Can't access BIOS on a Toshiba Portege - why?
February 15, 2022 4:44 PM   Subscribe

I have an older Toshiba Portege (a R935-P330) that I'm trying to resurrect - when I start up, I get a black screen asking me for a password, but cannot bypass this to access BIOS (which is what I'd like to do here). What gives?

It seems unlikely - but possible - that the CMOS battery is dead. If that's the case, I may just throw in the towel here. Curious about any other conjectures as to the cause or a solution.
posted by ryanshepard to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Some machines have a BIOS reset jumper close to the BIOS battery.
posted by pipeski at 5:12 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]

Your computer might be asking for a BIOS password. Are you repeatedly pressing whatever key gets you to the system menu or bios screen as soon as you start the computer?

I found this here. I'm not sure how much to trust it. Maybe Step 3 works.

If you are getting to a BIOS password entry field it does sound like you might have to open it to pull the BIOS battery to clear it.

Part 2: How to Reset BIOS Password for Toshiba Computer?
Setting a BIOS password provides a basic yet highly effective level of PC security. If you forgot BIOS password, your computer won't get past the booting process or allow you to change the BIOS settings). If so, you can remove BIOS password as following:

Step 1: Open your computer case to examine the motherboard. Remove the CMOS battery. Gently pry the battery from its housing and reinsert the battery after 10 minutes. If this works and you don't see the password prompt, then you have successfully reset the BIOS password. Otherwise, follow the steps below.
Step 2: Locate the jumpers near the edge of the board or near the CPU or the CMOS battery. Find "Clear CMOS" or "Clear Password". Place the jumper over the pins and restart your computer. If this doesn't work, try step 3.
Step 3: Enter a password after receiving the password prompt. If you have an Award BIOS, try "AWARD PW". If you have a Phoenix BIOS, try "CMOS".
posted by rsclark at 5:17 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]

Step 3 is beautiful!
posted by rhizome at 8:04 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]

It appears that Toshiba Protege has a replaceable RTC battery, but generally, if it is low, it'll tell you it's low, not put up a password.
posted by kschang at 10:23 PM on February 15

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