Forgotten Password Blues

Those who know me will tell you that I am a bit of a geek when it comes to computers and I like to think I know my way around them. I have a home network connecting a number of computers including those I consider to be my work machines. One of these is a laptop that has a lot of data to do with my work, some of which is confidential; so, as I do not want that stuff looked at I encrypt the hard drive and have a password that needs to be entered when the laptop is turned on (the BIOS password). I am also aware of computer security issues so I always use good passwords, nothing obvious like ‘p@ssw0rd’ or ‘letmein’, I change them regularly and I (almost) never write them down.

Now being a bit of a geek I tend to have some really high end kit and this particular machine has a fingerprint reader which I can use instead of entering the password. it also has an optional feature that allows you to swipe your fingerprint once and it will enter the BIOS password, allow access to the hard drive and log you into Windows. Now I have had this machine for over two years and have changed the Windows password several times in that period but, being a really flash system, the fingerprint reader software recognises the password change and allows me to continue using it to open the machine; until…

….time for a change in ownership – well a technicality which is another story – My other half Mary is going to be using the laptop and I want to change the way it logs on to my home network; it is an easy enough change; I make the change to the network connection, create an account for Mary on the machine, register her fingerprints, log her off and check she can get back in using the fingerprint reader – all OK. Now I want to check the single sign on at start-up so I turn off the machine and turn it back on; those of you with an eye for detail will remember that I used the word ‘optional’ when describing the ability to do this – and guess who forgot to turn the option on!!!
Oh and guess who didn’t read the bit that would have told him that, although I changed my windows password regularly, the BIOS password remained the original one!!!
Oh and guess who had forgotten the original password!!!

So here I am with an expensive black screen showing just the prompt PASSWORD = and a flashing cursor having tried every password I can think of to get in. Oh well it shows the security measures work 8¬)

I am now contemplating taking it to the shop to get the password removed; of course that means I have to wipe the hard drive (good job the data is all backed up) and load everything from scratch but at least I will be able to use the machine. (most computers have a little switch close to the battery that allows you to clear the BIOS password but, if you think of it, this defeats the objective of having it in the first place so laptops, particularly the good ones, do not have this.)

Anyone know how to reset the password on a Toshiba Protégé M700?

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