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How to remove power-on password for Toshiba

 
 
TR Oltrogge
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      02-21-2008, 09:53 PM
My son purchased a 1415-S105 Toshiba Satellite laptop in March 2003. He used
it for four years until the hard drive crashed in spring of 2007. He went to
a store and bought a new laptop. I took the old one with the idea of
replacing the hard drive.

Only today have I started looking at the machine. It has a power-on password
that (of course) my son doesn't remember. Searching the web finds a parallel
port dongle thing that might get me past this problem. Or you can go to an
"authorized" service center and pay a fee to get the password removed. Hey,
I'll do this if they don't charge more than $20. The machine was purchased
at our local Best Buy and I can probably prove we're the correct owners.

Today I ordered a new 30GB hard drive and also a new sound board (the
mini-jack for the headphones was broken and it's on the sound board). I
opened the machine and am ready to replace this board and install the new
hard drive. But it's just a boat anchor if I can't get past the password
problem. But I've got $150 of parts coming in the mail!

BTW, I had the blue circular lithium backup battery disconnected for about
30 minutes since it's attached to the sound board. I was really hoping this
would cause some CMOS memory to forget the password, but it didn't. I even
saw a post somewhere that the password is written into EEPROM and therefore
wouldn't even require voltage to maintain itself. Gosh!

On one hand I suppose it's actually good that the industry has finally
devised a way to secure one's data (although, if you think about it, someone
could simply mount the hard drive in another machine and look at it). On the
other hand, grrrrrrr!

What's the "standard" method for people to regain access to their machines
in this case?

Tim


 
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Jeff Holinski
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      02-22-2008, 02:33 AM
While most PDA's have any easy way to reset them to factory defaults,
it would be a pretty usless password on your laptop if you could
bypass it that easily.
Have you checked the owners manual about this subject? If you don't
have the paper manual try to find a PDF of it on the toshiba web site.

If you're in the same city you could just go over to your son's place
and have him try a bunch of passwords on it and see if he get's the
right one.
If he used a password to start the machine for 4 years it's probably
almost a reflex to type it even if he can't remember it when you phone
him.
Remove nospam_ to reply by email

Jeff H........
 
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Barry Watzman
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      02-22-2008, 06:01 AM
You already found out how to do it. It's in your message (below).

[No laptops have had passwords that can be removed by removing the
battery in about 15 years. Laptop passwords are stored in flash or eeprom]


TR Oltrogge wrote:
> My son purchased a 1415-S105 Toshiba Satellite laptop in March 2003. He used
> it for four years until the hard drive crashed in spring of 2007. He went to
> a store and bought a new laptop. I took the old one with the idea of
> replacing the hard drive.
>
> Only today have I started looking at the machine. It has a power-on password
> that (of course) my son doesn't remember. Searching the web finds a parallel
> port dongle thing that might get me past this problem. Or you can go to an
> "authorized" service center and pay a fee to get the password removed. Hey,
> I'll do this if they don't charge more than $20. The machine was purchased
> at our local Best Buy and I can probably prove we're the correct owners.
>
> Today I ordered a new 30GB hard drive and also a new sound board (the
> mini-jack for the headphones was broken and it's on the sound board). I
> opened the machine and am ready to replace this board and install the new
> hard drive. But it's just a boat anchor if I can't get past the password
> problem. But I've got $150 of parts coming in the mail!
>
> BTW, I had the blue circular lithium backup battery disconnected for about
> 30 minutes since it's attached to the sound board. I was really hoping this
> would cause some CMOS memory to forget the password, but it didn't. I even
> saw a post somewhere that the password is written into EEPROM and therefore
> wouldn't even require voltage to maintain itself. Gosh!
>
> On one hand I suppose it's actually good that the industry has finally
> devised a way to secure one's data (although, if you think about it, someone
> could simply mount the hard drive in another machine and look at it). On the
> other hand, grrrrrrr!
>
> What's the "standard" method for people to regain access to their machines
> in this case?
>
> Tim
>
>

 
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TR Oltrogge
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      02-22-2008, 02:44 PM

"Barry Watzman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:47be6534$0$16674$(E-Mail Removed)...
> You already found out how to do it. It's in your message (below).
>
> [No laptops have had passwords that can be removed by removing the battery
> in about 15 years. Laptop passwords are stored in flash or eeprom]
>

Have you checked the owners manual about this subject? If you don't
have the paper manual try to find a PDF of it on the toshiba web site.

If you're in the same city you could just go over to your son's place
and have him try a bunch of passwords on it and see if he get's the
right one.
If he used a password to start the machine for 4 years it's probably
almost a reflex to type it even if he can't remember it when you phone
him.

Thanks, both of you. I'm trying all these fronts. Will report back which one
succeeded.


 
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TR Oltrogge
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      02-22-2008, 05:39 PM

"TR Oltrogge" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:hdBvj.8460$0%3.7019@trnddc06...
>
> Thanks, both of you. I'm trying all these fronts. Will report back which
> one succeeded.
>

First, I'm trying the Key Disk concept. The 1415-S105 machine I have does
*not* have a floppy drive but only a combination CD-writer/DVD-reader. So
I've managed to use a rewriteable CDRW to hold the hex pattern 4B45590000
(KEY{nUL}{NUL}) at two points: bytes 512-516 and bytes 2048-2052 in case the
"beginning of the second sector" concept is talking about the usual 512-byte
floppy sectors or the newer 2048-byte CD sectors. Booting with this CD has
not worked, though. The activity light flashes *just before* the password=
prompt comes up and pressing "ENTER" at this point does not get me into the
BIOS. I'm wondering if the CDRW needs to have a valid boot sector on it.
Mine does not. It's simply an ISO9660 data disk.


 
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Barry Watzman
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      02-22-2008, 06:37 PM
You might want to look for a floppy drive removed from a 141 and put it
into your machine. All models of the 1415 had a floppy except the low
end 1415-S105. It may be possible to create a bootable CD from an image
of the key disk made on another machine and that might work. Maybe.
That's how I'd try, anyway ... make a floppy key disk on another
machine, and use it as the source of an image for a bootable CD.

The parallel port dongle should work, and you can either make on or buy
it on E-Bay.


TR Oltrogge wrote:
> "TR Oltrogge" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:hdBvj.8460$0%3.7019@trnddc06...
>> Thanks, both of you. I'm trying all these fronts. Will report back which
>> one succeeded.
>>

> First, I'm trying the Key Disk concept. The 1415-S105 machine I have does
> *not* have a floppy drive but only a combination CD-writer/DVD-reader. So
> I've managed to use a rewriteable CDRW to hold the hex pattern 4B45590000
> (KEY{nUL}{NUL}) at two points: bytes 512-516 and bytes 2048-2052 in case the
> "beginning of the second sector" concept is talking about the usual 512-byte
> floppy sectors or the newer 2048-byte CD sectors. Booting with this CD has
> not worked, though. The activity light flashes *just before* the password=
> prompt comes up and pressing "ENTER" at this point does not get me into the
> BIOS. I'm wondering if the CDRW needs to have a valid boot sector on it.
> Mine does not. It's simply an ISO9660 data disk.
>
>

 
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TR Oltrogge
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      02-22-2008, 08:24 PM

"Barry Watzman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:47bf165f$0$8657$(E-Mail Removed)...

I know you people are going to moan at this, but my son remembered the
password about 45 minutes ago. This was about 15 minutes after I called Best
Buy Geek Squad and they said they could help me if I brought the machine in.
The woman told me the charge would be, at most, $30 and I was ready to pay
it.

The machine is now bootable! I haven't figured out how to get the password
REMOVED from the BIOS, though. I know it would be possible with a running
WindowsXP OS, but I don't have that option since I have no hard drive in the
machine right now.

I'm able to bring up MEPIS7.0 Linux nicely, though.

So I wish I could tell you some great success story with a (1) dongle or (2)
key disk or (3) CMOS reset or (4) secret BIOS password, or...

Tim


 
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tc
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      02-23-2008, 02:46 AM

"TR Oltrogge" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:JbGvj.255$Hd.192@trnddc02...
>
> "Barry Watzman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:47bf165f$0$8657$(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> I know you people are going to moan at this, but my son remembered the
> password about 45 minutes ago. This was about 15 minutes after I called
> Best Buy Geek Squad and they said they could help me if I brought the
> machine in. The woman told me the charge would be, at most, $30 and I was
> ready to pay it.
>
> The machine is now bootable! I haven't figured out how to get the password
> REMOVED from the BIOS, though. I know it would be possible with a running
> WindowsXP OS, but I don't have that option since I have no hard drive in
> the machine right now.
>
> I'm able to bring up MEPIS7.0 Linux nicely, though.


You dont't need an operating system. Just hold the 'Esc' key as you power up
the laptop. Follow the instructions (press F1 on my laptop) and you will be
in the Bios setup. The password setup should be there.
Terry

>
> So I wish I could tell you some great success story with a (1) dongle or
> (2) key disk or (3) CMOS reset or (4) secret BIOS password, or...
>
> Tim
>



 
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TR Oltrogge
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      02-23-2008, 03:08 AM

"tc" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:bOLvj.39995$w57.7055@edtnps90...
>
>
> You dont't need an operating system. Just hold the 'Esc' key as you power
> up the laptop. Follow the instructions (press F1 on my laptop) and you
> will be in the Bios setup. The password setup should be there.
> Terry
>

Yes, I can use ESC as I'm powering up. It asks for the password. I enter the
correct one. It then says 'Check system (F1) for setup'. I press F1 and I'm
in the 2-page BIOS setup screens. The password field is highlighted with the
value "Registered". If I hit "Space" or "Backspace" the word "Registered"
changes to "Password" and I'm at the start of a field where I'm supposed to
enter a new password. At this point I don't know what to do to tell setup I
don't want ANY password. What entry here will remove any password?
Tim


 
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TR Oltrogge
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      02-23-2008, 03:19 AM
OK, I figured it out! When in the BIOS setup page and "Registered" is
highlighted hit the space bar. It then changes "Registered" to "Password"
and you simply *re-enter* the current password. This convinces the BIOS
routine you want to eliminate it and it then changes the phrase to
"Not-registered". Password is now gone!

Sometimes I think I'm getting too old to fight with computers.

Tim


 
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