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BIOS passwords - what are Primary, Admin, HDD

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Anonymous
March 30, 2005 4:11:05 AM

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 ?
Anonymous
March 31, 2005 5:19:31 AM

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.
Anonymous
March 31, 2005 8:23:32 AM

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.
Related resources
Anonymous
April 1, 2005 12:24:41 AM

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.
Anonymous
April 1, 2005 6:43:10 AM

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.
Anonymous
April 2, 2005 1:22:05 AM

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.
Anonymous
April 2, 2005 9:30:05 AM

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.
!