Need help with a OS tech problem - first post

By sifguy1980 ยท 11 replies
Aug 20, 2003
  1. BTW nice forum you guys run here but this is my problem

    It boots up to the windows screen, then it goes right to a black screen with a blinking cursor at the top, and a picture of a computer lock at the bottom.

    What do you guys make of it
  2. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    sounds kinda like some kind of password lock installed in the bios.

    someone else may have a better answer but if it is a password lock and that is a desktop computer ( not a notebook) then you can do a google search for a little program called kill CMOS that will make the CMOS rest to default eliminating the password lock.
  3. sifguy1980

    sifguy1980 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28

    It's and IBM ThinkPad
  4. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    notebook password protection is a different animal than desktop. best thing to do woulf be to do a search for IBM's default password. all manufacturers have such a default password that can be used to acess the systemt. hopefullly that is what it is and noone made their own.
  5. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    If you see a Windows screen, that is a VERY good indication this is a software password and not a BIOS password.

    If you have reason to believe this is a BIOS password, there are a couple of programs you can use to reset the password which you can boot from a floppy disk (Or a CD if you are crafty enough), including killcmos and wipecmos. Killcmos can be found here:

    If this involves a Windows XP/2000/NT password, then there are password removal utilities for this as well.

    If this involves a third-party software lock, then booting into safe mode should bypass this as it should bypass the lock software.
  6. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994


    I could be wrong but I had always heard that killcnos wont work on a notebook bios password since notebook include additional security for that feature that desktops dont. so I am curious do you know if it does or doesnt?
  7. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    I have successfully used it on a laptop. But once and only once. It was an older variety HP laptop, Pentium II era.

    Perhaps new notebooks have changed? Some newer laptops include CMOS reset buttons on the back or bottom, which may also be an alternative if it doesn't work out.

    What I might do (if not other options are available), is actually take the laptop apart. Most newer laptops have removable CMOS batteries, although some are still soldered onto the board. Removing this is still an option though if you or someone else you know is comfortable doing this kind of work.
  8. sifguy1980

    sifguy1980 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 28

    does the bios have a default password so I can unlock it?
  9. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    yes most do if you know the bios maker (awared,phoenix etc.) you can do a search for bios default passords. not sure that is going to work though newer notebooks have security features that are not dependant on the bios alone to keep people from acessing them.
  10. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

  11. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    My apologies for the misinformation! I've recently come across a couple of laptops with BIOS passwords and clearing the CMOS DID NOT WORK.

    After researching this, I have found there is a security chip in most laptops that stores the BIOS password independently of the CMOS. So clearing the CMOS has no effect.

    My experience with clearing the password from an old HP laptop was probably because the laptop was older and did not have a security chip, like most laptops have today. So if you have an older laptop (several years old), it is worth trying at the very least.
  12. moflight

    moflight TS Rookie

    i need to recover my IBM thinkpad password older thinkpad model

    i'm having the same problem as sifguy1980, and i dont wanna get rid of my thinkpad as old as it is i want to recover the bios password. can anyone help us? sifguy1980 and I of course! thanks a million!!!
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