The BIOS, or basic input/output system, on your computer is a helpful program that most computer users never touch. This is the first piece of software that your computer loads when it boots up, and it controls all of your hardware. On Dell desktops, a locked BIOS has a couple of workarounds, but on the Inspiron 1525 Laptop, the way into a locked BIOS involves a few steps.
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Turn the system off, wait a few seconds and then turn it back on. Start tapping "F2" as soon as you press the power button. When prompted for the BIOS password, try pressing "Enter." Dell configures some of its computers -- but not most -- to have a blank BIOS password to prevent some users from accidentally entering the BIOS and change settings.
Enter "Dell" for the password and press "Enter," making sure to use a capital "D" in "Dell." This is Dell's alternative default password. If neither "Enter" nor "Dell" works and you are still locked out of the BIOS program, try some of your other passwords in case you changed the password for the BIOS at an earlier time. Again, most BIOS programs on Dell laptops are not password protected, so the password must be something you typed at an earlier time.
Download a "Flash BIOS" program from support.dell.com or through the Dell automatic update interface built into the Inspiron 1525. You have options to use a CD-ROM or to flash the BIOS from Windows; the latter is the easier way, since Dell has a step-by-step wizard to walk you through the process. After the download completes, double-click on the file to extract its contents and then follow the prompts.
Reboot when prompted and tap "F2" repeatedly to try to access the BIOS again. The Flash BIOS update will replace the BIOS software with a new copy, which should clear the old password. You can set a new password now, if desired, but it's best to write it down so you can avoid this problem in the future.
Tips and warnings
- To use a CD to boot the Flash BIOS instead of the Windows-based, step-by-step process, download the files to your computer and burn the contents of the archive onto a blank CD. Reboot the computer with the CD in the drive and tap "F12" at the "Dell" screen. Choose "CD/DVD-ROM drive" and press "Enter," then follow the on-screen prompts to complete the flash.
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