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I was told once that you can program your computer to stay "at the black screen" so that Windows won't even start -- that you can require a password before Windows will boot up.

We are going to buy a new computer in the next couple of weeks, and I would LOVE to do this to prevent our son from using and/or messing with our new computer. He has his own! (He's a teen with more computer knowledge than us.) Unfortunately, he sometimes screws up the computer, and that is why he was given one of his own at Christmas.

Can someone tell me how to do this, or where I can find instructions on how to do it?

Thanks so much.

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Last Post by gerbil
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Hello Helot, welcome to TechTalk! :)

What you're describing is the password function embedded in the computer's BIOS. Although makes and versions of BIOSes vary, every PC has one, and they almost invariably have a password-protection option.

To enable the password protection you need to enter the BIOS setup program. This is done by pressing a certain key as the computer boots up (but before Windows starts booting). The exact key you need to press varies between BIOSes, but DEL, F1, and F2 are three very comon ones. Watch your screen when the computer starts to boot; many BIOSes will display a "Press some key to enter setup" message, and if you press the specified key at that point you'll be put into the BIOS seup program. From there it isn't very difficult to find and set the security/password options.

As long as the password you specify isn't easily guessed, about the only way your son could get into your computer after you set the BIOS password is to physically open the computer's case and clear the BIOS settings by removing the BIOS back-up battery or by using the BIOS-reset jumpers on the motherboard.

Repost if you have any more questions on this and we'll get you sorted.

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Windows XP also supports user accounts, so that each member of the family can login to Windows with their own username and password. Each user can be granted different permissions. i.e. an administrative user can install programs while a regular user only has the ability to use them.

But, yes, if you want to prohibit computer usage entirely to those who don't know a password, the BIOS option is best.

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...Of course, if your son is knowledgable about computers, he may already know how to reset a BIOS password jumper.

My Advice: Have a BIOS password. Have a Windows password. Lock the keyboard in a gun safe when it's not being used, and lock the door of the room containing the keyboard.

Just kidding about the gun safe... But a locked door never hurts!

Votes + Comments
Nice post about the BIOS...physical access can do anything for you and that's a good point. Gun cabinet!@! lol -feigned
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WOW! Thanks for the welcome, and for the information! You know, when my son was younger I tried putting the keyboard under my bed at night. Guess what he did? He had a friend buy a cheap keyboard for him, and late at night he would plug his in and do computer while I was sleeping! (until I caught him, of course). That BIOS password thing sounds perfect. I want to keep him from using and installing junk on ours. If the day ever comes that he screws around with ours and the BIOS stuff, that will be the day he gets booted out of the house. BOOTED. I made a computer funny! :-)

Now I just need to get out and get a new computer. Say, are there any brands that you guys suggest I NOT purchase? Any brands that are more reliable than others that don't require a second mortgage on my house to buy?

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Without opening a can of worms:

Dell's cheap. If you just need a "Meat and Potatoes" system, where all you'll be doing is web, email, etc, a 2400 would be nice. If you want a bit more performance, there's the 4600, which is still relatively inexpensive, but is more expandable than the 2400.

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...Of course, if your son is knowledgable about computers, he may already know how to reset a BIOS password jumper.

My Advice: Have a BIOS password. Have a Windows password. Lock the keyboard in a gun safe when it's not being used, and lock the door of the room containing the keyboard.

Just kidding about the gun safe... But a locked door never hurts!

:lol::lol::lol::lol:

I was going to say...if he knows anything at all he'll be able to trip that jumper without an issue. :cheesy:

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Hello,

If I had to get a Windows system, I would go with Dell too. I would not go with HP/Compaq for a PC or an inkjet printer (prefer Epson inkjets). I would not be seen alive with a Gateway.

Christian

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Hello,

If I had to get a Windows system, I would go with Dell too.

Agreed :)

I would not go with HP/Compaq for a PC or an inkjet printer (prefer Epson inkjets).

Absolutely.

I would not be seen alive with a Gateway.

Hey there- watch it Christian! :mrgreen:

I've got 2 GW boxen, and they've been very nice to me, thank you. Granted, they're rather old (from back in the day when GW was good), but one of them is still quite happily running 6 operating systems (Win 98/2k/XP and RH 7.3/Mandy 8/RH 9.0)

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Dell, huh? Goodness....... we have Dells at work. The entire office is filled with Dells - 26 of them to be exact. Lately three machines have had trouble and needed to have ghosting done. Seems like someone is always having a problem with one.

Perhaps it is the operator and not the machine, huh? ;-)

I've seen a lot of ads locally for e-machines. Sounds like a lot of stuff for the money, and nice rebates as well. Anybody have opinions on those?

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Hello,

DMR -- Glad it is working for you! I had a nightmare of Gateway stuff a couple years ago. Another story for another time.

Helot -- Re-imaging implies software errors, not hardware ones. If the proper drivers are installed, and the BIOS up to date, the hardware should be solid. Now, if they are continually swapping motherboards due to ethernet problems, or fans dying regularly, that is something else.

Me personally, I prefer a colorful computer. :)

Enjoy.

Christian

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Dell, huh? Goodness....... we have Dells at work. The entire office is filled with Dells - 26 of them to be exact. Lately three machines have had trouble and needed to have ghosting done. Seems like someone is always having a problem with one.

Perhaps it is the operator and not the machine, huh? ;-)

I've seen a lot of ads locally for e-machines. Sounds like a lot of stuff for the money, and nice rebates as well. Anybody have opinions on those?

Dell makes great hardware, especially for the price. As kc0arf mentioned, those are software issues, not hardware-- every major brand PC these days is running Windows these days, which means they are all prone to the exact same problems.

...I don't like to bad mouth other companies, but I would not go for an eMachine. They're cheap, sure, but that's about all they've got going for them. Don't expect for it to be too expandable, or last that long...

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...I don't like to bad mouth other companies, but I would not go for an eMachine. They're cheap, sure, but that's about all they've got going for them...

Mmm, yeah- I haven't had to deal with too many eMachine boxes, but that's the take I got on them as well- cheap, but not that great for the long haul. I can't say that I'd recommend one as a new purchase from what I've seen and heard.

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buy dell it is a cheap pc but if you are the kind of person who likes to surf on the net and have no experience on managing a pc don't use windows xp. unless you are very cautious with what you do and what you surf but i recommend 98 and a good av system you can also find av online visit google.com and search for online antivirus systems and you'll find many but good luck with your new computer

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Thanks again for all this input!

Trying to upgrade what we have wouldn't do us a whole lot of good. Our home computer is an IBM Aptiva, purchased back in 1996. VERY slow processor, unable to upgrade to more memory since we have done all we can already. Only 6 GB for storage.....

Emachines was inexpensive, and plenty good enough for sonnyboy.

Point well taken about the software/ghosting stuff. My only drawback with Dell is that I know a few people with them who are quite unhappy with the customer support department. I suppose that can happen with any company from time to time though, huh?

Dude - I think I'll get a Dell. MOO-HA-HA!!!!! (Providing I can get a great bargain sometime soon.)

And then I will most likely be hounding you guys for moral support with setting up a router for our home. Our internet is through Insight cable, and I've purchased a wireless router. My son says it's a piece of cake to do, but we will see....

Have a great day, everyone!

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Our internet is through Insight cable, and I've purchased a wireless router. My son says it's a piece of cake to do, but we will see....

Have a great day, everyone!

InsightBB huh? I'm with them in Seymour, IN.

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I have an eMachine that I purchased in '98; I never had any trouble with it until I got a virus (Nimda) in '02. Rather then try to clean it up, at the time, I purchased a Dell. The hard drive in the Dell failed 5 days after the one year warranty expired. Since I replaced the hard drive, I haven't had any trouble with it.

I have since reformatted the eMachine and use it as a loaner when working on other peoples computers... right now it needs to be formatted again -- I had Win98 & Win2K on it and someone tried to install XP; this computer doesn't have enough RAM or available hard drive space for XP!

Dell's customer service is great when you're purchasing a computer, but severely lacking in support thereafter (in my opinion). I also used Dell Financial to finance the purchase, and I can honestly say that it was literally the worst financial institution I've dealt with in my entire life!

I'll probably purchase another computer this year and it will be either an eMachine or a Dell. But I won't be using Dell Financial!

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Goodness, dlh! What on Earth are you doing resurrecting an old topic? Was the post misplaced?

Anyway, seeing that it's been resurrected I'd like to add comment related to the original question. There is really only one way to ensure beyond doubt that another person does not use your PC. Install a removable drive cradle to your PC, mount the hard drive in it, and then whenever you shut the system down remove the hard drive from it! If there's no system drive in there the PC cannot be used!

http://www.addonics.com/products/external_hdd/combo_removable.asp
http://www.addonics.com/products/mobile_rack/aenrhdsa35-r.asp

Password protection is not adequate protection against knowledgeable computer users. Password cracking tools are freely available for download if you know how to look for them ;)

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Lol, sorry about that!! I was searching for something else and found this so I thought I'd put in my two cents -- I didn't even notice the year!

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but it is very easy to release the BIOS password.
and also many methods to reset the windows password.
may be the best method is to hide your computer..
o(∩_∩)o...just kidding

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HELP!!!

I reset my system password on the BIOS screen and when I turned the computer on a black screen came up and said to enter the system password. But when I typed all it did was make a beeping noise and it won't let any letters be typed. So now I am stuck with the computer not working because I can't turn it on???

Please Help!! What have I done??

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Nobody wants to know wich Dell computer is better or faster, just how to set up a password with no tricks. How old are you? because you sound like kid.

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