How to Reset Toshiba CMOS
By Jeff Grundy
Your Toshiba computer's BIOS, or Basic Input Output System, stores important hardware and security configuration settings for the system. The BIOS stores these settings in special nonvolatile memory that retains its memory even when you power off the system. If you created a startup or hard-drive password for your Toshiba computer, and subsequently forget it, the BIOS usually prevents you from using the computer or booting into Windows. On many Toshiba desktop computers, and some laptops, you can remove passwords stored in the BIOS and return the system to its factory default hardware settings by removing the CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) battery for a few seconds.
Toshiba Desktop Computers
Power off the Toshiba desktop computer. Unplug the power cord and disconnect all other cables from the PC.
Remove the screws on the rear of the Toshiba desktop computer that secure its left side access panel. Remove the panel from the case.
Locate the "CLRBIOS" or "CLRCMOS1" jumper block on the Toshiba the motherboard. Depending on which model Toshiba desktop you own, the plastic jumper covers the metal pins labeled P1 and P2.
Attach the metal clip of an antistatic wrist strap to a metal surface inside the Toshiba computer case, and then slide the other end onto your wrist.
Remove the plastic jumper from pins P1 and P2 on the pin block, and then use it to cover pins P2 and P3. Leave the jumper on pins P2 and P3 for approximately 10 seconds, then remove it and replace in its original position over pins P1 and P2.
Replace the access panel on the Toshiba computer case, then secure it with the retaining screws. Connect the power cord and other cables and power on the PC. As the Toshiba desktop computer reboots, it prompts to you use setup defaults for the system. The system also removes any passwords entered previously to prevent booting to the hard drive or access to the BIOS.
Toshiba Laptop Computers (Select Models)
Shut down the Toshiba laptop and disconnect the AC power adapter cord. Close the LCD screen and flip the computer over. Remove the battery pack from the Toshiba laptop.
Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the retaining screw on the bottom of the laptop with a small icon image of a memory module near it. Remove the plastic slot cover from the laptop.
Press outward on the metal clips that secure the memory module. Press gently but firmly on the metal clips until the module pops up slightly. While avoiding touching the metal pins on the bottom, remove the memory module from the slot and set it aside
Locate the two-wire lead that runs from the CMOS battery to the motherboard in the memory module compartment. The CMOS is round and slightly smaller than a quarter on most laptops, but may resemble a watch battery on others. Disconnect the CMOS batter pin connector from the motherboard. Wait about 10 seconds and then reconnect the pin connector to the motherboard.
Reinsert the memory module into its slot and push downward until it snaps into place. Replace the slot cover and secure with the retaining screw.
Reinsert the battery pack and turn the laptop over so that it is right side up. Connect the AC power adapter cord, open the LCD screen and power on the Toshiba laptop.
Follow the prompts on the screen to use the setup default settings for the Toshiba laptop. After restarting the laptop, it no longer prompts you to enter a password to enter the BIOS or boot the computer into Windows.
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- FRC Tech: How to Clear Your Toshiba BIOS Password
- Resetting the CMOS sets BIOS hardware system options to factory defaults. However, it does not alter or remove data on the hard drive such as your operating system, installed programs or saved files.
- Some Toshiba laptops use a soldered CMOS battery instead of one you can disconnect from the motherboard. To clear CMOS on these models, locate the two solder points on the Toshiba laptop motherboard labeled "CLRTC." Touch the two solder points on the motherboard simultaneously with a flat-head screwdriver for about 10 seconds, and then reboot the laptop.
- After resetting CMOS and restarting the computer, the system prompts you to use system defaults or enter the BIOS to configure the system. Depending on the model of your Toshiba computer, you can press the "F2" or "Delete" key to enter the system BIOS to customize settings.
- With some Toshiba laptops, resetting the CMOS returns hardware settings to system defaults, but does not remove passwords. Toshiba does this with some laptop models as an added security measure to prevent against unauthorized use and data theft. For models with this feature, you should take the computer to a technician or send the unit to Toshiba for BIOS password removal.
- After you reset the CMOS, the system loses or "forgets" the current time and date. You can reset the current time and date in the system BIOS or use the date and time utility on the Windows taskbar.
Jeff Grundy has been writing computer-related articles and tutorials since 1995. Since that time, Grundy has written many guides to using various applications that are published on numerous how-to and tutorial sites. Born and raised in South Georgia, Grundy holds a Master of Science degree in mathematics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.