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BIOS is an acronym for Basic Input or Output System, also known as system setup.
BIOS is firmware that is embedded on a small memory chip on the computer's system board or motherboard.
It acts as an interface between the computer's hardware and the operating system.
The BIOS also contains instructions that the computer uses to perform basic instructions such as date, time, whether to boot from a hard disk drive, USB drive, or the network, and so on.
There are three types of passwords that can be set up in the BIOS of a computer.
System or User password - Password that you must enter to log on to the computer.
Prevents an unauthorized user from using the computer. Without the user password, a user cannot enter the BIOS, access the one time boot menu (F12 menu), or boot into the operating system.
Setup or Admin password - Password that you must enter to access and make changes to the BIOS settings of the computer.
Prevents an unauthorized user from accessing the BIOS or making changes to the settings in the BIOS.
HDD password - Password that you must enter to allow the BIOS to access the hard drive and continue booting into the operating system.
Prevents an unauthorized user from accessing the HDD and booting into the operating system. For more information about BIOS, how to access the BIOS, and how to update the BIOS to the latest version, see the Dell knowledge base article Dell BIOS Updates.
BIOS passwords provide a layer of security for users to prevent unauthorized access to the computer.