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HP Notebook PCs - Power-On Password Security Vulnerability on Some Compaq Presario C700, A900, and HP G7000 Models

This document pertains to HP Notebook PCs with Windows Vista.

Understanding the power-on password security vulnerability

Some Compaq Presario C700 and A900, and HP G7000 notebook PCs may be vulnerable to a security concern when using the power-on password. This issue may affect notebook PCs that shipped with the Windows Vista operating system, with certain serial numbers, and with BIOS versions F.26 or earlier.

This issue only applies to customers who use the power-on password. Customers who do not use the power-on password on their notebook PC are not impacted with this issue. The power-on password is not the same as the Windows password. However, HP strongly recommends that all customers update to the latest system BIOS.

Range of notebooks affected

HP and Compaq Notebook PCs affected by this issue include:

  • Compaq Presario C700: CND808xxxx & Less

  • Compaq Presario A900: CND808xxxx & Less

  • HP G7000: CND808xxxx & Less

To evaluate the serial number on a PC, the three digits after the CND prefix , indicate the year and week of the year when the product was manufactured. For this issue, all the products were manufactured in 2008 (8) during the eighth (08) week or earlier.

  • An example of a serial number for an earlier version of the product could be CND807 xxxx. (7th week of 2008)

  • An example of a serial number for a later version of the product could be CND812 xxxx. (12th week of 2008)

Locate the serial number on the PC

The service tag, located on the bottom of the notebook PC, contains the notebook PC serial number.

Figure 1: Sample service tag

Download and install BIOS update F.31 (SP38646) or later

To resolve this issue, download and install BIOS F.31 (SP38646) or later. You may do so by going to the HP Drivers and Downloads site and search for SP38646 .

WARNING: Do not interrupt the BIOS installation process. Interrupting the process, or attempting to install the incorrect BIOS will cause damage to the BIOS and will require that the PC be repaired at an HP authorized facility.

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