Lenovo ThinkPad R61 - Reset CMOS Password
In this video I attempt to reset the CMOS password for a Lenovo ThinkPad R61. I came close but was not sucessful. I may try again at some point in the future.
Trash Picked Laptop?
I found a stack of probably about 16 ThinkPad R61 laptops in the trash. I salvaged 2 of these laptops for testing purposes. I think at the time I had determined that the entire stack would be worth about $700 on EBay if I were able to sell all of them. This wouldn’t have been woth it for me.
These laptops working and booted into Windows. They were very old and would not be of much use for anything other than testing and experimentation. The plan was to install Linux or BSD on them for tinkering.
Here is what I ended up doing:
- Attempted to boot from USB drive to install Linux
- Needed to change boot priority in BIOS
- Couldn’t change the BIOS settings without a password
- Attempted to clear the password by removing the CMOS battery
- This resulted in the machine being locked and no longer bootable even from the hard drive.
- The reason for this is that the BIOS password is actually stored on a separate EEprom chip.
- There are ways to clear this chip by shorting specific pins at the right time while the laptop is booting.
- I opened up the laptop and touched the pins together using tweezers.
- This took a fair ammount of trial and error to get the timing right.
- I was able to get different errors / issues depending on exactly how I timed it and which pins that I shorted.
- Ultimately I was unable to clear the password.
- Someone mentined in a comment on my video that you need to keep the pins shorted for at least 2 minutes regardless of errors.
- I may come back and attempt this gain.