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no bios password - howto bypass for adding an SSD


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#1 sixpackpc

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 12:15 PM

Laptop - Acer V3-571, intel-i7, intel-hd4000 graphics, 8Gb RAM, 750Gb HDD.

 

Hi bleeping C super gods.

I bought my laptop a couple of years back as a 'returned unit' and it's very good.  I'm now looking to put an SSD into it.

 

However I've recently noticed when using the UEFI screens to boot into the bios (look at boot order etc) that it asks for a password which I've never had.  So I can't get into the bios (not that you need to do this very often).

 

Q1.  Can I bypass this / reset it? I would like to if possible.

 

Q2.  If I replace the HDD with a new SSD, will I need to go into the bios perhaps to unlock something or check to see if it can identify the drive?  Because that's not possible right now.

 

Thanks for your help.



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#2 SpywareDoc

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 02:16 PM

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No subject matter will be allowed whose purpose is to defeat existing copyright or security measures.

 



#3 hamluis

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 03:39 PM

Check the manuals and other documentation online for your system...all provided by Acer/Gateway.

 

There's no penalty for using Google to find information that is available to anyone willing to read.  I found answers immediately for Acer systems.

 

Louis



#4 sixpackpc

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 07:33 PM

Check the manuals and other documentation online for your system...all provided by Acer/Gateway.

 

There's no penalty for using Google to find information that is available to anyone willing to read.  I found answers immediately for Acer systems.

 

Louis

Hi, thanks for your response Louis. 

Of course you are correct.  I've been searching online for quite a while - I have an absurd number of browser tabs open trying to research this. 

 

There are many "solutions" on the web but I'm struggling with all of them because my laptop (this one I'm typing on) won't boot from anything other than the hard drive and immediately goes to the UEFI screen to allow me to choose from win8.1 or win10.  Not even booting from the dvd drive with a windows media dvd in it. 

 

I've even removed the HDD to try to force it to boot from one of the USB ports but the unit simply reports no bootable devices.

 

So I can't invoke any of the solutions because I can't get it to boot from a dos key for example.

 

I'm happy to upload my purchase invoice if necessary (the selling company can't help as it was 2 years ago).

thanks.



#5 JohnC_21

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 07:38 PM

Tapping F12 at boot with the USB flash drive attached does not bring up a boot menu?

 

See your service manual here on shorting out two points on the motherboard. Make sure you remove the battery first.  It may or may not work.

 

http://www.manualslib.com/manual/440323/Acer-Aspire-V3-571g.html?page=64



#6 sixpackpc

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 07:41 PM

Tapping F12 at boot with the USB flash drive attached does not bring up a boot menu?

 

See your service manual here on shorting out two points on the motherboard. Make sure you remove the battery first.  It may or may not work.

 

http://www.manualslib.com/manual/440323/Acer-Aspire-V3-571g.html?page=64

It goes straight into the UEFI screens for choosing an o/s (win 8.1 or win10).  The UEFI screens have an option to restart to enter firmware settings (ie bios) but upon restart it goes straight to the password prompt.  Hence I'm stuck.



#7 JohnC_21

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 08:00 PM

You may need to clear the password by shorting the two solder points on the motherboard. If you have the invoice for the comptuer, Acer should be able to give you the master password for UEFI.  What software did you use for creating a bootable USB flash drive? What windows media did you try to boot, Windows 8? Windows 7 media cannot boot on a UEFI computer.

 

This computer dual boots with Windows 8 and 10?



#8 sixpackpc

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 08:33 PM

You may need to clear the password by shorting the two solder points on the motherboard. If you have the invoice for the comptuer, Acer should be able to give you the master password for UEFI.  What software did you use for creating a bootable USB flash drive? What windows media did you try to boot, Windows 8? Windows 7 media cannot boot on a UEFI computer.

 

This computer dual boots with Windows 8 and 10?

Hi John

Acer won't help with bios passwords unfortunately - I guess they put that shorting information in the manual.  It just seemed rather drastic to me, never really expected to have to start opening the unit up!  I'm only looking at doing the disk change to give my sister my drive (her's failed) and I get to treat myself to a new shiny thing!!

 

I tried creating a USB of the clnpwd.zip download - it comes with the HP usb disk storage format tool v2.1.8 (it's a dos boot key creator) and is supposed to make the acer clean password utility available through clnpwd.exe on a boot into dos. 

 

However my unit will not boot from any of the USB ports.  I tried a win8 and win10 dvd but it won't boot from the dvd drive either, which is bizarre, even when I removed the hdd it just reported no bootable device and ignored the USB and the DVD drive.  I can't understand this since normally all storage/boot devices are usually listed in the bios (which I can't see). 

The windows dvd's I created are good as I've had to use them this week to recover my sister's machine when her disk started getting bad sectors and failed to start.

 

I think I agree with you that I'll have to short that Jcmos jumper.  In those instructions, it refers to a cp.exe utility which looks simple - do you have any idea where they might be found?  They seem to be listed in the collection of "flash utilities" but I'm not aware of these tools.   My machine has had a bios update downloaded from the acer website and recommended for my specific model, but it was just an exe file and no interaction was required.

 

One other detail.  This was/is a win8.1 unit.  I've created a small partition on its drive and installed win10 onto that (to test it out before I do the full upgrade).  Since then, booting up gives the UEFI  screen to choose which windows o/s to boot into (very neat too).   Before, it would simply go straight to the windows splash screen for win8.1 after displaying the Acer logo on a black screen for about 12 seconds. 

Could this have affected the ability to boot from different devices?

 

thanks.



#9 JohnC_21

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 09:09 PM

You will not get that DOS USB to boot UEFI. I don't believe creating a dual boot system would prevent booting from devices. What would prevent devices from booting is if the UEFI had Secure Boot Enabled. If Secure Boot is enabled then no device would boot except a Windows 8 or Windows 10 install disk.Do you have a Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 boot disk or USB flash drive?

 

If not then download a Windows 8.1 iso here. It will allow you to create a bootable USB flash drive. Attach it and then tap F12 at boot. 

 

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/create-reset-refresh-media

 

If that boots then Secure Boot is enabled in UEFI and the only way to get any other device to boot would be to disable it and then set the computer to boot Legacy or CSM.

 

Rufus allows booting to a UEFI computer. You can test it with a USB flash drive. Make sure your USB is show in the first box. Select MBR for a partition scheme. In the dropdown box keep FreeDos. Make sure Quick Format is checked. Press Start. Backup any data on the USB flash drive first. If you can get this USB flash drive to boot, it means Secure Boot is disabled. You can use it with your clnpwd utility. I cannot find the CP.exe file which refers to V1.1. Your clnpwd file is v1. A repair shop may have access to this utility. If you try a password for three times does it throw a code?



#10 sixpackpc

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 09:53 PM

You will not get that DOS USB to boot UEFI. I don't believe creating a dual boot system would prevent booting from devices. What would prevent devices from booting is if the UEFI had Secure Boot Enabled. If Secure Boot is enabled then no device would boot except a Windows 8 or Windows 10 install disk.Do you have a Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 boot disk or USB flash drive?

 

If not then download a Windows 8.1 iso here. It will allow you to create a bootable USB flash drive. Attach it and then tap F12 at boot. 

 

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/create-reset-refresh-media

 

If that boots then Secure Boot is enabled in UEFI and the only way to get any other device to boot would be to disable it and then set the computer to boot Legacy or CSM.

 

Rufus allows booting to a UEFI computer. You can test it with a USB flash drive. Make sure your USB is show in the first box. Select MBR for a partition scheme. In the dropdown box keep FreeDos. Make sure Quick Format is checked. Press Start. Backup any data on the USB flash drive first. If you can get this USB flash drive to boot, it means Secure Boot is disabled. You can use it with your clnpwd utility. I cannot find the CP.exe file which refers to V1.1. Your clnpwd file is v1. A repair shop may have access to this utility. If you try a password for three times does it throw a code?

No error code.  It says it will halt the system on the 3rd incorrect password and does so.

 

Tried Rufus, still won't boot from the USB stick, just goes straight to blue UEFI screens  with the o/s choice.

 

I created my win8.1 dvd media from microsoft before - that link you gave is the same one.  My sister's laptop boots from that dvd fine - it seems to recognise that there is a DVD there and says "press any key to boot from cd" or something like that on initial boot which brings up the windows install media.

 

However my unit won't boot from the dvd drive - ignores it, just goes straight to those UEFI screens.  They have the option to restart and go into the firmware settings but on restart I get the password prompt.  Hence I'm stuck.



#11 JohnC_21

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 08:24 AM

Your UEFI must be set to boot from the hard drive but I am not sure why you cannot select a boot device with F12 unless SecureBoot  prevents it. I think your only option at this point is to send it in to a repair shop or try the shorting of the two Solder Points on the motherboard as shown in the service manual. 



#12 sixpackpc

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 08:34 AM

Your UEFI must be set to boot from the hard drive but I am not sure why you cannot select a boot device with F12 unless SecureBoot  prevents it. I think your only option at this point is to send it in to a repair shop or try the shorting of the two Solder Points on the motherboard as shown in the service manual. 

I did find this link

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/CmosPwd

 

The cmospwd_win.exe does appear to run in windows in an admin dos window (not sure if that's where you're supposed to run it from or from a dos boot) but the options are to "kill cmos" and I'm not sure if that just means clear the password or totally destroy the bios or something so I'm not confident to use it currently. 

Have you seen this before? 

thanks for all the pointers.



#13 JohnC_21

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 09:38 AM

I would not run that utility. It has been know to brick a computer. I think your safest bet is to remove the power and battery. Remove the memory modules and then short the two solder points. Did you see this video. You can select an option to translate it but it looks like the person did not remove the battery and also held down the power button while shorting the points.



#14 sixpackpc

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 10:57 AM

I would not run that utility. It has been know to brick a computer. I think your safest bet is to remove the power and battery. Remove the memory modules and then short the two solder points. Did you see this video. You can select an option to translate it but it looks like the person did not remove the battery and also held down the power button while shorting the points.

It seems it's not good for x64, shame as there is a windows and dos program provided though I had the same cautious attitude you have suggested.  Will likely try the shorting route.

 

there's a cygwin note about the cmospwd utility, there not yet being a free 64 bit compiler and the code needs to be ported.  It needs to run ioperm first with a service but the driver won't load in x64 hence the boot into a dos/32 bit environment I guess - which I can't do since I can't boot off the usb interfaces.

 

Note:

There have been two bios updates as exe files from the acer site (by my unit serial #) from 1.13 (supplied) to 2.17 and then 2.21, the latter of which says to "Update F2 function for the scenario - End-user shutdown and then power on the system based on Win8/Win8.1".   I am convinced one of these patches has put it into secure boot mode, perhaps this last one.

 

I say this because I have distant memories of comparing the bios settings of this unit and my sister's lower spec v3-571 when I bought them both 2 summers ago.  I'm fairly certain I've been in the bios in the past but it's too long ago to remember clearly.  That would be a bizarre thing to happen if the patch did something with "F2".



#15 JohnC_21

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 11:33 AM

If you short the two points, remove the battery first. If that fails do it again but hold the power button down while shorting them. I don't know how far you want to go with it but I would be very careful shorting the pins with the battery installed. Even if you could find the CP.exe program, there is no way to run it if Secure Boot is enabled.

 

Edit: Can you remove the password using the Acer esettings Managment in Windows 8.  

 

http://www.tech-faq.com/how-do-i-reset-an-acer-bios-password.html


Edited by JohnC_21, 22 October 2015 - 01:18 PM.





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