BIOS lock error when trying to reformat hard drive (XP)

By yorkshirewench ยท 12 replies
Aug 1, 2005
  1. I'd like to reformat my hard drive. I paid money for a special backup CD when I bought my PC but when I put the CD in and restart my computer, all I get is the following error message: Unable to determine BIOS lock, please contact your system manufacturer - which I can't do because it's Tiny and they've gone bust. Have Googled this problem but can't find a solution. Anyone? Please?
  2. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    You can try to remove the CMOS battery for a while and see if the reset to standard settings will clear the password.(I take it this machine is not a portable)
    A 'Search' here brrought up this long discussion about portables but there maybe some links to helpful sites.
    Let us know if you have any progress.
  3. yorkshirewench

    yorkshirewench TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Nope - took it out and left it out for a good half hour. Clock was wrong when I turned it back on but the error message still comes up when I restart with the CD in. :(
  4. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Is your BIOS bootup sequence set to (1-floppy)/2-CD/3-Harddisk?
  5. Beardmaster

    Beardmaster TS Rookie

    Tried updating the bios yet? That may solve it.
  6. yorkshirewench

    yorkshirewench TS Rookie Topic Starter

    BIOS bootup is 1 CD, 2 Floppy, 3 Hard Drive.

    How do I update the BIOS?
  7. Beardmaster

    Beardmaster TS Rookie

    You need the make and model number of your motherboard, once you've got that just go to the manufacturer's website and download the latest bios onto disc.

    There should be instructions as to how to do it as well, its pretty simple but just make sure u do it right otherwise u can bugger your whole system :O
  8. yorkshirewench

    yorkshirewench TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks everyone!

    I didn't manage to get the Tiny CD to work but have bought a full version of Windows XP and installed that, no problems. :)
  9. urbandragon

    urbandragon TS Rookie Posts: 231

    Ok this may be your problem.

    Go into your bios and check for 2 things.... not sure of the actual wording... but should be close enough for you to figure out...

    disable SMART diagnostics... it is a boot time diagnostic that checks your hdd.. some problems it can show is on boot it will say something like
    your hard drive is about to go out...

    second... some motherboards have an option that says something about antivirus.. which in short will not allow you to modify the MBR on the hdd. I would bet this is your problem disable the "antivirus option" and you should be good...

    Please not i have no clue what the actual wording is in the bios because i am at work and dont have access to a bios.
  10. Cal.

    Cal. TS Rookie

    I've got exactly the same problem and i don't know what to do. I don't know what a BIOS is or how to check it so if someone could help me it would be helpful. Thanks.
  11. Cal.

    Cal. TS Rookie

    Can anyone help?
  12. dEXter_27

    dEXter_27 TS Rookie

    ultimate boot cd tell somthig ?
    is a maising program (cd Bootable)
    i know 2 version from dos and Windows
    inside - Utility
    to chech your Hdd
    to remove password from Hdd
  13. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    BIOS is Basic Input Output System

    it is a boot program "burned" on an EPROM - Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory chip on your motherboard. It tells your motherboard how to boot up and general configurations.

    Essentially it is a mini-program stored on a chip. Without it, your computer is a giant paperweight. The computer needs BIOS to know where to boot up and turn on devices BEFORE your operating system takes over.

    manufactuers often update BIOS for compatibility issues. go to the manufactuer's website and download the latest BIOS and update program.

    you need a REAL floppy drive attached to your motherboard to do this right. BIOS updates are core system alterations that is done on the most primitive level. Since all intel/amd motherboards are based on intel 8086 technology at their central core, a floppy is required. It is foolish to have a computer without one, even if you never use it. This is one area where it is required. I do not recommend BIOS updates from a CD rom. There are many issues that can arise.
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