Understanding Passwords and how Acer can help when you run into issues

Acer-Jose Administrator Posts: 1,340 Community Administrator

A quick search on the community shows many issues related to forgotten or missing passwords. It’s clearly an issue all of us have experienced at some point in time with varying degrees of importance and frustration. In this article, I’ll provide a high level overview of common password types, what you can do to secure your password, and what Acer can do if you’re not able to get into your system.  In this article we’ll discuss three types of passwords;


  • Hardware Passwords (BIOS and HDD Passwords)
  • Operating System (OS) Passwords (for Windows, Android, etc..)
  • Web and Application Passwords (Email, Instant Messenger, etc..)


Hardware Passwords

For the most part there are two types of hardware passwords that can be created on Acer products: A BIOS password, and a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) password. These passwords add an additional level of security before a user is allowed to load the operating system. These passwords can also be a liability due to the fact that if the owner forgets his or her password, the machine will not boot up and there are very few if no options available from the end user side to reset them.


When to use a BIOS or HDD Password? – I personally do not suggest using these passwords unless you have a specific function that requires them, such as a business machine that may be accessed by someone not involved with the business.


What can Acer do if I’ve lost or forgotten my BIOS or HDD password? – Acer has tools and procedures available to remove and reset these passwords. This process is only used within an authorized Acer repair facility. Contact your local Acer Service team to inquire about pricing and service options.


Operating System Passwords

An OS password is a password tied to an account used to access the operating system. The account is what you use to store settings and maintain some private data. These passwords have typically been stored locally but with the release of Windows 8, you can now use your Microsoft account to access your computer.  This would allow you to change or reset your password from another machine.


When to use an Operating System Password? – An OS password is a great tool for anyone who shares a computer with others, and wants their own settings and configuration without having to share personal data.


What can Acer do if I’ve lost or forgotten my Operating System password? – Proactively, Acer provides you with all of the tools you’ll need.  For pre-Windows 8 units, we have articles on how to create a password recovery disk (http://acer.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/6769).  If you don’t have access to this tool and cannot access your system, Acer will recommend using the recovery options to restore the system (this will erase all data, so there are consequences). You can use Recovery Disks (http://acer.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/12866) you would have made previously, or attempt to reload the machine before Windows loads (http://acer.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2631). For Windows 8 units, a Microsoft account can be reset by using another computer and visiting http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/forgot-windows-password.


Web and Application Passwords

Passwords used on the Web or other Applications such as email, instant messaging, Facebook, Twitter or online services are controlled by the company that provides the software or web interface. These providers have lost password features that will help you retrieve or reset your password.  Acer cannot provide any assistance with this process.


What can you do to secure your passwords?

I suggest everyone takes some time to learn more about passwords; a quick Google search for “a guide to secure passwords” provides numerous articles on how to create strong passwords and even some tricks to help your remember them. While I don’t recommend any one method, using what you feel is the best information from these resources, combined with others, will help you be secure.


Another tool that is very useful is a password manager (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Password_manager). These help organize and maintain all of your passwords with one master password. The downside to this if you lose your master password it can cause issues for multiple services, so use it wisely.