An IBM ThinkPad laptop can have three hardware password sets:
- Power-On Password
- Hard Disk Password
- Supervisor Password
RT/CMOS RAM has 8 bytes reserved for the power-on password and the check character. The 8 bytes are initialized to hex 00. The microprocessor can access these bytes only during POST. After POST is completed, if a power-on password is installed, the password bytes are locked and no program can access them.
During power-on password installation, the password (1 to 7 characters) is stored in the security space.
Installing the password is a function of the built-in system program Easy-Setup. The power-on password does not appear on the screen when it is installed, changed, or removed. After the power-on password has been installed, it can be changed or removed only during POST.
Hard Disk Password
The hard-disk password (HDP) prevents unauthorized persons from accessing the data on the removable hard disk drive.
The supervisor password prevents unauthorized persons from changing the system information in Easy-Setup.
How to Reset an IBM ThinkPad Power On Password using Software
If the user can boot the IBM ThinkPad, KeyMaker will recover the BIOS password.
How to Reset an IBM ThinkPad Power On Password Using Hardware
If the ThinkPad cannot be booted, reset the IBM ThinkPad password via hardware.
If only the power-on password is set, do the following to remove the power-on password.
- Power off the computer
- Remove the DIMM cover on the bottom side of the computer.
- Short circuit the two password pads or put a jumper on the contacts to short the circuit.
- Under the short circuit condition, power on the computer and wait until the POST ends. After the POST ends, the password prompt does not appear. The power-on password is removed.
- Reinstall the DIMM cover.
If both the power-on password and the supervisor password are set, do the following to remove the passwords:
- Press and hold F1 to power on the computer.
- Enter the supervisor password. The Easy-Setup menu appears.
- Click the Password icon.
- Click the Power on icon.
- Enter the supervisor password and press the Space bar.
- Press Enter twice.
- Click Exit then click Restart.
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