Acer 4730Z BIOS reset and CMOS battery removal
My son has a Acer Aspire 4730Z on which he was trying to reset the password to no password. Now he can't start it up. When turning it on, first you see some information about the system. It says the BIOS version is V1.10 Build date: 7/29/2008. Then it asks for a password and neither his old password nor no password will allow the system to start. Sorry to say, I have no experience with PC type computers -- all I know are Macs.
ACER tech support says the problem is probably with the BIOS password, rather than the login password. They further say that they can restore the computer for $199 if I send it to them.
I've been told elsewhere, however, that the BIOS can be reset to factory default by disconnecting the power supply, removing the battery, removing the CMOS battery and holding down the power button for somewhere from 10 to 30 seconds. When I open the battery compartment, I see a small battery, about the size of a dime, under the power battery. It seems to have a small black dot on its edge. I don't know whether it is safe to try to remove the CMOS battery -- that is, if it soldered to the motherboard, I don't want to take a chance of ruining the motherboard. How can I tell?
One more question -- are these procedures going to destroy all my son's files in his internal hard disk drive? He recently got an external drive and thought he had backed up all his files, however I could not find any of his files when I plugged the hdd into my mac. Might those files be invisible on a Mac?
Thanks for your help.