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Supervisor password on Toshiba Satellite: how can I remove it?

Posted on 2014-07-28
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Last Modified: 2014-07-28
Hello, so this customer of mine has a totally corrupt Windows 7 install and needs to reset his Toshiba Satellite C660D to factory. Now, the restore partition is there, but I found three passwords protecting the PC: a user password, a drive password and a supervisor password.

The customer knew the first two, I removed them but he doesn't remember the supervisor password or also having set it. Anyway, I can't do anything without the password. Windows won't boot and all files are basically gone from that partition (don't ask me how he did it).

I can't even change boot order without that password.

Here's what I did up to now:
1) removed the drive, examined it, found a basically empty windows partition. The drive seems to be functional, no smart or chkdsk errors.
2) removed the laptop battery for 15 minutes, put it back, password still there
3) removed the laptop battery for 24+ hours, put it back, damn password still there

So does anybody know how I can get rid of a supervisor password on a Toshiba notebook?

Thanks guys.
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Question by:Daniele Brunengo
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rindi earned 500 total points
ID: 40223794
Get in touch with Toshiba, and be prepared to provide them with proof of ownership (the invoice will usually do fine). After that they will try to help you with removing the password. But it may require sending the PC to them, and it may also cost something. This is handled differently from manufacturer to manufacturer.

I do recommend using such passwords to protect all laptops though. They are very effective, and keep them from being usable to thiefs if they are stolen. It also protects your data from being accessible in these cases. If all laptops were protected like that, it would make theft uninteresting in the long end.
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Author Comment

by:Daniele Brunengo
ID: 40223867
I recommend not losing the password, though.

It will surely cost something if I send the PC to Toshiba. Isn't there a way to do it myself? If they can do it, maybe somebody knows how.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40224011
It depends on the manufacturer. Some have to change the mainboard, others the security chip, and yet others have a master password which is based on the serial number of the notebook. But all of them need to have you get in touch with the manufacturer. If there were an easy way around this, the password protection would be useless.

Of course the password shouldn't be lost, but normally people who set passwords know what they are doing and don't loose them, or if they do have a memory lapse, chances are still good that they will eventually remember it. Besides, you can also write down the passwords somewhere, as long as that written note is kept separate from the notebook in a safe place.
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Author Comment

by:Daniele Brunengo
ID: 40224389
Well, the customer is 82, so I guess we can cut him some slack. I thought the removal of the battery would eventually reset the password, but no. So where does the laptop store this password? It is not stored as a normal password I'd say.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 40224415
It is stored in a security chip. You'll just have to call Toshiba.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Daniele Brunengo
ID: 40225264
Although I won't send it to Toshiba, you have convinced me to give up trying to reset the password and this allowed me to solve the problem differently (I deleted all partitions from the drive and installed a clean Windows 7).
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