Most computers provide some type of password protection in the CMOS set up parameters. This is an effective way to prevent unauthorized booting or starting of the computer. Once set, a password is required before the computer will start, either from the hard disk or from a diskette. For example, if a patron presses the computer's RESET button in an attempt to reboot the computer, a password will be required
To enter a CMOS password, start the CMOS program (check your computer's manual for instructions), look for a "Security" or "Password" menu item and enter a password for the computer. Resist the temptation to create an easy password. Use passwords that are unique to the computer (don't use passwords used on other computers), and use a combination of upper and lower-case characters, numbers, and words that can't be easily guessed by watching the keyboard.
Typically, two passwords may be set in the CMOS setup - one for booting the computer, and another to access the CMOS setup parameters. This allows the boot password's use to start the computer, but prevents using that password to change CMOS settings, which include the boot password itself; only the CMOS setup password may be used to change the boot password. Thus, the library staff can have access to the boot password, but only the administrator has access to the CMOS password.
Note: Some computers, such as Compaq, only have a power-on password. Rebooting/restarting the computer without turning off the power first may bypass the password, rendering the password security useless. In this case it is important that other means are used to prevent booting from a diskette, such as setting the boot sequence.