Keyboard and Mouse Lock. It happens with AC or battery connection and with or without Internet connection. Unlike other reported problems like this, there is no screen distortion. I've run all of the recommended software and hardware checks with no errors detected. Sometimes it takes many attempts to restart and it appears that the HDD is not being recognized - light does not go on for HDD icon. How do I go through process of elimination - HDD, GPU, Motherboard, Heat related, etc ?
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The IBM Thinkpad has a very strong security system.
you are seeing a lock symbol when booting then somebody has set the supervisor
password. If you can't remember it or guess it (try "password", "admin", "pass", etc)
then you need to find the person that set the supervisor password.
the supervisor password is set the T41 is very well protected and it
can't be reset by removing the laptop battery or CMOS battery.
is a way to read the password from the protection chip but this is very
complicated and requires taking the laptop apart and building your own
If prior to this it works intermittently with the AC adapter, it means the connection from the adapter power unit to the motherboard was lost and this is a typical problem with the Thinkpad. It needs a re-soldering job and not something that one can do without a proper repair manual on how to open the laptop. Try googling your problem and find out if someone has the same experience and managed to resolder by him/herself.