Installing New Hard Drive, Locked Bios

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by syga, Sep 26, 2018.

  1. syga

    syga MDL Novice

    Mar 20, 2010
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    Hello,

    I bought a used Toughbook, CF-53, a while back with a password protected bios.
    Now the hard drive has bad sectors and I want to replace the hard drive.

    The problem is that since the bios is locked, it only boots from the hard drive, I cannot change the boot order so I'm not sure on how to install the operating system, Windows 7, on a new hard drive.

    If I install the basic operating system on the new hard drive which is installed on a different laptop and then swapping the hard drive into the problem laptop, do you think this would work???
     
  2. Yen

    Yen Admin
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    May 6, 2007
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    #2 Yen, Sep 26, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
    Have your tried "password" or "PASSWORD" or "Biostar" as password (without quotation marks)?

    Generally it should work, but....

    Your 'different' laptop should not have any password protection......

    When you install a new HDD to your CF-53 and it still has got active security feature set the following happens:

    The new HDD gets tied to the CF-53 after first boot (using current PW) since you cannot unlock it anymore.
    To do so you would need the password.

    In other words the new HDD will only work in your CF-53 and not on any other system anymore after booted once there.
     
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  3. Joe C

    Joe C MDL Guru

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    #3 Joe C, Sep 26, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
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  4. syga

    syga MDL Novice

    Mar 20, 2010
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    Thanks, I already tried to remove the battery, let it sit overnight, bios is still locked. Tried some default bios passwords, no luck. After some google searches, found the bios password is stored in a separate chip.

    Thanks to Yen, in post 2. I didn't know the hard drive will be married to the laptop on first boot.

    Going to gamble and buy a new hard drive this weekend. Will install the base WIn 7 pro in a unlocked dell laptop then transfer the hard drive into the toughbook. Will post my results.
     
  5. Yen

    Yen Admin
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  6. Joe C

    Joe C MDL Guru

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  7. John Sutherland

    John Sutherland MDL Addicted

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  8. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
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    dump cf-53 bios.bin with a programmer (chip has a green dot in picture above)
    and find a clean copy and compare in hexeditor and it likely can be cleared.
     
  9. John Sutherland

    John Sutherland MDL Addicted

    Oct 15, 2014
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    Hello @syga - Even though the BIOS is locked, and you cannot change the current boot order, have you tried pressing the F2 key during boot and see if boot from USB is listed?
     
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  10. syga

    syga MDL Novice

    Mar 20, 2010
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    Thanks to everyone for the replies!

    I ended up buying a new hard drive and installing it into a hp laptop. Install a base, bare Win 7 pro, did not install any drivers.
    Swapped the new hard drive into the Toughbook CF-53. It worked! Installed all the drivers and everything works properly even though the bios is still password locked.

    Out of curiosity, I tried installing the old hard drive with the bad sectors in the hp laptop. It booted up to the windows splash screen then I got a bsod, I didn't get that before. Maybe because of the incompatible drivers? I left it at that and did not go any further with it.

    I think the old drive failed because the laptop gets moved around a lot, probably got bumped. So I went with a ssd drive. Its fast and the battery life is dramatically improved.
     
  11. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
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    win 7 normally bsod from ahci sata chipset drivers or other drivers not config.. win 10 doesnt fail hardly on a swap.