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04-14-2016 08:32 AM
I have an HP Compaq NC4400 laptop that was taken out of service a year ago and given to a fellow employee(I can provide details re company etc if required). The guy needs to access the bios but it was locked by a password. I contacted our head office IT who would have set up the computer but this laptop is so old that there is no record of what password was used back then. I was going to request a file(smc file?) from HP support to unlock the bios but the HP agent and I need information from the bios information page that is normally accessed by pressing the F1 key. Unfortunately the person who originally set up this laptop also disabled the F1 key so that the only keys that appear during boot up are F9=Boot options, F10=Setup(locked by unknown password) and F12=Network boot. Is there any way of getting the F1 key to work or getting access to the F1 information (namely the UUID#) so that we can get the bios password removed?
04-14-2016 09:08 AM
If I remember correctly the NC4400 Is close to the TC4400.
Remove the main battery and AC.
Remove the memory cover on the bottom.
Remove any memory installed.
If there is a label or just a black cover remove it.
On the system board look for something like this.
Use a small flathead screw driver and short the 2 contacts.
04-14-2016 11:13 AM
Thank you for the reply. When you say, any memory, do you mean just the memory in the memory expansion slot that covers the cmos reset on the board or do I also need to remove the main memory on the main board under the keyboard. I tried removing just the expansion memory and shorting the cmos connectors but that it didn't work - it still booted up with just F9,F10 and F12 with the bios setup still password protected.
Please clarify and let me know if you have any other suggestions. Thanks
04-15-2016 11:20 AM
I found a better screwdriver and tried this again. This time I think it was successful - but it didn't give me the result I expected. The laptop is unresponsive on boot up - the front panel led blinks 6 times and that is it. I checked the "beep" or led flash codes and found that there was a problem with "bios authentication". Doing some searching I found that there is an option to enable something called stringent bios security which renders clearing cmos or shorting the cmos connector useless. And if you do short the cmos, it renders the computer UNUSABLE. The only possible solutions are replacing the motherboard or finding the bios chip on the motherboard and replacing it(and there are no replacement chips for an NC4400) - an almost impossible task! I have worked on circuit boards and have professional soldering equipment and can tell you that replacing a chip on a board is a very difficult thing to do. These mass produced circuit boards make chip removal next to impossible. So a word to the wise for those of you trying to solve bios password problems - do not remove the battery or short the CMOS chip unless you are 100% sure that stringent security has not been enabled. Otherwise you will turn a perfectly useful computer into a door stop!!
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