Every computer's BIOS has a different way of handling this. With PCs, there's usually a jumper on the motherboard that can be set to clear the password manually. Laptops are a different story; there may be a service function that can only be accessed by opening the case. Your first and best bet would be to download the documentation for that laptop and read it thoroughly. Some laptops also force a reset of the BIOS password after being flashed with a new copy of the system BIOS, which is a relatively safe way to handle this.
This was first published in September 2004