Power-On password questions

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I have a HP-Compaq 6501b and just replaced the bad HD with a new a new one.
When booting I'm prompted for the power-on password.
I inherited this laptop from my brother-in-law and he doesn't remember what
the power-on password was.
I know I can bring it into a service dealer and for a price they will reset
the password. I also heard I can disassemble the laptop and remove the
internal battery, but this will also remove the cmos data. Anybody out there
have experience with this issue?

Re: Power-On password questions

ghelf wrote:
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That's what the free download manual on the hp site says
Should just reset the cmos to factory setting.  Typically not
much changed and easy to fix.

Unknown user password
If the computer you are servicing has an unknown user pass
NOTE: These steps also clear CMOS.
Before disassembling the computer, follow these steps:
Shut down the computer. If you are unsure whether th
computer on, and then shut it down through the opera
Disconnect all external devices connected to the comp
Disconnect the power from the computer by first unplu
then unplugging the AC adapter from the computer.
Battery on page 46).
Remove the battery (see
Remove the RTC battery (see
RTC battery on page 55
Wait approximately 5 minutes.
Replace the RTC battery and reassemble the compute
Connect AC power to the computer. Do not reinsert a
Turn on the computer.
All passwords and all CMOS settings have been cleared.

Re: Power-On password questions

I found the Users manual for this laptop and was able to follow the removal
of the RTC battery. After an hour I reassembled the laptop and turn it on.
The Power-On password still appeared. A technician at "Central Computer"
told me laptops have a higher level of security and the only way to reset
the power on password is to replace the bios ($139) bring it to a HP service
Is he correct?

Re: Power-On password questions

On 7/6/2011 7:30 PM, ghelf wrote:
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When my first HP laptop got zapped with a static discharge in a
motel room, I purchased a similar/older one on eBay from a
Nevada pawnshop.

It had a boot password and rather than do the HP thing I
started guessing, using pejoratives. I didn't get through
too many by the time I got to the word "bitch" and it was

Then I found out all the other bad news. It had a 5 gig HD
with some version of linux on it, a bad CD drive, and
incorrectly configured RAM. It had 512 meg RAM in it but
the computer only sees 256 of it. At the time I got a
replacement CDROM to fit for about $25. I put the HD out
of the zapped laptop in it, and they've lived happily
together ever since.

Anyway the reason I bought this machine was to recover the
files, and I did that. Then it became the extra machine that's
been loaned out to a friend for a year at this stage till he
can afford to buy himself a new machine. We all have a poor
friend or more, no? It never hurts to have a spare machine,
or few, around, eh?

It costs nothing but some time watching the news on TV or
somesuch to sit there and guess pejorative passwords. You
might get nowhere, but then again, I did! :-)

Best of luck!

Re: Power-On password questions

ghelf wrote:
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Assume you also took out the main battery and unplugged the AC?
The Power-On password still appeared. A technician at
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1) he has a vested interested in charging you for a fix.
2) given any statistical measure, fully half of the members
of the set are BELOW average in that metric....and average
is pretty much incompetent.  Lots of people know how to fix
stuff...it's just a matter of finding them.
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Recent laptops are more secure than older ones.
Assuming you published the correct model number.
Assuming you accurately described the symptom.
Assuming I downloaded and quoted the correct manual.
Removing the battery should have fixed it...according to the manual.

Some laptops have a security chip that must be replaced.
But your manual doesn't say anything about that.

It's been reported that some laptops either let you in
or give you a hint after your enter the password incorrectly
some number of times...like 10 or more.

I suppose there might be some that permanently lock the system
after some number of failed tries.

Some have backdoors, but you've gotta find someone willing to
tell you what it is.  I've read that some will decode the password
from some number like the serial number if you can give proof of

The easiest way is to get the person who put on the password
to enter it.  You'd be surprised what he can remember once
he starts trying to unlock it.  A stun gun to the privates
can be a powerful motivator.

If you can't get past the bios, how did you know the hard drive
was bad?  And the related question, why invest in a hard drive
when you can't get past the bios?

Of course, if it's actually a stolen laptop, you're outa luck.

Re: Power-On password questions

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When he gave me the laptop with the bad HD in it and I powered up, I was not
prompted for a power-on password. It just stalled with some msg indicating
there was a problem with the HD. In fact I was able to get into the bios and
check the boot settings. It was not until I replaced the hard drive that I
got the power-on password prompt.

After spending about 2 hours reading posts regarding bios password reset I
was about to give up. I pulled the keyboard up one last time and looked for
anything that looked like a jumper or pins that could be jumpered. The only
thing I found was a flat plastic dial on a pinkish/purple piece of plastic
next to the CPU that had a "lock/unlock" icon on it. I moved it to the
unlock position and once again fired up the laptop. It seemed to turn on but
the screen was completely blank.
I shutdown then moved the dial back to the lock position and powered up
again. Low & behold the password prompt disappeared and I could now access
the bios.

Thanks for everybodys help. My problem seems to be solved.

Re: Power-On password questions

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Why not try 24 hours or a couple of days with the battery out? Can't hurt.
Is there a capacitor to keep the data when changing the battery like in
some other devices? If so shorting the terminals with the battery out might
kill the data quicker. I have absolutely no knowledge of this subject, but
those are a few things I would try...

Re: Power-On password questions

On 7/7/2011 12:00 PM, AJL wrote:

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  I've always found that a good way to completely discharge the
capacitors is, with the battery removed, press the power button a few
times.  Then let it sit a few minutes... Then press the power button
again for good measure.

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