Re: installing with limited BIOS access
This sounds EXACTLY like the situation that I encountered when I was working with a laptop my company had issued me. They had it completely locked down so no changes could be made to it, including password-protecting the BIOS and fully-encrypting the hard drive.
I am trying to install Ubuntu on my gf's laptop.
BIOS setup is blocked with a password which I don't have.
BIOS setup has blocked USB or CDROM options from the boot sequence
removing the CMOS battery from the MoBo has not been able to reset the BIOS setup password (it did reset time and date however)
Sorry, but if this is the case with your GF's laptop, and you've tried replacing the drive, there is really nothing you can do.
Ubuntu 14.04, Mint 17; MS Win 8.1.
Will not respond to PM requests for support -- use the forums.