up essentially means the first device your system will look for in respect of bootable media is
Floppy (A) then CDROM then C: which is usually your hard drive (Or 1st bootable OS partition).

Bootable media is fundamental to any recovery or operating system installation process & goes without saying pretty useful to know your way around for your WinBuilder "Projects"!
In my view it should be given greater consideration and deserves a separate area within Boot-Land as BIOS issues are the corner stone of any Booting Process in relation to 99% of the PC's out there.

One area that is mentioned within these tutorials & I mention with certain reservations is "overclocking" & I have to warn users this is one area I would steer clear of until you are very proficient in PC systems. Also in my view "overclocking" is dangerous, because the processors capabilities are set by the manufacturer for all round performance, over stressing the processor for minimal speed gain can cause over heating & shorten the lifespan of your Processor/PC!

Anyway, I have decided to keep this tutorial short in length with the main information contained within four zipped .doc attachments and the contents of which are as follows:
  • Boot2Bios.zip (1,924Kb's) = How to change the boot seqence by entering the setup on start up. (Sorry about the size of this one it just turned out large cuz of screenshots within)
  • BIOSPASSWRD.zip (15Kb's) = No not hacking, but for instances when you are locked out of your set up because you have forgotten your Bios password or the maufacturer of your PC won't help you if your querie is Bios password related.
  • GENBIOS.zip (171Kb's) = Is a general overview, think of it being like "All things Bios related"
  • BIOSFLASH.zip (27Kb's) = How to flash your BIOS
Hope this information proves to be useful to "starters or begineers", or for those who wish to learn more, the files within the .zip's are .doc format with hyperlinks for quick navigation!

PART2
Altering the internal settings within a AWARD Bios can be achieved with these:
  • Tutorial called Using Modbin6.doc.gz &
  • Actual file Modbin2.01.02.zip
Here is a link to some useful BIOS utils, some freeware some shareware http://www.bioscentr...c/downloads.htm
And if you have genral problems with the BIOS here is a good link to Manufacturers Beep Codes:
http://www.computerhope.com/beep.htm
ENJOY!

ispy :thumbup:

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#2 pscEx

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 06:09 PM

A very good and compressed information! :lol:

(But unfortunatelly it does not help me in my personal USB boot issue)

Peter

#3 MedEvil

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 08:17 PM

(But unfortunatelly it does not help me in my personal USB boot issue)

Maybe answering would help? :lol:

#4 Shirin Zaban

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 08:22 PM

A very good and compressed information! :lol:

(But unfortunatelly it does not help me in my personal USB boot issue)

Peter

============================
Hi ispy

Thank you for very good informations in such small pages.

shirin

#5 ispy

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 07:16 AM

Hi Shirin :lol: ,

Your Welcome!

Regards & Best Wishes,

ispy :thumbup:

#6 AeroXP

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 08:38 PM

Now, what about locked BIOSes?

#7 Nuno Brito

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 11:15 PM

What do you mean by a locked BIOS?

Guess one tip missing to add on the first topic is how to remove/reset the BIOS password.

On most motherboards this can be done by removing the CMOS battery for a few seconds or even starting up the computer without the battery being placed.

Posted Image

On motherboards that don't use a standard CMOS battery, for example in cases where the battery is rechargeable and doesn't allow to be removed from the motherboard there is usually a jumper that can be connected to reset the BIOS when necessary.

Posted Image

The manufacturer of the motherboard usually keeps the the PDF diagram of their boards on the company website and this will help home users to know which jumper will reset their BIOS.

Used it a lot of times to know which hardware is compatible to be added on the motherboard for example.

The model of the motherboard is usually printed on the board itself.

-----

Also heard some other methods over the years (that I'm not sure if they are myths or reality)

On certain computers it is possible to use alternative ways to unlock the BIOS. I remember people saying that old (~2000) Toshiba Laptops could be unlocked by short-circuiting a few wires on the printer door or using a special floppy disk.

http://forum.gsmhost...amp;postcount=3

Also remember another urban myth that a few BIOS came with some hidden "universal" passwords that were supposedly added by manufacturers and couldn't be changed.

http://www.tech-faq....-password.shtml

:lol:

#8 MedEvil

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Posted 10 May 2008 - 12:16 AM

Also remember another urban myth that a few BIOS came with some hidden "universal" passwords that were supposedly added by manufacturers and couldn't be changed.

Nuno, you know how it is with security and people. If one makes the security too weak, people complain that others could steal their stuff, if one makes the security too good, people complain even more that now even they can't get past it anymore! :lol:

Until we have a BIOS with a brain, that actually understands who the user is and who not and actually gives adamn, a backdoor is the only option!

Just look at some pre 'everyone needs a computer' computers. There is no jumper to easily reset the forgotten password! :thumbup:

:thumbup:

#9 AeroXP

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Posted 10 May 2008 - 02:14 AM

The definition of locked BIOS.

A BIOS that does not have any overclocking functions, changes of Shared VRAM Function, etc.... basically any advanced feature.

#10 Nuno Brito

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Posted 10 May 2008 - 02:24 AM

Your words are very wise obi-wan.. :lol:

It doesn't matter if you assign to someone a 16 digit password filled with numbers and letters in upper and lower case like rYm93sGfw25i3Wf5 if the other person writes it down to a yellow sticker and places it next to the computer screen.

BIOS passwords aren't very safe if you have physical access to the machine and know your way around the hardware.

---------------

AeroXP: I have no ideas regarding how to unlock those features but how about flashing with a new generic BIOS from compatible hardware? :thumbup: (don't know if this would work or not, sorry..)


:thumbup:

#11 ispy

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Posted 10 May 2008 - 09:03 AM

Hi all :lol: ,

Information in respect of BIOS passwords is in BIOSPASSWRD.zip above or you can try here

http://www.dewassoc....os_password.htm for specific info.

Regards,

ispy :thumbup:




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