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Putting a password on the hard drive is done by entering the BIOS. This should be done with caution since making changes in the BIOS can prevent the computer from starting or working correctly.
Disclaimer: If you password your computer and then forget the password, FMS will not be held responsible!
With most computers, when they first start, you see a screen with text and at the bottom & there is a statement "To enter the BIOS, touch "Del" or some other combination of keys. Some name brand computers hide this screen behind their logo and you have to read the instruction book to find out what keys to hit and when to enter the BIOS. Some use one of the F keys at the top. Others use a combo of keys like Ctrl, Alt, Esc.
Touching the right key(s) brings up a screen of information called BIOS. All the information shown here is stored in a ROM chip on the motherboard. It includes information on the settings needed to make your particular computer operate all the hardware, such as the Processor type and speed, the type of drives you have, etc. One of the settings is a password.
By default on all computers, there is no password. If you enter one, then you will be asked every time you start the computer and if you forget it, you will not be able to use it at all. Not even to recover data out of. This should only be done if you are trying to prevent anyone else from using the computer. Some do it to a laptop thinking it will prevent anyone from using it without authorization or if stolen.
Unfortunately there is sometimes a way around it. It involves opening the case and shorting out the motherboard battery which erases the BIOS. Then next time the computer is started, the BIOS looks at all the hardware and picks up the default settings. The danger in this is that many manufacturers change the default settings to give the computer better performance. Resetting the BIOS to default may affect performance. The other way around it for a thief is to just remove the drive and put it in another computer. There is no actual way to password the drive. BIOS is before the drive and the Windows password is just for the software.
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