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Hardware encryption on Lenovo notebook

Posted on 2011-09-12
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I have a user that had an older notebook in which I would like to repurpose for other staff.  However, it has a hardware encryption password at startup and can't reach the former user to retrieve.  Is there any way I can maybe wipe this notebook to a default state e.t.c. in order to be used again?

Thanks
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Question by:sparky321
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Expert Comment

by:Wild_Tech
ID: 36526013
If you have the original image and partitions on the the pc you can hit F11 on the start up and follow the recovery from there. You will loose all your programs but i figured you would be fine with that. if the original image or the recovery partition compromised by either deleting them or changing, you can order the recovery disc from ebay for about $30.
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Dr. Klahn earned 1500 total points
ID: 36526106
If the password is a BIOS startup password, the chances of being able to remove it yourself are thin.  See the EE laptop password article for what we know about laptop passwords.

Frequently "Remove the RTC battery and wait" is advised.  This seldom works on modern laptops; manufacturers caught onto that quickly and BIOS passwords aren't stored in BIOS RAM any more.

Unless someone has the service manual for the specific laptop detailing how to reset the system, it would likely have to go to a Lenovo authorized repair center, or to a password chip replacement specialist.
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Expert Comment

by:HawkeyeJoe
ID: 36529227
This is a flyer, that might solve your problem.

You don't mention what operating system already exists on the laptop. But you could build a bootable cd and use that platform to reformat the laptop harddrive to extinguish all preexisting software. Then run the OS installation of your choice to get the system back to operational status.

I have had good results building a bootable cd using the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows. (link at http://www.ubcd4win.com/) The Bootable CD is one of my most useful tools to repair and/or service bubared systems. It requires a little work to setup. But once it is ready, you will love its flexible usage.

If you go this route, you will need to locate all teh driver software that is unique to the hardware of this laptop, to reinstall the OS. But with the internet, that should not be a major problem.

Good Luck.
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Author Comment

by:sparky321
ID: 36529606
Can't even get to a boot menu is the issue.
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Expert Comment

by:Wild_Tech
ID: 36529848
try booting to dban disc, if you are unable to boot to a dban disc then you have a hardware issue.
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Author Comment

by:sparky321
ID: 36529863
what's a dban disc, never heard of it.
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Expert Comment

by:Wild_Tech
ID: 36530709
http://www.dban.org/download
just create this disc and try to boot to it. do not actually run a dban on your computer though, that would not be good. just see if you are able to boot to the disc.
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Author Closing Comment

by:sparky321
ID: 36717261
Best answer
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