My Pa was recently given a Dell D600 laptop which was locked with a bios power-on password, it was his to keep for free because there was no way of removing it with software and Dell had said that the owner would have to pay to have it removed but also show proof of purchase.
That wasn’t going to happen. I consulted the internet for ages, coming up blank. My Pa pulled the BIOS battery and normal battery, dumped it in the freezer for 4 days and see if it would forget about the password as had been suggested as this does work on car stereo’s, well, it used to. Needless to say it was a fruitless effort.
Today I came by and he said he was about to dump it so I decided to have another look around and see what I could see. Turns out that the way Dell store BIOS configs is in a flash chip. The flash chip on this particular model is the 24C02 and is located just beneath the PCMCIA bay. All you need is a paperclip or hair pin, a small screw driver and some balls to actually rip apart the lappy.
You can find a fanastic guide on how to do this here: http://www.weeklygripe.co.uk/a709.asp
Proof of the pudding, my Pa now has a working Dell D600 laptop that is currently installing Mint Linux. If you get stuck just request some info here and I’ll help as much as I can.
If it helps though, find the 24C02 chip located below the PCMCIA bay under the black tape (peel it back), short pins 3 and 6 with a paperclip or hair pin, hold it in place while you push the mains power in and then push the power button on the lappy.
Wait 10 seconds or so, pull the power. Then take out the jumper, push it back in and turn on. Hopefully you’ll be greeted with this screen instead:
Tada. Put it back together and away you go.