That was a long evening fixing a Thinkpad X121e ...BIOS supervisor password  (Read 84 times)

Piglet

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So...upgrading an old but critical family laptop today. Cloned and swapped out the hard drive for an SSD. Swapped out for some faster and larger SODIMMs. All looking good.

OK - last thing. Check for BIOS updates. Booted to BIOS and it wanted a password.

Hmmm...looks for a solution..."take out the CMOS battery and let the BIOS reset". OK. Done.

Reads another site ...** whatever you do don't remove CMOS battery! **. Argh! Puts it back....fires up latop. No boot. BIOS errors. Windows tries and fails to load. Dead Laptop. Still wants password.

Eventually finds this article: https://davidzou.com/articles/bios-password-bypass
Finds this disassembly video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_WbQFvlCDs

Searches internet to find location of EEPROM chip for this model. Fails.

Dismantles the entire laptop down to mobo and uses a USB microscope to try and find a L08 EEPROM chip. Looks at every likely candicate on the board.

Finds it. Re-assembles far enough to be able to start it up. Shorts data SDA and clock SCL at right moment on powerup with the point of a pair of tweezers....and gets in to BIOS....and resets password & loads defaults!

In the unlikely event of anyone else with one of these Thinkpad X121e laptops hits this problem - this is where the L08 security EEPROM is...and the pins I shorted.


« Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 00:30 by Piglet »

NOPE

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*Acting like I know what I'm looking at...................................

"That's totally a bad sphyncter linkage you caught there"

NOPE

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"It could also be a bad canooter valve"

zeus

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I AM MORE IMPRESSED BY THE LACK OF ANY DUST INSIDE THE LAPTOP :O

Piglet

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There was a little in the hinge area and on the fan. While I was there I used a small paint-brush to free it and blew it out.

In all the years I've been messing about with computers that's the closest I've come to bricking one.

It's interesting that the service manual for Thinkpads says that if a customer comes in with a supervisor password lock then the only action allowed is to replace the motherboard entirely.