BIOS passwords - what are Primary, Admin, HDD

Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

In looking at the Bios for our Dell C610,
there are 3 passwords avail -
What is different between them,
and when do they get displayed ?
I set them up, but only got one screen at boot time.
Primary ?
Admin
Hard Disk ?
6 answers Last reply
More about bios passwords primary admin
  1. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    On Wed, 30 Mar 2005, Phil Schuman <pschuman_nospam_me@interserv.com> wrote:
    > In looking at the Bios for our Dell C610,
    > there are 3 passwords avail -
    > What is different between them,
    > and when do they get displayed ?
    > I set them up, but only got one screen at boot time.
    > Primary ?
    > Admin
    > Hard Disk ?

    Primary - would be required to boot (or do anything else).
    Admin - would require password for BIOS (CMOS setup), but not to boot.
    Hard Disk - would protect the hard drive even if moved to a different PC.

    When a co-worker forgot the boot password on an old laptop he dug up while
    moving, fortunately he had not set a hard disk password. So I was able to
    put the drive on another laptop to get his old files.
  2. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    David Efflandt wrote:

    > On Wed, 30 Mar 2005, Phil Schuman <pschuman_nospam_me@interserv.com> wrote:
    >
    >>In looking at the Bios for our Dell C610,
    >>there are 3 passwords avail -
    >>What is different between them,
    >>and when do they get displayed ?
    >>I set them up, but only got one screen at boot time.
    >>Primary ?
    >>Admin
    >>Hard Disk ?
    >
    >
    > Primary - would be required to boot (or do anything else).
    > Admin - would require password for BIOS (CMOS setup), but not to boot.
    > Hard Disk - would protect the hard drive even if moved to a different PC.
    >
    > When a co-worker forgot the boot password on an old laptop he dug up while
    > moving, fortunately he had not set a hard disk password. So I was able to
    > put the drive on another laptop to get his old files.

    Out of curiousity, does setting the primary password automatically set
    the HDD password? On IBM Thinkpads (at least the 600 series), this was
    the case. I had unfortunately ran into a bug on the 600e that caused the
    admin password (the equivalent to the primary on Dells) get scrambled
    when I replaced the CMOS battery. Cracking the password was quite a
    hassle (had to build a eeprom reader and sodder it to 3 points on the
    board), so it may be good to know if this occurs in advance.
  3. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Nicholas Andrade wrote:
    > David Efflandt wrote:
    >
    >> On Wed, 30 Mar 2005, Phil Schuman <pschuman_nospam_me@interserv.com>
    >> wrote:
    >>
    >>> In looking at the Bios for our Dell C610,
    >>> there are 3 passwords avail -
    >>> What is different between them,
    >>> and when do they get displayed ?
    >>> I set them up, but only got one screen at boot time.
    >>> Primary ?
    >>> Admin
    >>> Hard Disk ?
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> Primary - would be required to boot (or do anything else).
    >> Admin - would require password for BIOS (CMOS setup), but not to boot.
    >> Hard Disk - would protect the hard drive even if moved to a different PC.
    >>
    >> When a co-worker forgot the boot password on an old laptop he dug up
    >> while
    >> moving, fortunately he had not set a hard disk password. So I was
    >> able to
    >> put the drive on another laptop to get his old files.
    >
    >
    > Out of curiousity, does setting the primary password automatically set
    > the HDD password? On IBM Thinkpads (at least the 600 series), this was
    > the case. I had unfortunately ran into a bug on the 600e that caused the
    > admin password (the equivalent to the primary on Dells) get scrambled
    > when I replaced the CMOS battery. Cracking the password was quite a
    > hassle (had to build a eeprom reader and sodder it to 3 points on the
    > board), so it may be good to know if this occurs in advance.

    It doesn't work that way on my Latitude CPxJ. Setting the HD password is
    entirely independent. Doesn't actually prove anything of course, but
    might be encouraging if you assume Dell follow the same principle on
    later machines.
  4. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Nicholas Andrade wrote:

    <snip>

    > Out of curiousity, does setting the primary password automatically set
    > the HDD password?

    Not on the i-1200 & R 40 series (which I owned/own), which I believe is
    also true for the rest of the ThinkPad line.

    > On IBM Thinkpads (at least the 600 series), this was the case.

    Sounds like a bug - did the doc describe passwords operating like this?

    > I had unfortunately ran into a bug on the 600e that caused the
    > admin password (the equivalent to the primary on Dells) get scrambled
    > when I replaced the CMOS battery. Cracking the password was quite a
    > hassle (had to build a eeprom reader and sodder it to 3 points on the
    > board), so it may be good to know if this occurs in advance.

    I was going to comment on the OP that a HDD password is an excellent way
    to protect one's data because it's recorded on the HDD, so moving it to
    another laptop won't help. But you better record it and not on your
    laptop! I set all 3 passwords when I'm traveling to maximize my protection.
  5. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Sparky Spartacus wrote:
    > Nicholas Andrade wrote:
    >
    > <snip>
    >
    >> Out of curiousity, does setting the primary password automatically set
    >> the HDD password?
    >
    >
    > Not on the i-1200 & R 40 series (which I owned/own), which I believe is
    > also true for the rest of the ThinkPad line.
    >
    I know for a fact the 600 series sets the HDD password when the
    Supervisor password is set. According to this site:
    http://www.nortek.on.ca/supervisor_password.html whether the HDD
    password automatically gets set is model dependent.

    >> On IBM Thinkpads (at least the 600 series), this was the case.
    >
    >
    > Sounds like a bug - did the doc describe passwords operating like this?
    >
    The bug was the Supervisor password getting scramled when the CMOS was
    removed (it's a known issue, I remember reading about how this happen to
    others when I was researching how to recover the password).

    >
    > I was going to comment on the OP that a HDD password is an excellent way
    > to protect one's data because it's recorded on the HDD, so moving it to
    > another laptop won't help. But you better record it and not on your
    > laptop! I set all 3 passwords when I'm traveling to maximize my protection.
    I agree.
  6. Archived from groups: alt.sys.pc-clone.dell (More info?)

    Nicholas Andrade wrote:
    > Sparky Spartacus wrote:
    >
    >> Nicholas Andrade wrote:
    >>
    >> <snip>
    >>
    >>> Out of curiousity, does setting the primary password automatically
    >>> set the HDD password?
    >>
    >> Not on the i-1200 & R 40 series (which I owned/own), which I believe
    >> is also true for the rest of the ThinkPad line.
    >>
    > I know for a fact the 600 series sets the HDD password when the
    > Supervisor password is set. According to this site:
    > http://www.nortek.on.ca/supervisor_password.html whether the HDD
    > password automatically gets set is model dependent.
    >
    >>> On IBM Thinkpads (at least the 600 series), this was the case.
    >>
    >> Sounds like a bug - did the doc describe passwords operating like this?
    >>
    > The bug was the Supervisor password getting scramled when the CMOS was
    > removed (it's a known issue, I remember reading about how this happen to
    > others when I was researching how to recover the password).

    Oy, causing much gnashing of teeth.
Ask a new question

Read More

Dell BIOS Hard Drives Computers