system password

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Paul Gower, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. Paul Gower

    Paul Gower Guest

    I would like to set a password on my PC so that it cannot be used without my
    knowledge / supervision.

    I have today entered the BIOS set up screen (hitting DEL during the start up
    routine) and set a "user password". I saved and exited, and then let the PC
    finish its boot up.I then shut down and restarted - eagerly awaiting the
    prompt to enter my new password. Nothing happened.
    I went back into the BIOS and discovered that all that the password did was
    protect the BIOS settings.

    Did I miss something here? I am certain that it must be possible to set a
    password that is requested before windows even opens. (I know that there are
    options for different user settings in windows - but that will still allow
    access to the machine.
    Please would someone be kind enough to point me in the right direction.
    My machine is a running XP home.
    Thanks in advance,
    Paul
     
    Paul Gower, Oct 23, 2003
    #1
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  2. Paul Gower

    Jim Watt Guest

    On Thu, 23 Oct 2003 20:00:15 +0100, "Paul Gower"
    <> wrote:

    >I would like to set a password on my PC so that it cannot be used without my
    >knowledge / supervision.
    >
    >I have today entered the BIOS set up screen (hitting DEL during the start up
    >routine) and set a "user password". I saved and exited, and then let the PC
    >finish its boot up.I then shut down and restarted - eagerly awaiting the
    >prompt to enter my new password. Nothing happened.
    >I went back into the BIOS and discovered that all that the password did was
    >protect the BIOS settings.
    >
    >Did I miss something here? I am certain that it must be possible to set a
    >password that is requested before windows even opens. (I know that there are
    >options for different user settings in windows - but that will still allow
    >access to the machine.
    >Please would someone be kind enough to point me in the right direction.
    >My machine is a running XP home.
    >Thanks in advance,
    >Paul


    The machine OS is not relevent as its a matter of the BIOS
    capability. Generally you can chose to [protect either the
    CMOS settings with a password, or the machine by having
    to enter it before it boots the OS

    Look again at the options.
    --
    Jim Watt http://www.gibnet.com
     
    Jim Watt, Oct 23, 2003
    #2
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  3. Paul Gower

    splatter Guest

    "Paul Gower" <> wrote in message
    news:bn98pi$arn$...
    > I would like to set a password on my PC so that it cannot be used without

    my
    > knowledge / supervision.
    >
    > I have today entered the BIOS set up screen (hitting DEL during the start

    up
    > routine) and set a "user password". I saved and exited, and then let the

    PC
    > finish its boot up.I then shut down and restarted - eagerly awaiting the
    > prompt to enter my new password. Nothing happened.
    > I went back into the BIOS and discovered that all that the password did

    was
    > protect the BIOS settings.
    >
    > Did I miss something here? I am certain that it must be possible to set a
    > password that is requested before windows even opens. (I know that there

    are
    > options for different user settings in windows - but that will still allow
    > access to the machine.
    > Please would someone be kind enough to point me in the right direction.
    > My machine is a running XP home.
    > Thanks in advance,
    > Paul


    Different BIOS's have different setups as far as passwords. Most only
    prevent changing the BIOS, some I guess from what your posting do more,
    although I haven't seen it.

    The main use for the BIOS password is to prevent someone from changing the
    settings, not only to prevent mess-ups but also to stop someone with
    physical access from booting from an disk and into another OS to crack the
    systems passwords .

    If your BIOS doesn't support this, a similar thing could be done using a
    boot-loader program to enter into Windows, but before you get into that let
    me ask you a question.
    What's wrong with just disabling the XP guest account and passwording your
    account to prevent users from getting onto the box?

    DP
     
    splatter, Oct 23, 2003
    #3
  4. Paul Gower

    Jim Watt Guest

    On Thu, 23 Oct 2003 15:58:02 -0400, "splatter" <> wrote:

    >Different BIOS's have different setups as far as passwords. Most only
    >prevent changing the BIOS,


    No, most allow two levels of password protection, one which locks
    the CMOS settings and another that prevents the machine booting.


    --
    Jim Watt http://www.gibnet.com
     
    Jim Watt, Oct 23, 2003
    #4
  5. Paul Gower

    Mimic Guest

    There should be a setting in the BIOS like so (for the password)

    Setup
    Startup

    You want setup

    --
    Mimic

    "Without Knowledge you have fear, With fear you create your own nightmares."
    "There are 10 types of people in this world. Those that understand Binary,
    and those that dont."
    "C makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot. C++ makes it harder, but
    when you do, it blows away your whole leg"

    "Paul Gower" <> wrote in message
    news:bn98pi$arn$...
    > I would like to set a password on my PC so that it cannot be used without

    my
    > knowledge / supervision.
    >
    > I have today entered the BIOS set up screen (hitting DEL during the start

    up
    > routine) and set a "user password". I saved and exited, and then let the

    PC
    > finish its boot up.I then shut down and restarted - eagerly awaiting the
    > prompt to enter my new password. Nothing happened.
    > I went back into the BIOS and discovered that all that the password did

    was
    > protect the BIOS settings.
    >
    > Did I miss something here? I am certain that it must be possible to set a
    > password that is requested before windows even opens. (I know that there

    are
    > options for different user settings in windows - but that will still allow
    > access to the machine.
    > Please would someone be kind enough to point me in the right direction.
    > My machine is a running XP home.
    > Thanks in advance,
    > Paul
    >
    >
    >
    >
     
    Mimic, Oct 23, 2003
    #5
  6. Paul Gower

    Mimic Guest

    "Jim Watt" <_way> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Thu, 23 Oct 2003 15:58:02 -0400, "splatter" <> wrote:
    >
    > >Different BIOS's have different setups as far as passwords. Most only
    > >prevent changing the BIOS,

    >
    > No, most allow two levels of password protection, one which locks
    > the CMOS settings and another that prevents the machine booting.
    >
    >
    > --
    > Jim Watt http://www.gibnet.com


    uhuh i agree with jimmy

    --
    Mimic

    "Without Knowledge you have fear, With fear you create your own nightmares."
    "There are 10 types of people in this world. Those that understand Binary,
    and those that dont."
    "C makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot. C++ makes it harder, but
    when you do, it blows away your whole leg"
     
    Mimic, Oct 23, 2003
    #6
  7. Paul Gower

    Bit Tamer Guest

    You should contact either (a) the PC manufacturer, especially if it's an HP,
    to see what they say; or (b) the motherboard manufacturer, to see if the
    current BIOS version (or an update) supports user passwords.

    I bought an HP Pavilion for my son to take to college. Turns out the custom
    HP BIOS (even though it has an Asus motherboard) does not support power on
    passwords...not good when the machine is accessible to dozens of college
    students in a dorm. That was the first indication (to me) of how much those
    "mainstream" manufacturers strip out of their machines. I didn't want to
    risk applying a non-HP approved (Asus) BIOS, so he was stuck until I got
    WinXP loaded on it came with WinME.) OTOH, a Dell we purchased DID have a
    power on password, which is why I never thought to ask before buying the HP.
    (But the Dell's Intel M/B did have some components removed.) And a much
    older Gateway 2000 (also Intel m/b.) had one, too.

    If a power on password isn't supported, the next best thing is to define
    passwords on all user accounts in WinXP. I'm sure there are ways to break
    in, but it's better than nothing.

    Bit Tamer

    "Paul Gower" <> wrote in message
    news:bn98pi$arn$...
    > I would like to set a password on my PC so that it cannot be used without

    my
    > knowledge / supervision.
    >
    > I have today entered the BIOS set up screen (hitting DEL during the start

    up
    > routine) and set a "user password". I saved and exited, and then let the

    PC
    > finish its boot up.I then shut down and restarted - eagerly awaiting the
    > prompt to enter my new password. Nothing happened.
    > I went back into the BIOS and discovered that all that the password did

    was
    > protect the BIOS settings.
    >
    > Did I miss something here? I am certain that it must be possible to set a
    > password that is requested before windows even opens. (I know that there

    are
    > options for different user settings in windows - but that will still allow
    > access to the machine.
    > Please would someone be kind enough to point me in the right direction.
    > My machine is a running XP home.
    > Thanks in advance,
    > Paul
    >
    >
    >
    >
     
    Bit Tamer, Oct 24, 2003
    #7
  8. Paul Gower

    Jim Watt Guest

    On Thu, 23 Oct 2003 23:35:50 +0100, "Mimic" <> wrote:

    >There should be a setting in the BIOS like so (for the password)
    >
    >Setup
    >Startup
    >
    >You want setup


    Uh could there be some mystake there?

    However, the main function of having a password entered via the BIOS
    code is to protect the machine. Although there might be machines
    where it only protects the CMOS settings, in many years of poking at
    many many different machines I've not encountered it.

    Indeed having a password to protect the settings is a very weak
    defence as its easily removed.


    --
    Jim Watt http://www.gibnet.com
     
    Jim Watt, Oct 24, 2003
    #8
  9. Paul Gower

    Mimic Guest

    "Jim Watt" <_way> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Thu, 23 Oct 2003 23:35:50 +0100, "Mimic" <> wrote:
    >
    > >There should be a setting in the BIOS like so (for the password)
    > >
    > >Setup
    > >Startup
    > >
    > >You want setup

    >
    > Uh could there be some mystake there?
    >
    > However, the main function of having a password entered via the BIOS
    > code is to protect the machine. Although there might be machines
    > where it only protects the CMOS settings, in many years of poking at
    > many many different machines I've not encountered it.
    >
    > Indeed having a password to protect the settings is a very weak
    > defence as its easily removed.
    >
    >
    > --
    > Jim Watt http://www.gibnet.com


    yup indeedy there is a mistake, it either says :

    Setup
    or
    Startup / Boot(up)

    Its the second one the OP needs, providing its present in his BIOS of course

    --
    Mimic

    "Without Knowledge you have fear, With fear you create your own nightmares."
    "There are 10 types of people in this world. Those that understand Binary,
    and those that dont."
    "C makes it easy to shoot yourself in the foot. C++ makes it harder, but
    when you do, it blows away your whole leg"
     
    Mimic, Oct 24, 2003
    #9
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