Question about IBM ThinkPad T30 2366 Notebook

2 Answers

I donated 100.00 for my friends IBM thinkpad T30 p-4 xp as/is thinking I could get it fixed. Not long before it began (see symptoms below) I knew it was working fine cause we surfed the web on it and i checked my email. My friend said the issue began after she let her relative keep it for "try before U buy" thing. They returned it in the condition it is in. My friend did not want to charge me cause she was going to give it to goodwill but I didn't care she deserved something. Meanwhile I called a Technician who I let take it home to repair but his report seems fishy especially when i asked him questions for a deeper understanding and his explanation was far fetched and all the while his stuttering to explain (raised a flag) & reminded me of flashbacks from days gone by when 2nd and 3rd opinions saved me 1000's when folks try to take a girl to the cleaners in some cases or are just plain lazy and conjure up some jargon filled excuse to avoid work in other cases. Never the less I may be dumb but I'm not stupid. I'd like to get an opinion based on the following symptoms....in comparison to what the "pro technician" said..who still has my laptop too. Finally compare it to what I was thinking could be done when I brought it home. Symptoms: ..after pressing power on... a blank screen either black or blue (i forgot) displays and the only other thing that appears in the upper left hand corner is XXXXXXX (i believe seven X's) whereby some sort of code is apparently needed. As I tried several guesses the X's changed in appearance but nothing more hope full happened other than just to indicate I was wrong then the X's returned to the initial state in appearance. I tried to boot to BIOS as well...but no luck So when the tech called me he said... (The short version) TECH: "It was trashed!" After prompting him for further articulation, he said.. TECH: "It's most likely the bios and if that's the case that is a really big job hardly worth the money to fix" ME: "Really? "How did you determine that" TECH: "I been doing this for years and it's something you learn from experience" It's also possible someone installed incompatible software. ME: "Oh no doubt, well how long did it take you to analyze it to know which thing caused the problem for sure?" TECH: (stuttering)uh-mmm well I didn't actually time myself like I said when you are a professional you learn to tell. ME: "Did you get any beeps?" (that was a loaded question cause I got NO BEEPS) TECH: "Oh not any more than is usual but because i did not get the beeps that I should have heard that may indicate the entire HD is also fried" ME: "What about the 2 extra HD's I let you take should that be the case" TECH: "No need if the bios is bad and you have to change the motherboard if that's the case anyway if you really need a laptop I have several in excellent shape for around the cost to fix yours" ME: "Perhaps, in the meantime when can you bring mine back?" TECH: "Tomorrow" That was a week ago, still have not heard back. My Conclusion: 1. It's obvious he did not do a thing after looking at the thing in my presence that constituted him taking it home. (He said professionals know from experience the bios is the issue) so why did he have to take it home to determine that? 2. He used allot of words like -I think, -it may, -if it's, -it might, etc. 3. evasive to my questions...like how did you determine....what about the HD I let you take......etc. 4. What about no beeps vs "the usual beeps" 5. the continual adding of new probabilities like the motherboard, or the HD and OH YEAH he said that installing wrong/bad software would ruin the bios too Next So now FixYa tech what can you say about the issue? MY THOUGHTS: I was hoping I could install a new OS, and maybe a new HD...at least I did before the tech said it was the bios. I also thought it could be the PC reset the factory password OR that maybe the system clock battery died

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  • Cali Camali
    Cali Camali Nov 13, 2009


    When you powered up the laptop did you get a padlock symbol on the top LH corner of the LCD screen?

    ME:YES


    YOU: If so, this is a Power on Password, and it won't allow the laptop to boot up until the correct password is entered.

    Me: ok

    YOU: This password is configured from the BIOS and the password is stored on an EEPROM chip. There are no backdoor passwords available.

    Me: Do you mean that you know of?

    YOU: The Power on Password can be removed but you need this password to get into the BIOS configuration to remove this password.

    Me: That is if one doesn't have access to the Mfr's Code Catalogs...right?

    YOU: Please let me know if it is a power on password problem?

    ME: (See the top of page where you asked about the padlock and I said yes) I can add to that are the letters HDD with padlock symbol and series of XXXXXX'z

    YOU: When you boot up the laptop press the F1 function key to get into the BIOS configuration.

    ME: YES I can

    If you can get into the BIOS then check to see if the BIOS detects the hard disk, if it doesn't detect the hard disk then the hard disk is probably faulty.

    ME: I have 2 spare laptop HD's in addition to the one that was already there and that one present was not recognized but both mine were recognized.

    YOU:
    If you cannot get into the BIOS configuration then re-seat the RAM in the laptop. If the laptop still doesn't work, take the RAM to your friendly computer repair/shop to get the RAM tested (not to the pro techo).

    ME: does reseat the ram mean pull it out and stick it in again (maybe blow any dust particles off too)

    YOU: If the laptop does boots up with a message "no boot device found" this means it couldn't find the hard disk - most likely the hard disk is faulty.

    ME: that's a BIG FAT "BAD" to the one that came with it but a jolly "GOOD" fellows to my 2 back up spare HD's

    YoU:Let me know the results of these tests and then I can advise you what to do next.

    ME: IN spite of all thats seems to be going as well as expected I am still stuck, mainly cause I can't see where the passwords say enabled for this power on password thing. Frankly I'd like to know how to enable such a thing so I know how to lock my pc too. AND for the record...
    I assure you my girlfriend did not, would not and could not A. do such a thing B. even occur to her to need to do such a thing and C. or do such a thing cause she doesn't know how.
    The laptop was given to her from her Mom like 4 years ago who is awarded a new one every some years from the companys she worked for. She's a Corporate Business Exec.lady (And) even she is clueless about the problem so she gave my friend another hand me down gateway pc for school and that's why my pal was trying to sell it when the brother of her ex-boyfriend who is 17 yrs old and buddies with her younger brother said he might buy it. So she lent it to him and he had it for a pretty good while when the subject came up I asked her about the IBM she used to have. She told me her almost would have been kid brother in-law still has it and he hasn't paid her a penny yet. When I asked she said she was selling it for 75.00 and I said get it back then I'll give you a 100.00. It took her like a month to corner him and finally get it back after she said pay up or hand it over. He said he was no longer intrested in the thing cause it didn't work. He gave it back in its present condition. She told me it was broken. I figured it was no big deal to fix it and I gave her some money on the spot (even though she said take it) I told her if i can get it to work she might be able to have her pictures and stuff she missed back again. She said she had only a windows password on one of 3 screen names she had. I think the kid rigged her pc to be un-useable out of spite for asking for the $ or give it back and I'm sure he knows what code he used but to reveal it would make him guilty and everyone knows teenagers don't do anything wrong and they know everything. Now after connecting the dots from the bits n pieces I am learning on this help site what other reason could it be. So that's the story and there is NO person left to ask, limited support is long expired,no one to hold accountable, and the thing is barely spec worthy in this techno day & age but I was planning to give it to my Godmother to boost her morale and maybe even her love life at her young at heart age of 75yrs. So that's it...It would be nice to overcome this ordeal and recycle its use while it's able to keep up. Now I am curious what info and/or deviate websites and/or viruses that dumb little s---! teenager was up to -to no doubt cover his paw tracks. But I doubt that will happen now..but 17 yr olds spook easy if they think they might get busted. To me it's a matter of principle.

    If the matter is too sensitive for the world to know such a thing I understand an alternative means by which to satisfy my inquirey will be needed. I thought nothing is a challenge for a wizard of OS...

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2 Answers

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  • IBM Master
  • 32,281 Answers

When you powered up the laptop did you get a padlock symbol on the top LH corner of the LCD screen?
If so, this is a Power on Password, and it won't allow the laptop to boot up until the correct password is entered.
This password is configured from the BIOS and the password is stored on an EEPROM chip. There are no backdoor passwords available.
The Power on Password can be removed but you need this password to get into the BIOS configuration to remove this password.
Please let me know if it is a power on password problem.

When you boot up the laptop press the F1 function key to get into the BIOS configuration.
If you can get into the BIOS then check to see if the BIOS detects the hard disk, if it doesn't detect the hard disk then the hard disk is probably faulty.
If you cannot get into the BIOS configuration then re-seat the RAM in the laptop. If the laptop still doesn't work, take the RAM to your friendly computer repair/shop to get the RAM tested (not to the pro techo).
If the laptop does boots up with a message "no boot device found" this means it couldn't find the hard disk - most likely the hard disk is faulty.
Let me know the results of these tests and then I can advise you what to do next.

Posted on Nov 13, 2009

  • Chris Hingee
    Chris Hingee Nov 14, 2009

    WOW this reads like War and Peace.

    Basically this teenager has set up the Power on Password AND the hard drive password from the BIOS.

    As I said previously -

    This password is configured from the BIOS and the password is stored on an EEPROM chip. There ARE NO backdoor passwords AVAILABLE.
    Removing the hard drive from the T30 laptop and putting it into another laptop will not allow you to access the data in this hard drive unless you know the hard drive password.

    The Power on Password and the hard drive password can be removed but you need the Power on Password to login into the laptop and then get into the BIOS configuration to remove both the Power on Password and the hard drive password

    .
    The easiest way to remove these passwords is to take the laptop to the teenager to get him to remove these passwords and/or threaten him with some dire consequences.



    The other way it is more difficult and you need electronic skills to build an electronic interface EEPROM reader, a working computer, a couple of programs and a fine tip temperature soldering iron.

    You connect this interface to the EEPROM chip, read the contents of the EEPROM chip and locate and identify the passwords. Then you can enter the password on the locked laptop to login and go into the BIOS to remove these passwords. (This methods works, I have removed passwords on several Thinkpads).

    For information on this method go to this WEB site - use this link :-

    http://sodoityourself.com/hacking-ibm-th...



    As I said before, the best way is to lean very hard on the teenager until he removes these passwords.

    Let me know how it goes.

    Best of luck in your quest.



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  • Master
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To protect a laptop from being used after it has been stolen, it is possible to set a password on the laptop -- as soon as you turn the laptop on, you get the 'XXXXXXX' field, and you must enter the correct password, so that the computer will continue to start-up.

So, somebody set a "BIOS-password" (also called a "power-on-password") -- either the technician, or the original owner, or the "friend", or the "relative". Ask them what password they created.

To prevent a thief from using the computer, there is no easy way to "bypass" the password. Replacing the motherboard ($200? plus $100 in "labor") is one way to circumvent the password.

Or, if you have the original sales-receipt, contact the manufacturer, and prove ownership, and they will assist you in resetting the password.

Posted on Nov 13, 2009

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