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Thinkpad T43 Power On Password reset

 
 
John Perry
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      04-08-2006, 05:31 PM
Is it true that the T43 range has enhanced security over the power on
password?

Just wondered if the main battery and CMOS battery can be removed to
drain the power to reset the power on password. If so, does anyone
know where the CMOS battery is?

Thanks
--
John Perry

http://www.redoak.co.uk
http://www.eze-buy.co.uk
 
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Bruce Markowitz
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      04-08-2006, 06:39 PM
You could never do that with a ThinkPad.
"John Perry" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Is it true that the T43 range has enhanced security over the power on
> password?
>
> Just wondered if the main battery and CMOS battery can be removed to
> drain the power to reset the power on password. If so, does anyone
> know where the CMOS battery is?
>
> Thanks
> --
> John Perry
>
> http://www.redoak.co.uk
> http://www.eze-buy.co.uk



 
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JHEM
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      04-08-2006, 08:44 PM
"Bruce Markowitz" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:trTZf.707343$(E-Mail Removed)...
> You could never do that with a ThinkPad.



Actually Bruce, that's the correct way to remove an unknown POP on any of
the recent Thinkpad models, it's even outlined in the HMMs.

Just yank the CMOS battery and the POP will be gone.

Of course, this has no effect on a Supervisor or Hard Drive Password.

--
James

Visit the Thinkpad Forums
http://forum.thinkpads.com


 
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JHEM
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      04-08-2006, 08:52 PM
Hello John,

"John Perry" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Is it true that the T43 range has enhanced security over the power on
> password?


No, except that if you have the Fingerprint Reader it can be used in lieu of
manually entering a PW.

> Just wondered if the main battery and CMOS battery can be removed to
> drain the power to reset the power on password. If so, does anyone
> know where the CMOS battery is?


Sure
http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/si...cid=MIGR-52603

--
James

Visit the Thinkpad Forums
http://forum.thinkpads.com


 
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Larry
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      04-08-2006, 10:15 PM
Traditionally with ThinkPads:

1. The BIOS password can be reset with the CMOS.
2. The Supervisor password cannot.
3. The HD password cannot.

IBM did not offer reset services. Not sure about Lenovo. IBM wanted you to
buy a new System Board or HD, whichever it was.

-Larry

"John Perry" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Is it true that the T43 range has enhanced security over the power on
> password?
>
> Just wondered if the main battery and CMOS battery can be removed to
> drain the power to reset the power on password. If so, does anyone
> know where the CMOS battery is?
>
> Thanks
> --
> John Perry
>
> http://www.redoak.co.uk
> http://www.eze-buy.co.uk



 
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John Perry
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      04-09-2006, 02:13 PM
On Sat, 08 Apr 2006 20:44:09 GMT, "JHEM"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>"Bruce Markowitz" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>news:trTZf.707343$(E-Mail Removed)...
>> You could never do that with a ThinkPad.

>
>
>Actually Bruce, that's the correct way to remove an unknown POP on any of
>the recent Thinkpad models, it's even outlined in the HMMs.
>
>Just yank the CMOS battery and the POP will be gone.
>
>Of course, this has no effect on a Supervisor or Hard Drive Password.


I am really confused on these passwords. On my personal T42 Thinkpad
I have a Power On and Hard Drive password set, and I now believe it is
not secure enough. However, I am thinking of adding a Supervisor
password. What extra security would that give me? I am assuming it
would prevent someone adding a new HDD to it if it was stolen and get
a working machine.

Second question on thee passwords. If I just had a supervisor
password, would I be prompted for it in the normal boot cycle if I had
no Power On Password and no Hard Drive password.

Last, if you know of any document on the net that clearly explains the
effect of these passwords, I'd appreciate it as the IBM/Lenovo
documentation is unclear.

Thanks all for comments
--
John Perry

http://www.redoak.co.uk
http://www.eze-buy.co.uk
 
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Lawrence
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      04-09-2006, 08:48 PM
John Perry wrote:

> I am really confused on these passwords. On my personal T42 Thinkpad
> I have a Power On and Hard Drive password set, and I now believe it is
> not secure enough. However, I am thinking of adding a Supervisor
> password. What extra security would that give me? I am assuming it
> would prevent someone adding a new HDD to it if it was stolen and get
> a working machine.


Just a note here, the supervisor password can be pulled out of the eprom it is
stored in so a person could put a new HDD in and have a fully working system.
The method to do it is not something that the average person would do but it
IS possible to do it. I have done it numerous times for friends who have had
their kids "trash" their system on them "by accident" as the kids say or for
folks who can prove to me that the system is really theirs and not a hot item.
That being said, setting the supervisor password WILL prevent a very large
majority of people from being able to use the laptop if they were to steal it
since they would either not know how to get the password out of the eprom or
it would be too hard for them to do the process themselves.

Cheers,
Lawrence


 
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John Perry
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      04-09-2006, 10:10 PM
On Sun, 09 Apr 2006 16:48:06 -0400, Lawrence <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

>John Perry wrote:
>
>> I am really confused on these passwords. On my personal T42 Thinkpad
>> I have a Power On and Hard Drive password set, and I now believe it is
>> not secure enough. However, I am thinking of adding a Supervisor
>> password. What extra security would that give me? I am assuming it
>> would prevent someone adding a new HDD to it if it was stolen and get
>> a working machine.

>
>Just a note here, the supervisor password can be pulled out of the eprom it is
>stored in so a person could put a new HDD in and have a fully working system.
>The method to do it is not something that the average person would do but it
>IS possible to do it. I have done it numerous times for friends who have had
>their kids "trash" their system on them "by accident" as the kids say or for
>folks who can prove to me that the system is really theirs and not a hot item.
>That being said, setting the supervisor password WILL prevent a very large
>majority of people from being able to use the laptop if they were to steal it
>since they would either not know how to get the password out of the eprom or
>it would be too hard for them to do the process themselves.
>

Lawrence thanks for that. But can I explore in a little more detail.
I have a Power On and Hard Drive password set on my T42, so I get
prompted once for it.

If I do not add a supervisor password and my m/c gets stolen then
removal of the Power On password is very easy, so someone could remove
the Power On password, fit a new hard drive and they easily get a
working system.

Now, If I add supervisor password, the same as the other 2, then my
understanding is no extra security except that if machine is stolen,
the Power On Password could still be removed, a new hard drive could
be fitted, but the thief could not change the BIOS. So as long as the
thief doesn't attempt to change the BIOS, there is not too much impact
to the thief and he could use the machine.

But for me, with the 3 passwords set the same, would there be any
disadvantages? I'm asking this as I am really nervous about messing
the machine up.
--
John Perry

http://www.redoak.co.uk
http://www.eze-buy.co.uk
 
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JHEM
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      04-10-2006, 01:36 AM
"John Perry" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> If I do not add a supervisor password and my m/c gets stolen then
> removal of the Power On password is very easy, so someone could remove
> the Power On password, fit a new hard drive and they easily get a
> working system.


Correct.

> Now, If I add supervisor password, the same as the other 2, then my
> understanding is no extra security except that if machine is stolen,
> the Power On Password could still be removed, a new hard drive could
> be fitted, but the thief could not change the BIOS. So as long as the
> thief doesn't attempt to change the BIOS, there is not too much impact
> to the thief and he could use the machine.


No, changing the HD for another will activate the Supervisor Password. Ergo,
the thief has a nice doorstop short of finding someone to read the EEPROM as
Lawrence outlined.

It won't help you get your laptop back if it's stolen, but you can take some
small measure of comfort from the fact that it's now worthless other than as
a parts machine.

> But for me, with the 3 passwords set the same, would there be any
> disadvantages? I'm asking this as I am really nervous about messing
> the machine up.


No, there's no real downside here John. You'll never be prompted for the SP
unless you need to enter the BIOS.

--
James

Visit the Thinkpad Forums
http://forum.thinkpads.com


 
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Anthony R. Gold
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      04-11-2006, 03:54 PM
On Sun, 09 Apr 2006 23:10:08 +0100, John Perry <(E-Mail Removed)>
wrote:

> If I do not add a supervisor password and my m/c gets stolen then
> removal of the Power On password is very easy, so someone could remove
> the Power On password, fit a new hard drive and they easily get a
> working system.


So what? Once the computer is stolen then the very best you can hope for
is that your data will be kept obscure. No one will be returning your
machine when it is discovered that it is unusable or unsaleable.

> But for me, with the 3 passwords set the same, would there be any
> disadvantages? I'm asking this as I am really nervous about messing
> the machine up.


Then just don't do it. It may make life more difficult for the thief but
it really won't help you in any way if it's just protection in the event
of theft that you seek.

Tony
 
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