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7 avril 2010 3 07 /04 /avril /2010 22:48

It's been a quite long time since I wanted to write this article. But taking into account the fact that I spent 3 hours at night to understand what was happening to my BIOS, I could not forget it, I guess...

How did all of that started? very simple. I thought of applying some of the best practices in laptop security: (BIOS) password at startup.

Very well, I entered the BIOS. I had a few difficulties, because the 'Care' button did not work that well, and the boot-splash did hide the key to press to enter the BIOS. Anyway, I'm more patient than that.

Once I had got into the BIOS, I went to the security tab. Setting a password up seemed to be quite simple, as usual.

Then, I started my laptop, like in a regular way. As usual, it remained on for a few days, without reboot. And obviously, the problem came out at the next reboot. Thanks Windows Update (automatic / forced) reboot at night, for that...

Not even scared, I saw the next evening the bootstrap stucked at the password check. So I entered my so said password. Yikes, it seemed to compute a lil bit, and then displayed a warning telling me that my password was wrong. I tried a second time, a third one... then forced reboot....

This time, I started to feel less at ease... 

My password was 7 letters long, with 2 more digits. I imagined the problem could be a keymap issue (Qwerty in the Bios, else Azerty). So I built all the combinations I could imagine: typos, and keymaps issues... 

3 hours later, I was still in front of a locked computer. Then, fortunately, a bit of 'password hardening experience' came to my mind: what if the Bios could not register my whole password?

After 5 minutes, bingo! Only the first 6 characters had been saved! 

But no warning told me that only 6 out of 9 characters were going to be saved... I find it quite abnormal and tricky!

I hope this will help other people, at night, in a rush... like I was...

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