Long story short I bought a IBM Xseries 305 server and don't know the login password. How would I, from the bios, wipe the hard drive, besides the OS, and start fresh? Step by step instructions would be greatly appreciated!


Unfortunately, you can't. You can only wipe the entire hard drive when you are outside the OS. What you want to look for instead is a "password reset" disk for Windows. Boot off the disk and have it blank out the administrator password.

I'd rather not link to any specific ones, but go ahead and Google for them. Some are free, other cost a little bit, but work well.

  • +1 You beat me to it! – Dave M Jan 21 '11 at 19:16

I'll link, no fear.


Hiren's is awesome, and EVERY admin should-have.

  • Wow, that is an impressive set of tools. Thanks for the link! – KJ-SRS Jan 21 '11 at 20:17
  • @Sven, LMAO! Thanks for the edit. ;) I was wondering if that was gonna happen. – JohnThePro Jan 21 '11 at 20:52

Yeah, you are looking for the ntpasswd disk (which is a Linux bootdisk with CLI utils for exclusively for this purpose) or the almost as effective official option from Microsoft, the DaRT 5/6 Locksmith utility (depending on which OS you installed (XP is 5 for major version 5 of the kernel and OS, 6 for Vista/Server 2008 (6.0) and 6.5 for Windows Vista/Server 2008/Windows 7 (major OS version 6.1)). I hope that helps, since Hiren looks very interesting as well.


@KJ-SRS is correct about resetting the password. However, if you prefer to wipe the drive (as I would recommend for a second hand machine) the OS install process should have an option to partition and format the drive. Deleting the existing partitions and creating new ones should be sufficient to ensure that no (non-malicious) legacy software has survived. OR If you prefer you can wipe the drive using a boot disk. Any linux "live-CD" should have the utilities you require.

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