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Resolved Question

How do I disable F9 in BIOS?

by Michael45512 / November 19, 2011 10:03 PM PST

Hello,

I want to know how do I disable F9 when my computer performs the POST (Power-on self test).

Pressing the F9 key gives you the boot devices menu, which gives you choices about the device you want to boot from (such as from a USB drive or a CD-ROM).

I view the boot devices menu as a security risk, as a hacker can use software on their USB drive or CD-ROM to compromise the system.


Here are details about my computer's specifications:

MOTHERBOARD: BIOSTAR P4M900

OPERATING SYSTEM: Microsoft Windows XP Professional

Any suggestions would help! Thank you!

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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by Michael45512

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Let's recap.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 3, 2011 8:25 AM PST

The feature you are looking for does not exist in this BIOS but we discussed how using an USB keyboard and THIS BIOS can lock out folk. But you seem to forget this is a PC.

Let's move to locks. Here's a LOCK that you can put on the machine -> http://www.amazon.com/BW-KEY-SWITCH-ROUND/dp/B00548C5YC/ref=pd_sim_sbs_e_27

Wire this to the RESET PINS and when you lock the machine, no one gets in unless they open the case and modify the connections.

Bob

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(NT)
by Michael45512 / December 3, 2011 8:57 AM PST
In reply to: Let's recap.

Even if I used a USB keyboard, if someone was to break in and steal this machine, they can use a serial keyboard and gain access by booting from a CD-ROM.

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And you just crossed the line and begun the discussion about
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 3, 2011 9:14 AM PST
In reply to: (NT)

The basics of computer security.

Physical Access = Access.

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(NT)
by Michael45512 / December 3, 2011 9:27 PM PST

There is nowhere I can lock away this computer. I can't unplug the CD-ROM because we use too much software that relies on CDs. I can't lock the computer beacuse the is no place where I can put a lock on the computer. Even if I could, I can't cover the security holes and hackers will be able to boot from what's left.

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You just described a Personal Computer.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 4, 2011 1:37 AM PST
In reply to: (NT)

We have solutions above yet you dismiss them because you don't have an USB keyboard. THAT is easily fixed.

You also have a PERSONAL COMPUTER and not one designed to be secured. Physical Access = Access.

I hope this discussion has helped you understand PCs better.
Bob

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Please help me.
by Michael45512 / January 31, 2012 7:18 AM PST
"We have solutions above yet you dismiss them because you don't have an USB keyboard. THAT is easily fixed."

Even if I did have a USB keyboard, someone could steal my USB keyboard and use a serial keyboard to get into the boot devices menu and hack my computer.


"You also have a PERSONAL COMPUTER and not one designed to be secured. Physical Access = Access."

I have a home security system that prevents intruders from getting to my computer. That should take care of the "Physical Access = Access" problem.

With the above mentioned, please help me find a way to prevent booting from a CD. Thank you!
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(NT) Use the BIOS password as well as all the above.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 31, 2012 9:57 AM PST
In reply to: Please help me.
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It's not enough.
by Michael45512 / February 1, 2012 6:40 AM PST

The BIOS password and "all of the above" does not prevent a hacker from getting into the boot devices menu (F9) and booting from a CD-ROM.

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Above we used a key switch to the reset too.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 1, 2012 7:08 AM PST
In reply to: It's not enough.

How did they get around that?

After all this it appears this discussion proves again that this is a Personal Computer where "physical access" = "full access."

If you don't want a PC why not move to embedded computers with custom apps? Need an example? Here's one folk use every day -> ATM bank machine.
Bob

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(NT)
by Michael45512 / February 1, 2012 9:57 AM PST
"After all this it appears this discussion proves again that this is a Personal Computer where "physical access" = "full access.""

PLEASE act as if the "physical access = access" problem does not exist. For just this one time, dig in your brain and the user manual to help me prevent booting from the CD-ROM. Again, please and thank you.
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There are machines that may offer this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 1, 2012 12:32 PM PST
In reply to: (NT)

I think Dell and HP offer "business" machines that have better BIOS options.

We also have physical locks for these drives. This fixes it as well.

It appears you want someone to craft you a software solution but this is unlikely as no one here will create a new BIOS for you.
Bob

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Is code editing an option?
by Michael45512 / March 27, 2012 6:03 AM PDT

I've thought for a long time about this issue, and I am thinking about software that can edit BIOS code. Any suggestions?

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Answer
Re: F9
by Kees_B Forum moderator / November 19, 2011 10:25 PM PST

That's a very good question, and a realistic concern.

But I'm afraid that if disabling it isn't programmed into the BIOS, it can't be done. So all you can do: study the manual or all BIOS-screens to see if you can find such a setting.

If not, it's a knock-off criterion for your next PC. Although I doubt if there's any BIOS that offers it. Then all you can do: use a thin client linked to server that is safely locked away.

But I found http://www.motioncomputing.com/kb/article.aspx?id=10489 saying that it can be done on a Motion tablet (assuming you can add a master password to entering the BIOS-setup). It's fully dependent on the BIOS anyway.

Kees

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Answer
(NT) Yup...secuse the PC and or use BIOS passowrd protection.
by VAPCMD / November 20, 2011 12:20 AM PST
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(NT) Sorry...that was 'secure the PC .....
by VAPCMD / November 20, 2011 10:50 AM PST
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(NT)
by Michael45512 / December 2, 2011 11:06 PM PST

Sorry for the long delay.

I secured the PC, modified the boot process so that the computer boots only from the hard drive, and locked the BIOS configuration.

However, the BIOS allows a key to be pressed (F9) to access the boot devices menu. This menu bypasses everything I have set, and hackers can use this to hack into the PC.

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Answer
Link please.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 20, 2011 2:13 AM PST

To this BIOS or motherboard's manual so we can see what page it's on.

And remember that most of the machines from that day still allow F9 and such keys to work but be silent about it.
Bob

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Here's the link.
by Michael45512 / December 2, 2011 11:27 PM PST
In reply to: Link please.
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Got it
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 3, 2011 12:11 AM PST
In reply to: Here's the link.

Since it does not allow such configuration we have to use a workaround.

See the section noted "USB Keyboard/Mouse/Storage Function" and set that to Disabled and then use an USB keyboard. This in this model system means all boot keys do not work until Windows or an OS brings up the USB keyboard as well as turns off a boot from USB.

Done. Secure from what you noted.
Bob

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All except for...
by Michael45512 / December 3, 2011 5:14 AM PST
In reply to: Got it

You didn't get the CD-ROM part of it straight. A hacker can boot from a CD-ROM.

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(NT) We can unplug that for now.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 3, 2011 5:17 AM PST
In reply to: All except for...
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Oops. No they can't.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 3, 2011 5:22 AM PST
In reply to: All except for...

The USB keyboard is inactive and the machine is not set to boot from USB CDROM so how would they do that?

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(NT)
by Michael45512 / December 3, 2011 6:25 AM PST
In reply to: Oops. No they can't.

I meant the built-in CD-DRIVE.

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Since no USB keyboard works till the OS is up.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 3, 2011 6:45 AM PST
In reply to: (NT)

How could they use F9 to boot from CD?

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(NT)
by Michael45512 / December 3, 2011 6:51 AM PST

I forgot to say that I did not have a USB keyboard even though the settings you specified took the USB option off the boot devices menu...

..but I need to take the CD-ROM option off the boot devices menu (F9).

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To solve this we have choices to make.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 3, 2011 7:00 AM PST
In reply to: (NT)

Use the USB keyboard.
Unplug the CD

Or why bother? It's a PC. In case you forgot that's PERSONAL COMPUTER. Designed to be used as the person that has access to it as they see fit.

To lock it down you have to remove access to the PC.
Bob

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(NT)
by Michael45512 / December 3, 2011 7:13 AM PST

Again, I don't have a USB keyboard.

To clear things up, I already removed the USB storage device from the boot devices menu using the steps that you provided for me.

What I need to do is to prevent booting from a CD-ROM drive, thereby taking it off the boot devices menu.

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You seem to think it's a feature in this machine.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 3, 2011 7:36 AM PST
In reply to: (NT)

Not all BIOS do all things. In this case you have a fine reason to remove the CD.

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(NT)
by Michael45512 / December 3, 2011 7:59 AM PST

What use is the computer if the CD drive has to be removed?

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What use without CD?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 3, 2011 8:02 AM PST

Quite a bit. The office is moving to Ultrabooks which have no CD/DVD drive.
Our Android Tablets have no such drive.

I rarely use that drive. It's like the floppy and may be on it's last legs.
Bob

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