Re: PC speaker

From: Kyle Moffett
Date: Fri Jun 15 2007 - 23:21:01 EST

On Jun 15, 2007, at 15:34:52, Jan Engelhardt wrote:
Perhaps live cd? In which case, the OP should, as recommended in this thread already, deactivate choosing boot devices, if that's possible.

(Unfortunately, newer BIOSes with 'integrated bootmenu' with F8 or so, but I have not seen a way to deactivate _that_ menu.)

Heh, with virtually every PC BIOS I've seen, the procedure is something like this:

1) Reboot into BIOS
2) Set a BIOS "Supervisor Password" (as opposed to "User" or "Boot" password)
3) Go to the "Boot Devices" list and uncheck everything except "Hard Disk"
4) Go to the "USB Stick Hard Disk Emulation" feature and turn that off
5) Save settings to BIOS and reboot (Usually "F10" or "ESC-Y" )

The "Integrated BootMenu (F8)" stuff only lists boot devices that are enabled in the BIOS. If everything but the hard disk is disabled then pressing (F8) is _really_useful_ :-)
1) Boot from Hard Disk
2) Enter BIOS Setup

Of course, choosing option 2 is also quite an entertaining thing for the student:
| Enter Password: ******** |

And since they don't actually know the password, it's followed by the inevitable:
| Invalid Password |

Admittedly there are more things to turn off than with older BIOSen, but there are also more features too. Of course, with OpenFirmware- based systems (like the PowerPC macs) it's scriptable and doesn't require rebooting.
1) Install the "nvsetenv" utility via your distro

2) Encode your password by xoring each character's ascii value with 0xAA and printing the result in hex. This perl oneliner will do it easily (Change 'my-password' to your plain-text password).
perl -ne 'map { printf "%%%02x", 0xaa ^ ord($_) } split //, $1; print "\n"' my-password

For example, the password "linux" is encoded as "%c6%c3%c4%df%d2"

3) Run "nvsetenv security-password %c6%c3%c4%df%d2", where the hex stuff is your encoded password

4) Run "nvsetenv security-mode command"

Then it auto-locks all possible ways of modifying the open-firmware boot device or specifying alternative boot options. The only way to get around it on most systems is with the firmware-reset button on the inside of the case or moving RAM around and rebooting with some magic key combo held down (Cmd-Opt-P-R on mac systems). Typically if your students can do that there's exactly nothing you can do to prevent them from doing whatever they want. They could always just stick in a different hard-drive, after all.

Kyle Moffett

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