Sunday, November 6, 2011

Reporting the Hardware Using the BIOS

Reporting the Hardware Using the BIOS

Current BIOSes have the ability to report basic functions such as:

  • Hard Drive Size
  • Amount of Memory

Also, advanced informational items can be found in the BIOS such as the following:

  • Current Processor Information
  • Current Memory Information
  • Current Video Chipset Information
  • Storage Device Information
  • LCD Type and Native Resolution
  • AC Adapter Capacity
  • Current Battery Charge and Health
  • Current BIOS Version

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Adjusting the Hardware Functionality Using the BIOS

Adjusting the Hardware Functionality Using the BIOS

Current BIOSes have interfaces allowing you to make changes such as:

  • Date and Time
  • Boot Sequence
  • System and Hard Drive Passwords
  • Restore the BIOS to the Default Configuration
  • Turning on or off modular add-on devices
  • Adjusting LCD Brightness (on laptop computers)
  • Adjusting the Hard Drive Noise Level
  • Adjusting the number of cores the processor is using and the speed they are functioning

Incorrectly changing BIOS settings may leave the computer in a state in which the operating system no longer starts. We therefore recommend that you record the original BIOS settings before you modify them.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How Can I Use the BIOS?

How Can I Use the BIOS?

All BIOS interfaces have main two purposes:

  • To make adjustments to the computer's hardware functionality
  • To report on the hardware in the computer

Monday, October 31, 2011

What is a BIOS ?

What is a BIOS?

The acronym BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System. When the computer is first started, the BIOS activates all of the hardware required by the computer to boot including:

  • Chipsets
  • Processors and Caches
  • System Memory
  • Internal Drives
  • Graphics and Audio Controllers
  • Internal Expansion Cards

After the BIOS completes this process, it transfers control of the computer to the operating system.

Friday, September 9, 2011

How to Bypass or Remove a BIOS Password

by Bryce Whitty
A BIOS password is a protection measure that can be used to stop someone powering up a computer system or making changes in some of the computers most sensitive areas. Many big name computer manufacturers such as Dell and HP lock the customers out of this area because they don’t want the customer changing anything and potentially damaging the machine (which the manufacturer may have to warranty). However, when someone like a computer technician or hardware enthusiast needs to make some hardware changes to the computer, they will need to access the BIOS. Here are some methods to bypass or remove a BIOS password.

NOTE: Do not try to guess the password on a passworded Hard Drive. 3 wrong guesses will often result in the information on the hard drive being lost forever.

How to Bypass or Remove a BIOS Password by Removing the CMOS Battery:
The simplest way to remove a BIOS password is to simply remove the CMOS battery. A computer will remember its settings and keep the time even when it is turned off and unplugged because these parts are powered by small battery inside the computer called a CMOS battery. If we pull out this battery, the computer will forget alot of its hardware settings, including its BIOS password. This should not be performed on Laptops if you are not experienced working with laptop hardware.

Finding the CMOS BatteryAnyway, open up the computer case using a screw driver and locate the flat, circular and metallic CMOS battery. It should look something like the picture to the right. Some computers have this part standing upright.

Once you have located it, observe how the latches are holding it. There are many different ways to remove a CMOS battery but the most common way on newer computers can be seen in the picture below.

Removing the CMOS Battery

Make sure to power down the computer, unplug the power cables and unplug any USB devices if they are powered. The computer must not be able to get power from anywhere for this to work. Take out the CMOS battery and wait 10 – 25 minutes before putting it back in. The reason for this wait is because the computer can still store power in its capacitors even though everything is unplugged. The waiting period allows enough time for them to discharge.

Plug everything back in, power up the computer and enter the BIOS again. If everything went well there should be no more password. In some cases, if you get weird error messages during bootup now, you will need to goto “Load BIOS Defaults” in BIOS and save the changes to fix them.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Dell/IBM lose ground to rivals in the federal computer market

Dell and International Business Machines, the leaders in the U.S. government’s biggest purchasing program for computer products and services, lost ground to rivals as agencies tightened spending and set up their own contracts.
Sales through the General Services Administration’s Schedule 70 contracts were $16.03 billion in fiscal 2010, declining 4.7 percent from $16.8 billion in 2007, according to data compiled from company-reported information collected by the GSA.
The contracts cover software supplies and support equipment. Sales under the contracting scheme fell 3.4 percent since 2009 for Dell and 23 percent for IBM, which remained the top companies with combined sales of $1.39 billion. Among the biggest 2010 gainers were McLean-based Science Applications International Corp. and Computer Sciences Corp. of Falls Church, with combined orders of $667.9 million in 2010. Their sales rose 17 percent and 14 percent respectively from 2009.
“Federal, state, and local governments are facing budgetary restraints which impact their spending and in turn our revenue,” Patricia Waddell, GSA’s deputy director of Schedule 70 business programs, said in an Aug. 25 e-mail. “Agencies are creating their own acquisition vehicles and supplementing their needs internally, rather than reaching out to GSA.”

Friday, September 2, 2011

Dell Latitude BIOS Password Recovery

Christophe Grenier wrote a program that calculates the master BIOS password for Dell Latitudes from the Service Tag number. That program is available here.
If a Latitude cannot be booted to run this program, call Dell Technical Support at (800)624-9896 to get the master password.
Dell Technical Support will request the Service Tag and Express Service Code from the bottom of the Latitude.
If the current user is not the original Latitude owner, Dell will transfer the used Latitude’s registration from the original owner with only the Service Tag and Express Service Code from the tag on the laptop.
To transfer a used Dell Latitude’s registration, fill out the Transfer of Ownership form on Dell’s web site.