Ever buy an HP Elitebook? Of course you didn’t! No one would actually buy one of these things. More likely, you were issued one by your company. There’s not much you can do with a locked-down laptop. You probably don’t have admin rights, the BIOS Admin password is probably in effect. The boot order probably excludes booting from CDROM….No Problem! This is a straightforward hack that doesn’t require you to open the case of your laptop and won’t damage any applications. Lets get started!
NOTE: As with all the hacks I’m going to post, I’m also going to show you how to prevent or defeat the exploit.
Tools you will need:
- Ophcrack live CD. There is an excellent pictorial on lifehacker on how to use this tool to gain access to any passwords on XP or Vista. Be sure you download the extended tables for Vista if applicable. Ophcrack can be defeated by using passphrases of over 14 characters. Pretty simple, huh?
- HPProtectTools – “What?” I know that’s what you’re saying to your self right now. Trust me, the key to breaking the security on these laptops is to use HP’s tools against itself…pretty sneaky, but fun. Download the version for your laptop here.
This is all you should need to get into the BIOS and change some of the basic settings. For me the goal of the hack was to be able to boot from a CD rom. Once you can do that, the drive is vulnerable and you can load any OS, partition the drive, or even encrypt it. We’ll get into those procedures in the next post.
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