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Girl_Fox

IBM Thinkpad T23 BIOS

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Got a little problem. I purchased my lovely laptop a good few years back (about 7yrs) second-hand and it served me very well for about 5 years. Never had any problems...until one day i got an error reading:

Error 0271: Check date and time settings

Didn't really know what this meant so gave it to my brother to figure out. He said the little battery (CMOS i think it's called) needed changing. So bought a new one, changed it. But i still got the error screen flash up for a few seconds, then it switched to another screen showing a padlock symbol and a prompt to enter a password.

I'm told this is a BIOS password.

I have no idea what this is and have been trying for about 2 years (yes 2 years!lol) to guess what it could be. Tried to contact the seller i got it off but no surprise the number doesn't work anymore.

Wanted to sell the laptop but then i thought it'd be a bit careless to leave all my private data on there. I must admit it would be nice to be able to salvage all the stuff i had on it, but if that's impossible, i'm hoping someone will be at least able to tell me how to erase the hard drive completely so it's not retrievable.

Then i figure i'll just sell it and let some other tecchie work out how to unlock it and hopefully give it a better home :sad:

Obviously i'd prefer if it could be fixed so i wouldn't have to part with it :sad:

Any help appreciated folks.

Thanks

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well your data is stored on the hard drive so you could pull that out and connect it to another machine to get the data. That is not so worrisome.

As far as getting the computer alive again, you might want to try upgrading the bios itself, but you need to find out what type of mobo it is. It must be the exact brand and model to upgrade the bios properly.

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well your data is stored on the hard drive so you could pull that out and connect it to another machine to get the data. That is not so worrisome.

As far as getting the computer alive again, you might want to try upgrading the bios itself, but you need to find out what type of mobo it is. It must be the exact brand and model to upgrade the bios properly.

Thanks,

I think taking the hard drive out is something i should attempt last - mainly because i've never done it before, and also i don't have another machine to put it into.

So how do i go about upgrading the BIOS? And what's a mobo?

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Thanks,

So how do i go about upgrading the BIOS? And what's a mobo?

all you need to do when you pull out the hard drive is not throw it/cover it in water/sand

(dont short it out/get it dirty) and dont pull the drive apart. then you just need a computer and probably an adapter to fit the 2.5in ide drive? so you can plug it into a regular ide cable. mobo is nerd/geek slang for motherboard. since its a laptop its probably going to be fairly hard to find out what the mobo is as you cant just pull out one screw and open the case, you could possibly have to pull the whole laptop apart. so basically just google the brand/model of the laptop to find out what the mobo is. cant help you much for flashing the bios, as i've only done it on one computer and its probably different for different brands. just google it too. but your probably going to have to be running an operating system on the laptop inless you want to solder in a new rom chip/manually flash the rom..

http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?sitestyle=lenovo&lndocid=MIGR-57669

aprantly theres a program to flash it for you.

Edited by dinscurge
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BIOS passwords are a tricky thing. They are written to the NAND memory on the board itself so they're fairly secure. Be thankful that you were/are able to boot the machine at all, most prevent the POST process from being initialized to begin with. They are so low level that you really cant brute force them (that I have ever heard of) there are some mobo models that allow you to clear the CMOS by shorting out specifics pins on the mobo itself but this info isnt generally widely available.

T23 are so cheap now-a-days that you can replace the board and proc for under 75bucks. Which is probably the best bet IF you want to keep the machine and are comfortable pulling it apart.

IF you just want the data off the old drive, thats cake. Run to the local computer store and grab an IDE/SATA to USB dongle and plug that into a working machine and drag/drop whatever files you'd like to keep.

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It's possible the that ATA password is also set on the hard-disk (if it does not read on another machine). This is quite often the same as the BIOS password, so can be used to brute force the BIOS if it is really (!!) needed.

Generally it is probably easy just to buy another machine....

Mungewell.

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It's possible the that ATA password is also set on the hard-disk (if it does not read on another machine). This is quite often the same as the BIOS password, so can be used to brute force the BIOS if it is really (!!) needed.

Generally it is probably easy just to buy another machine....

Mungewell.

Yep, they may both be set. The OP can find some other links on finding an ATA pw in the thread below. It's an old thread, so some links may be down. They may also find their drive is actually platter locked, which would be bad news indeed.

EDIT: Heh, truncated to "assword bypass"! What can I say, I'm easily amused. :)

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