Password Problem

I have a Toshiba laptop that a client asked me to repair. I think it has Windows 7. The problem is that no matter what I do I get a text box asking for a password. If I try safe mode, if I hit F2 to go into setup, or if I hit F12 for boot options I get the same thing. Is this a password in the BIOS? How can I get rid of this? I can't boot from any device - DVD, USB or hard drive.

I am attaching a picture of what I see on boot.

Please advise.

Thank you!

Robert
Password.jpg
Robert EhingerIT specialistAsked:
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matrix8086Commented:
You should ask the client for that password. It seems to be a BIOS security password, but it can be an encrypted HDD which require a password for the first access.

To check that I suggest to remove the HDD and attach it in another computer to see if the datas are encrypted or not.

On some systems you can restore BIOS at default configuration (which is with no password) by removing the BIOS battery for a while (a few hours). if is a laptop, do not forget to remove the accumulator also
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andreasSystem AdminCommented:
yes its a BIOS password. You need to reset the BIOS password somehow. How to do it depends on the exact make and model of the Laptop. Sometimes its as easy as remove the CMOS batters for one hour.
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DavidPresidentCommented:
The password is either a BIOS password, or one that is recorded in the HDD.  Either way, without it, you're wasting your time.      IF it is the HDD password then it is 512 bit (32 chars), and you can forget trying to crack it, or get past it by mucking with the BIOS.

Just ask the customer.  If customer doesn't know, then it is a red flag on a stolen laptop, IMO.
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Nathan HawkinsTechnical Lead - Network SecurityCommented:
Its not a HDD PW. It is a BIOS password. Just google the laptop make and model for "BIOS reset", and/or ask for that PW. Inform the user that doing a BIOS reset may cause some problems, but laptops arent that hard to re-configure in BIOS. Pretty much make sure it boots from the HDD and all of the defaults should keep everything working just fine.
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DavidPresidentCommented:
Unless this laptop is ancient, the BIOS password is going to be installed in flash memory, which means any BIOS reset is a waste of time.  If the password is a BIOS password, and it was forgotten/lost, then Toshiba does have a process that involves proving legal ownership.

But again, just ask customer for the password.  There have been instances of the flash getting corrupted and this message popping up, but if that was the case, wouldn't the customer report this as the problem rather than the laptop needs to be repaired?
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Michael-BestCommented:
The password is a BIOS password,
Without the password you cannot move forward.
Removing the CMOS battery to reset the password will not work on modern laptops.
Toshiba service centers can reset the password after providing proof of legal ownership and paying an outrageous fee.
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RafaelCommented:
It is a BIOS Password. Some BIOS manufacturer put a backdoor password in BIOS which always works irrespective of what password you have set in BIOS. It's their master password which is used for testing and troubleshooting purposes. It's really a great way to recover BIOS password on your PC. However, different brand PCs has different backdoor passwords.

In your case since it is a Toshiba try their default backdoor BIOS password of "Toshiba" minus the quotes.

If that fails then I would tell your client that unless he provides the BIOS password, you cannot support him. If he dos not remember it then he would need to contact Toshiba and validate he is the owner. Once the BIOS is unlocked then you can properly support him.
[i]
HTH
-Rafael[/i]
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Nathan HawkinsTechnical Lead - Network SecurityCommented:
@dlethe - Eh? The point to a BIOS password is so that it is stored in BIOS... A reset will reset ALL BIOS settings including any passwords. You mention that ancient laptops have "flash" memory. Dude...ALL BIOS has memory - thats where all the settings are stored at... That has nothing to do with Ancient or Current laptops. Thats just the way BIOS operates...
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DavidPresidentCommented:
Sec-man - I stand by my answer, and offer a quote from Toshiba's support site to support what I wrote,
"This bulletin explains how to set, change, and remove / clear  the various types of passwords used on Toshiba notebook computers.

To change or remove the BIOS Password, it's necessary to know the existing password. Otherwise, it can only be removed by a Toshiba Authorized Service Provider. To locate a Toshiba Authorized Service Provider (ASP) anywhere in the world, visit Toshiba's Global ASP Locator at:http://pcrepair.toshiba.com" ...

 
I won't get into a flame war to explain how a developer can and will encrypt a password in NVRAM that is used by a BIOS to protect it in the event battery and power is removed.   Just suffice to say that somebody who has > 4000X more points than you might just know what they are talking about.
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Nathan HawkinsTechnical Lead - Network SecurityCommented:
Points arent relevent. Ive been in the industry for almost 20 years. You are quoting like one type of laptop from one manufacturer, and citing that to reset BIOS is a waste of time... Seriously that your fact isnt only an exception its also not worth considering because the majority of BIOS' in production operate the way I (and the majority of OTHER experts) describe. The adage that the exception PROVES the rule is what IS relevant here. Im not flaming and Im sorry that you are taking it as such, Im simply calling into question your fact (notice the singular here and NOT plural) as how to proceed... Its interesting that you take it personally when all I have done is explain the facts. I suggest you do the same.
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Robert EhingerIT specialistAuthor Commented:
None of the above suggestions worked. There are no jumpers that I can see, the battery is soldered to the Mobo and nobody seems to remember the password.
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nobusCommented:
then without password - you'll need to turn it in to toshiba (not free), and offer proof of ownership
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RafaelCommented:
It goes back to my previous comment above.

"If that fails then I would tell your client that unless he provides the BIOS password, you cannot support him. If he dos not remember it then he would need to contact Toshiba and validate he is the owner. Once the BIOS is unlocked then you can properly support him".

HTH
-Rafael
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Nathan HawkinsTechnical Lead - Network SecurityCommented:
Definitely sounds like a low cost laptop at work here. Best thing to do at this point, is punt. You can get extremely current laptops for less than $250 on Ebay (I know because I get them all the time...), shipped right to you, which is about whats its going to cost to send the original to the manufacturer and have them reset the laptop for you,and ship it back. Not to mention a whole lot less time. Take the hard drive out mount it to any other operable system to recover data/files and call it good...
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DavidPresidentCommented:
Look, you're no worse off if you snip the battery connection or get some aluminum foil to cause it to completely drain.  Either way, the battery will be dead, and if others who maintain you can get around a password by removing the battery are right, you'll be good. (Then get a soldering iron for $12.95 and replace the battery).

But as I said before anybody in #40756519

"If the password is a BIOS password, and it was forgotten/lost, then Toshiba does have a process that involves proving legal ownership.
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