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How do you overcome a Toshiba Satellite Pro A210 BIOS Password?

Posted on 2008-02-01
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A user has given me a Tosh' Sat' Pro A210 laptop with a BIOS password.  The user doesn't know what the p/w is or how it came to be activated.  I've tried various obvious passwords without success.
The CMOS battery is soldered to the motherboard and there are no obvious jumpers that would reset the BIOS.

Any ideas?

Cheers
John
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Question by:RBG IT
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by:Callandor
ID: 20796173
While extreme, flashing the BIOS may let you access the hard drive.  There are a few other things that you can try, but we don't want Experts-Exchange to be a site for cracks.
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by:RBG IT
ID: 20796260
Can you provide me with instructions on how to flash the BIOS or is that one of the things that you're unwilling to do?

Thanks
John
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Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 20797919
If there is a BIOS password set, this can lead to a number of situations, one of which is a laptop that can't boot without the PW, another is no BIOS setup access w/o the PW... Which is your situation?

If you can't boot, you can't flash, unfortunately...
/RID
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by:Gary Case
ID: 20799797
"... How do you overcome a Toshiba Satellite Pro A210 BIOS Password? " ==>  Most likely the answer is you can't.  (at least not without replacing the security chip or motherboard)   This laptop almost certainly uses a security chip.   Security-chip enabled laptops have excellent security ... but it simply can't be effectively bypassed.   You can purchase a new security chip ... but it requries SMD soldering/de-soldering skills and equipment to replace it => not a simple task and in general it's easier to simply replace the motherboard.

Since you mentioned removing the CMOS battery, I'll note that this won't help anyway, so don't worry about the fact it's soldered to the motherboard.   On many laptops (Not sure about this model) you can reset CMOS by unplugging the laptop; removing the battery; and then presing the power switch for 60 seconds.   But as I noted, resetting CMOS won't make any difference.

But just in case this model doesn't use the latest security chip technology .... it is possible to reset the password on some earlier Toshiba models ==> I doubt seriously any of this will apply to yours (since it doesn't even have a parallel port, clearly the most-common method of building a parallel port "dongle" won't work), but here's an idea of what works on those models:  http://www.laptop-repair.info/toshiba_bios_password.html

One other not-likely-to-work-but-easy-to-try idea:  Some Toshiba's have a "back door" supervisory password of "Toshiba" that will let you gain access if a user password has been set but not a supervisory password.   Won't hurt to simply try it once.
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RBG IT earned 0 total points
ID: 21014146
Cheers for all your advice.  In the end I sent it off Tosh's recommended 3rd party hardware company and they've reset it for me.
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