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Solutions: Pull motherboard battery to reset BIOS password

I bought a used Dell Inspiron 8200 computer from an eBay seller. The computer is locked by a BIOS password. The error message is "#GLJWL11-595B is protected by a password." I do not know the original owner and cannot transfer ownership. How can I find the password?

You'll need to open the computer and find the battery on the motherboard. Remove it for a few minutes, place it back in again, button everything up and boot up. You may get a message about the BIOS losing configuration. Just click whichever key it indicates to accept the defaults. On some motherboards, the battery is soldered to the motherboard. In this case, you will need to find the jumper that clears the BIOS password. You can most likely find the motherboard documentation on the manufacturer's Web site.

I am referring to your response on printing all contacts. You offered a solution for Windows Mail. Why not Outlook? I use Outlook with Vista, and my address book only reflects those names I have put into it. When I to go complete "To:" when starting a new e-mail, I get scores of "auto" suggestions, so I know a list is somewhere. How can I print it and also view it from time to time?

Use the Mail Merge feature of Microsoft Word. It's a little more complicated, but it will give you much more control on what and how the list is created. From within Word, click Tools, Letter and Mailings, Mail Merge. The Mail Merge wizard will guide you through the steps necessary to create your list. Choose Directory as your document type and then select one of the available templates (or create your own). When it comes time to "Select recipients," choose Select from Outlook Contacts.

In your June 16 column you indicated you had recently bought a laptop for your daughter. I would like to buy one but am at a loss as to where to start. It would be used for e-mail and some research while traveling domestically. I have a PC at home with scanner, printer and speakers. Could you give me some direction?

My recommendation would be a laptop with at least a Pentium Dual-Core Mobile Processor T2370 (1.73 GHz) chip, 2 GB of memory (RAM), a minimum 120 GB hard drive and Windows Vista Home Premium. One with a built-in Web cam would be nice so the people at home can stay in touch while you travel. I would not spend more than $549 after rebates.

Send questions to personaltech@sptimes.com or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: Pull motherboard battery to reset BIOS password 06/23/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 9, 2008 11:33am]
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