Wednesday, October 1, 2014

HP EliteBook & ProBook - how to remove the BIOS password set by HP ProtectTools

Here is the scenario:

An employee was fired from the company some time ago and his old laptop has a BIOS password set by HP ProtectTools. Here is the procedure to remove the password and completely remove BIOS security. It assumes you can still login to Windows on the computer with a user with admin rights.

  1. Download the current version of HP System Software Manager (SSM). As of October 2014 it is version in SoftPaq 66796 and can be found here.
  2. Run the sp66796.exe file and accept all defaults.
  3. Go to the C:\Program Files (x86)\Hewlett-Packard\SystemSoftwareManager folder and extract there the file with 7-Zip or another compressed file manager.
  4. Double-click the HpqPswd.exe file
  5. Choose a new BIOS Administrator password (minimum 8 characters), type it in the 2 Password fields and type the name of the password file (I use pass.bin) and click OK.
  6. Download the current HP BIOS Configuration Utility (BCU). As of October 2014 it is version in SoftPaq 65619 and can be found here.
  7. Run the sp65619.exe file and accept all defaults.
  8. Copy the pass.bin file created in step 5 to the C:\Program Files (x86)\Hewlett-Packard\BIOS Configuration Utility folder
  9. Open a Command Prompt and go to the C:\Program Files (x86)\Hewlett-Packard\BIOS Configuration Utility folder.
  10. Type this command: BIOSConfigUtility64.exe /nspwdfile:pass.bin .This will set a new BIOS Administrator password.
  11. Restart the computer and enter BIOS setup (F10 on most models).
  12. Select user BIOS Administrator and type the password you chose in step 5.
  13. In the Security Tab click the User Management option.
  14. In the HP PROTECTTOOLS USERS section select all the users one by one and and click Delete Account.
  15. Go back to the Security Tab and click Change Password
  16. Type the password you chose in step 5 and press Enter 3 times to select a blank password.
  17. Exit the BIOS setup and save the changes.
  18. To make sure that it worked enter the BIOS setup and you should not be asked any password.
Credits: the above procedure is an adaptation from this post to use the available versions of HP SSM and BCU.