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Laptop sets it own bios password after flash reset

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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September 30, 2008 11:13:07 PM

Hi Guys,

I have been a fan for many years just never needed to post,
I am a computer guy in London trying to solve a mystery.

Last week a Japanese lady left a laptop with a simple problem:
Every time it was shut-down it would restart.
No matter how you initiated shut-down (button or start menu).
So the first thing I did was use a live cd (slax) to shut-down.
I had the same problem. The computer just restarted.
This ruled out viruses and so i upgraded the bios.

Unbelievably the problem persisted so I took the final step of
resetting the CMOS/BIOS by shorting the cmos battery.

Now the problem is solved, the unit will shut down BUT now I have been
presented with a password where there was none before!
The computer is locked with a factory bios password.
I have asked the owner but she has never set up the password.
She called tech support in Japan but they say there should be none!!


Toshiba Dynabook cx/875ls bios version 1.80 (Satellite M100)

I just found this on ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Toshiba-Satellite-How-to-remove-BIO...

The laptops look almost identical.


Any idea where I can find out what it is? or what else to try? I am
presented with a password screen as soon as the computer is switched
on.

a b D Laptop
September 30, 2008 11:18:55 PM

Well, passwords are stored in the CMOS, so you can reset that again.

What do you mean, short the battery? I've never heard of that method of clearing a CMOS, and, generally, shorting things out is undesirable.

You can always take the battery out and let the caps drain - clear the CMOS the slow way.

Perhaps try updating again, rewrite everything? Are you sure that BIOS file you got wasn't tampered with?
October 1, 2008 1:21:53 PM

Hi
Thanks for your reply

Well I share your thoughts on this:

Quote:
Well, passwords are stored in the CMOS, so you can reset that again.


But this is not the case as I have disconnected the battery for 12 hours.

Quote:
What do you mean, short the battery? I've never heard of that method of clearing a CMOS, and, generally, shorting things out is undesirable.


I connected both terminals on the battery this is relatively harmless when done for a short time. It just removes the potential difference to the chip. (Same as a dead battery)
I did not want to use my soldering iron (which I ended up doing).

I cannot update anything as the first thing I see after splash screen is a password request.

There is a guy on ebay who seems pretty sure of himself when it come to fixing this. Please see his response to my other post:
http://www.wimsbios.com/phpBB2/topic10548.html#50670

a b D Laptop
October 1, 2008 2:29:40 PM

I don't know about that...it's some random post, the guy has no history in the forum - ebay is a seller's site, not a repairman's site. I'll do some more searching when I get back to my hall.
!