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IBM, Thinkpad

I have an old IBM thinkpad ( owned by me - not stolen! - which has become locked probably by my Son.whilst ploaying with it!
When I power up the PC it asks me for an unlock number/code which I do not have.
Is there a solution to this?
the laptop has windows XP as it's OS and has data on it that I would like to use.
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John Goodger
Asked:
John Goodger
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1 Solution
 
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Depends on how old the laptop is => most Thinkpads use a Security chip, which provides excellent security; but simply cannot be bypassed if you forget the password (unlock code).   Perhaps your son can remember the code he used ...

It may very well use ATA-Secure for the hard disk as well ... if that's the case you won't even be able to recovery the data if you remove the disk.   But that's that first thing I'd check => buy yourself one of these very-handy-to-have gadgets [http://www.misco.co.uk/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=248516&CatId=743 ]; remove the hard drive; and connect it to another PC via USB.   If you're lucky, you'll be able to simply copy the data off of the drive.

If not, it's possible to recover the laptop, but it's not simple.  You'll need a replacement security chip; and to recover the hard drive's data you'll also need to recover the old password.  These guys specialize in that:  http://www.pwcrack.com/security_chips_ibm.shtml  => but note that this is just the chip.   Replacing it requires expertise in SMD soldering and very fine work on the motherboard ... so you'll need to find a local shop that can do that work [in the US this would typically cost ~ $250 in addition to the chip].

If your Thinkpad is old enough that it's not listed on the pwcrack site then you may have a model that precedes security chip protection => if that's the case, list the model # and we can probably get it unlocked :-)
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John GoodgerRetiredAuthor Commented:
No number is remebered by my Son!!!
The model number is;
P/N  08N1180
FRU P/N  04P3304
Replacing the chip is economical I am afraid.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
According to Lenovo's site P/N 08N1180 is an UltraBase X2 for the Thinkpad X20 series laptops [ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/pc/pccbbs/options/c79lnmst.pdf ].
Did you by chance read the part number from the docking station?

If that's the case, the X20 series Thinkpads DO have a security chip ... so it's not going to be economical to fix your problem.

If that's not the case, is there a Thinkpad Model # on the laptop?
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John GoodgerRetiredAuthor Commented:
The number I quoted are off the label on the underside of the laptop. One other number shown that I did not notice earlier is:
E11900285D3
3892B564
Made in Korea
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Doesn't help ==> It should say "Thinkpad xxx" somewhere on the laptop ... the "xxx" is what might be helpful.

If your Thinkpad is old enough, one of the following may work:

(1)  Try "merlin" as the password => some early IBM's used this as a "backdoor" password.

(2)  With the system off, open the DIMM cover on the bottom of the computer (the memory cover).   See if there are two password pads (small contacts) in this area ==> if so, short circuit them with a jumper wire; and while keeping them short-circuited, power on the PC and wait until the POST ends.   After the POST ends you should not see a password prompt ==> you can then remove the jumper and replace the DIMM cover.

If the above doesn't help, then I suspect the answer to your question ["... Is there a solution to this? "] is simply "Yes, but not an economical one."
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John GoodgerRetiredAuthor Commented:
By the side of the startup button is:   X22
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
The Thinkpad X22 uses a security chip (as I suspected).

Unfortunately, that means your only recourse is to either send it to IBM for service [several hundred $$];  or to buy a new security chip and have a qualified technician replace it [also a fairly expensive fix].

So as I noted before, the answer to your question is ...

"... Is there a solution to this?" ==>  Yes, but it's not inexpensive.
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John GoodgerRetiredAuthor Commented:
merlin was not the code.I
 have seperated the top and bottom sections of the PC and find the MS windows product code and an IBM code 2660 Type 2662-95G. I will unscrew the cover to hopefully expose the battery if you think fit to do so.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
I don't think the memory compartment will have password reset pads on an X22.   As I noted in my last post, this is a security-chip protected laptop => you're basically out of luck.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Just to be certain ... the unlock code you're referring to is at the power-up point [BEFORE you have any chance to get to the BIOS Setup, etc.] ==> right?

If so, that's indeed controlled by the security chip ... so there's no economical way to resolve it.   For the price of resolving this, you could buy a newer laptop ... or for less you could just buy another X22 from ebay [e.g http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/IBM-Thinkpad-X22-LAPTOP-FREE-512MB-MP3-Player-MP140_W0QQitemZ260208250580QQihZ016QQcategoryZ177QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem ]
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John GoodgerRetiredAuthor Commented:
I have tried all of your suggestions and and confirm that you are correct - it is uneconomical to proceed further.
Thanks to you all anyway
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John GoodgerRetiredAuthor Commented:
Please close the question and award the 250 points to garycase for all of his efforts
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