PDA

View Full Version : Acer Aspire X1700 - BIOS and User Password Problem


Methical
12-01-2009, 06:38 AM
Hi guys, I have a problem..

Over a mates last night, and asked me to have a look at the computer .. (I previously set this computer up for them less 6 months ago..

Heres the story..

The Dad of the family said that someone changed his password on him . He is the admin of the computer ( the only one ) and can't get into his account.
I had my bootable password reset CD with me (the same one thats on UBCD4WIN boot menu; but as an individual bootcd). So I chucked that in, but BIOS had a password on it. These people aren't computer literate at all, so I don't think that they would of set a BIOS password ( I definately didn't) . Rang up ACER and they said they don't ship the computers with default BIOS password, and there is no master either (big help you are, cheers mate).

No other user is part of the administrator account, so I couldn't just delete it and start a new one. Can't run CMOS_Password because I can't get into Admin account. Can't boot off CD's or USB's..

How should I pursue my quest to get into this thing ?

I've probably missing a few things out that I tried; like the net user command, and the net user admin active command as well, both failed.

Can boot into Safe Mode; thought admin might come up @ the Welcome Screen but that account isn't enabled by default in Vista.
Open to all suggestions. Last resort = send back to ACER and get reset to default.

NickCat11
12-01-2009, 07:02 AM
Can you clear the Bios password by removing the cmos battery and then proceed with your boot cd?

JosephLeo
12-01-2009, 07:09 AM
Well, if you can't modify the BIOS to change the boot device order then why don't you just remove the boot devices themselves?

Unplug the hard drive and run your boot disk- and maybe can you try running PC CMOS Cleaner (http://www.pccmos.com/) and tell me if it works for you? I was kind of hoping to get to use it soon, but now would be so much better!

Methical
12-01-2009, 07:23 AM
Can you clear the Bios password by removing the cmos battery and then proceed with your boot cd?
Didn't have my tools on me. But I have found in later model bigbox name PCs that removing the batterys success rate isn't what it was back in the days. Your thoughts on this one?
Well, if you can't modify the BIOS to change the boot device order then why don't you just remove the boot devices themselves?

Unplug the hard drive and run your boot disk- and maybe can you try running PC CMOS Cleaner (http://www.pccmos.com/) and tell me if it works for you? I was kind of hoping to get to use it soon, but now would be so much better!

Now theres a man with a plan ! I never thought about takin' out the boot devices (eg hdd) so that it would go to the next one in line (hopefully its the CD/DVD drive; don't think it has a floppy).

Thanks for the link. I'll try that out for you ..

Actually..

No I can't. It is pretty much a brand new computer. And if I open the case then the warranty will be void. It has a 3 year warranty on it.

JosephLeo
12-01-2009, 07:39 AM
Didn't have my tools on me. But I have found in later model bigbox name PCs that removing the batterys success rate isn't what it was back in the days. Your thoughts on this one?


Now theres a man with a plan ! I never thought about takin' out the boot devices (eg hdd) so that it would go to the next one in line (hopefully its the CD/DVD drive; don't think it has a floppy).

Thanks for the link. I'll try that out for you ..

Actually..

No I can't. It is pretty much a brand new computer. And if I open the case then the warranty will be void. It has a 3 year warranty on it.

If they're concerned about the warranty then why is the computer in your hands in the first place ;)

Meh, well I'm all out of ideas. You can't open the computer- you can't log into the admin account- you cant get into the BIOS and you can't run a boot disk. then you're probably SOoL. It would appear the only way to recover ACER BIOS passwords without voiding the warranty is to Send it back (http://www.tech-faq.com/acer-bios-password.shtml) to them for $100.

However, if it's only a sticker then you can try a hot air gun and scraper combo and take your time removing it...although that's cheating the system ;)

Methical
12-01-2009, 08:10 AM
Fair call lol. Why is it ?

I just thought it was a software related problem. I wouldn't do anything hardware-specific. I would recommend that they use their extended warranty that they bought. When they told me that the admin account password had changed ( i think it was one of the kids, all denying it though ) I thought it would be as simple as firing in my boot disk and voila.

But BIOS password, admin password ..

Its a tough one lol Thats why I asked on here, cos I've run outta ideas on it lol :)

Thanks for your suggestions though, Joe and Nick.

rusty.nells
12-01-2009, 10:33 AM
You might try some research on "privilege escalation". You might find something helpful, although I do believe most of the old tricks have been fixed in Vista.

iisjman07
12-01-2009, 03:06 PM
Slave the drive in another computer and run this tool to reset the admin password:

http://www.kood.org/windows-password-renew/

alternatively you could run the registry keys I posted a while ago that enables admin accounts of Windows Vista from a slaved environment

NickCat11
12-01-2009, 03:19 PM
Nice little tool there (added to the toolbox). Thanks!

iisjman07
12-01-2009, 03:35 PM
I found it whilst mucking about with HawkPE

JosephLeo
12-01-2009, 03:49 PM
He CAN'T open up the case. If he does then their warranty is void. However- he can probably slave the entire computer via USB-USB Bridge.

PcTek9
12-01-2009, 06:18 PM
Methical,
.... On ebay you can sometimes find 'keys' that remove passwords for laptops. I have them for parallel port, and usb port.

You plug them in, and they literally erase the bios password of most computers. Personally I find that the ones for toshiba work for just about everything.
http://cgi.ebay.com/TOSHIBA-Tecra-8000-8100-8200-BIOS-Password-Removal-Key_W0QQitemZ120493415518QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLaptop s_Nov05?hash=item1c0df79c5e
That is a link to one on ebay, they cost $10 bucks or so...
Another thing you can do, is send it back to acer. Acer told me that they have had a problem with their bios passwords corrupting and they are fixing the notebooks absolutely free (and did so for a client of mine.)
Finally, since the bios on newer laptops is not just backed up by the cmos battery on some models. On some models, there is an encrypted password chip on the motherboard.
You have to desolder the chip from the laptop motherboard. Then purchase a small chip reader from ebay. Hook the chip reader up to a working pc, and run the software to dump the chip memory, then run a decrypter on it for the pc model to get the bios password then using an smt iron resolder the chip to the mb.
Here's an example using a similiar technique with an IBM http://sodoityourself.com/hacking-ibm-thinkpad-bios-password/
*** I have only done this twice in my life, and it is a pita. I highly recommend leaving the chip in the board, and purchasing some microclip connectors to attach to the ic leads.
The other suggestions of mounting the drive in another pc may work, but it may not, depending on whether or not the laptop has the bios & hard drive interlinked (some do passwordwise).

* did you try the default password of 000000 ?

Comtech Solutions
12-01-2009, 11:35 PM
Methical,

You don't have to waste time. Find out if the board has an EEPROM chip. http://www.tech-faq.com/eeprom.shtml If it does, let the customer send it back to acer. They reset it for $100 (in Canada). If not, pull the cmos battery and leave it for a while. Also try holding the power button down for 30 seconds. There are other ways, as mentioned, but I have not tried them as of yet.

gez
12-02-2009, 10:38 PM
Have you tried pressing f12 on startup to show the boot menu?. I have just tried it while having a BIOS password set and it let me choose the boot device without requiring the password.

gez

Methical
12-03-2009, 12:05 AM
Have you tried pressing f12 on startup to show the boot menu?. I have just tried it while having a BIOS password set and it let me choose the boot device without requiring the password.

gez

I forgot to mention that I tried F12; and it came up askin' for the password as well. So no luck there. Thanks for the suggestion tho gez.