Alienware (Dell) M17x-R3 BIOS Password problem

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Alienware (Dell) M17x-R3 BIOS Password problem

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I have set both supervisor and user passwords in my M17x-R3. The BIOS does prompt me for the supervisor password when I enter the BIOS set-up, but it does not ask for the user password when the system is powered on. I have used the user password in the BIOS with every laptop I have had in the last 10-12 years, and have never seen this problem.

-- Ralph

 

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  • Just got off the phone with Alienware tech support. The answer I received is:

    "In the BIOS, the Supervisor password is to control changes to the BIOS settings, and the User password allows viewing the BIOS settings only"

    While this answer appears to match how the system is actually working, this system BIOS works differently than every other PC I have ever owned (more than a few), including my two Dell laptops, and two Dell desktops. On my other systems, the "User Password" in the BIOS controls whether the system will boot at all. (If you do not know the User Password, you can't get to Windows or Linux, or whatever other operating system is installed.)

    Alienware's interpretation of these password roles potentially compromises the system's security. If you can boot from a USB flash drive or CD ROM, you can boot software that will hack the Windows password for any given account. If doesn't tell you what the password is, but it does allow you to remove it. I know this to be a fact, I've done it when my mother forgot the password to her laptop.

    I absolutely love my M17x-R3, but this one lapse is annoying.

  • I have observed the same thing on M14x.  On my 2 previous laptops, XPS12 and XPS16, I have used the HDD lock password in BIOS to lock the unit from booting up, but the BIOS in M14x does not appear to support standard HDD lock password.  This is my 3rd Dell laptop and I am  surprised that this feature is missing.  I have some sensitive data on my machine and am disappointed that in such a high end laptop I will have to use third party software to lock down my machine.  DELL, are you listening?

  • Does the laptop have a power-on bypass option in the bios, defaulted to off? If not, then it would seem to be a bit of a useless arrangement.

    You might get better info on the Alienware forum. en.community.dell.com/.../3746.aspx

  • Excuse my English. I bought about a month "Alienware m17x-r3", and I have the same problem you have. The Dell support would change my motherboard, but when the technician came, I refused, I wanted him to see the problem. The problem is not hardware but the programming that the bios.  The hardware would be a failure, only after setting the password, do not ask, even to enter the bios, but instead asks. If I enter the bios with that of "superuser" I allows you to change all the options, but if I put the "user" I can change just a few. Instead of showing a lot of choreography with the initial boot image, which occupies much memory, they could create a more configurable bios, adding password to boot the system by including the block below password the hard disk, turning off the boot, internal or external devices, for as DVD, USB stick, short iserendo more configurable options, in order to make the BIOS more malleable. They could also insert a test fast memory. <TOU Violation = Hacking> Hopefully they update the BIOS in the future, to close this gap in security. I tried it on a Dell desktop PC, and I entered the harddisk of windows with ease.

  • Loris is correct.  Security of the hard disk on Alienware M14x/M17x can be easily compromised.  I have given up on expecting Dell to fix the BIOS.  I use TrueCrypt to encrypt the entire hard disk.  It works perfectly and solves the problem.  Too bad I have to go to a 3rd party for security.  It makes we want to reconsider for my next notebook.

  • nsoro

    Loris is correct.  Security of the hard disk on Alienware M14x/M17x can be easily compromised.  I have given up on expecting Dell to fix the BIOS.  I use TrueCrypt to encrypt the entire hard disk.  It works perfectly and solves the problem.  Too bad I have to go to a 3rd party for security.  It makes we want to reconsider for my next notebook.

    Not solve the problem by encrypting the disk, <Violation Hacking>. Violation Solicitation>

  • The technician who came to me and to promise that he would send an email to "Dell", but if we are not so many, to complain, the problem, I think Dell, did not heed.

    Hello

  • I am using a Dell Alienware 17xR3, I also like it, can not set a password for the HDD, not to put the boot password on boot, the old mainboard has these functions, Alienware has tried to forget, not fix?

  • The systems are acting as designed. To promote a design change, you should post this stuff on the Dell Idea Storm. http://bit.ly/y6VM

    (Liaison for Desktops, Alienware, Monitors)
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