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vinceee005

BIOS password removal

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Posted · Original PosterOP

So I bought a motherboard and APU from a friend who previously had an internet cafe, the motherboard has a BIOS password and he has no idea what it is since he had a technician before. The problem is, even if i plug a bootable hard drive to it, it still prompts for the BIOS password, basically it can't be used. I have tried removing the battery for a day, jumped the clear cmos overnight, for both of these processes the power supply has not been connected to the motherboard, shorted pins 1 and 6 on the bios chip while turning the system on. I want to use this as an htpc since its an APU. The motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-HD3 and it's a REV 3.0 board. APU is a A6-6400 series,have no idea what specifically it is since i can't get to the BIOS. Anyone got ideas on how to remove this? Im thinking my last resort would be de-soldering the main bios chip and backup bios chip and swapping them ,check if that would work since I know how and have the equipment to do that but I'm not sure if that would work or just kill the motherboard.

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The bios password can't be removed by clearing the CMOS, that would defeat the whole purpose of the bios password. I haven't needed to do it in a while, but last time I tried to remove a bios password on a laptop (probably 2-3 years ago), I wasn't able to find a way to do it. One thing to note, have you looked up if there is a default bios password for your motherboard? Look for either a default password for that motherboard or one that the company used in general for their motherboards. The chances of it being the default are slim, but trying it is free so why not. 

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51 minutes ago, vinceee005 said:

So I bought a motherboard and APU from a friend who previously had an internet cafe, the motherboard has a BIOS password ... The motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-F2A88XM-HD3 and it's a REV 3.0 board.

 

That appears to be a consumer grade motherboard which should absolutely 100% clear its' BIOS password if you indeed are properly shorting the CLEAR CMOS pins as outlined in the manual. I have NEVER come across a regular off the shelf consumer motherboard whose BIOS passwords could not be reset by closing the CLEAR CMOS jumper pins, so I'm curious as to whether you shorted the correct pins or not.

https://download1.gigabyte.com/Files/Manual/mb_manual_ga-f2a88xm-hd3_e.pdf


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You have to unplug the power supply, wait up to a minute or so for the energy inside the power supply to fully discharge, then remove the CR2032 battery from the battery holder. No need to mess around with jumpers.

The BIOS settings are kept refreshed by the battery, but if a power supply is plugged in the motherboard receives power through 5v stand-by even if PC is shut down and that will override the battery and keep the bios settings active. This is how a battery lasts years, otherwise if the bios settings were kept only by the battery, you would have to replace battery every 6-12 months. 

 

No, cmos reset won't always reset the password. 

 

You could also get the datasheet for those memory chips and figure out if they have an enable pin  - if they do you could tie that to ground or to voltage (depending on chip) to disable that chip and enable the second one which hopefully has no password. 

Maybe there's a jumper on motherboard to boot from 2nd bios?

Then go to set bios password screen and switch the wires so that 2nd bios chip is disabled and first bios chip is enabled and hit save and in theory, the password on first bios should be overwritten with your password.

Then you could reboot to boot from first bios chip, enter your password, and remove it. 

 

Last but not least, you could always buy a bios/chip programmer and program the bios.

They're not THAT expensive... under 10$

https://www.ebay.com/itm/CH341A-BURNER-CHIP-USB-PROGRAMMER-WRITER-SOP-CLIP-ADAPTER-EEPROM-BIOS-FLASH/143717089720?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/EEPROM-BIOS-USB-Programmer-CH341A-SOIC8-Clip-1-8V-Adapter-SOIC8-Adapter-Kit/363095122494?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/CH340-CH340G-CH341-CH341A-Series-24-EEPROM-25-SPI-Flash-BIOS-USB-Programmer/353165994946

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
21 hours ago, kirashi said:

That appears to be a consumer grade motherboard which should absolutely 100% clear its' BIOS password if you indeed are properly shorting the CLEAR CMOS pins as outlined in the manual. I have NEVER come across a regular off the shelf consumer motherboard whose BIOS passwords could not be reset by closing the CLEAR CMOS jumper pins, so I'm curious as to whether you shorted the correct pins or not.

https://download1.gigabyte.com/Files/Manual/mb_manual_ga-f2a88xm-hd3_e.pdf

These pins, above F_USB1, i shorted these 2 pins. I removed the battery while shorting these pins. Password is still there. 

IMG_20200930_112132.jpg

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Posted · Original PosterOP
21 hours ago, mariushm said:

You have to unplug the power supply, wait up to a minute or so for the energy inside the power supply to fully discharge, then remove the CR2032 battery from the battery holder. No need to mess around with jumpers.

The BIOS settings are kept refreshed by the battery, but if a power supply is plugged in the motherboard receives power through 5v stand-by even if PC is shut down and that will override the battery and keep the bios settings active. This is how a battery lasts years, otherwise if the bios settings were kept only by the battery, you would have to replace battery every 6-12 months. 

 

No, cmos reset won't always reset the password. 

 

You could also get the datasheet for those memory chips and figure out if they have an enable pin  - if they do you could tie that to ground or to voltage (depending on chip) to disable that chip and enable the second one which hopefully has no password. 

Maybe there's a jumper on motherboard to boot from 2nd bios?

Then go to set bios password screen and switch the wires so that 2nd bios chip is disabled and first bios chip is enabled and hit save and in theory, the password on first bios should be overwritten with your password.

Then you could reboot to boot from first bios chip, enter your password, and remove it. 

 

Last but not least, you could always buy a bios/chip programmer and program the bios.

They're not THAT expensive... under 10$

https://www.ebay.com/itm/CH341A-BURNER-CHIP-USB-PROGRAMMER-WRITER-SOP-CLIP-ADAPTER-EEPROM-BIOS-FLASH/143717089720?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/EEPROM-BIOS-USB-Programmer-CH341A-SOIC8-Clip-1-8V-Adapter-SOIC8-Adapter-Kit/363095122494?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/CH340-CH340G-CH341-CH341A-Series-24-EEPROM-25-SPI-Flash-BIOS-USB-Programmer/353165994946

 

Yes i unplugged the power supply from the board, removed the 24pin and 8pin cpu. Nothing is connected to the board, removed the battery, jumped the CLR CMOS pins. I don't actually have any experience with Bios flashing. If I cant remove the bios password, should i just return it? I really want to be able to use this since i got this combo for only $20, which is already a steal in my country. And this motherboard has HDMI built in so i dont have to mess with adapters for my use which would be a basic htpc.

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Force the backup BIOS.

 

If this doesn't work, you now know why the board was sold so cheap.... You got got.

 

https://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php/697533-GUIDE-Forcing-backup-BIOS-on-Gigabyte-motherboards

Quote

Method #1:
1. Shut your PC down (if you're reading this guide, than your PC isn't working anyways)
2. Hold the power button until the PC starts and shuts down again
3. Press the power button again, your backup BIOS should kick in now and should re-flash the main BIOS if there's anything wrong with it.

Method #2:
1. Shut your PC down
2. Hold the power AND the reset button for about 10 sec, than release.
3. Backup BIOS should kick in anytime soon now.

Method #3:
Had to use this one in order to get my 990FXA-D3 working again. Backup BIOS kicked in using method #2, but I was back to the good ol' no signal state once the procedure finished..
1. Short out pins 1 and 6 on the main BIOS chip (pin #1 should be marked with a red dot or whatever)
2. Tell a friend (or a relative) of yours to press the power on button
3. Remove the ghetto-like jumper you're holding between pins 1 and 6 as soon as you hear a beep.
4. Backup BIOS should kick in again and everything will (hopefully) be fine.

Uhm yeah, that's about it, I guess.
P.S Please bare in mind that the 3rd method should only be used if you have the following options:
Option #1 Follow my dumb advices.
Option #2 RMA the board.

 


- If it ain't broken, don't fix it! 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
6 hours ago, ShrimpBrime said:

Force the backup BIOS.

 

If this doesn't work, you now know why the board was sold so cheap.... You got got.

 

https://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php/697533-GUIDE-Forcing-backup-BIOS-on-Gigabyte-motherboards

 

Thanks, will try to do this. 

No i don't think i got got though, I haven't paid for it yet, he just let me bring it home to try and have it working. He doesnt have a way of contacting his old tech, thats why we have no idea what the password is, he doesnt know much about PCs as well. Such a waste if this wont work anymore tho. 

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