So, now you want to set your own password for the laptop. After having read all of the reasons why setting a password will not prevent theft or access to the laptop or data, and after demonstrating how such a password can be removed, it seems rather ironic. But there may be reasons why you would want to do so.
First, though, it would probably help for me to let you know what a Service Tag is and what it does. And also, tell you about Asset Tags and Owner Tags.
The chip which was just cleared during the procedure had some information on it, as I am sure you know by now. Naturally, it contained the passwords, Primary and / or Administrative.
It also contained 3 other pieces of information, which are referred to as 'Tags.'
* As far as I know, these tags are only used for dell laptops.
The Service Tag is a combination of letters and numbers that uniquely identify a particular computer, somewhat like a serial number. It is used by Dell technical support to be able to identify a particular computer when someone calls them. This tag is a 7 letter field. It would have been the first 7 letters (before the dash '-') which were displayed when the laptop started before the chip was cleared. This tag may be filled with any combination of numbers, letters, and some punctuation marks.
* Once a new service tag is set, I do not think it can be changed without clearing the chip again.
The Asset Tag is for laptops that are owned or distributed by a company for company and / or employee use. It is so named because these laptops are part of the company's assets. This helps the company keep track of, and identify their laptops. This tag can contain up to 10 characters, and companies usually use the same tag for all their laptops or use a sequence of numbers like a serial number for each one.
The Owner Tag is used to display information about the owner of the laptop. This tag can contain up to 48 characters, including, spaces; and, unless it is empty, it is always displayed on the logo screen when the laptop is started up. If you are going to use this tag, I would suggest using your name, or your full name and address.
These tags can be created or changed with a small DOS program called ASSET.COM that has to be run in full DOS mode, I.E.: from a DOS boot diskette. And, it can be downloaded for free, along with a whole bunch of other neat files, from the Dell™ FTP site: ftp://ftp.us.dell.com/utility/
If you are not able to directly browse FTP directories, it can be downloaded directly: ftp://ftp.us.dell.com/utility/asset.com
And, finally, if you are unable, or do not know how to make a DOS boot diskette. The file ASSETA00.EXE can be downloaded. It will automatically make a DOS boot disk with the asset utility on it. ftp://ftp.us.dell.com/utility/asseta00.exe
I should hope that anyone who, despite the numerous cautions and warning, has decided to take it upon themselves to actually perform this procedure would be knowledgeable enough about computers to know how to boot a computer using a boot diskette. However; if you have come to this point, and do not, it is beyond the scope of this demonstration to explain. You will have to find other sources for this information.
By typing 'asset' or 'asset /?' at the DOS prompt, you can get a reference for using asset.com to view, change, or delete the Asset Tag and Owner Tag by using the '/a' and '/o' switches.
Obviously this is all well and good, but does nothing about the Service Tag.
There is an undocumented command switch which you can use with asset.com. It is the '/s' switch, and works exactly like the '/a' and '/o' switches.
Thus, the command:
ASSET /s XXXXXXX
Will create the Service Tag represented by the X's.
Remember, this can only be done once without clearing the chip again.
Once the Service Tag is in place, the BIOS setup can be entered, and a primary and / or administrative password can be set.
That pretty much wraps it up. If you are not thoroughly bored by now, you can read the last page. It has some information about the chip that you really don't need to know. (Unless you actually need a new chip for some reason.)
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