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Buggy BIOS confused by blank supervisor password

T400/410/420 and T500/510/520 series specific matters only
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Thinksad
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:06 am
Location: Ontario, Canada

Buggy BIOS confused by blank supervisor password

#1 Post by Thinksad » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:24 am

To be clear up front, this question concerns my own Thinkpad, and doesn't involve forgotten passwords. I was trying to disable the supervisor password on the BIOS in preparation for passing the system onto a new owner, so I went into the BIOS, selected the option to change the supervisor password, entered the current password, and then hit enter three times, so the new password fields were both blank. I wasn't sure if this would work, but after hitting enter, the BIOS now said that the supervisor password was disabled. Satisfied, I exited the BIOS. I would assume I exited saving changes, but given what's happening now, I have to wonder if I exited without saving. I have no reason to expect that I'd do that, though.

Now, when I enter the BIOS, it prompts for a supervisor password, weirdly enough. If I enter the old password, it rejects it and displays an x. If I hit enter without entering the password, it accepts the password, but then the configuration menu acts as if I hadn't entered the supervisor password, and lets me change all of the settings except for the security related ones, which prevents me from cleaning up this mess.

I've updated the BIOS to the latest version (3.23), and I've tried changing settings and saving them, with the hope that that might trigger a code path that happens to fix this discrepancy, but neither of those actions has fixed the problem. Has anyone hit this problem before? If so, how did you end up fixing it?

w0qj
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Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 9:53 pm
Location: Hong Kong

Re: Buggy BIOS confused by blank supervisor password

#2 Post by w0qj » Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:14 pm

Usually bricked ThinkPads after failed BIOS update would require user to bring computer back to ThinkPad for motherboard replacement...

But here is a long shot (hope it works):
How to boot BIOS update from USB thumbstick (and not on hard drive, and not on DVD):
http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/Other-Linux ... -p/3743440
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Current Thinkpads: X1E1 | X1C4 | X1C3 | X250 | X230 | T410
Retired Thinkpads: T42 | 560 (circa 1996)
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Thinksad
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2019 10:06 am
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Buggy BIOS confused by blank supervisor password

#3 Post by Thinksad » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:18 am

Hey, thanks for your reply. To clarify my original post, my T500 isn't bricked, and the problem is unrelated to the BIOS update. I updated the BIOS successfully (after hitting the problem, but before posting here), and the BIOS update didn't solve the problem.

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