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Secure BIOS with a Motherboard Jumper

Last response: in Motherboards
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December 21, 2012 3:51:13 PM

Are there any motherboards for small business (assemble PC myself or buy pre-build) that require you to change a jumper on the motherboard before anyone can change the bios (including UEFI or legacy bios)? I’m looking for a secure motherboard that I can be 100% sure of what firmware it is running and I know \ control when it gets changed in a physical manner.

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a c 558 V Motherboard
December 21, 2012 4:14:58 PM

Hi, I'm not aware of, but on any board you can set a password for BIOS access and create users profiles without admin rights.
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December 21, 2012 4:42:12 PM

Thanks - as far as I can tell though when you flash using the utilities from windows it doesn't really care if you have a Administrator password or not.
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a c 558 V Motherboard
December 21, 2012 4:49:46 PM

Without admin rights one can't install any program/utility.
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a c 143 V Motherboard
December 21, 2012 5:05:51 PM

use a password for the administrator account and restrict the user to add or remove anything that is good for you own computer but i would not try that on a customer computer execpt if he ask me to do it.
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December 21, 2012 5:19:48 PM

When I set a bios passwword for the bios administrator, this seems to prevent a user from using the bios itself to upgrade the bios to a newer version (have to enter passwrod first).

But if you use a windows utility (like many motherboard's bios downloads do), as a local windows administrator on the box, you can update the bios from windows and it never asks for the bios administrator's password (it only cares that you had windows local admin rights) and puts the computer through a reboot and presto you have an upgraded bios.

I don't want to allow either method to update the bios unless I put a jumper or something physical on the motherboard. So I'm looking for a motherboard with that kind of feature (since it should not happen often I don't mind opening the case and setting the jumper or switch before updating the bios - I would prefer that).
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a c 558 V Motherboard
December 21, 2012 5:41:24 PM

Now I see. Let's suppose one sells computers and he doesn't want having warranty issues due to BIOS changes. The ASUS boards that don't feature BIOS flashback would not allow you to downgrade the BIOS. So in the contract he would have to mention the board's BIOS version and warranty voiding if the BIOS is modified.
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December 21, 2012 7:24:11 PM

My concern is primarily that I make computers for friends / family and myself (work and home use), and it just seems too easy to flash a bios with a virus or malware and am trying to protect against that. This goes for laptops and desktops, but I can only control the desktops I think - but I can't find that feature on a motherboard (I have come across it for video cards I thought - which is what gave me the idea about looking for that option on a motherboard.)
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a b V Motherboard
December 21, 2012 8:26:51 PM

If you are so worried about viruses and such you could just give them a piece of paper and a pencil, a calculator, and some stamps. I build computers for friends and family all the time and don't worry about viruses. I use a good anti-virus and teach them best practices for internet. What more can you do? And what about the ones who get interested in computers and want to play around and learn. If you block any access they have to the features of the hardware and software there is no opportunity to grow. Just make sure they realize they take risks when playing around like that. I sometimes have to re-build their systems when they really make a mess of them but that's OK. I don't mind as long as they can get their work done, learn something, and have fun. Good luck.... One more point, the times I've had to deal with computers with bios passwords and administrator accounts buried in tons of security I usually can't help the user. They are out of luck unless the guy who put all that junk on is handy, remembers the passwords, and is willing to make the effort required.
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December 21, 2012 11:22:22 PM

Not "so worried", just thought if there was a motherboard with that kind of feature I would look into it / thanks for everyones reponses. If such a board exists please let me know.
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a c 143 V Motherboard
December 22, 2012 1:46:10 AM

just adding one point to this on part of a buyer if you have a accident and could not remember the password or have any other way to tell them what will happens to that costumer is he need to update the bios for some upgrade or bug correction from the board maker ?
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December 22, 2012 6:07:12 PM

Best answer selected by 1394cap.
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