Question Do I need access to the bios to upgrade the boot drive? There is an unknown setup password, so bios is locked.

Dec 15, 2020
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Our nonprofit has a compaq 8300 Elite SFF desktop (Win 10) from ~2013 that's giving warning signs of impending hard disk failure via SMART. The computer was donated used, years ago, we've lost track of the company that donated it, AND they set a setup password.

I do not know if it has been set to "stringent security," and I'm not aware of how to tell if it has, except to fool with the jumper to reset the setup password and see if it bricks the motherboard. I can't risk that, so apparently can't make any changes in the bios. (That's from my notes. It's been a couple of years since I looked into this and I don't remember details at the moment.)

So I want to clone & replace the 500 Gb boot drive with maybe a 2 Tb drive. I haven't done this in years. Is this going to need changing a setting in the (password protected) bios? Am I out of luck here?

Thanks
 

Math Geek

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should not need any bios changes since you won't be changing boot order or anything like that.

just be sure the new drive is set to mbr and gpt which will limit you to a 2 tb drive but sounds like that is the plan anyway. it should not need anything changed so you should be good avoiding the bios
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Our nonprofit has a compaq 8300 Elite SFF desktop (Win 10) from ~2013 that's giving warning signs of impending hard disk failure via SMART. The computer was donated used, years ago, we've lost track of the company that donated it, AND they set a setup password.

I do not know if it has been set to "stringent security," and I'm not aware of how to tell if it has, except to fool with the jumper to reset the setup password and see if it bricks the motherboard. I can't risk that, so apparently can't make any changes in the bios. (That's from my notes. It's been a couple of years since I looked into this and I don't remember details at the moment.)

So I want to clone & replace the 500 Gb boot drive with maybe a 2 Tb drive. I haven't done this in years. Is this going to need changing a setting in the (password protected) bios? Am I out of luck here?

Thanks
Maybe.
At some point, though, you'll need to get into the BIOS for something else.

But in any case, we here can't assist with circumventing passwords. Messing with a jumper won't get around a password. If it were that easy, a password wouldn't be much good.
Contact Compaq.
 
Dec 15, 2020
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Thanks for the info, Math Geek. BTW my partner, a statistician, uses the moniker Math Nerd.

USAFRet, I downvoted your response because, while you are absolutely correct that I need to get into the bios for other reasons, that doesn't help if I'm locked out via "stringent security." Further, you imply I was asking for help circumventing passwords. You ought to read before responding. I certainly was NOT asking for help with passwords; I asked a direct, very basic question (and supplied background for it), and meant exactly what I asked.

Finally, USAFRet, your response was factually incorrect: "Messing with a jumper won't get around a password. If it were that easy, a password wouldn't be much good. "

I have the mfr's maintenance & service guide [which they make easily available to the public on their support page - it's not arcane stuff hidden in the vault], which documents that there IS a jumper that can be removed to reset the setup password, as long as "stringent security" has not been set. That is exactly what I was referring to.

But this guide stated incorrectly that IF stringent security has been set and the jumper is removed, the computer will be unusable. I thought they were saying it would brick the motherboard, so I was reluctant to try the jumper. Turns out that's wrong. The computer will be "unusable" only in the sense that the bios can't be edited. It should still function as a computer, even if stringent security is set and that jumper pulled. So it seems, contrary to my initial assumption, that there is little risk in trying it.

But I've also figured out that on my computer, stringent security actually has NOT been set. So the bottom line is that after pulling that jumper (that you claim doesn't exist) I should in fact be able to access the bios and make any desired changes. Yay.

But thanks anyway.
 
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