Friday, July 22, 2011

How to Locate Phoenix BIOS Passwords

The basic input/output system, or BIOS, is a program that acts as a digital liaison, managing communications between peripherals and the operating system. Because the BIOS is critical to the operation of a PC, some computer manufacturers and workplaces employ a password for security. If the password is lost or has been reset through electrostatic discharge, it would be impossible to guess without the aid of computer forensics. Sometimes you can gain access to the BIOS through the keyboard, depending on the computer, but typically the solution is mechanical.


How to Locate Phoenix BIOS Passwords

Contact your computer manufacturer. All computer manufacturers have websites with technical support available. Have your computer model number and serial number ready. If the manufacturer is unable to help locate a password, standard back-door passwords may help.

Try using the following back-door passwords to access the BIOS: phoenix, PHOENIX, CMOS, BIOS. BIOS passwords are case sensitive.

Contact the motherboard's manufacturer if the back-door passwords failed. Find the motherboard's website for technical support. You will need to open the computer case if you do not know the motherboard brand.

Electrostatic discharge can reset a BIOS password. electrical sticker image by Tijara Images from

Shutdown and unplug the computer. Unplug the monitor and all peripherals from the PC, including speakers and USB devices. Ground yourself by wearing an antistatic wristband clipped to the metal case, or touch something metal before you open the case. Use the screwdriver to loosen and remove the screws from the case. Look for the motherboard, the largest circuit board inside, attached to one side of the case.

Printing on a motherboard can be hard to see without a magnifying glass. magnifying glass image by .shock from

Examine the motherboard for a brand name. A good place to start searching is near the processor, the large square box on the motherboard. A flashlight and magnifying glass are especially useful for a clear view of the motherboard. The brand name could be printed anywhere or, sometimes, not at all.

The motherboard battery is round and fairly flat. Computer system motherboard image by Timur Anikin from

Locate the CMOS battery while you have the case open. If contacting the motherboard manufacturer failed, you will have to remove the battery. The battery is circular, about the size of a dime, but as thick as two to three stacked dimes. Do not disconnect or remove anything yet.

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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Windows XP Technical Help

Microsoft released the Windows XP operating system in 2001 and continues to offer several sources of technical support. Windows XP users can find information within the "Help" section of their computer system and online, and can contact technical support with questions about advanced issues.


To view computer help in Windows XP, click the "Start" button and then select "Help and Support." A window will open displaying help topics such as computer information, networking, hardware, and performance and maintenance. Access Windows XP troubleshooting programs and diagnostic tools by clicking on the "Fixing a Problem" link.


As of 2010, Microsoft offers an online support center to assist with Windows XP problems (see Resources). Help is available through articles containing information on error messages, program updates and common issues. Microsoft technical communities offer a forum to exchange information, find answers to questions and discuss problems.

Customer Support

You can contact Microsoft's technical support via email, online chat or phone (see Resources). You will need to provide details about your computer system. Include specific information about the technical issue being experienced.

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