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How do I password protect my computer...

by LadyD2r / September 20, 2006 7:42 AM PDT

I want to be able to restrict ALL access to my computer. How do I password protect it upon startup so that no one else can use the computer?

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Set a BIOS password. . .
by Coryphaeus / September 20, 2006 7:47 AM PDT

You'll need to get into the BIOS to do this. You'll need to read the PC documentation to find out how to enter the BIOS as all are different. Once there, and you set the password, you MUST NOT forget the password.

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(NT) (NT) What is BIOS?
by LadyD2r / September 20, 2006 8:02 AM PDT
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Since you didn't tell us. . .
by Coryphaeus / September 20, 2006 11:59 AM PDT
In reply to: (NT) What is BIOS?

anything about your PC, and there are about a gazillion makes and models and operating systems, that's all I can offer. You might make a call to the tech support for the PC and ask them about entering the BIOS.

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What is BIOS?
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / September 20, 2006 9:26 PM PDT
In reply to: (NT) What is BIOS?

BIOS is short for Basic Input/Output System.

When you turn on your computer, there is a small set of computer instructions called the BIOS that is accessed before anything else. This is entirely separate from the Operating System that a computer uses, eg Windows XP, etc.

The BIOS searches for hardware, like your hard disk, memory, (or RAM), monitor, keyboard and mouse etc, and it sets up your computer so that Windows can load and talk to all the hardware. You may see some of the results of its search on the first screens when you switch on. There are many types of BIOS and what they display will differ, but generally you will see information displayed about your Processor, RAM and hard disk.

The BIOS is programmable to a certain extent, but it is advisable to leave it as it is unless you have specific reasons for making changes. You enter the BIOS by pressing a certain key very soon after starting the computer, but which key depends on the make of computer you have.

A BIOS password can be set by you, but it depends on the reason you want to protect your computer. If you are storing highly classified material on it, then as has been said before, a BIOS password can easily be circumvented, or even reset. But if you simply want to protect it from family and friends, then a BIOS password may well be the best way.

Remember, if you do set a BIOS password, then forget the password, there is nothing you can do to bypass it or reset it, other than delving deep into the recesses of the computer itself. Capital letters and lower case letters make a difference, eg PASSWORD is different to password.


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Easily bypassed
by john_mcdoogle / September 20, 2006 8:56 AM PDT

Anyone who's willing to crack open the case to the system will have no trouble bypassing any BIOS passwords you might put in. It's trivial to do, and only takes a couple of minutes, including tearing the system apart and putting it back together.

There is no reliable way to restrict access to a system using any kind of software (including the BIOS). Biometric scanners can be fooled easily, passwords can be cracked or bypassed (Windows has an intentional back door for resetting the admin password). Controlling physical access to the system is the more fruitful route of attack.

However, BIOS passwords will stop quite a large number of people who don't know that you can bypass it by removing the backup battery. It's just important to recognize this inherent weakness. Just like there's nothing about a BIOS password that stops someone from yanking the HDD, slapping it into another system, or an external enclosure, and having free reign to do what they want.

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Re password protect computer.
by Papa Echo / September 20, 2006 12:00 PM PDT

As mentioned above, there is really no reliable method of using passwords to protect your computer. To prevent physical access, you may have to lock it up in a strong room, but that is really too drastic a measure.

At another level, you may want to think about preventing access to your files, if that is your actual objective. It is a bit better here. Data can be encypted, files, e.g. MS word, can be password protected( this one has more teeth than the BIOS or Windows password.) Other files, e.g. pdf, uses other methods.

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RE: Password Protect
by HPJOHN / September 20, 2006 5:30 PM PDT

Since you did not tell us your operating system? I have to give you Windows XP's method. Do not use Bios. Go to control Panel and click on users. You will see your name there as an administrator. Click on new Password. Use a complicated one. Put in some of the following ?/\|]}[{=+-_!,.<>" and some numbers plus some of the alphabet and write it down in a secure place as you probably will not remember it. The reason is that people have programs that work just on finding out passwords. Alphabet passwords are easy and mixed up ones like these are extremely hard to find(from PC Magazine).

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Thank you all very much.
by LadyD2r / September 21, 2006 6:01 AM PDT
In reply to: RE: Password Protect

HPJOHN, that is exactly what I wanted to know. I really appreciate your help.

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Also easily bypassed
by john_mcdoogle / September 21, 2006 10:43 AM PDT
In reply to: RE: Password Protect

What the PC Rag article likely neglected to mention, is that Microsoft included a back door in Windows, for the sole purpose of resetting the admin password if you happen to forget it.

All it takes is a special boot disk, which can be made with pretty much any XP system, and physical access to the system. Someone could then have complete access to the system.

You could also just use a Linux LiveCD distribution like Knoppix. Bypass the passwords and permissions completely, make copies of data at will, there wouldn't be a trace left on the computer.

You could try encrypting the entire filesystem, or even specific parts, but then you risk locking yourself out if you forget the password. It also dings performance quite a bit to have to do all that decrypting and encrypting every time you access a file.

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How do I password protect my computer
by ronnell0227 / August 18, 2007 6:45 PM PDT
In reply to: RE: Password Protect

Thank You. I like your concsice and direct answer, I
followed your instructions and I think this will work. Jesus Bless You!
Ronnell B. Lewis

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how to password my laptop computer
by anulika22 / July 15, 2009 6:55 AM PDT

how do i password my computer to provide privacy?

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How did you get on with
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / July 15, 2009 7:46 AM PDT

all the suggestions offered in this discussion?

You didn't say.


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You can use biometrical protection
by maxkazar / January 15, 2010 4:51 PM PST

I know good program BioKeyLogon. It's analyze how you type password. And only you can enter correct password. If some one stole you password they can't type it correct. Very easy to recovery you windows password, but not for BioKeyLogon protection :).

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password information
by tora25 / August 6, 2010 11:43 PM PDT

how to put a password on my computer

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 7, 2010 1:46 AM PDT
In reply to: password information

This discussion has found solutions. If they don't work for you, start a new discussion.

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One more
by flrhcarr / August 7, 2010 2:47 PM PDT

You can use voice activation. Put the program in the start up directory. I've used that awhile back & it worked good. Sucks in the summer if you're using a fan & that wasn't recorded with your voice :}).
As with all security, it only thwarts the honest.

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