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Old 01-06-2019, 01:05 PM   #1
TheBigMing
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Use of booting with Ctri-F2 blocked by demand for Password


I have been given an old DELL: E6410. The HD has been wiped and I want to install a Linux distro onto it but I can't do anything. Whenever I try to boot using 'Ctrl-F2' I get asked for a Password - which I don't have.

For reasons too long & boring to into in depth over, I think that this has got something to do with Microsoft (if anyone wants the explanation as to why I think this - I will give it). Otherwise, is there any way I can clear this pre-existing password or is the Dell (quite a nice looking machine), simply good for scrap?

Any suggestions gratefully received.

dmk
 
Old 01-06-2019, 01:48 PM   #2
business_kid
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That might be a Bios password. I presume you can't get into the bios.

First thing is to remove the onboard battery, short + and - leads (in case of a capacitor), go to sleep, wake up next day and replace the battery. Either there will be no password, or the default one which should be available online, or from Dell. You'll have to set up the bios.
 
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:03 AM   #3
TheBigMing
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Aha! Thanks for that. By 'leads' I guess you mean the power cable? The whole thing is now totally unconnected to anything at all.

I'll let you know how I get on.

dmk
 
Old 01-09-2019, 01:42 PM   #4
business_kid
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No, I didn't mean the power leads. I meant the + and - of the battery. They're not exactly 'leads.' It's battery backed ram in use. My suggestion is belt & braces, but if some twit put a capacitor on the battery, it just might keep enough charge to hold the memory in the ram. And you could be insomniac...
 
Old 01-09-2019, 03:33 PM   #5
michaelk
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E6410 is a modern enough laptop that the bios password is stored in EPROM versus CMOS memory. Contacting dell might be the only way.

The entire story might help us determine the real problem
 
Old 01-10-2019, 03:01 AM   #6
business_kid
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Are you sure it's Eprom? That's only erased by UV, and so is difficult to update.
EPROM - Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory and very old fashioned. Most use
EEprom (Electrically Erasable <as above>)
 
Old 01-10-2019, 05:17 AM   #7
michaelk
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Your correct EEPROM...
 
Old 01-16-2019, 10:54 AM   #8
TheBigMing
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I'm sorry not to have got back to you both sooner. I have started writing a couple of times but always went haring off down some blind alley to see if I could work out what was wrong. Suffice to say I haven't discovered that.

However, the original answer from BK (take out the battery, leave overnight & try again) worked to an extent. I have been able to install a copies of Manjaro & Q4OS on the Dell (which I previously couldn't do) BUT I still can't get to the BIOS and I need to do that in order to change the order of the things accessed at boot time.

I have 2 problems:

1) I have the Dell; with which I could do nothing but can now, at least, install new distro's. The story behind the Dell is that the person who owned it deleted everything on the HD & gave it to me. I couldn't do anything with it; can now install stuff from a DVD (see above) but still cannot access the BIOS.

2) I have a Samsung RV511 which I bought new in '09/'10 and has served me faithfully ever since. I never had a password set for the BIOS and over the years I've gone in & out to do stuff using F2 with no problem. However, just before Xmas, I tried to install a program (I can't remember what it was) but it turned out to be a Microsoft program which, at some point, asked for a password and I suspect it was asking for a BIOS password. I fiddled around with it for a while, got nowhere & dumped the whole thing; BUT now I can no longer access the BIOS. I have no idea of the password I entered & now I can't access the BIOS.

At the moment, if I put a CD-rom in and boot the machine, the CD is read but if I put a USB in nothing happens. The batteries of both these machines have been removed for 24 hours. I have managed to load 2xdistros on the Dell (although I still can't access the BIOS) but the Samsung still asks for a password?

Wits End! I've spent 7 days on this. Thanks for your help so far, but any further help gratefully appreciated!

dmk
 
Old 01-16-2019, 01:56 PM   #9
business_kid
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Glad to hear my old bodge did some good.

It sounds as if your Dell has a password set on the BIOS only, and the Samsung on loading. Because you flushed the settings, the settings you now have are factory defaults, including the passwords. You can phone or write to tech support for each company and inquire what the default is.

For the Samsung RV511, duckduckgo says press F4 on bootup and try your luck. Apparently it wipes stuff.

For the Dell, you have to contact them, duckduckgo says prove ownership, and give them what they ask for (some serial/error number). They can convert that into a password.
 
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:11 PM   #10
Stoltzfus
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I think that removing the battery for just a minute will erase all the settings in the bios, returning all settings to their defaults. The default for a bios password should be nothing=no password. If I'm right, you should be able to just boot right up, without interruption.

Edit/update:
Of course, before removing the battery, disconnect AC power.

Last edited by Stoltzfus; 01-17-2019 at 12:34 AM.
 
Old 01-16-2019, 11:53 PM   #11
mrmazda
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All Dells I've encountered have a motherboard jumper to use to reset a BIOS password. Look in the Dell E6410 pdf manual to locate it.
 
Old 01-17-2019, 08:05 AM   #12
michaelk
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Not true for modern Dell laptops. Dell stores passwords in EEPROM as an anti-theft mechanism. You can find sites/videos that show you how to reset Dell passwords but I don't if they actually work.
 
  


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