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x41 password problem

X2/X3/X4x series specific matters only
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D L Davis
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x41 password problem

#1 Post by D L Davis » Fri Nov 25, 2016 12:54 am

I have an old x41 laptop that sat up a year or so unplugged. Apparently, the power was off long enough that the cmos lost the password. The last time I used it, I reformatted the drive and reinstalled winxp. When I turn the system on, I get a padlock icon. I type in the password I used for years, but it won't take it. Is there anything I can do locally (i.e. w/o having to send it in) to get into the system? If not..and I have to send it in...what is the fee for resetting it?
I tried having a technician remove and reseat the cmos battery to no avail.

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Re: x41 password problem

#2 Post by rkawakami » Sat Nov 26, 2016 2:59 am

Welcome to thinkpads.com!

From your description about the CMOS battery, we can assume that you are having a problem with the Supervisor (aka, BIOS) password. That would have been set in the BIOS and you would not have had to deal with entering the password on a normal system boot. Only when you had wanted access to the BIOS menu would you have been prompted for the password. Since the CMOS battery went dead, the system lost the date and time, thus forcing you into the BIOS to reset it. You should see an error message to this effect when turning the system on, just prior to the padlock icon being displayed along with an outline that resembles a monitor (the key that identifies the type of password being requested).

Unfortunately the rules of this forum prevent public discussions of password removal / bypassing. I can say that the factory recommendation in these cases is to send the system in for a motherboard replacement. For a system as old as your X41, that is probably not feasible any more. Any fee charged by a local repair shop would entail sourcing another motherboard, tear down of the system and installation of the 'new' board. My guess is that it would be beyond the value of the system. In other words, it would not make financial sense to go this route. If you could do the work yourself, and avoid the labor charge, then it becomes a little more practical. For example, at the moment there are several X41 motherboards on eBay for $25 or less.

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D L Davis
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Location: Shreveport, La

Re: x41 password problem

#3 Post by D L Davis » Sat Nov 26, 2016 1:07 pm

That's what I was afraid of. Yep...it makes no sense to pay lenovo thru the nose for such a repair. I gave the machine to a friend of mine who used to be in the computer repair business. He's had it for about a year, and says there's nothing he can do but send it back to the factory. Sooo, it's been so long that I can't recall exactly what the machine was presenting me with when I turned it on. I think it's just the little padlock icon. I don't think I had the CMOS pw protected, just the system itself. About a year and a half ago, I scrubbed all my old business data off of the HD, and installed a fresh copy of xp. I used the machine to access the net for a while to watch videos and such. Then, one day, the password hang surfaced and the rest is history.

The ebay/motherboard option is interesting. I'd essentially be able to get a notebook going for an investment of $25. I went to BEST BUY black friday 2c if they had any deals on Lenovos. They didn't. I toyed with the idea of buying another one, but walked away to avoid making an impulse purchase...and figuring I could get a far better deal via Lenovo, as I did a couple years back when I bought my w510.

The thing about the ebay mobo...is...I wonder if I'd just end up with another password problem? In any event, my technician would probably charge me as much as a low end machine would cost me new anyway.

If all I want to do with such a machine is watch how-to videos on the net, how much of which hardware parameters do I need?

One other question...Is the security chip that holds the passwords hard wired to the mobo? If not, I suppose I could unseat that. Wups, I forgot...you said that sort of stuff couldn't be discussed on the blog and, I guess I can see why doing so would be a bad idea. Just another one of those situations where an honest guy has to pay the price for all the crooks out there. I paid a lot of $$ for that machine in its day. As things stand now, door stop.

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Re: x41 password problem

#4 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat Nov 26, 2016 1:29 pm

Did you check your Private messages at the top of this page?

D L Davis
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Re: x41 password problem

#5 Post by D L Davis » Sat Nov 26, 2016 5:16 pm

No....I thought when you mentioned private message, it was via private email. I didn't know of the local feature. Will check.

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