and XP brought with them enhanced security features designed originally for the business environment.
Unlike the Windows 9x/ME series of operating systems, these new operating
systems have very effective password security measures which you can use to protect
your system and your data from unwanted access.
Of course, what happens if when you forget the passwords?
Congratulations… You've just become "the enemy" as far as your computer is
Fortunately, for every method of password protecting a computer system, there
is a method of defeating said protection, especially if you have physical access
to the computer. Since it's your PC, that shouldn't be a problem, so cheer up.
In this guide, PCstats will explore the various methods that can be used
to password protect computer systems, and how to defeat them if you lock
yourself out. We'll start with non-user account related passwords, like the
computer BIOS password and Internet Explorer passwords, and proceed on to
methods of breaking into your system again if you manage to completely lock
How to get around BIOS passwords
BIOS passwords are one of the oldest methods of protecting computer systems
from unauthorized use, and also one of the least used. Why? Well,
password protecting your computer BIOS is a simple and effective means of
locking unwanted intruders out of your computer, provided they have no access to
the box itself or no hardware knowledge. If they do, it's the equivalent
of locking your house and leaving your back window open. Fortunately for
you, if you forgot your keys inside, it's easy to get back in.
All motherboards have a stored default configuration for their BIOS, which
does not include password protection, for obvious reasons. Therefore, to
defeat a BIOS password, all you need to do is manually reset the motherboard
BIOS to its default settings. Please note that resetting the BIOS to
remove a password will also remove any other changes you have made to the
default settings. Resetting the BIOS can be accomplished in one of two
Most modern motherboards have a jumper built onto the board which will clear
the CMOS (the onboard memory which stores any changes made to the default BIOS
settings). Clearing the CMOS removes any changes made to the default BIOS
settings. Generally this jumper is located next to the motherboard battery
itself, but we recommend that you consult your motherboard manual for the
Note that some boards do not have a
jumper in this position, but rather two contacts which you will need to (carefully)
bridge with a metal object like a screwdriver.
To clear the CMOS using the jumper: Turn the computer
off, and set the jumper to the closed position (with the jumper bridging both
metal pins). Press the power button to turn the computer on. Your system will not power up, but the CMOS
is cleared by this action. Then, open the jumper (put the jumper back to
the default position) and power on the computer normally.
You will most likely be stopped in the POST screen and prompted to press F1 or another key to set
BIOS defaults. Do so, and from the BIOS screen, simply save and exit to
load your computer normally, minus the BIOS password.