Laptop problems

My friends Windows XP SP2 Laptop (1.4Ghz, 384MB Ram) (I know its bad) has been screwing up.:mad:

His DVD drive picks what it wants to read (cant install Win7). All except one of his user accounts log in for 10 seconds then blue screen. One of the remainding 2 works fine but when you acces C: drive it goes blue screen. Phoenix BIOS needs a password and he doesnt have it (so you cant boot from disc). When you try to save folder options (eg. show hidden files and folders) you check/uncheck something then when you click OK it goes back to how it was!

So as you can see it is screwed any help would be appreactiated

Last edited:


Essential Member
If you are on Windows XP and planning to UPGRADE...

YOU MUST DO A CLEAN INSTALL. There is no upgrade path. There are user migration tools you can use, but you will need to backup your files and do a clean install.

I have seen several threads about this and just want to clarify.

The upgrade from Windows Vista is a valid upgrade path, but Windows XP to Windows 7 is not

That's why you're experiencing all these problems

First, before he can do anthing he will either have to remember or guess the bios password... or open the laptop and find the jumper to clear the password. Best thing would probably be to Google clear bios password and get some images and instructions. Hopefully he won't have to totally take it apart and remove the keyboard to get to the jumpers.

Or F8 to the Admin profile & delete the P/W in his account there. (Maybe)

If you activate a bios pasword and don't know it, you will never have a chance to get to F8. It's a hardware thing in the bios menu.

He can boot into safe mode but how do i disable the bios password. Also I didn't mean upgrade i meant clean install/dual boot (havnt decided).

Most laptops come with a very strong BIOS password capability that locks up the hardware and makes the laptop completely unusable. This is the password that has to be entered before the operating system loads, usually on a black screen a few seconds after the laptop is started.
Of course BIOS password can be set on a PC too, but there it is stored together with the other BIOS settings – date, time, hard disk size, etc. It is very easy to reset the BIOS settings (and the password) on a PC – usually there is a jumper near the BIOS battery on the motherboard that needs to be moved from connecting pins 1+2 to pins 2+3 for a few seconds and than moved back to pins 1+2. Next time the PC is started it will alert you “… BIOS settings invalid… Defaults loaded… Press F1 to continue…” or something similar, and…. the password is gone!
However most laptops store the BIOS password in a special chip, sometimes even hidden under the CPU, that is not affected when the rest of the BIOS settings are reset. This makes the removal of a BIOS password on a laptop almost impossible. The only option in most cases is to replace the chip which is quite expensive and risky procedure and, of course, not supported by the manufacturers.
Some manufacturers (like Dell) can generate a “master password” for a particular laptop (from their service tag) if sufficient proof of ownership is provided. Others (like IBM) would advise replacing the laptop’s motherboard (very expensive). On some old laptops (4 – 5 years or older) the BIOS password can still be reset relatively easy, usually by shorting two solder points on the motherboard or by plugging a special plug in the printer port, etc.
In almost all cases on newer laptops it is either a big hassle, expensive or even impossible to reset the BIOS password, making it a very good way of protecting your laptop from unauthorized use.
However what makes your computer exactly yours are your own files, documents, emails, pictures, etc. They are all stored on the hard drive. So, even if your laptop has a BIOS password that locks it up and makes it completely unusable to anyone that doesn’t know it, your hard drive can still be removed from the laptop and connected to another computer, and your files retrieved quite easily.

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.