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What are the various types of computer passwords?


I read that there is quite a number of different passwords I can set on my ThinkPad. What are they?


Depending on your need, computer passwords can be set to identify users, and distinguish levels of access on a computer or network, so as to prevent users from accessing or modifying data.


Types of computer passwords include


  1. Power-on password 
  2. Hard drive password
    - user hard drive password and
    - master hard drive password for administrators
  3. Supervisor (BIOS) password
  4. Operation System password


1. Power-on password (POP)



The icon above appears in your system if a Power-on password has been set. This password prevents your system from being powered on by unauthorized users.


A prompt appears during system start up, and the correct password must be entered before the operating system boots.


If you forgot your Power-on password but know your Supervisor password, try the following:

Go into your BIOS set-up utility and reset the Power-on password. The following articles may assist you with this.

How to enter BIOS in ThinkPad Twist

How to get to a BIOS Boot Menu on the Tablet 2

How to enter BIOS on H430 without a Lenovo keyboard


Otherwise, do the following:

  1. Switch off your computer
  2. Remove the battery pack and the back
  3. Switch on your computer and wait for POST to end, so that the password prompt does not appear, which indicates that the POP has been removed.
  4. Put in your backup battery and battery pack.


2. Hard drive password



The above icon appears in the upper left corner of your system if a hard drive password has been set. There are two kinds of hard drive passwords: user, and master. The administrator of the system can access the hard drive even if the user hard drive has been changed.


Depending on your preference, you can set either a user only password, or master and user password, which requires two hard drive passwords.


The system administrator keys in both in the same operator and can provide the user password to the laptop or desktop user.


If a hard drive password has been set, a password prompt appears during the boot process.


Note: If the user forgets the Hard drive password, check if a master Hard drive password has been set so the system administrator can access the hard drive. If the master Hard drive password is forgotten the hard drive must be replaced and this is not covered under warranty.


Related links:

Can I recover my hard drive password using fingerprint access?



3. Supervisor password (BIOS password)



The BIOS or Supervisor password protects the system information stored in the BIOS. A password is needed for the user to access the BIOS Setup Utility to change system configurations.


Note that if you forgot the Supervisor password there is no way to reset this. To regain access you will need to contact Lenovo Service to have the system board serviced. Choose from the dropdown option the country you are in. You will need to provide proof of purchase, and repairs are NOT covered under warranty.




Setting the Supervisor password does not prevent access to the operating system.

To regain access, the system will need to be serviced to have the system board and hard drive replaced. Proof of purchase is required, and this repair is not covered under the warranty.

For ThinkStation products, you can try moving the CMOS reset jumper found at the bottom of the motherboard.

To do so, refer to the Hardware Maintenance Manual found on the Lenovo support website.


Follow these steps:


1. Disconnect the power cable from the back of your system

2. Press and hold the power button until you hear the capacitors drain

3. Open the access panel and move the CMOS jumper from pins 1 + 2 to pins 2 + 3

4. Plug in the power cable and boot your system

5. Turn off your system when you hear a beep

6. Move the CMOS jumper from pins 2 + 3 back to 1 + 2 and boot your system as normal

This will clear all of your settings in the CMOS, including the power-on, user, and administrator passwords.  This process will not clear any hard drive or solid state drive passwords that might be set or affect your operating system passwords.


Related link: How do I reset the BIOS and/ or password on my ThinkStation?



4. Operation System Password


Operating systems include for instance, Windows, Windows 7, Windows 8, Mac and Linux.


Depending on whether you have created a user account, for example, for Windows, key in this password to run your system.

For Windows 7 users, here's how you can change your password:

  1. Click on Start and then Control Panel.

  2. Click on the User Accounts and Family Safety link.

    Note: If you're viewing the Large icons or Small icons view of Control Panel, you won't see this link. Simply click on the User Accounts icon and proceed to Step 4.




  3. Click on the User Accounts link.

  4. In the Make changes to your user account area of theUser Accounts window, click the Change your password link.

  5. In the first text box, enter your current password.

  6. In the next two text boxes, enter the password you would like to start using.

    Entering the password twice helps to make sure that you typed your new password correctly.

  7. In the final text box, you're asked to Type a password hint.

    This step is optional but I highly recommend that you use it. If you try logging in to Windows 7 but enter the wrong password, this hint will display, hopefully jogging your memory.

  8. Click on the Change password button to confirm your changes.


You can now close the User Accounts window. Now that your Windows 7 password has been changed, you must use your new password to log on to Windows 7 from this point forward.


Credit: PC Support - How to change your password in Windows 7


Related link: How do I log on if I forgot my Windows password?


Please note our community guidelines pertaining to password discussions:


No solicitation for, nor exchange of information that will aid or enable unethical, illegal, immoral or unsafe activities is allowed.


For example, no posts concerning exchange of passwords, credit or banking information, warranty entitlement information for purpose of re-entitling out of warranty products. No posts shall include instructions or directions intended to subvert security measures, including passwords, locking mechanisms, fingerprint scans, etc, or to subvert safety measures. Nor shall any posts provide descriptions to the location of, nor direct links to content related to these topics.




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facultyrowrevie On 2016-07-01, 16:25 PM

Useful details, this post will help everyone to know more about changing passwords.

haimeen On 2019-10-13, 21:26 PM

This is really a useful information. Thanks to share such informative Post. It has become possible for everyone to know more about changing passwords.

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