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How to Reset the BIOS Password on Dell Laptops

written by: NormDickinson•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 10/16/2010

Remove BIOS passwords from Dell laptops by taking the computer apart and removing the power source that stores the password, date and time, and system information on the CMOS and NVRAM chips. This straightforward approach works every time on any model of laptop or notebook computer.

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    Prepare for Disassembly

    To reset the power-on BIOS password in a Dell laptop or notebook such as the Latitude C810 it is necessary to take the laptop apart and remove several components. Once the laptop is disassembled the password can be cleared by removing the reserve battery from the motherboard. Allow the entire unit to sit undisturbed for up to 24 hours while the power slowly drains from the chip and the dell latitude c810 setup password will be erased, allowing the computer to boot to the operating system.

    During this operation it is wise to keep each screw and each component labeled and separated and an anti-static wrist strap is a necessity to prevent static electricity from damaging the components inside the laptop. Create a large work space with a soft cloth and a surface covered with a large sheet of blank paper. Place parts on the paper and write next to them the order that they are removed in and any other notes that will help during assembly. Taking a digital photo of every step can also help with the assembly process.

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    CMOS Battery on Laptop Motherboard
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    image by author

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    Taking the Laptop Apart

    Begin by turning the power off and disconnecting the AC adapter from the laptop. Remove the laptop battery and then remove the hard drive by removing the screw that holds the hard drive door in place and sliding the assembly out. Remove the screw that is located under the optical drive and then slide the drive out of the system.

    Remove the screw that holds the memory module cover in place and remove the cover. Take the memory module out of the computer by releasing the small metal clips on each side of each module and letting the modules spring up and then pulling them straight out. Remove the Mini-PCI card cover and then remove the card assembly by spreading the small metal tabs that hold it in place and then disconnecting any cables or the internal antenna as necessary.

    Detach the keyboard by removing all four screws labeled with a ‘circle K’ symbol. Open the cover and lift the keyboard out of the laptop a small distance by prying gently at the edge of the keyboard near the left shift and right arrow keys. Lift the keyboard slightly and disconnect the cable.

    Detach the palm rest assembly by removing the nine screws labeled with a ‘circle P’ symbol. Open the cover and disconnect the flex cable from the touch pad connector on the motherboard. Pull the palm rest out of the computer. Remove the two small screws from the palm rest bracket and support the palm rest flex cable while lifting the palm rest up and removing it from the system. Disconnect the reserve battery and allow it to set for 24 hours. The password will now be cleared from the system upon reassembly.

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    Keep in Mind

    Most warranties will be voided by taking the laptop apart with the exception of the small compartment covers which hold the RAM and hard drive. Laptop repair is a process that is best left to the experts in most cases, and hiring a qualified technician or sending the laptop back to Dell is recommended for this operation. Damage to small plastic tabs can prevent reassembly of the laptop, and internal components are easily destroyed by a slip of a screwdriver or by static electricity, causing permanent damage. Cables and connectors inside the laptop are very delicate and often do not go back together as easily as they come apart.

    One of the common reasons a customer may ask a computer repair shop to reset bios password for dell laptop is because the laptop may be stolen. It is a good practice to log onto the Dell website or contact Dell technical support to verify the status of the laptop in question prior to working on it. In the rare case of a stolen laptop, simply contact the local police and allow them to confront the customer and deal with the situation.

    Image by NormDickinson.