Clearing the CMOS

December 29, 2009

All technicians invariably do things within the CMOS that they want to undo, but sometimes simply making a change in CMOS prevents you from getting back to the CMOS Setup Utility to make the change back. A great example of this is when someone sets a CMOS password and then magically forgets the password. If you ever run into a system with an unknown CMOS password, you’ll need to erase the CMOS and then reset everything. All motherboards have a clear CMOS jumper somewhere on the motherboard. Check your motherboard’s documentation for the location of this jumper.

To clear the CMOS, turn off the PC. Then locate one of those tiny little plastic pieces (officially called a shunt) and place it over the two jumper wires for a moment. Next, restart the PC and immediately go into the CMOS and restore the settings you need.

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