PC hardware passwords were created to provide another layer of protection for the PC and the data on the hard disk drive. These passwords have never been widely used because there is no management capability and no ability to recover from the "I forgot my password" problem. In the case of hardware passwords, forgetting the POP means replacing the PC motherboard. Forgetting the Hard Drive Password (HDP) means replacing the hard disk drive and loss of all data on the old drive.
There are now hard disk drives on the market that feature a native ability to encrypt all data written to the drive platters. This is automatic. The drives depend on the HDP as the mechanism for authenticating to the drive. The problem is that the HDP will not be widely used until it can be managed.
The solution to this problem is Lenovo Hardware Password Manager. This client-server application fits into an existing Active Directory or LDAP infrastructure. It can also stand alone. It gives your I.T. full control over the hardware passwords for all PCs under the control of HPM. Further, it creates the notion of a BIOS-level user ID and password for end users to use as a single sign-on proxy. This user ID and password can be synchronized with the Windows ID and password for user's who also have the option to authenticate themself to BIOS using fingerprint. With the system power on, users are asked for these credentials.
If they can provide them, the system will boot to their desktop. This mechanism preserves users' privacy and makes it possible for them to use the system, even though they don't know what the actual hardware passwords are. This solution creates new opportunities for a company to control access to their PCs and most importantly, to the confidential data stored on those PCs.