A good friend gave me an old HP Omnibook of his, which was used by a former employee and he hadn't used it in well over a year. It turned out to have a BIOS password, which he didn't know.
I thought I was in for some laptop disassembly to remove the CMOS battery or change a jumper; perhaps even worse, to send it back to a repair depot for reset; but it was amazingly easy.
All that had to be done was hold down the insert key while the system was booting to reset the BIOS back to default. Okay, I had to do this three times before it worked, but it worked.
Although I was relieved to be done with this in just a minute or two, making it this easy to do a reset completely invalidates the security afforded by having a BIOS password in the first place.
Anyhow, it is now happily running Fedora 11; which BTW required 515 updates for 1.6GB (and people complain about Windows updates).