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Saturday, April 10, 2010

How to Reset a BIOS Password on a Acer Aspire 5610z Laptop

Just the other day I was asked to fix a laptop that would not boot up any longer using Vista. When I recieved the notebook I tried first to boot to a Vista CD from Acer to attempt to recover the OS from the endless loop of reboots. I found that the CD would not boot. "No problem." I thought, "I will just change the boot priorities and have my way with this laptop!" Well, the laptop came out swinging and punched me in the nose. I encountered a dreaded BIOS password. Of course, it's not known what that password is. I then decided to reach for the proverbial baseball bat (a google search) to see what I could find. Sure enough, I found the bat here http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=265197. This forum helped a lot with this issue, but the instructions were kind of confusing at first, so I thought I would include the steps I took to reset the password. I will try to post a video later.
Here are the steps that worked for me. BEWARE, if you do not feel comfortable working on your laptop, take it to a professoinal. I am not repsonsible for your mistakes!
  1. Disconnect all power from the laptop, including removing the battery pack.
  2. Aquire these tools
    1. Precision screwdriver set
    2. Small piece of copper wire about 3"-4" inches (single strand from CAT5e works great!)
    3. A table to work on.
  3. Next, turn the laptop over, screen facing down on the table and proceed to remove the large cover that shields the fan, CPU, wifi card, and RAM.
  4. Remove both sticks of RAM from the DIMM slots.
  5. Locate on the board a small cell that has the markings "J3" next to it.
  6. Locate a small silver square on the board under the bottom DIMM slot a marked "CMOS". You will noticed that it appears attached to the bottom DIMM slot.
  7. Strip the coating off both ends of the small piece of copper wire, exposing the copper conductor.
  8. Touch the wire ends to the J3 cell (small gold square) to the CMOS cell (small silver square under bottom DIMM slot). This will short the CMOS, resetting it.
  9. Reinstall the RAM, cover and battery to thier original locations and making sure all screws are back in place on the cover.
  10. Turn the laptop back over, plug in if necessary and press the power button. At the Acer splash screen press the "F2" key on your keyboard to enter the BIOS. The password should now be gone.
Those ten steps are what I took to remove the BIOS password. I hope this helps and I will also supply a link to a video once I get the audio fixed.