UEFI password

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by snic, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. snic

    snic New Member

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    When I got my SP3, I set a UEFI (formerly known as BIOS) password. You can probably see where this is going... I've since forgotten where I wrote it down and fear I'll never find it.

    My question is whether it's possible for Microsoft to reset the password if I send the device to them, and if so, how would I go about doing that. If I ever need to boot from a USB drive (e.g., if Windows won't boot because of corrupt files), then it will be essential to access the UEFI.
     
  2. snic

    snic New Member

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    So I finally figured out what was going on, and I'll describe it here in case anyone is having the same problem. I just couldn't imagine why I'd use a password different from one of my normal "default" passwords that I use for almost everything for which I need low security. After all, if a thief steals my Surface, he's probably not also going to have somehow figured out my usual passwords. So I figured something fishy was going on, and I was right.

    While entering many different passwords using the on-screen touch keyboard, I noticed something strange: sometimes touching a key would result in two characters, not just one. When I realized this, I first tried very hard to enter my most common passwords very carefully, looking for duplicates and erasing them if necessary. Which is hard to do because the characters you enter show up as *, not the actual character, so the only way to do it is to watch carefully for an extra * showing up. (Eventually I just used the physical keyboard, which does not have the duplication problem.) This didn't work. BUT: I distinctly remember setting the password using the on-screen keyboard... so I finally had the idea that maybe the duplication problem was there when I set up the password. Which would mean that the actual password that got set contains a duplicate letter.

    And in fact that's exactly what happened. One letter in particular seemed to want to duplicate, and when I made sure to duplicate that letter, voila! Full access to the UEFI.

    I hope this helps someone else!
     
  3. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Interesting, I've heard the OSK was flakey or squirrelly but never had an issue with it, not that I use it that much. Which letter was it that caused the most trouble?
     
  4. snic

    snic New Member

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    The UEFI gives you a different onscreen keyboard than the one provided by Windows. I haven't had many problems with the Windows version, but the UEFI version is smaller and I think the duplication has to do not with a specific letter, but with sequences of letters that are either identical or the keys are next to each other. That is where the extra characters seemed to be inserted most frequently.
     
  5. GreyFox7

    GreyFox7 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Agreed, that's what I was referring to although it's good to make this distinction between the UEFI OSK and Windows OSK.

    There's probably a limited amount of space the OSK code can consume in ROM so it might not be feasible to code a much more robust solution.
     

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