How to Remove Thinkpad Bios Password?

Author
BeachBum
Bronze Member
  • Total Posts : 306
  • Reward points: 0
  • Joined: 2005/06/25 18:31:24
  • Location: Ohio on Lake Erie
  • Status: offline
2008/08/19 11:14:50 (permalink)

How to Remove Thinkpad Bios Password?

Does anyone know if there is a way to remove or reset the bios password on an IBM ThinkPad A31, P4, 1.9Ghz.

The Bios is Password Protected and I would like to remove the unknown password.
#1

6 Replies Related Threads

    SteveJL
    Gold Member
    • Total Posts : 4644
    • Reward points: 0
    • Joined: 2004/01/23 05:26:38
    • Location: CANADA
    • Status: offline
    RE: How to Remove Thinkpad Bios Password? 2008/08/19 11:44:10 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: BeachBum

    Does anyone know if there is a way to remove or reset the bios password on an IBM ThinkPad A31, P4, 1.9Ghz.

    The Bios is Password Protected and I would like to remove the unknown password.


    Google has possible answers for you.

     
    #2
    Luteman
    Bronze Member
    • Total Posts : 331
    • Reward points: 0
    • Joined: 2006/12/04 05:48:05
    • Location: UK
    • Status: offline
    RE: How to Remove Thinkpad Bios Password? 2008/08/19 11:54:57 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: BeachBum

    Does anyone know if there is a way to remove or reset the bios password on an IBM ThinkPad A31, P4, 1.9Ghz.

    The Bios is Password Protected and I would like to remove the unknown password.



    The Supervisor password is stored in an ATMEL EEPROM chip on the motherboard - there is no supported way to reset it (an IBM dealer will stiff you for the cost of a new motherboard).
    However, there is a method doing the rounds on Google which shows how to read and decrypt the information in the EPROM. This involves soldering wires to a couple of pins on the ATMEL chip and connecting them to the serial port of a second computer - not for the faint-hearted or for use with any Thinkpad under warranty!
    Details are here if you are interested/brave enough.
    Google will also reveal several folk who will undertake this work for you, for a price.

    Chris
    SONAR X2 Producer, Windows 7 Pro 64bit, Core2Quad Q6600, 8GB, M-Audio Fast Track Ultra, M-Audio Axiom 61, Fender Mustang II amp, some guitars and a bass


    #3
    BeachBum
    Bronze Member
    • Total Posts : 306
    • Reward points: 0
    • Joined: 2005/06/25 18:31:24
    • Location: Ohio on Lake Erie
    • Status: offline
    RE: How to Remove Thinkpad Bios Password? 2008/08/19 13:14:23 (permalink)
    I finally found this on the web.

    Does anyone know if it will work?

    Phoenix Technologies - BIOS FAQ
    http://www.phoenix.com/en/Customer+Services/BIOS/BIOS+FAQ/default.htm#Q39

    What do I do if I forgot my password?

    There are two types of password protection in many computers:

    The following suggestion will work only for passwords used before the operating system boots. If you set up a password only for booting the PC, in most instances you can enter the BIOS Setup to disable the password.

    If you also placed a password on Setup itself, there is no "back door" password unless the computer manufacturer modified the BIOS to have one. The password is stored in CMOS and cannot be accessed by any other means. Contact your manufacturer for assistance. If you cannot contact your manufacturer, take the PC to a computer repair shop.

    If you wish to attempt disabling the password yourself, you will need to erase CMOS. You should not do this unless you already have written down or printed out of all the BIOS Setup parameters, or if you are certain that restoring the Setup default values is sufficient for operating your system. Take these steps:

    clear the CMOS (remove the CMOS battery until POST displays a "CMOS checksum bad" or a similar message);

    re-install the CMOS battery;

    run the BIOS Setup;

    restore the correct BIOS Setup settings.

    NOTE: it can take up to several days for the CMOS to go bad without a battery. This is caused by capacitance in the circuit. This charge can be safely discharged by using a 10k-ohm resistor, touched to the battery connectors for a few moments (while the battery is removed).

    #4
    kwgm
    Silver Member
    • Total Posts : 2271
    • Reward points: 0
    • Joined: 2006/10/12 00:14:20
    • Status: offline
    RE: How to Remove Thinkpad Bios Password? 2008/08/19 14:17:16 (permalink)
    If your Thinkpad has a "security chip", then there is no way for this to work, I'm sorry to report.

    However, I believe the A31 was of the generation before IBM made security chips an option. (My T40 has a security chip, but my older T30 does not -- wasn't an option).


    --kwgm
    #5
    Luteman
    Bronze Member
    • Total Posts : 331
    • Reward points: 0
    • Joined: 2006/12/04 05:48:05
    • Location: UK
    • Status: offline
    RE: How to Remove Thinkpad Bios Password? 2008/08/19 18:41:46 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: BeachBum

    I finally found this on the web.

    Does anyone know if it will work?

    Phoenix Technologies - BIOS FAQ
    http://www.phoenix.com/en/Customer+Services/BIOS/BIOS+FAQ/default.htm#Q39



    Hi Beachbum - this won't work. DON'T TRY IT. All Thinkpads store the supervisor password in the ATMEL 24RF08 EEPROM, which is unaffected by removing the CMOS battery. All you will do is clear your CMOS settings with no way to re-enter them - rendering your laptop unbootable.

    This link - http://www.security-forums.com/viewtopic.php?t=23102 explains in detail a combined hardware/software process for recovering the password.

    kwgm's comment about the security chip is relevant for newer TPs, but ALL of them have the ATMEL chip, which you need to read to find the password.

    As I said in my last post - this involves soldering wires to the ATMEL chip, which will invalidate any warranty (if there is one), is quite scary if you're not confident about dismantling your laptop and soldering, and carries the risk of damage.
    However I can't find any other options, apart from paying someone to do it or forking out for a new motherboard.

    Good luck.

    Chris
    SONAR X2 Producer, Windows 7 Pro 64bit, Core2Quad Q6600, 8GB, M-Audio Fast Track Ultra, M-Audio Axiom 61, Fender Mustang II amp, some guitars and a bass


    #6
    losguy
    Platinum Member
    • Total Posts : 5432
    • Reward points: 0
    • Joined: 2003/12/18 13:40:44
    • Location: The Great White North (MN, USA)
    • Status: offline
    RE: How to Remove Thinkpad Bios Password? 2008/08/20 12:58:36 (permalink)
    An alternative to soldering is probing. You have to find a probe that will attach to the chip reliably, then tap the needed pins. Still not for the faint of heart, but also it involves no heat, and so leaves no visible sign of anything that would void a warranty.

    Psalm 30:12 (then "Tools->Crossrefs" on the left)

    The Manifestation of the Kingdom
    #7
    Jump to:
    © 2014 APG vNext Commercial Version 5.1