Hacking Dell

I recently learned of a cool hack at my new job, pertaining to recovering Dell laptops from a BIOS password protected state. While I don’t use a PC at home, I deal with various PC related hardware all day long, and it’s great to be able to do little tricks like this. Assuming you have a Dell laptop in which you can no longer access the BIOS setup, it may be possible to short out the chip responsible for storing the setting (as well as the Dell Service Tag) and grant access to the previously locked setup. Personally, I’ve done it on several Latitude models, although getting physical access to the chip required completely disassembling the laptop and removing the motherboard. On the bottom of the board, quite often near the RAM slots, is the target 24C02 serial EEPROM. By shorting pins 3 and 6 while powering up the machine, the chip is disabled and the Dell laptop goes into “manufacturer mode,” where the BIOS password no longer exists. I’ve read that the Service Tag data can be re-entered using the ASSET.COM utility, available from Dell’s FTP server. For more detail, you can check out a tutorial I found which no longer exists at the original location, but is thankfully saved at Archive.org. It’s a dangerous, but clever and impressive little hack that just might get you out of a tough spot with a machine that would otherwise be a simple paperweight. I hope to post more hacks like this as I discover them.

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Hacking Dell

52 thoughts on “Hacking Dell

  1. Sen says:

    The shorting method works perfectly the first time. But you’ve got to note that the EEPROM also contains the Ethernet controller, and so by shorting and clearing out the EEPROM you effectively render the onboard ethernet port unusable!

    I havent found a way to reprogram them.

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  2. I did find out later that the onboard Ethernet is disabled when following the shorting method, and it was the source of much trouble until I found Dell’s svctag utility. The svctag package comes with a small program called nicset.exe, which re-enables the onboard Ethernet on Latitude and Inspiron laptops which have had their EEPROMs wiped. It works like a charm every time.

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  3. phrozenn4life says:

    in 3 months of searching i have found no one able to answer master password questions about inspiron 700m’s. nearly every other model of dell laptop has a published solution. why not this one? no nvram? it has a serial eeprom. 93c46 microwire. it has a 32 pin PM40fl004T bios chip…. but i know of no one who can say they have solved this mystery. any thoughts?

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  4. Csaba says:

    is there any way to make a dell c640 latitude enable usb boot in bios ? ’cause dell surely wiped that possibility out in all bios versions for latitude c640 series…. maybe you know some hack ?

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  5. magico says:

    i have the dell laptop latitude d830 , but i dont have the bios password , i’ve buy’d this laptop from a company that going broke ,
    can you please help me on this one ?

    i did a cmos kill , bios cracker 4.3 un plugged the battery on the motherbord but nothing helps

    isn’t there a special prog for this kind of things
    greets

    Like

    1. @Jeff: There should be a small depression or printed dot in one corner for the chip. (Or, failing that, a silkscreened marker on the board near a corner pin.) This is pin #1. Starting at 1, the pins are numbered counter-clockwise. Pin 3 should be on the same side as 1, and pin 6 should be on the other side towards the other end.

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  6. HI,
    how can I change BIOS or Motherboard so that the Battery is not checked for being of DELL (all DELL-Adapters with PSID-Chip)? I have two Inspiron 8600 which don´t recognise a DELL-Adapter any more (due to a short circuit), and via BIOS programming the CPU speed is reduced/ AC Adapter appears as “unknown”.
    Can u please help me?
    Regards
    Stefan

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  7. Terry Korber says:

    The 24c02 eeprom chip has been changed in certain Dell models i came across one, I can’t remember the number. It’s 2508???? Something on that line, the point is, No results in shorting this one. I haven’t came across anyone on the net to free this one. Anybody have an idea? Thank You.

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    1. @Toby: It’s not as easy as shorting by any means, but if it’s still a serial EEPROM, it should be possible to clone a working one to blank chips and swap them. It’s a few hours worth of work, though, what with all the disassembly, desoldering, copying, flashing, soldering, partial re-assembly, testing, and full re-assembly ;-)

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  8. Hi all,
    Is there any way we can break the MASTER bios password for Dell D630 laptop.please this my service tag if any can please help me.

    SERVICE TAG:# F4LZV1S-595B

    thanks,

    Like

  9. Rob says:

    Hello every one,
    was wondering if anyone can help me out with this one. Have a dell d620, bios and hard drive is locked, is there any way to recover the harddrive and bios password using another machine(unlocked Bios) with the locked hard drive a boot disk and a dos based program?

    Like

  10. Dave says:

    I own a Dell Latitude D830 and forgot my admin password to boot the bios up. I’ve been told there is password codes to get past it. Does anyone know where I can obtain this?

    Like

  11. fordy says:

    hi i have a dell laptop d630 latitude but i dont know how to reset the password in the bios as i forgot what it was. ive tried the service tag= 8zz6f3j but no joy can anyone help

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  12. Kyle Bebber says:

    i have a dell precision m65 and no one knows hot to get past the bios password that i forgot… no jumpers or dipswitches on the mobo… nothing. i’m tired of it being a paperweight and not the $1200 laptop i bought! plz… help me if u can plzplzplz

    Like

  13. Aleksander says:

    Hey!

    I have a XPS M1710 Laptop. and i would realy like to clock both the cpu’s and graphic card (maby the ram to). I am sure that i got enought powersupply to tune up the hardware. How should i prossed?

    I have little experience from earlyer clocking, and therefor i am trying on my 3 years old laptop first;)

    Aleksadner

    Like

  14. dan says:

    hi i have just bought a dell vostro 1510 from ebay and it loads and works fine but has a password on bios so i cant reinstall windows,can any one help,i have read about the cmos battery but dont fancy taking it apart lol

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  15. Richard Wagner says:

    I have the same problem(s) with a Latitude CPi R400GT. I have gotten pretty good at pulling the laptop apart and putting it back together but I have not solved the problem that got this all started. In fact, I have picked up a couple new symptoms along the way. The laptop still boots but no longer finds the hard drive. I may have a keyboard problem but can’t be sure of that til everything else works. The time and date have been lost and cannot be reinstated (maybe the keyboard). Still have the Service Tag #. Asset Tag # is gone (along with time and date). No longer have a System Password entry at all. This previously was disabled but I could program it.

    I also found a pair of jumper pins near the 24C02 chip that is labeled PWD 1. The 1 may be pin 1 notation of the 24C02 chip.

    BUT, say again, BUT what are those jumper pins for. I can’t find them in the Dell documentation. I put a jumper on them but gained nothing (well, maybe some new problems).

    Jumping pins 3 to 6 is NOT an absolute fix.

    Bottom line: I never not been able to get the laptop back into the MANUFACTURING MODE. Until I do that I have a laptop that is good for practising disassembly and reassembly and nothing more.

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  16. BEHNAM says:

    PLEASE HELP ME . HAVE LATITUDE D830 I CAN’T REMEMBER BIOS SYSTEM PASSWORD BUT I CAN ACCESS WITH FINGERPRINTING PLEASE HELP ME TO ACCESS WHIT BIOS PASSWORD
    SERVICE TAG IS JGDGS3J-595B

    Like

  17. michaelzwahlen says:

    Hi all
    I become the laptop from a friend. the Laptop works fine for a month. Then to crop up windows stops with a bluescreen. And now the laptop starst allways with a gray screen: This computer system, #B82JM0J-595B, is protected by a password authentication system”. Can you help me with a Primary or administrator password?
    Service Tag: #B82JM0J or B82JM0J
    Express Service Code: 244-326-093-31

    I think the harddisk is broken, then she will not work in a athor labtob. So, i will not buy a new one because of the protected password.

    Very, very thanks.

    Like

  18. IMRO says:

    CAN’T ANYBODY PLAESE HELP MY.
    MINE COMPUTERIS LOCKED BY A BIOS CODE: THIS COMPUTER SYSTEM,#CVC061J-595B,IS PROTECTED
    HAVE A LATITUDE D600

    Like

  19. Ron says:

    @behnam if you can get on your laptop with the thumbprint you can just get online support and get the code from them … if it’s not your ownership to change but you can get on it you can change ownership easy

    Like

  20. Dell Studio 1537 says:

    My Laptop adaptor all of a sudden says… Unknown and unidenfied adaptor and wont charge my pc.. This is the dell one its a 65 w when it should be 90w. but it worked for a year.. now it dont so i bought a universal one that said it will work with this pc and it says its not a dell adaptor or same exact thing that i just posted above.. anyway around this or to fix this..thankyou.. email is babyfacelmt@gmail.com ty for your help

    Like

  21. Dell Studio 1537 Laptop says:

    My Laptop adaptor all of a sudden says… Unknown and unidenfied adaptor and wont charge my pc.. This is the dell one its a 65 w when it should be 90w. but it worked for a year.. now it dont so i bought a universal one that said it will work with this pc and it says its not a dell adaptor or same exact thing that i just posted above.. anyway around this or to fix this..thankyou.. email is ty for your help

    Like

  22. John says:

    Dell Latitude D630
    Service Tag 2WCS7G1-595B
    Express Code 6309953713
    I get the grey screen. Can someone please help me with a master password

    Like

  23. frank says:

    hi,

    yesterday i opened a c640 battery cause he was faulty..
    i closed the battery and the dell won’t power..
    so i put out the battery and my dellie says:
    “factory mode settings, press fn + X for factory settings”

    i tought, “COOL” cause this battery also kills the password then..
    this screwed battery kills the bios pasword…
    how i did it?

    i really don’t know

    but i keep this battery

    strange isn’t it?

    Like

  24. Christoph says:

    Can you help me with a BIOS password? Place help me and send me BIOS password.

    Service Tag: 4N720G1
    Express Service Code: 10109702593

    Dell Vostro 1000

    Very, very Thanks

    Like

  25. Hi one and all ..
    i can open any dell laptop bios password with the master password

    Simply email me with the service tag and i will gladly give it away for free only one hunred customers..

    Alf

    Like

  26. Dave says:

    I have a D830 that bios password on me. Can anyone give a hand.
    Service tag: CRP4MD1
    Express code:27796180789

    Thanks in advance

    Like

  27. Gary says:

    HELP…..My thanks in advance my gf doesnt know how it happened but she some how managed to get it to ak for bios password. she bought laptop used so doesnt know reg name

    dell insprion 910
    service tag#8whlgj1

    Like

  28. LaptopDoctor says:

    Need masterpassword for Dell 700m. Answering questions before they are asked.
    1: No it is not stolen, it was a senior citizens machine and son locked it.
    2: I am a repair shop and often get 1-offs that need unlocking.
    3: Yes I am skilled enough to remove VLSI and SMT chips
    4: Hate dealing with Dell. So support from India takes too long to get a straight answer or correct answer.

    Email if you have masterpassword generator or need service tag info. Make SUBJECT: MASTERPASSWORD so it don’t get deleted.

    Like

  29. David Horton says:

    Hello i set p/w for the bios and boot on my dell inspiron mini 10 laptop,and have forgot pass word and now need a master password

    This is now what appears on dell inspiron mini 10 screen
    System Disabled [04423]
    Service Tag [69kgmk1]

    Any help would be much apprciated
    Thanks in Advance

    Like

  30. alex says:

    Hi Everybody

    My girlfriend and I got in this huge fight.Need less to say we are not together any more….Well yes you she did it.Now cant get into my laptop.Please someone help my service tag is 6fkc5d1-595b its a dell latitude d630.Anyone please

    Thanks everone

    Like

  31. Dannycas says:

    Hello,

    I need help with my DELL lap Latitude D420, I have forgotten password BIOS and I can’t start from CD. Please help me with it.
    Service TAG#: 6CZPG2J-595B
    Express Service code#: 138-462-619-15

    I looking for any answer with help me.

    Like

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