HP Support does not know what Hash Code is?

By Rolin
Feb 19, 2009
  1. Hi I have an HP ZE4600 which I tried to clear the password in the BIOS by entering the original password then the enter key 2 times over the new password blanks. The next boot it asked for a password and my old password didn't work! Nothing works! There must be a bug in this BIOS!! Now I get a hash code of 12152

    I tried to contact to contact HP. I talked to 5 technicians over several hours, some of which were "2nd level" support technicians. I tried to tell them that I have a hash code, none knew what that was at all! I told them i understand I just need to provide proof of ownership (which I was ready and willing to do) and a Hash Code, they said they never heard of this method and I must send it in to a service center.

    All of them told me to remove the CMOS battery. I insisted that won't work in a laptop, and they insisted it would work (They all insisted!). One of them even sent me a manual to disassemble my laptop! This model requires complete disassembly and removal of the mainboard to get to the CMOS battery (it's located on the bottom side of the motherboard and there are no openings in the casing so you have to completely remove the motherboard). This is crazy advice to give to an average home user!

    I knew this wouldn't work, but since 5 HP technicians told me it would, so I tried it. (I'm pretty technical and not afraid!) Completely disassembled the laptop, removed the mainboard. Left the battery out for a full day, STILL PASSWORD!

    It appears nobody on this site helps with HP Hash Codes any longer, looks like mainly Dell products. Not sure why, but I see lots of HP owners posting without resolution.

    Bottom line: What are my options? Is this computer now a Paper Weight??!!

    Please advise....

    Thank you!!
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Send it back to HP and ask them to fix it for a fee.

    Hash code is not yet common terminology in the computer world... and all dial up techs in foreign countries are prevented from password fix training online.
  3. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    I agree they got it wrong, and gave you incorrect info.
    Which then caused you to waste a day (or less) dismantling it, removing the battery for more hours, and then putting it back together again

    Quote this thread, and contact them here:

    They need to be responsible for their suggestions. Anyway, providing the dismantle guide is not a suggestion, they were insisting that it's correct -> wrong.
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    I have never been able to get their action on a password problem over the internet, or phone. They have always required our sending the computer in for repair.
  5. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    I contacted HP second level support on this
    I went to their forums and argued and argued the fact that Dell don't require this, and it's much less cost and time involved
    But nothing.

    Most expensive and slowest service cost I know.
  6. Rolin

    Rolin TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Since HP phone or email support isn't going to help, what are my options?

    I didn't even check to see how much sending to the service center was (I was too angry to ask!), but I assume it's a lot. I suppose that's one option, but one I'd rather not take.

    I found a guy on Ebay who'll generate a password from my Hash Code, he charges about $65, and he guarantees it'll work.

    Is there an eprom chip I can short like some of the Dell models.

    Wasn't there a few people on this forum who'll generate passwords from Hash Codes? Why doesn't anyone do that here anymore. I mostly see dell support, but HP users are unanswered.
  7. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    All good questions

    "I found a guy on Ebay who'll generate a password from my Hash Code"
    Up to you, none of these services are truly guaranteed, even if they say "money back" eBay are not interested if money changed hands, they are only interested if the item was advertised correctly and sold.
    Another point about this, make sure you bid for the service you need, ie not just a notepad file with info on it. TechSpot has no interest in this area.

    "Is there an eprom chip I can short like some of the Dell models"
    Not that I'm aware of. It would be nice if the ones that do know could comment though

    "Wasn't there a few people on this forum who'll generate passwords from Hash Codes? Why doesn't anyone do that here anymore."
    No I've (yes me) pretty much got rid of them over the last few months. TechSpot is only free service.
  8. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    The hash code system is old and becoming useless. Nearly all the big laptop makers are under severe pressure to make their computers impossible to crack. The publicity on stolen laptops and the resulting losses have easy units out of the market.
    IBM Lenovo units cannot be fixed at all. Key Dell units cannot be fixed at all. It is the same with HP and Compaq.
    The big markets for laptops are the big names in insurance, sales, financial geniuses and government. Their purchasing departments simply will not buy computers that can be cracked.
    The fix: New motherboard. And there, greed takes over. There is no reason why a $90 motherboard should cost $370, but the reasoning is the same. Those who need them can usally afford them and it keeps the crinimals out of the market.
  9. Rolin

    Rolin TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No I've (yes me) pretty much got rid of them over the last few months. TechSpot is only free service

    Throughout the threads it looked like they were providing hash codes for free. Did they start to charge? Then I suppose the ban. I understand. Was it all of them? Or maybe/hopefully there is still one person who followed the rules and didn't try to charge? If so, how can I get ahold of him?

    How did these guys do the hash code conversion? Are the tools available anywhere? Torrent servers maybe?

    As far as the Ebay guy, I won't elaborate too much since it's not a proper topic here. But the guy did say he'll guarantee it. I send him the hash code and he'll send me a password. I just have to make sure I'm protected under Ebay. He's in another country and I'm still very leary about doing it.

    At this point I guess I need to check what HP charges then decide. I really hate to scrap the computer, so I haven't given up yet!

    RayBay, I understand what you're saying. Although consumer grade laptops are certainly different than the business lines (mine is a consumer model). The security is absolutely a good thing, but only as long as they have provisions for the honest people who simply lost their password! Can you imagine how often this might happen to the elderly?? They MUST have an easy way for people to prove ownership and quick telephone support to remedy.
  10. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Well, there is also the profit motive.
    You can send in an IBM/Lenovo or Dell, have it fixed, and back within seven business days.
    We also have had excellent luck with HP... for registered owners. So I don't know why you are having trouble...
    But I don't know of any manufacturer who will fix it over the phone.
    The guys that are fixing them via hash codes are usually working on older or cheaper machines... and they do NOT fix them all... In fact, I have not seen them fix any for our clients. Though I have read on this forum on others about the reports of happy users who got it done.
    Most successes come from those who have skills in flat surface cold solder and replace the EEPROM, but those cannot ever be passworded again, either.
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