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Must we trash an excellent laptop?

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Anonymous
a b D Laptop
July 30, 2004 8:00:41 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

ANYONE, HELP!

A friend has a virtually new Toshiba Satellite (older model) Laptop, but a
BIOS password is set. Without knowing the password, it's as good as
trashed!

We removed the BIOS battery for a few days, but it didn't help.
Does anybody have any ideas?

More about : trash excellent laptop

Anonymous
a b D Laptop
July 30, 2004 8:00:42 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

>ANYONE, HELP!
>
>A friend has a virtually new Toshiba Satellite (older model) Laptop, but a
>BIOS password is set. Without knowing the password, it's as good as
>trashed!
>
>We removed the BIOS battery for a few days, but it didn't help.
>Does anybody have any ideas?
>
You will have to steal one that's not password protected.
July 30, 2004 8:00:42 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

On Fri, 30 Jul 2004 16:00:41 GMT, "AJS" <microdynetech@usa.net> wrote:

>ANYONE, HELP!
>
>A friend has a virtually new Toshiba Satellite (older model) Laptop, but a
>BIOS password is set. Without knowing the password, it's as good as
>trashed!
>
>We removed the BIOS battery for a few days, but it didn't help.
>Does anybody have any ideas?
>

I don't understand how your friend could set the password without
knowing it. Do you mean to say your friend has "someone else's" laptop
and so doesn't know what the password is? If he bought it from that
"someone else", have him either get the password or his money back.

Charlie Hoffpauir
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~charlieh/
Related resources
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
July 30, 2004 8:00:42 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

On Fri, 30 Jul 2004 16:00:41 GMT, "AJS" <microdynetech@usa.net> wrote:

>ANYONE, HELP!
>
>A friend has a virtually new Toshiba Satellite (older model) Laptop, but a
>BIOS password is set. Without knowing the password, it's as good as
>trashed!
>
>We removed the BIOS battery for a few days, but it didn't help.
>Does anybody have any ideas?
>

Contact Toshiba Tech support. It doesn't take much to convince Tech
support that you're the legit owner, and they can give you a master
password to reset the BIOS to factory specs. Sorry, I don't know what
it is. There are also some BIOS reset utilities available that might
be able to do that too, but those seem a bit risky to me.
---------------------------------------------

MCheu
July 30, 2004 9:41:51 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

that password is flashed into the bios chip

"AJS" <microdynetech@usa.net> wrote in message
news:JguOc.2470$Ix1.265@newssvr31.news.prodigy.com...
> ANYONE, HELP!
>
> A friend has a virtually new Toshiba Satellite (older model) Laptop, but a
> BIOS password is set. Without knowing the password, it's as good as
> trashed!
>
> We removed the BIOS battery for a few days, but it didn't help.
> Does anybody have any ideas?
>
>
July 31, 2004 5:41:21 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Can the BIOS chip be re-flashed? I know that most desktop computers have
reflashable BIOS chips. Visit the Toshiba website. There may be a reflash
utility that you can download.

"AJS" <microdynetech@usa.net> wrote in message
news:JguOc.2470$Ix1.265@newssvr31.news.prodigy.com...
> ANYONE, HELP!
>
> A friend has a virtually new Toshiba Satellite (older model) Laptop, but a
> BIOS password is set. Without knowing the password, it's as good as
> trashed!
>
> We removed the BIOS battery for a few days, but it didn't help.
> Does anybody have any ideas?
>
>
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
July 31, 2004 11:07:39 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

It won't help. Reflashing the BIOS will not clear any power-up passwords.

Cosmin

Papa wrote:
> Can the BIOS chip be re-flashed? I know that most desktop computers have
> reflashable BIOS chips. Visit the Toshiba website. There may be a reflash
> utility that you can download.
>
> "AJS" <microdynetech@usa.net> wrote in message
> news:JguOc.2470$Ix1.265@newssvr31.news.prodigy.com...
>
>>ANYONE, HELP!
>>
>>A friend has a virtually new Toshiba Satellite (older model) Laptop, but a
>>BIOS password is set. Without knowing the password, it's as good as
>>trashed!
>>
>>We removed the BIOS battery for a few days, but it didn't help.
>>Does anybody have any ideas?
>>
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 1, 2004 1:01:23 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

On Sat, 31 Jul 2004 13:41:21 GMT, "Papa" <bikingis@my.fun> wrote:

:>Can the BIOS chip be re-flashed? I know that most desktop computers have
:>reflashable BIOS chips. Visit the Toshiba website. There may be a reflash
:>utility that you can download.

Kind of hard to flash the bios if you have to type in the password (stored
in non-volatile ram) BEFORE you can access ANY hardware, including a floppy
drive. :-)

That being said, if it's a Toshiba built model it will require a special
parallel port loopback device. Google might help on that. If it's a model
built by Compal for Toshiba somewhere in the memory compartment is a TINY
set of either copper or silver colored pads that need to be shorted to clear
the password. This should NOT be done with the computer turned on.

me/2

:>
:>"AJS" <microdynetech@usa.net> wrote in message
:>news:JguOc.2470$Ix1.265@newssvr31.news.prodigy.com...
:>> ANYONE, HELP!
:>>
:>> A friend has a virtually new Toshiba Satellite (older model) Laptop, but a
:>> BIOS password is set. Without knowing the password, it's as good as
:>> trashed!
:>>
:>> We removed the BIOS battery for a few days, but it didn't help.
:>> Does anybody have any ideas?
:>>
:>>
:>
August 1, 2004 4:37:32 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Are you saying than flashing your BIOS to a newer version will not clear the
password?

"Cosmin N." <no@email.com> wrote in message
news:%5SOc.263$ms31.176@news04.bloor.is.net.cable.rogers.com...
> It won't help. Reflashing the BIOS will not clear any power-up passwords.
>
> Cosmin
>
> Papa wrote:
> > Can the BIOS chip be re-flashed? I know that most desktop computers have
> > reflashable BIOS chips. Visit the Toshiba website. There may be a
reflash
> > utility that you can download.
> >
> > "AJS" <microdynetech@usa.net> wrote in message
> > news:JguOc.2470$Ix1.265@newssvr31.news.prodigy.com...
> >
> >>ANYONE, HELP!
> >>
> >>A friend has a virtually new Toshiba Satellite (older model) Laptop, but
a
> >>BIOS password is set. Without knowing the password, it's as good as
> >>trashed!
> >>
> >>We removed the BIOS battery for a few days, but it didn't help.
> >>Does anybody have any ideas?
> >>
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 1, 2004 1:39:18 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

On Sun, 01 Aug 2004 00:37:32 GMT, "Papa" <bikingis@my.fun> wrote:

:>Are you saying than flashing your BIOS to a newer version will not clear the
:>password?

Since you have to type in the bios password BEFORE you can access ANY
hardware, including a floppy drive with a bios disk, you cannot flash the
bios without knowing the bios password. BTW, at least on Toshiba, flashing
the bios does NOT clear the password. It is stored in protected NVRAM. A
bios password would be useless if it could be cleared that easily.

me/2

:>
:>"Cosmin N." <no@email.com> wrote in message
:>news:%5SOc.263$ms31.176@news04.bloor.is.net.cable.rogers.com...
:>> It won't help. Reflashing the BIOS will not clear any power-up passwords.
:>>
:>> Cosmin
:>>
:>> Papa wrote:
:>> > Can the BIOS chip be re-flashed? I know that most desktop computers have
:>> > reflashable BIOS chips. Visit the Toshiba website. There may be a
:>reflash
:>> > utility that you can download.
:>> >
:>> > "AJS" <microdynetech@usa.net> wrote in message
:>> > news:JguOc.2470$Ix1.265@newssvr31.news.prodigy.com...
:>> >
:>> >>ANYONE, HELP!
:>> >>
:>> >>A friend has a virtually new Toshiba Satellite (older model) Laptop, but
:>a
:>> >>BIOS password is set. Without knowing the password, it's as good as
:>> >>trashed!
:>> >>
:>> >>We removed the BIOS battery for a few days, but it didn't help.
:>> >>Does anybody have any ideas?
:>> >>
:>
August 1, 2004 1:55:43 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

"me/2" <null@127.0.0.1> wrote in message
news:jbepg017901p6vl0n3vb42361acpa63sdq@4ax.com...
> On Sun, 01 Aug 2004 00:37:32 GMT, "Papa" <bikingis@my.fun> wrote:
>
> :>Are you saying than flashing your BIOS to a newer version will not clear
the
> :>password?
>
> Since you have to type in the bios password BEFORE you can access ANY
> hardware, including a floppy drive with a bios disk, you cannot flash the
> bios without knowing the bios password. BTW, at least on Toshiba,
flashing
> the bios does NOT clear the password. It is stored in protected NVRAM. A
> bios password would be useless if it could be cleared that easily.
>
> me/2
>
> :>
> :>"Cosmin N." <no@email.com> wrote in message
> :>news:%5SOc.263$ms31.176@news04.bloor.is.net.cable.rogers.com...
> :>> It won't help. Reflashing the BIOS will not clear any power-up
passwords.
> :>>
> :>> Cosmin
> :>>
> :>> Papa wrote:
> :>> > Can the BIOS chip be re-flashed? I know that most desktop computers
have
> :>> > reflashable BIOS chips. Visit the Toshiba website. There may be a
> :>reflash
> :>> > utility that you can download.
> :>> >
> :>> > "AJS" <microdynetech@usa.net> wrote in message
> :>> > news:JguOc.2470$Ix1.265@newssvr31.news.prodigy.com...
> :>> >
> :>> >>ANYONE, HELP!
> :>> >>
> :>> >>A friend has a virtually new Toshiba Satellite (older model) Laptop,
but
> :>a
> :>> >>BIOS password is set. Without knowing the password, it's as good as
> :>> >>trashed!
> :>> >>
> :>> >>We removed the BIOS battery for a few days, but it didn't help.
> :>> >>Does anybody have any ideas?

A Google search of news groups turns up lots of possibilities..hardware
parallel port dongle and other stuff. It would seem that it depends on the
model number though...

Bob
August 1, 2004 8:25:22 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Well, judging from the comments in this thread, looks like setting up a BIOS
password is one of the worst ideas a user can come up with.

"Bob" <luna5nospam@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:10gpt7gr502lk14@corp.supernews.com...
>
> "me/2" <null@127.0.0.1> wrote in message
> news:jbepg017901p6vl0n3vb42361acpa63sdq@4ax.com...
> > On Sun, 01 Aug 2004 00:37:32 GMT, "Papa" <bikingis@my.fun> wrote:
> >
> > :>Are you saying than flashing your BIOS to a newer version will not
clear
> the
> > :>password?
> >
> > Since you have to type in the bios password BEFORE you can access ANY
> > hardware, including a floppy drive with a bios disk, you cannot flash
the
> > bios without knowing the bios password. BTW, at least on Toshiba,
> flashing
> > the bios does NOT clear the password. It is stored in protected NVRAM.
A
> > bios password would be useless if it could be cleared that easily.
> >
> > me/2
> >
> > :>
> > :>"Cosmin N." <no@email.com> wrote in message
> > :>news:%5SOc.263$ms31.176@news04.bloor.is.net.cable.rogers.com...
> > :>> It won't help. Reflashing the BIOS will not clear any power-up
> passwords.
> > :>>
> > :>> Cosmin
> > :>>
> > :>> Papa wrote:
> > :>> > Can the BIOS chip be re-flashed? I know that most desktop
computers
> have
> > :>> > reflashable BIOS chips. Visit the Toshiba website. There may be a
> > :>reflash
> > :>> > utility that you can download.
> > :>> >
> > :>> > "AJS" <microdynetech@usa.net> wrote in message
> > :>> > news:JguOc.2470$Ix1.265@newssvr31.news.prodigy.com...
> > :>> >
> > :>> >>ANYONE, HELP!
> > :>> >>
> > :>> >>A friend has a virtually new Toshiba Satellite (older model)
Laptop,
> but
> > :>a
> > :>> >>BIOS password is set. Without knowing the password, it's as good
as
> > :>> >>trashed!
> > :>> >>
> > :>> >>We removed the BIOS battery for a few days, but it didn't help.
> > :>> >>Does anybody have any ideas?
>
> A Google search of news groups turns up lots of possibilities..hardware
> parallel port dongle and other stuff. It would seem that it depends on
the
> model number though...
>
> Bob
>
>
August 1, 2004 8:25:23 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Papa wrote:
> Well, judging from the comments in this thread, looks like setting up a BIOS
> password is one of the worst ideas a user can come up with.
>
If you EVER leave it unattened, a password is a good idea.
I once took a computer to a swapmeet. Some "prankster" put a password
on it. If it had been a modern laptop, I'd have been screwed.
Put a password on it and write the password inside somewhere that
takes removing a screw to get at.
Won't help if someone steals it, but will stop the casual tinkerer
and help if you "forget".
mike


--
Return address is VALID.
Wanted, 12.1" LCD for Gateway Solo 5300. Samsung LT121SU-121
Bunch of stuff For Sale and Wanted at the link below.
Compaq Aero floppy,ram,battery.
FT-212RH 2-meter 45W transceiver. 2-meter linear
Toshiba & Compaq LiIon Batteries, Test Equipment
30pS pulser, Tektronix Concept Books, spot welding head...
http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Monitor/4710/
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 1, 2004 8:32:02 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Papa wrote:
>
> Well, judging from the comments in this thread, looks like setting up a BIOS
> password is one of the worst ideas a user can come up with.

If you own your laptop, using a BIOS password presents no problems.

If you sell your laptop, and clear the BIOS password, using a BIOS
password presents no problems.

It really pretty simple.

Notan
August 1, 2004 8:44:40 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Could be. But the simplicity of the clearing procedure has certainly not
been addressed in this thread, nor has anyone posting to this thread
answered the OPs question.

So the question remains. How does one clear an existing BIOS password if
he/she forgets what it is?

"Notan" <notan@ddress.com> wrote in message
news:410D1B01.F8EEA80@ddress.com...
> Papa wrote:
> >
> > Well, judging from the comments in this thread, looks like setting up a
BIOS
> > password is one of the worst ideas a user can come up with.
>
> If you own your laptop, using a BIOS password presents no problems.
>
> If you sell your laptop, and clear the BIOS password, using a BIOS
> password presents no problems.
>
> It really pretty simple.
>
> Notan
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 1, 2004 8:52:14 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Papa wrote:
>
> Could be. But the simplicity of the clearing procedure has certainly not
> been addressed in this thread, nor has anyone posting to this thread
> answered the OPs question.
>
> So the question remains. How does one clear an existing BIOS password if
> he/she forgets what it is?

It may require proving proof of ownership, then sending it back to
the manufacturer for clearing.

The whole idea behind BIOS/Harddrive/Whatever passwords is to make
it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for someone other than
the owner to gain access.

Sounds like it's working, as planned.

Notan
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 1, 2004 8:52:15 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

>Papa wrote:
>>
>> Could be. But the simplicity of the clearing procedure has certainly not
>> been addressed in this thread, nor has anyone posting to this thread
>> answered the OPs question.
>>
>> So the question remains. How does one clear an existing BIOS password if
>> he/she forgets what it is?
>
>It may require proving proof of ownership, then sending it back to
>the manufacturer for clearing.
>
>The whole idea behind BIOS/Harddrive/Whatever passwords is to make
>it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for someone other than
>the owner to gain access.
>
>Sounds like it's working, as planned.
>
>Notan

Sure, and with one in four new notebooks getting stolen, there's no
doubt in my mind that this one is also. To all the creeps helping
these thieves in this thread, I hope their next notebook gets stolen.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 1, 2004 10:37:50 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

"Papa" <bikingis@my.fun> wrote:
> Well, judging from the comments in this thread, looks like setting
> up a BIOS password is one of the worst ideas a user can come up with.

I lean towards Papa's view here. I'm no expert in this area, but I
suspect thieves don't check whether they can get into the BIOS setup
before stealing your laptop. And I haven't heard of any thief who has
returned a laptop after finding out it was password-protected.

It's a nice idea, but the wrong problem. BIOS passwords should not be
about theft prevention, but about making it a little harder for the
average klutz to mess up his own computer. Thus, there should be a
semi-easy method of recovery, such as the battery-removal or
reset-jumper techniques used on desktops. Eliminating these options
in the name of "security" is the wrong solution to the wrong problem.
BIOS passwords do not keep your laptop from being stolen.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 2, 2004 12:21:16 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Andrew J,

Watch what you assume! The laptop is a corporate one and an unknown
employee set the password, maybe even for spite! It is definitely NOT
stolen. Neither me or my friend is a creep or would ever steal anything!

"AndrewJ" <andrewj@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:8gcqg0lhtij1qierj0rkeejmnf6lbll5di@4ax.com...
>Sure, and with one in four new notebooks getting stolen, there's no
>doubt in my mind that this one is also. To all the creeps helping
>these thieves in this thread, I hope their next notebook gets stolen.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 2, 2004 12:21:17 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

>Andrew J,
>
>Watch what you assume! The laptop is a corporate one and an unknown
>employee set the password, maybe even for spite! It is definitely NOT
>stolen. Neither me or my friend is a creep or would ever steal anything!
>
Yeah well the helpful info will be here for thieves to google for
eternity.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 2, 2004 1:49:07 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Papa <bikingis@my.fun> wrote:
> So the question remains. How does one clear an existing BIOS password if
> he/she forgets what it is?

They don't. Clear it when you remember what it is, is what everyone is
saying, and you are deliberately pretending to miscomprehend.

Otherwise you get to talk to the technical dept.

Peter
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 2, 2004 4:49:37 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Alex Sperduti wrote:
>
> Andrew J,
>
> Watch what you assume! The laptop is a corporate one and an unknown
> employee set the password, maybe even for spite! It is definitely NOT
> stolen. Neither me or my friend is a creep or would ever steal anything!

In Andrew's defense, it was a pretty good assumption.

You have no idea how many requests come through this newsgroup, asking
for ways to defeat passwords. "I wrote it down, but the dog at it."
"Uh, lightning struck my laptop and must've changed the password." You
get the idea.

If it's still a corporate possession, or was legitimately transferred,
again, your only solution might be to contact the manufacturer.

Good luck!

Notan
August 2, 2004 5:22:26 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

I'll repeat once more: How does one clear an existing BIOS password if
he/she forgets what it is?

This is a legitimate question, and forgetting a password is indeed a very
common (and innocent) occurence.

However, I took a look in the Google search engine, and it took me less than
a minute to find several websites providing an answer. Here is a quote from
one of those websites:

"If you have mistakenly forgotten your BIOS password you will need to clear
the BIOS password by one of the following methods.

1. On the computer motherboard locate the BIOS clear / password jumper or
dipswitch and change its position. Once this jumper has been changed turn on
the computer and the password should by cleared. Once cleared turn the
computer off and return the jumper or dipswitch to its original position.
The location of the jumpers or dipswitches may vary, however. Here are some
general locations where these jumpers / dipswitch may be located:

a. On the edge of the motherboard - Most jumpers are located on the side of
the motherboard for easy accessibility, verify by looking at all visible
edges of the motherboard.

b. By the CMOS battery - Some manufactures will place the jumper to clear
the CMOS / BIOS password by the actual CMOS battery.

c. By the processor - Some manufactures will place the jumpers by the
processor of the computer.

d. Under the keyboard or bottom of a laptop - If you are working on a laptop
computer the location of the dipswitch (almost never a jumper) can be under
the keyboard or on the bottom of the laptop in a compartment such as the
memory compartment.

2. On the computer motherboard locate and remove the CMOS battery for at
least 10 minutes, which allows the BIOS to loose its information. Note: this
may not work on all computers.

3. On the computer motherboard locate the CMOS solder beads and jump the
solder beads to clear the password. The identification and location of these
solder beads can vary and if not available in the computer documentation it
is generally only obtainable through the computer manufacturer.

If one of the above solutions does not clear the password or if you are
unable to locate the jumpers or solder beads, then it is recommended that
you contact the computer manufacturer or motherboard manufacturer for
instructions on clearing the password." END OF QUOTE

Another website also offers helpful instructions:
http://www.dewassoc.com/support/bios/bios_password.htm

I hope this helps.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 2, 2004 6:17:40 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

dg1261 wrote:
>
> "Papa" <bikingis@my.fun> wrote:
> > Well, judging from the comments in this thread, looks like setting
> > up a BIOS password is one of the worst ideas a user can come up with.
>
> I lean towards Papa's view here. I'm no expert in this area, but I
> suspect thieves don't check whether they can get into the BIOS setup
> before stealing your laptop. And I haven't heard of any thief who has
> returned a laptop after finding out it was password-protected.
>
> It's a nice idea, but the wrong problem. BIOS passwords should not be
> about theft prevention, but about making it a little harder for the
> average klutz to mess up his own computer. Thus, there should be a
> semi-easy method of recovery, such as the battery-removal or
> reset-jumper techniques used on desktops. Eliminating these options
> in the name of "security" is the wrong solution to the wrong problem.
> BIOS passwords do not keep your laptop from being stolen.

It's not necessarily about laptop theft, but data theft.

If someone steals your laptop, you're right... The chances of getting
it back are slim, whether a password has been set, or not.

But if a password's been set, at least they're not able to access data
(This assumes that passwords, other than BIOSs have been set, and that
the passwords can't be cleared from within the BIOS setup.)

Notan
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 2, 2004 6:17:41 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

> > "Papa" <bikingis@my.fun> wrote:
> > > Well, judging from the comments in this thread, looks like setting
> > > up a BIOS password is one of the worst ideas a user can come up with.

> dg1261 wrote:
> > I lean towards Papa's view here. I'm no expert in this area, but I
> > suspect thieves don't check whether they can get into the BIOS setup
> > before stealing your laptop. And I haven't heard of any thief who has
> > returned a laptop after finding out it was password-protected.
> >
> > It's a nice idea, but the wrong problem. BIOS passwords should not be
> > about theft prevention, but about making it a little harder for the
> > average klutz to mess up his own computer. Thus, there should be a
> > semi-easy method of recovery, such as the battery-removal or
> > reset-jumper techniques used on desktops. Eliminating these options
> > in the name of "security" is the wrong solution to the wrong problem.
> > BIOS passwords do not keep your laptop from being stolen.

Notan <notan@ddress.com> wrote:
> It's not necessarily about laptop theft, but data theft.
>
> If someone steals your laptop, you're right... The chances of getting
> it back are slim, whether a password has been set, or not.
>
> But if a password's been set, at least they're not able to access data
> (This assumes that passwords, other than BIOSs have been set, and that
> the passwords can't be cleared from within the BIOS setup.)

Like I said, wrong answer to the wrong problem. Data protection can
be accomplished by encryption, file passwords, "private" folders, or
even a blunt tool like setting a HDD password. And those don't
involve chucking the whole laptop just because you forgot the
password. Using a BIOS password for data protection is just the wrong
tool for the job.

I don't doubt some thieves and hackers visit this newsgroup, but
invariably responses to requests for information liked the original
post take the arrogant attitude of "guilty until proven innocent."
There are many legitimate owners of second-hand laptops, but I'd bet
the majority of ownership changes are not officially registered with
the manufacturer. That's a process a lot of users are unaware of,
especially if they come from desktop backgrounds where forgetting a
password isn't fatal to the machine.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 2, 2004 7:22:05 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

On Mon, 02 Aug 2004 02:17:40 GMT,
Notan <notan@ddress.com> wrote:
> dg1261 wrote:

>> BIOS passwords do not keep your laptop from being stolen.

> But if a password's been set, at least they're not able to
> access data (This assumes that passwords, other than BIOSs have
> been set, and that the passwords can't be cleared from within
> the BIOS setup...

....or that they can't put the hard drive in another computer.

--
Theodore (Ted) Heise <theo@heise.nu> Bloomington, IN, USA
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 2, 2004 7:38:42 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Theodore Heise wrote:
>
> On Mon, 02 Aug 2004 02:17:40 GMT,
> Notan <notan@ddress.com> wrote:
> > dg1261 wrote:
>
> >> BIOS passwords do not keep your laptop from being stolen.
>
> > But if a password's been set, at least they're not able to
> > access data (This assumes that passwords, other than BIOSs have
> > been set, and that the passwords can't be cleared from within
> > the BIOS setup...
>
> ...or that they can't put the hard drive in another computer.

Exactly!

Notan
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 2, 2004 6:58:22 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

"Notan" <notan@ddress.com> wrote in message
news:410DA48E.2760F1CF@ddress.com...
> dg1261 wrote:
> >
> > "Papa" <bikingis@my.fun> wrote:
> > > Well, judging from the comments in this thread, looks like setting
> > > up a BIOS password is one of the worst ideas a user can come up with.
> >
> > I lean towards Papa's view here. I'm no expert in this area, but I
> > suspect thieves don't check whether they can get into the BIOS setup
> > before stealing your laptop. And I haven't heard of any thief who has
> > returned a laptop after finding out it was password-protected.
> >
> > It's a nice idea, but the wrong problem. BIOS passwords should not be
> > about theft prevention, but about making it a little harder for the
> > average klutz to mess up his own computer. Thus, there should be a
> > semi-easy method of recovery, such as the battery-removal or
> > reset-jumper techniques used on desktops. Eliminating these options
> > in the name of "security" is the wrong solution to the wrong problem.
> > BIOS passwords do not keep your laptop from being stolen.
>
> It's not necessarily about laptop theft, but data theft.
>
> If someone steals your laptop, you're right... The chances of getting
> it back are slim, whether a password has been set, or not.
>
> But if a password's been set, at least they're not able to access data
> (This assumes that passwords, other than BIOSs have been set, and that
> the passwords can't be cleared from within the BIOS setup.)
>
> Notan
Notan:

Really?? Hmmm...remove drive, put in USB external case, read drive, get
data. So, where does BIOS come into play here?
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 2, 2004 7:09:47 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Papa <bikingis@my.fun> wrote:
> Well, judging from the comments in this thread, looks like setting up
> a BIOS password is one of the worst ideas a user can come up with.

Only if you're not concerned with protecting your data!

If _YOU_ haven't set power on and BIOS (supervisor) passwords on your
laptop, then _anyone_ who has access to it can do so without your knowledge.

Plus, if you are so unlucky as to have your laptop stolen, you can at least
take some measure of comfort from the fact that it will be little more than
a doorstop to the thief!

--
Regards,

James

Checkout the NEW Thinkpad Forums: http://forum.thinkpads.com
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 2, 2004 7:20:39 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Alex Sperduti <microdynetech@usa.net> wrote:
> Andrew J,
>
> Watch what you assume! The laptop is a corporate one and an unknown
> employee set the password, maybe even for spite! It is definitely NOT
> stolen. Neither me or my friend is a creep or would ever steal
> anything!

Sorry, I have to agree with Andrew, in these situations you're guilty until
proven innocent! We've heard every tale of woe you could dream of as to how
a poster "legitimately" came into possession of a locked laptop, 99% of
which were probably from a thief!

If it's truly a corporate laptop, write it off as lost/damaged/stolen, then
use it for parts. End of problem.

How does an "unknown employee" get access to one of your laptops?

--
Regards,

James

Checkout the NEW Thinkpad Forums: http://forum.thinkpads.com
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 2, 2004 7:26:58 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Papa <bikingis@my.fun> wrote:
> I'll repeat once more: How does one clear an existing BIOS password if
> he/she forgets what it is?
>
> This is a legitimate question, and forgetting a password is indeed a
> very common (and innocent) occurence.
>
> However, I took a look in the Google search engine, and it took me
> less than a minute to find several websites providing an answer. Here
> is a quote from one of those websites:

<Snip>

Nothing of what you posted applies to removing a BIOS level (supervisor)
password on a laptop.

But thanks for posting it anyway as it ensures that, should a properly setup
laptop having both power-on (POP) and supervisor (SP) passwords be stolen,
any attempt to remove the POP by removing the CMOS battery will result in
the unit being converted into a doorstop!

--
Regards,

James

Checkout the NEW Thinkpad Forums: http://forum.thinkpads.com
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 2, 2004 10:33:49 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

I made one of the parallel port "keys". It works really well for most
Toshibas.

Steve R.



"Bob" <luna5nospam@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:10gpt7gr502lk14@corp.supernews.com...
>
> "me/2" <null@127.0.0.1> wrote in message
> news:jbepg017901p6vl0n3vb42361acpa63sdq@4ax.com...
> > On Sun, 01 Aug 2004 00:37:32 GMT, "Papa" <bikingis@my.fun> wrote:
> >
> > :>Are you saying than flashing your BIOS to a newer version will not
clear
> the
> > :>password?
> >
> > Since you have to type in the bios password BEFORE you can access ANY
> > hardware, including a floppy drive with a bios disk, you cannot flash
the
> > bios without knowing the bios password. BTW, at least on Toshiba,
> flashing
> > the bios does NOT clear the password. It is stored in protected NVRAM.
A
> > bios password would be useless if it could be cleared that easily.
> >
> > me/2
> >
> > :>
> > :>"Cosmin N." <no@email.com> wrote in message
> > :>news:%5SOc.263$ms31.176@news04.bloor.is.net.cable.rogers.com...
> > :>> It won't help. Reflashing the BIOS will not clear any power-up
> passwords.
> > :>>
> > :>> Cosmin
> > :>>
> > :>> Papa wrote:
> > :>> > Can the BIOS chip be re-flashed? I know that most desktop
computers
> have
> > :>> > reflashable BIOS chips. Visit the Toshiba website. There may be a
> > :>reflash
> > :>> > utility that you can download.
> > :>> >
> > :>> > "AJS" <microdynetech@usa.net> wrote in message
> > :>> > news:JguOc.2470$Ix1.265@newssvr31.news.prodigy.com...
> > :>> >
> > :>> >>ANYONE, HELP!
> > :>> >>
> > :>> >>A friend has a virtually new Toshiba Satellite (older model)
Laptop,
> but
> > :>a
> > :>> >>BIOS password is set. Without knowing the password, it's as good
as
> > :>> >>trashed!
> > :>> >>
> > :>> >>We removed the BIOS battery for a few days, but it didn't help.
> > :>> >>Does anybody have any ideas?
>
> A Google search of news groups turns up lots of possibilities..hardware
> parallel port dongle and other stuff. It would seem that it depends on
the
> model number though...
>
> Bob
>
>
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 2, 2004 10:40:07 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

If it's a Toshiba, a password removal "key" can be used for most of the
notebooks made in the last 10 years. Some of the new ones may be exceptions,
as well as the early "T" series. Simply plug the "key" into the printer
port, and turn the computer on. The password will be removed as it boots.

Steve R.


"Papa" <bikingis@my.fun> wrote in message
news:Y59Pc.5543$9Y6.1029@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
> Could be. But the simplicity of the clearing procedure has certainly not
> been addressed in this thread, nor has anyone posting to this thread
> answered the OPs question.
>
> So the question remains. How does one clear an existing BIOS password if
> he/she forgets what it is?
>
> "Notan" <notan@ddress.com> wrote in message
> news:410D1B01.F8EEA80@ddress.com...
> > Papa wrote:
> > >
> > > Well, judging from the comments in this thread, looks like setting up
a
> BIOS
> > > password is one of the worst ideas a user can come up with.
> >
> > If you own your laptop, using a BIOS password presents no problems.
> >
> > If you sell your laptop, and clear the BIOS password, using a BIOS
> > password presents no problems.
> >
> > It really pretty simple.
> >
> > Notan
>
>
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 3, 2004 2:15:53 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Richard Johnson wrote:
>
> "Notan" <notan@ddress.com> wrote in message
> news:410DA48E.2760F1CF@ddress.com...
> > dg1261 wrote:
> > >
> > > "Papa" <bikingis@my.fun> wrote:
> > > > Well, judging from the comments in this thread, looks like setting
> > > > up a BIOS password is one of the worst ideas a user can come up with.
> > >
> > > I lean towards Papa's view here. I'm no expert in this area, but I
> > > suspect thieves don't check whether they can get into the BIOS setup
> > > before stealing your laptop. And I haven't heard of any thief who has
> > > returned a laptop after finding out it was password-protected.
> > >
> > > It's a nice idea, but the wrong problem. BIOS passwords should not be
> > > about theft prevention, but about making it a little harder for the
> > > average klutz to mess up his own computer. Thus, there should be a
> > > semi-easy method of recovery, such as the battery-removal or
> > > reset-jumper techniques used on desktops. Eliminating these options
> > > in the name of "security" is the wrong solution to the wrong problem.
> > > BIOS passwords do not keep your laptop from being stolen.
> >
> > It's not necessarily about laptop theft, but data theft.
> >
> > If someone steals your laptop, you're right... The chances of getting
> > it back are slim, whether a password has been set, or not.
> >
> > But if a password's been set, at least they're not able to access data
> > (This assumes that passwords, other than BIOSs have been set, and that
> > the passwords can't be cleared from within the BIOS setup.)
> >
> > Notan
> Notan:
>
> Really?? Hmmm...remove drive, put in USB external case, read drive, get
> data. So, where does BIOS come into play here?

Did you miss "This assumes that passwords, other than BIOSs have been set?"

Notan
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 3, 2004 4:11:01 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

> Richard Johnsonwrote:
Really?? Hmmm...remove drive, put in USB external case, read drive,
get
> data. So, where does BIOS come into play here?
As Notan said, if you set the HD PW, you won't have access to the HD's
data regardless of what you put it in.

Regards,

James

==============
Posted through www.HowToFixComputers.com/bb - free access to hardware troubleshooting newsgroups.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 3, 2004 9:30:49 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

"Notan" <notan@ddress.com> wrote in message
news:410EBD63.599255D7@ddress.com...
> Richard Johnson wrote:
> >
> > "Notan" <notan@ddress.com> wrote in message
> > news:410DA48E.2760F1CF@ddress.com...
> > > dg1261 wrote:
> > > >
> > > > "Papa" <bikingis@my.fun> wrote:
> > > > > Well, judging from the comments in this thread, looks like setting
> > > > > up a BIOS password is one of the worst ideas a user can come up
with.
> > > >
> > > > I lean towards Papa's view here. I'm no expert in this area, but I
> > > > suspect thieves don't check whether they can get into the BIOS setup
> > > > before stealing your laptop. And I haven't heard of any thief who
has
> > > > returned a laptop after finding out it was password-protected.
> > > >
> > > > It's a nice idea, but the wrong problem. BIOS passwords should not
be
> > > > about theft prevention, but about making it a little harder for the
> > > > average klutz to mess up his own computer. Thus, there should be a
> > > > semi-easy method of recovery, such as the battery-removal or
> > > > reset-jumper techniques used on desktops. Eliminating these options
> > > > in the name of "security" is the wrong solution to the wrong
problem.
> > > > BIOS passwords do not keep your laptop from being stolen.
> > >
> > > It's not necessarily about laptop theft, but data theft.
> > >
> > > If someone steals your laptop, you're right... The chances of getting
> > > it back are slim, whether a password has been set, or not.
> > >
> > > But if a password's been set, at least they're not able to access data
> > > (This assumes that passwords, other than BIOSs have been set, and that
> > > the passwords can't be cleared from within the BIOS setup.)
> > >
> > > Notan
> > Notan:
> >
> > Really?? Hmmm...remove drive, put in USB external case, read drive, get
> > data. So, where does BIOS come into play here?
>
> Did you miss "This assumes that passwords, other than BIOSs have been
set?"
>
> Notan
Notan:

No, any OS passwords are irrelevant as well. You remove the drive, plug it
into a USB external case and hook into a different system. It is then
totally accessable. The only protection then is if you had encrypted the
data, and even then that can be broken given sufficient desire and a enough
time. Most people don't encrypt their data.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 3, 2004 2:09:09 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

> Rich Johnsonwrote:
No, any OS passwords are irrelevant as well. You remove the drive,
plug it
> into a USB external case and hook into a different system. It is
then
> totally accessable. The only protection then is if you had
encrypted the
> data, and even then that can be broken given sufficient desire and a
enough
> time. Most people don't encrypt their data.
Sorry, but no. If a PW has been set on the HD, there is NO way to
access the data without it unless you are willing to send large
amounts of $$ to a data recovery company or have the ability to read
and write to the HD's EEPROM.

==============
Posted through www.HowToFixComputers.com/bb - free access to hardware troubleshooting newsgroups.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 3, 2004 4:20:13 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Barry Watzman wrote:
> For all major-brand laptops, the manufacturer, through it's service
> centers, will clear the passwords of laptops for a fee and if you
> provide proof that you are the rightful owner. The fee and the standard
> of proof both vary. As far as I know, the manufactuers that support
> hard drive passwords will not clear them under ANY circumstances -- you
> are expected to replace the hard drive in those situations.

I'm a bit surprised to hear the latter. You would expect unrecoverable
data to be a big problem. On the other hand, ownership of disk drives
is not typically tracked, so it may be hard to establish to whom to
provide the password.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 3, 2004 6:50:26 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

"Papa" <bikingis@my.fun> wrote in message news:<SP8Pc.5316$cK.2906@newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net>...
> Well, judging from the comments in this thread, looks like setting up a BIOS
> password is one of the worst ideas a user can come up with.
>

Actually, it's a very good idea -- so long as you remember the
password. The very things that make them so very nice to have
(portability, convenience) make them very appealing for thieves. I'm
sure you probably figured that out based on some of the less
diplomatic replies you got. They're light (relatively speaking),
portable, small (ie. easily concealable), worth a great deal of cash,
and without the password, very easy to unload. The only suspicious
thing might be the missing power adapter.

Having a notebook walk off on you is inconvenient, and irksome.
There's a certain satisfaction to know that the thief has to jump
through hoops to get any money from your grief. Further, if EVERYBODY
were to set the password, it would become a deterent to theft, as
stealing a notebook wouldn't be quite so convenient anymore.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, typically, if you forget the BIOS
password, all it takes is a call to tech support to sort it out.
They'll ask you a few questions about the notebook to make sure you're
the proper owner and then they can either give you a master password
to unlock it, or send you an RMA to return the notebook to them for
unlocking. You'll usually get the notebook back within 2 weeks if you
have to send it in.

If you registered it, the question might just your name and address.
If you didn't register it, they might ask you what store you bought it
from (as they'll usually know from the serial # what store or chain
got that one). A thief wouldn't know these things. If you bought it
used, I'm sure there are other questions they could ask to figure out
ownership.
August 3, 2004 6:57:45 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

At last, an answer. Thanks Steve.

"Steve R." <ud233@victoria.tc.ca> wrote in message
news:410ef411@news.victoria.tc.ca...
> If it's a Toshiba, a password removal "key" can be used for most of the
> notebooks made in the last 10 years. Some of the new ones may be
exceptions,
> as well as the early "T" series. Simply plug the "key" into the printer
> port, and turn the computer on. The password will be removed as it boots.
>
> Steve R.
>
>
> "Papa" <bikingis@my.fun> wrote in message
> news:Y59Pc.5543$9Y6.1029@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
> > Could be. But the simplicity of the clearing procedure has certainly not
> > been addressed in this thread, nor has anyone posting to this thread
> > answered the OPs question.
> >
> > So the question remains. How does one clear an existing BIOS password if
> > he/she forgets what it is?
> >
> > "Notan" <notan@ddress.com> wrote in message
> > news:410D1B01.F8EEA80@ddress.com...
> > > Papa wrote:
> > > >
> > > > Well, judging from the comments in this thread, looks like setting
up
> a
> > BIOS
> > > > password is one of the worst ideas a user can come up with.
> > >
> > > If you own your laptop, using a BIOS password presents no problems.
> > >
> > > If you sell your laptop, and clear the BIOS password, using a BIOS
> > > password presents no problems.
> > >
> > > It really pretty simple.
> > >
> > > Notan
> >
> >
>
>
August 4, 2004 4:10:54 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

I have 3 laptops, none of them are password "protected", and never will be.
A password of any kind is breakable. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just
kidding themselves. The old argument that a password will stop thieves just
doesn't hold, nor does the argument hold that it "protects" your data. Not
so. If you want to stop thieves or protect your data, then lock up your
computer.

By the way, using your real email address in newsgroup posts just invites
spam (which often contains a virus).
August 4, 2004 4:18:29 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Can you pop the password on a few of these IBM 80 laptop hard drives
for me? Give you a free beer if you can.


> I have 3 laptops, none of them are password "protected", and never will be.
> A password of any kind is breakable. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just
> kidding themselves. The old argument that a password will stop thieves just
> doesn't hold, nor does the argument hold that it "protects" your data. Not
> so. If you want to stop thieves or protect your data, then lock up your
> computer.
>
> By the way, using your real email address in newsgroup posts just invites
> spam (which often contains a virus).
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 4, 2004 4:19:17 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Papa wrote:
>
> I have 3 laptops, none of them are password "protected", and never will be.
> A password of any kind is breakable. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just
> kidding themselves. The old argument that a password will stop thieves just
> doesn't hold, nor does the argument hold that it "protects" your data. Not
> so. If you want to stop thieves or protect your data, then lock up your
> computer.

While you seem to be the end-all and be-all, when it comes to computer
security, I'll continue use passwords.

Thanks for your input.

Notan
August 4, 2004 4:21:33 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Even with IBM Thinkpad drives with the password set?

Don't think so.

> No, any OS passwords are irrelevant as well. You remove the drive, plug it
> into a USB external case and hook into a different system. It is then
> totally accessable. The only protection then is if you had encrypted the
> data, and even then that can be broken given sufficient desire and a enough
> time. Most people don't encrypt their data.
August 4, 2004 4:24:02 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Not for just one beer, but for $100 per hour, yes.

"Hank" <hank@arlen.com> wrote in message
news:p XVPc.3339$uC7.629@newssvr19.news.prodigy.com...
> Can you pop the password on a few of these IBM 80 laptop hard drives
> for me? Give you a free beer if you can.
>
>
> > I have 3 laptops, none of them are password "protected", and never will
be.
> > A password of any kind is breakable. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just
> > kidding themselves. The old argument that a password will stop thieves
just
> > doesn't hold, nor does the argument hold that it "protects" your data.
Not
> > so. If you want to stop thieves or protect your data, then lock up your
> > computer.
> >
> > By the way, using your real email address in newsgroup posts just
invites
> > spam (which often contains a virus).
>
>
August 4, 2004 4:24:51 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

"Notan" <notan@ddress.com> wrote in message
news:41102B85.AF3A691E@ddress.com...
> Papa wrote:
> >
> > I have 3 laptops, none of them are password "protected", and never will
be.
> > A password of any kind is breakable. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just
> > kidding themselves. The old argument that a password will stop thieves
just
> > doesn't hold, nor does the argument hold that it "protects" your data.
Not
> > so. If you want to stop thieves or protect your data, then lock up your
> > computer.
>
> While you seem to be the end-all and be-all, when it comes to computer
> security, I'll continue use passwords.
>
> Thanks for your input.
>
> Notan

You're welcome.
August 4, 2004 4:26:32 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Also on some models a 'key' floppy disk was easily created to regain
access to the laptop.


> If it's a Toshiba, a password removal "key" can be used for most of the
> notebooks made in the last 10 years. Some of the new ones may be exceptions,
> as well as the early "T" series. Simply plug the "key" into the printer
> port, and turn the computer on. The password will be removed as it boots.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 4, 2004 5:14:53 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Your point gets into the philosophy of why this feature was implemented.
The view is that the drive is expendable, and that the data on the
drive (which SHOULD, of course, be backed up) is also expendable. What
was deemed to be not expendable was the SECURITY of the data. [I
believe that this feature was originally created for the military and
national security applications]. Again, the philosophy behind the
feature is a presumption that the laptop is lost / stolen, that the
legitimate owner has a backup, and that what is to be given first
priority is the security of the data -- that is, keeping it out of the
hands of anyone other than the rightful owner.


Jon A. Solworth wrote:

> Barry Watzman wrote:
>
>> For all major-brand laptops, the manufacturer, through it's service
>> centers, will clear the passwords of laptops for a fee and if you
>> provide proof that you are the rightful owner. The fee and the
>> standard of proof both vary. As far as I know, the manufactuers that
>> support hard drive passwords will not clear them under ANY
>> circumstances -- you are expected to replace the hard drive in those
>> situations.
>
>
> I'm a bit surprised to hear the latter. You would expect unrecoverable
> data to be a big problem. On the other hand, ownership of disk drives
> is not typically tracked, so it may be hard to establish to whom to
> provide the password.
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 4, 2004 5:30:45 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

I have to disagree with your view on laptop passwords. If you travel
with a laptop, it should always be password protected. The question
isn't whether it can be broken, the question is whether or not it will
be broken. Passwords in hardware stop more than 95% of all of the
people who would access the laptop. Understand, what we are trying to
protect is not the laptop, it's the data. The thief does not know that
there is a password at the time of the theft, he doesn't find that out
until later. So the password won't do ANYTHING to deter the theft
itself, or to help in recovery. All that we want is for the data on the
hard drive not to be seen. We are not trying to prevent the theft itself.


Papa wrote:

> I have 3 laptops, none of them are password "protected", and never will be.
> A password of any kind is breakable. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just
> kidding themselves. The old argument that a password will stop thieves just
> doesn't hold, nor does the argument hold that it "protects" your data. Not
> so. If you want to stop thieves or protect your data, then lock up your
> computer.
>
> By the way, using your real email address in newsgroup posts just invites
> spam (which often contains a virus).
>
>
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
August 4, 2004 6:03:40 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Is the magnetic media inside the drive somehow specifically paired with the
hardware of the drive? If not, then couldn't the media be removed from the
drive and placed into a drive that can read it, thus bypassing the password?
If we're talking about national security, it sounds like government agencies
should easily be able to do this...even corporations. Wouldn't it make more
sense to strongly encrypt the data itself?

The drive password idea sounds like it could foil the low level criminal
(e.g. keeping credit card numbers somewhat safe) but could easily be
overcome by the average espionage agency or even local police force
electronic forensic division. It doesn't sound like a very good strategy
for military applications.

Just wondering.


"Barry Watzman" <WatzmanNOSPAM@neo.rr.com> wrote in message
news:411038DE.3030805@neo.rr.com...
> Your point gets into the philosophy of why this feature was implemented.
> The view is that the drive is expendable, and that the data on the
> drive (which SHOULD, of course, be backed up) is also expendable. What
> was deemed to be not expendable was the SECURITY of the data. [I
> believe that this feature was originally created for the military and
> national security applications]. Again, the philosophy behind the
> feature is a presumption that the laptop is lost / stolen, that the
> legitimate owner has a backup, and that what is to be given first
> priority is the security of the data -- that is, keeping it out of the
> hands of anyone other than the rightful owner.
>
>
> Jon A. Solworth wrote:
>
> > Barry Watzman wrote:
> >
> >> For all major-brand laptops, the manufacturer, through it's service
> >> centers, will clear the passwords of laptops for a fee and if you
> >> provide proof that you are the rightful owner. The fee and the
> >> standard of proof both vary. As far as I know, the manufactuers that
> >> support hard drive passwords will not clear them under ANY
> >> circumstances -- you are expected to replace the hard drive in those
> >> situations.
> >
> >
> > I'm a bit surprised to hear the latter. You would expect unrecoverable
> > data to be a big problem. On the other hand, ownership of disk drives
> > is not typically tracked, so it may be hard to establish to whom to
> > provide the password.
>
!