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Computer Locked...SIM card removed...what's up with that?

T400/410/420 and T500/510/520 series specific matters only
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Neil
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Computer Locked...SIM card removed...what's up with that?

#1 Post by Neil » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:24 pm

Just picked up a T400 that is evidently password locked in such a way that I have not seen before...
After the Lenovo splash, it presents "This Computer Has Been Locked"..."Your SIM card has been removed or damaged. Please replace the SIM card or enter the unlock password." Cannot proceed to BIOS or anything else. The SIM card is indeed missing, but that can't be the real issue here, can it? What kind of password is it asking for? Could it be a SVP? I've never seen one present this way before. I have not been able to find any info in the HMM or elsewhere about anything other than the usual three kinds of passwords (POP, HDD and SVP), so I'm turning to you knowledgeable folks for info.

Here is a screen shot...if that helps.
Collection = T430 - T500 - R400 - X300 - T61 (14" WXGA+) - R61 (15" SXGA+) - X40 - T43p - T43 - T42p - A30P

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Re: Computer Locked...SIM card removed...what's up with that?

#2 Post by twistero » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:56 pm

It might be some weird special BIOS Option ROM.

BIOS Option ROMs can do interesting stuff. Case in point: CompuTrace. If activated, CompuTrace will look for Windows partitions on every boot, and inject executables into the file system so it can run inside Windows. The Windows component then phones home if internet connection is available, report its geographical location, and in case the laptop is reported stolen, wipe the hard drive.

The hardware RAID support in W-series is also an Option ROM. I won't be surprised if there is an Option ROM that checks the existence / identity of an inserted SIM card.

The usual BIOS upgrade images do not contain Option ROMs, therefore BIOS upgrades will not overwrite them.



That said, have you tried simply removing the WWAN card?
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Neil
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Re: Computer Locked...SIM card removed...what's up with that?

#3 Post by Neil » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:17 pm

Hmmm...interesting. I have absolutely no experience with Option ROM systems, though I have heard of CompuTrace. Actually bought an off lease corporate ThinkPad once upon a time that had some kind of security software installed, but as I recall, it was software installed on the HDD and not some special kind of BIOS.
twistero wrote:That said, have you tried simply removing the WWAN card?
Yeah, I've tried that, and it made no difference. Still get the same "locked" message.

Anyway, thanks for sharing your knowledge. If anyone comes up with other ideas...please let me know. I don't have to overcome this obstacle, but I would like to.
Collection = T430 - T500 - R400 - X300 - T61 (14" WXGA+) - R61 (15" SXGA+) - X40 - T43p - T43 - T42p - A30P

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Re: Computer Locked...SIM card removed...what's up with that?

#4 Post by EOMtp » Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:49 pm

Very small chance that pulling the CMOS battery clears this problem ... but may be worth a try.

Alternatively, insert a SIM card (active or otherwise), and see what happens. It seems unlikely that even if the BIOS remembers that there was a SIM card inserted, that it also recorded the SIM card's details.

Good luck!

Neil
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Re: Computer Locked...SIM card removed...what's up with that?

#5 Post by Neil » Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:37 am

Well, I've made some progress although I'm still stuck.
Tried installing an inactive SIM card, and the T400 did recognize the new card, but still wanted a password to unlock the machine. So no real difference between no card and new card.

By means of nothing less than a lucky guess, I tried a password that seems to have worked! It passes the computer locked screen and goes to a P.O.S.T. screen that reads:

Code: Select all

Phoenix SecureCore (tm) NB for ThinkPad
Copyright 1985-2009 Phoenix Technologies LTd.
All Rights Reserved

(C) Copyright IBM Corporation 2001, 2005 All Rights Reserved
(C) Copyright Lenovo 2005, 2009 All Rights Reserved
Below that is info about the CPU, RAM, System BIOS shadowed, Video BIOS shadowed and the HDD/optical drive installed.

Last line of the screen is "To interrupt normal startup, press the blue ThinkVantage button"

If I do nothing, it will reboot and ask for the SIM password again, and repeat the same cycle.
If I press F1 at the Lenovo splash, enter the SIM password, it goes to the POST screen with the bottom line "entering setup"...then reboots repeating the cycle, but never actually entering the BIOS setup.
If I press F12 at the Lenovo splash, enter the SIM password, it goes to the POST screen with the bottom line "Preparing Boot Device List...", then reboots repeating the cycle, but never displaying a boot device list.

I was exited about discovering the password, but bummed now because I'm really no farther along getting it to boot than I was with the system locked.
Collection = T430 - T500 - R400 - X300 - T61 (14" WXGA+) - R61 (15" SXGA+) - X40 - T43p - T43 - T42p - A30P

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Re: Computer Locked...SIM card removed...what's up with that?

#6 Post by EOMtp » Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:22 pm

Neil wrote:... If I do nothing, it will reboot and ask ...
Is the HDD indeed bootable? If uncertain, then replace with a known bootable drive, and see what happens. Perhaps it will boot if the HDD is bootable, even though it won't present you with a boot device list or let you enter the BIOS.

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Re: Computer Locked...SIM card removed...what's up with that?

#7 Post by Neil » Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:45 pm

Yes, the HDD is bootable, at least in the ThinkPad it came from, but didn't come with this T400, so I'm probably missing whatever this custom BIOS is looking for. I've also tried bootable LiveCD and USB drives, but nothing boots.
Collection = T430 - T500 - R400 - X300 - T61 (14" WXGA+) - R61 (15" SXGA+) - X40 - T43p - T43 - T42p - A30P

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Re: Computer Locked...SIM card removed...what's up with that?

#8 Post by samuel79 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:51 pm

ive had a few think pads in my time and pretty sure u can set more than one password. seems u need the svp and tbh m8 but im sorry to tel you unless you know it its scrap unless you want to pay more than its worth

Admin edit: Removed reference to bypassing security system.

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Re: Computer Locked...SIM card removed...what's up with that?

#9 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:04 am

There are prototype machines around.
Here's a T400 with UEFI implementation instead of a BIOS.
It is called the Phoenix Fastboot, which boots in about 10 seconds! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLwaKb6p ... r_embedded
Maybe yours is also a prototype for something?
What's the MTM?
Why don't you ship that machine to me, so I can play with it for a while?
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Neil
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Re: Computer Locked...SIM card removed...what's up with that?

#10 Post by Neil » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:09 am

Yes, RBS, I'm confident that this is a prototype machine. It's a 2767-CTO (2767-W7N), which does not show up in Quick Path, and it has a Phoenix Technologies Ltd. asset sticker on it's bottom side. So, in that case, there may be very little that I can do with it anyway, other than take it apart and sell it's parts.
Since I really don't have time to mess around with this right now, I just might send it to you.
Collection = T430 - T500 - R400 - X300 - T61 (14" WXGA+) - R61 (15" SXGA+) - X40 - T43p - T43 - T42p - A30P

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