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T43 Needing Password?

T40/T41/T42/T43 Series
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Micah8613
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T43 Needing Password?

#1 Post by Micah8613 » Sat May 11, 2024 5:07 pm

Good afternoon! I love retro ThinkPads and the T43 has been a dream machine as it's the last IBM model. I have a collection of many retro laptops but ThinkPads are my favorite. I recently got my dream ThinkPad a T43 at Savers for $7 and it looks almost flawless. The issue is it wants a password that I cannot bypass. The CMOS battery is stone dead so it wants me to set the time and date. It shows a padlock symbol and wants a password. I have no clue what the password is and no idea how to remove it. This laptop looks hardly used so I assume no one has used it for many years because of this lock. It appears after some research to be a supervisor password. I have no clue how to remove it. Any help would be greatly appreciated as I'd like to get this machine back to an IBM factory state. I have pictures if they are needed. The model is the T43, type is 2668.

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Re: T43 Needing Password?

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sun May 12, 2024 1:27 am

The T43/T43p are a bit different from most other IBM Thinkpad models, because they have a very easy access to the chip with the BIOS passwords.
Most of the others need to be taken apart to access their BIOS chip.
It may be handy to have another person with you for holding the laptop up and pressing some keys.
You either need a piece of wire with a sharp pin/needle attached at each end, or a pair of sharp-pointed tweezers (as seen in the youtube below) .
If you don't have it yet, get the T43 manual from the HMM link at the top of this page.
Turn the machine over and remove the RAM-lid on the bottom.
If present, take the RAM out.
But you will need to have RAM in the other slot (under the keyboard).
While you're at it, replace your dead CMOS battery.

Follow this link to get the access points for the password-chip.
You only need SDL and SCA from the second picture there (which is from the RAM-slot on the laptop bottom).
Then watch this Youtube from our Forum member Sebileis.
Best of Irish!
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

Micah8613
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:46 am
Location: Sandy, Utah

Re: T43 Needing Password?

#3 Post by Micah8613 » Sun May 12, 2024 1:07 pm

Thank you for responding! :) I did just that. I got a paperclip and shorted the two pins together when I saw the IBM ThinkPad logo appear. The issue is whenever I do that, the machine just locks up. I've waited for a while but nothing happens so I have to hard shutdown. Any ideas as to why it could be doing that? I made sure to cover the two adjoining pins with electrical tape to prevent me from accidentally touching them. It must be doing something because the machine is reacting but not in the way it should.

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Re: T43 Needing Password?

#4 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sun May 12, 2024 11:25 pm

This method has worked for hundreds of people, so you might be doing something wrong.
Maybe you need to temporarily remove the (new) CMOS battery also, because the machine might still think you have the old/dead one...

As mentioned in the link:
If there is a film coating the copper pads or the metal looks tarnished then carefully scrape it with a sharp blade to just remove the film or tarnish, take care we just need a small clean area to make contact with the sharp probes later.

If your T43 has a fingerprint scanner then disconnect the fingerprint scanner
Then try again.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

Micah8613
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Re: T43 Needing Password?

#5 Post by Micah8613 » Mon May 13, 2024 12:32 am

Thanks for the reply! I have removed the cmos battery and trackpad/fingerprint cable still no luck, it just hangs on the ibm logo indefinitely. I also tried scraping the pads and it does the same thing. Its as if shorting the pads prevents it from initializing the bios.

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Re: T43 Needing Password?

#6 Post by RealBlackStuff » Mon May 13, 2024 1:44 am

Can you find out which motherboard you have in your T43 (FRU or P/N)?
Probably on a sticker in the RAM bay.
Check in both ATI and Intel HMMs.
You claim your model is a 2668 which has ATI graphics, but maybe a previous owner put in an 187x motherboard, which has Intel graphics?
If so, check the first link I gave you for different check points.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

Micah8613
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Re: T43 Needing Password?

#7 Post by Micah8613 » Mon May 13, 2024 2:06 am

Hello! So I did check again and it is the ATI model as under the ram slot on the bottom of the case would look different if it was the intel type motherboard and when I removed the palmrest to unplug the fingerprint I can see the ATI chip. So I know its the right board and I am touching the right pins as the site states.

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Re: T43 Needing Password?

#8 Post by RealBlackStuff » Mon May 13, 2024 3:25 am

Do you get any other messages/information on the LCD, apart from the BIOS lock symbol?
Looks like there might be more wrong than initially assumed.

Here is a more complicated method, which costs money, but which I have used successfully for SVP-removals for many years.
If that's too much hassle, other than replacing the motherboard, I can't give you any further advise, sorry.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

Micah8613
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Re: T43 Needing Password?

#9 Post by Micah8613 » Tue May 14, 2024 11:57 am

Sorry for the delayed response. On a normal boot, it will say the clock is wrong then try to go into the bios which displays the lock. When I short the pins, the computer will lock up. Thank you for all your help! Since the computer is in excellent shape, I'm going to keep it for when I find another one, I'll transfer it into the nicer case. You've been a very good help. Thank you!

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Re: T43 Needing Password?

#10 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue May 14, 2024 12:26 pm

What power do you use, a (must) 72W charger or (too weak) 56W?
Battery or not?
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

Micah8613
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Re: T43 Needing Password?

#11 Post by Micah8613 » Tue May 14, 2024 9:42 pm

I use an OG IBM charger. The battery doesn't hold a charge

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Re: T43 Needing Password?

#12 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue May 14, 2024 11:56 pm

Micah8613 wrote:
Tue May 14, 2024 9:42 pm
I use an OG IBM charger. The battery doesn't hold a charge
That's not what I asked!
Charger 72 or 56?
Battery in it yes or no?
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

Micah8613
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Re: T43 Needing Password?

#13 Post by Micah8613 » Wed May 15, 2024 8:21 pm

Sorry about that. It is a 54-watt one for an older model. I have a universal charger I can use but it puts out 90. Could that universal one hurt it? This is the one I have been using IBM 02k7011

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Re: T43 Needing Password?

#14 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu May 16, 2024 12:20 am

The T43 with ATI graphics (like yours) MUST use a 16V/72W charger, the 16V/56W is too weak.
However, as long as it is also 16V, the middle opening is + and the outside is - (ground), then you can also use a universal charger, even is the wattage is higher.
If over 16V you will wreck the T43!
So try it again.
If still no go, get another motherboard, unless someone else has a better idea.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

Micah8613
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Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:46 am
Location: Sandy, Utah

Re: T43 Needing Password?

#15 Post by Micah8613 » Thu May 16, 2024 7:11 pm

I got the charger for my T41 which is a 16v 4.5amp 72w and sadly still just freezes on boot when the pins are shorted so I think it's sadly a lost cause

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Re: T43 Needing Password?

#16 Post by RealBlackStuff » Fri May 17, 2024 1:04 am

Can you still go into the BIOS and see the different pages, even if everything is 'locked'?
Maybe you have your timing wrong, or you do something else wrong.
Here's another youtube.
It's for a different laptop (W520) as well, but the procedure is the same.
Have look at it, once he starts taking his laptop apart, advance the youtube to 7:50 and follow from there.
If after this you have still no luck and you want to continue, there are other methods.
A bit more complicated as they require a second laptop, an EEPROM-reader and software.
Or if you'd rather get another mobo: https://www.ebay.com/itm/375311247724
That FRU is not in the HMM, but is a newer revision for 2668 models.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

Micah8613
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:46 am
Location: Sandy, Utah

Re: T43 Needing Password?

#17 Post by Micah8613 » Sun May 19, 2024 5:26 pm

Sorry for the delayed response. It won't let me enter the BIOS at all without the password as it wants the password. When booting, it says the date and time are wrong then tries to enter the BIOS with the password prompt showing up. Thank you for all your help. I really appreciate it. I'm going to keep my eyes open for another board or system. I found the company that used to own this laptop had gone out of business many years ago. I tried guessing the password but no luck.

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