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Clear a forgotten password

Most PC motherboards include a “Clear Password” jumper for a lost BIOS password.

Your system BIOS usually allows you to enter a brief password that will prompt the user for a command-line code before the operating system is allowed to load. When systems change hands or fall into disuse, that BIOS password is often lost or forgotten, and you’re unable to start the system. Most PC motherboards include a “Clear Password” jumper for just such an emergency. Locate the jumper and set it to the “clear” position, then boot the PC. When you see a message indicating that the password has been cleared, turn the system off and reset the jumper. You should now be able to restart the system without the BIOS password.

Formerly part of Computer Currents, Stephen J. Bigelow’s Computer Advisor column has been resurrected on as a daily tech tip column. Find Stephen at

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