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IBM Thinkpad Bios password

chris143 asked
I have a IBM Thinkpad 600e.  I have majorly screwed up and forgot the Bios password. (I hadn't used it for a long time...... anyways) I don't really know my options but i am hoping for a fix without having to pay a but load of money. I am open to all ideas.

      Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!!!!!!!

        Thanks in Advance!

              - Chris
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Quid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.
Loads of money and take it to an IBM dealer.
Well it's a whole can of worms....
According to some just a power on password can be reset by stripping the machine down and shorting jumper pads, however, if a supervisor password is set, this may be written to an EEPROM on the board as well as the maintenance area of the HDD. Some people claim to be able to clear the passwords with the jumper method then fit a new hdd and say all is well, some say the supervisor password remains, some say you can nuke the hdd with a magnet......

see this news article and the posted comments that follow...

These guys say they can fix it for you for somewhat less than the $800 IBM would want to replace the system board, but it still might be too much for you...

So, if it were mine, I'd break out a spare HDD, strip the machine down, try the jumper pads, fit the spare HDD, and if that worked, I'd be quite happy. Then when I wasn't relying on the HDD I took out of it, I might try some devious tricks to clear it. Like using an MFM low level format on it, like from a util or from the CMOS of an older machine that had LLF in CMOS setup, however, this could kill the drive. Then I'd try the IBM diags and setup to get it properly reformatted, when these are used first, they see the password and won't let you do anything. So that might get the HDD going again to refill the space in my spares box. Now what I'd try if the EEPROM didn't clear with the jumper on the board, would be some EMP effects. ElectroMagnetic Pulse. Basically you need to get a BIG coil or transformer and apply high current charge/discharge cycles to it rapidly. Holding it very close to the chip you think is the culprit. You could end up wiping the BIOS like this, so it's not a thing to try lightly. Also what might be worth a try is a flashgun, however, these use very high voltages, covering the system board with a thin sheet of insulative magnetically permeable material would be a good plan if you're messing about with  stripped flashgun. Again, the trick would be to EMP the EEPROM in the hope of clearing it, by holding the flashgun coil on top of it and discharging the flash a few times.

Well, that's about all I can tell you, good luck.

Road Warrior
Top Expert 2007

This one was just answered.
You have to have proof of purchase and call IBM.
Ask for the price, but it is probably a couple of hundred $$ to unlock it.

I hope this helps !

You may need to remove the battery from the motherboard for two or three days.  You will lose all you bios setting and the password should disappear also.

I know its a long process but I had to do it before and its the only way I know possible.
Top Expert 2007
IF you used the supervisor password, then the hard drive is passsword protected at the hardware level. Also the supervisor password is stored seperately NOT In the CMOS at all !!

see :

Nortek Computers Ltd. has developed software and hardware to recover/remove all Travelstar
    HDD passwords with the option to restore all   original data. Detailed password recovery/removal   options (including Power-on and Supervisor) can
 be found at the link provided below. Click the  cylinder/lock icon on the top of the main page.

http://www.nortek.on.ca/nortek/hdd_pw.html#Power    IBM maintenace manuals Link power on password
 Email,    nortek@onlink.net


I hope this helps !
An authorized IBM repair shop will have a program that clears the password.  Trick is, you have to prove you're the real owner.  Take ID and the reciept for the thing, preferably an invoice with your name on it.  They will charge you for this, but I forget how much...  In the USA, call 1-800-426-4968 and ask where is the closest IBM service shop.

S10L-9619-03 IBM Mobile Systems
ThinkPad 600/600E (2645)
Hardware Maintenance Manual
June 1999
When the power-on password (POP), hard disk password
(HDP), and supervisor password (PAP) are used, the
following situations may occur:
. If the POP is the same as the HDP, the POP
prompt appears, but the HDP prompt does not
. If the POP is not the same as the HDP, both
prompts appear.
. The PAP and the HDP:
If the PAP is used, the HDP is enabled automatically,
but no HDP prompt appears. The HDP is set the
same as the PAP.
The ThinkPad computer that has the bay can support more
than two HDPs.
. If the  POP is the same as one of the  HDPs (HDP-1
or HDP-2), a POP prompt appears. The passwords
are different.
. If the  POP is not the same as either of the  HDPs
(HDP-1 or HDP-2):, both prompts appear.
. If the  PAP is used, the  HDP-1 or the  HDP-2 is
automatically enabled, but the HDP prompt does not
appear. The HDP-1 and HDP-2 are then set to the
same password as the PAP.
Supervisor and Hard Disk Passwords:  The
supervisor password and the hard disk password (HDP)
are security features that are used to protect the system
and the hard disk data from unauthorized access. No
overriding capability is provided. If only a hard disk
password is set, obtaining permission from the password
owner to unlock the password is a prerequisite for running
diagnostic tests and performing service. If both supervisor
password and hard disk password are set, you can enter
power-on password at the supervisor password prompt. In
this case, the Password, Start up, Network, and Initialize
or Asset ID (for some models) icons cannot be selected.
Note:  The supervisor password and hard disk password
cannot be replaced if they are forgotten. If the
customer forgets the supervisor password, the
system board must be replaced. If the customer
forgets the hard disk password, the hard disk drive
must be replaced.
How to Remove the Power-On Passwords:  
If only the power-on password is set, do the following to
remove the power-on password.
1. Power off the computer
2. Remove the DIMM cover on the bottom side of the
3. Short-circuit the two password pads or put the
For the location of the password pads or jumper, see
the ?Locations? section for each model.
4. Under the short-circuit condition, power on the
computer and wait until the POST ends.
After the POST ends, the password prompt does not
appear. The power-on password is removed.
5. Reinstall the DIMM cover.
If both the power-on password and the supervisor
password are set, do the following to remove the
1. Power on the computer by pressing and holding F1.
2. Enter the supervisor password. The Easy-Setup
menu appears.
3. Click on the Password icon.
4. Click on the Power on icon.
5. Enter the supervisor password and press the Space
6. Press Enter twice.
7. Click on Exit; then click on Restart.
The power-on password has been removed.

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