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System Password Protection

Friday, November 12th, 2004 by | Filed Under: System Tune-Up Help

System Password Protection

*This tip is for advanced users only. If you try it and mess your computer up, don’t come crying to me.

Password protecting Windows will keep most people out of your computer, it won’t stop ’em all. I can get into a password protected Windows computer in less than 2 minutes. For obvious liability reasons, I’m not going to tell you how, but rest assured I (and many others) can.

So, what can you do?

You can password protect the whole computer by putting a password into your computer’s system settings. No, these aren’t Windows settings, these are your computer’s motherboard settings.

Now, for some systems, this may not work. Your system will need to have an option in it’s settings for password protection. If it ain’t there you can’t do it.

To setup a system password, do the following:

1. When you boot your computer, look for instructions for running or entering setup. They are usually at the bottom of the screen. In most systems you press the delete key and it enters setup right after the memory test. Again, this is WAY before windows even starts running.

2. OK, now all these setup screens tend to be a little different. You’ll probably scroll through items using your tab, pageup / pagedown, or arrow keys (sorry, no mouse support here). Look for something about system security or passwords and head there.

3. From here, there is probably some kind of password setup. Select it and you should be able to put in a password (probably with a confirmation password).

4. Finally, exit the system settings. There should either be some kind of menu item or you just hit the escape key. Either way, you’ll probably be asked if you wish to save the new settings, say yes.

Your computer should re-boot and ask you for a password from now on. These are probably the most difficult types of passwords to get through. The only way I know of bypassing it is to clear the CMOS memory from the motherboard, and you would need the specs on the board to do it.

For Windows XP users: your security settings are harder to bypass. If you want to require that users log in, go to the Control Panel , select ” User Accounts ” then ” Change the Way Users Log on and off “. If the “Use Welcome Screen” box is checked, click to de-select. This will bring up a password protected logon screen for all users.


Keep in mind that even this is not 100% foolproof. After all, if I really wanted the info on your computer I could always take out your hard drive and put it into another computer. Oh well, at least it keeps most people away.


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