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Clearing the BIOS password on a Dell D610

Seeing as I work in technology, that obviously means I’m the first port of call for friends/relatives with any kind of computer issue.
A couple of weeks ago, one of my wifes friends asked if I could take a look at her lappy – a Dell D610.
She hadn’t used it for a few years as she got a newer lappy, now couldn’t remember her password which left her husband SOoL when he wanted to take it with him whilst he’s away with work.
As here were a bunch of photos on there of their kids when they were younger I couldn’t simply reinstall the OS and go.
Getting the pics off was pretty easy – Installing the OS was not.
I managed to get the photos off with my trusty 3.5″IDE->USB adaptor.  Took the disk out, hooked it up to my MBP and copied them off.
Well, it wasn’t quite that simple as I didn’t realise OS X wouldn’t search an NTFS drive (probably something to do with spotlight writing the index but being unable to write to NTFS natively).
After a bit of drive wrangling, I managed to get the device to show up in Windows 7 under VMWare Fusion and quickly found the pics.
Right, just the OS to go.
I burned an iso of XP with SP3 slipstreamed in and went about trying to get the lappy to boot from CD.
Once I realised that the boot menu was having no effect, I checked out the BIOS.
Yup, completely locked out with an admin password.
This meant I couldn’t change the boot priority or anything.
Bugger.
A bunch of Googling turned me on to a method of wiping the BIOS completely by shorting out the EEPROM.
It took me a while to work it out and I absolutely refused to pay the jackass with the youtube video promising to show you how to do it for a fee.
So, in the interests of freedom of information, here is how to clear/reset/remove the BIOS password on a Dell D610.
Notes and disclaimer:
This worked for me.  If it doesn’t work for you, i’m not responsible for that.
You will be cutting metal from the casing.  You need to be careful not to leave any residue on the motherboard incase it shorts anything out.
As part of the process, your machines service tag details will also be cleared.
1. Get your BIOS locked Dell D610.
2. Get a paperclip or safety pin.
3. Get a phillips or crosshead screwdriver and some metal cutters (heavy duty wire cutters should do it).
4. Remove the power supply, battery, CD drive and HDD.
5. Unscrew pretty much all of the screws on the bottom of the D610.
6. Remove the bottom case.
7. With the rear of the laptop closest to you, you should see a white label covering the modem on your left.  There should be some black plastic covering which stops the CMOS from touching the motherboard.
8. Just above that, there are some holes in the metal casing. You need to access a chip underneath that area.
9. CAREFULLY remove the metal.
10. Take your paper clip and prepare to short out the two pins 2nd from the left.
11. Power on and short those pins for about 5 secs.
12. If you are doing it right you’ll hear the fan kick in.
13. This message will show on the screen.
14. You can either press FN+x or let it reboot.
15. Now you will be able to go to the BIOS and make whatever changes you need.
It’s actually a pretty simple process once you know what chip is where, although you must be extremely careful when cutting the casing.
I hope that helps someone and saves them a few bucks.

Seeing as I work in technology, that obviously means I’m the first port of call for friends/relatives with any kind of computer issue.

A couple of weeks ago, one of my wifes friends asked if I could take a look at her lappy – a Dell D610.

She hadn’t used it for a few years as she got a newer lappy, now couldn’t remember her password which left her husband SOoL when he wanted to take it with him whilst he’s away with work.  To make things a little less straight forward, there were a bunch of photos on it of their kids when they were younger, so I couldn’t simply reinstall the OS and go.

Getting the pics off was pretty easy – Re-Installing the OS was not.

I managed to get the photos off with my trusty 3.5″IDE->USB adaptor.  Took the disk out, hooked it up to my MBP and copied them off.  Well, it wasn’t quite that simple as I didn’t realise OS X wouldn’t search an NTFS drive (probably something to do with spotlight writing the index but being unable to write to NTFS natively).  After a bit of driver wrangling, I managed to get the device to show up in Windows 7 under VMWare Fusion and quickly found the pics.

Right, just the OS to go.

I burned an iso of XP with SP3 slipstreamed in and went about trying to get the lappy to boot from CD.

Once I realised that the boot menu was having no effect, I checked out the BIOS.  Yup, completely locked out with an admin password.  This meant I couldn’t change the boot priority or anything at all.

Bugger.

A bunch of Googling turned me on to a method of wiping the BIOS admin password completely by shorting out the EEPROM.

It took me a while to work it out and I absolutely refused to pay the jackass with the youtube video promising to show you how to do it for a fee.

So, in the interests of freedom of information, here is how to clear/reset/remove the BIOS password on a Dell D610.

Notes and disclaimer:

This worked for me.  If it doesn’t work for you, i’m not responsible for that.
You will be cutting metal from the casing.  You need to be careful not to leave any residue on the motherboard incase it shorts anything out.
As part of the process, your machines service tag details will also be cleared.

1. Get your BIOS locked Dell D610.

2. Get a paperclip or safety pin.

3. Get a phillips or crosshead screwdriver and some metal cutters (heavy duty wire cutters should do it).

4. Remove the power supply, battery, CD drive and HDD.

5. Unscrew pretty much all of the screws on the bottom of the D610.

6. Remove the bottom case.

7. With the rear of the laptop closest to you, you should see a white label covering the modem on your left.  There should be some black plastic covering which stops the CMOS from touching the motherboard.

8. Just above that, there are some holes in the metal casing. You need to access a chip underneath that area.

9. CAREFULLY remove the metal.

10. Take your paper clip and prepare to short out the two pins 2nd from the left.

11. Connect the power supply and power on whilst shorting out those pins for about 5 secs.

12. If you are doing it right you’ll hear the fan kick in.

13. This message will then show on the screen.

14. You can either press FN+x or let it reboot on it’s own..

15. Now you will be able to go to the BIOS (Press F2) and make whatever changes you need.

16. Reassemble the case

It’s actually a pretty simple process once you know what chip is where, although you must be extremely careful when cutting the casing.

I hope that helps someone and saves them a few bucks.

//ian

80 Comments

  1. Mcdonald says:

    Anyone with a HDDR password solution please email me
    nyirendadonad@yahoo.com

  2. Perry says:

    Tnx a lot 4 instructionj – I finally managed to short the correct pins.
    Now I’m happy again.

  3. Sher Shah says:

    I followed the instructions and worked out my problem. But I realised you don’t need to open bottom cover. Just need to open the flap over modem and you can easily short the two pins shown in the picture.
    Thank you very very much Lan for this solution.

  4. Raul says:

    Wonderfull help. Thanks.
    There was a great help.
    Only have problem with disk password, but i beleave i will resolve.
    Thanks for your help.
    Raul

  5. Buddy says:

    worked great for me I was able to short out the two wires without doing any cutting anything, One thought though You have to have the two pins shorted while the computer is off.Then turn on he computer with the pins shorted..
    you may have to do this more than one time to be sure you have the pins shorted

  6. Jeff Caccamisi says:

    I’m in desperate of help i don’t no how old this post is but i have a dell inspiron 1526 it has a bios password all it does is show me a service code i have tryed everything i can think of i even tryed this but i couldn’t find the right chip i was trying to short the bios chip it reset all settings but still has password, how can i find the chip that the password is stored on thanks

  7. Circuit Rider says:

    Two middle pins ya’ll just to simplify and you only need to open modem hatch one small screw and pull up plastic sheet. the four big pins you see when looking is it take a small screw driver short out middle pins. Thanks for the info on this page tho never would have found them…

  8. Mike says:

    DO NOT TRY THIS!!! I successfully reached the reset screen, but afterwards could not boot from ANY DEVICE! My 610 is now officially a paperweight!

  9. finally managed to short the correct pins thx a million 😀

  10. romar paolma says:

    please,.. tell me the exact part number of a chip,, to shorted?????
    please?????

  11. Drew says:

    I dont understand step 10

  12. Picho says:

    Gracias, costo varios intentos, pero funcionó.
    No es necesario cortar nada.

  13. Ruth says:

    OK, I shorted the pins (the fan started) just like you said, only the message I got on the screen was something like “invalid configuration run SETUP”. I tried doing the FN+x and the F2 key, but nothing happens–it just eventually goes back to the password protected page. Any ideas of what I’m doing wrong? Thanks so much.

  14. Ruth says:

    I got past that hurdle, but now it wants to use Windows Professional and needs a password which I’m sure my husband doesn’t remember. Ideas?

  15. Ruth says:

    Thanks, but my husband actually did remember his password, so we are good to go! Thanks so much for this info. I could never have done it without these detailed instructions!

  16. Greg says:

    A very helpful guide. Using this info and another page, I was able to accomplish this via the cmos battery and modem removable door by carefully pulling back the protective plastic and shorting the pins indicated. Again, thanks so much for the helpful info here. “setup now unlocked”.

  17. Tom says:

    Yes, it FUNCTIONS (on the first try), thanks a lot.
    But it comes true much simplier:
    You do not need to unscrew all the screws, and do need to cut the frame at all ! Also not to pull out the DVD or HD.

    – Just unscrew the small modem lid.
    – Disconnect carefully the CMOS battery
    – It’s enough to connect the pin Nr. 6 with the ground, i.e. with the metal frame that is all around.
    – When connected, start the laptop (the best with its own accu). One second is enought, turn it off. (Should you try to do the same once more, your laptop doesn’t start. No worry, it shows that it has been done well).
    – Start it normally, afterward press the fn-x and do your common jobs).
    – Don’t forget to re-connect the CMOS battery.

    Your question: Which is the pin Nr. 6?
    It is the second one from the left, seen from the modem side, on the lower side = it is absolut simply accessible throught the open modem lid. (Pins 1, 2, 3 and 4 are not accesible on this way).

    Who is still not sure: Look in google for pdf of the chip (for example my is Atmel 24C04). You can see that the pins begin to count from the side with the small circle hole. It is Nr. 1. Than follow 2, 3, 4 in the one direction and the pins 5, 6, 7, 8, in the back (!) direction. Hence the Nr. 6 ist the second one…
    FYI: You reset the EEPROM with this procedur.

  18. henri says:

    hallo ik en men maat zijn al uren bezig proberen de latitude weer aan de praat te krijgen tis erover ondertussen is hij al open en hebben we maar het kortsluitingsje gedaan, nu bijna klaar hoop het beste

  19. Jim Manakis` says:

    Fantastic I had to do 6 units I bought. Thanks also for the comment on the fan might turn on. That could have scared the bejusus out of anyone.

    Again thanks
    very well wrote and easy to understand

  20. pradip says:

    it works, thanks

  21. Jefe says:

    Thank you! Worked perfectly and I didnt have to cut anything at all!

  22. Syed says:

    Many many thanks worked perfect

  23. alex says:

    thank you there is so much on sites that was no help

  24. Jose says:

    You are the man Ian! Thank you for the info and thank you for sharing.

  25. Bhups says:

    thanks dear 2 nd left upper n lower pin

  26. Armands says:

    Thank You!!!

  27. Gulzarahmad takal says:

    thank you for help (Gulzar from afghanistan)

  28. Ketrina says:

    BIG SHOUT OUT TO YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. Bill says:

    check out the Dell section on this post http://dogber1.blogspot.com/2009/05/table-of-reverse-engineered-bios.html . All of the passwords can be reset using a master password generated using the full service tag ID. No hardware shorting needed.

  30. Terry says:

    Where is this picture that is referenced to? is the view of the Modem window with the machine front UP or down? The pin orientation can be 180 degrees off, depending on how you look at it. Otherwise, excellent steps & descrition, but I don’t want to blow mine to a “Paperweight” state either!

    Thanks to all!

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