Sunday, 22 December 2013 00:00

Reset / Clear the supervisor password on a Lenovo Thinkpad R61i (and many other Thinkpad models) - (at your own risk)

Use this the following your own risk!

 

I recently had two Lenovo ThinkPad R61i come my way with the supervisor passwords set.
After trying a tonne of stuff on the web I finally stumbled across a solution.

There is a lot of information on the web about reading the I2C EEPROMs and reading the scancodes using a program called IBMPass. I managed to read the EEPROM (first using an Arduino Nano, and then using a simple RS232 I2C reader). Alas IBMPass would not provide the correct translations for the scan codes.

While messing around I found another solution to the problem: Basically tricking the BIOS into thinking it has no supervisor password and then resetting it.

 

 

  1. For the first attempt I soldered two leads on to the EEPROM (pins 5 & 6). (For the second machine I just used a scalpel to short the two pins).
  2. Boot the machine and press F1. Immediately short the two pins and hold them for a few seconds.
  3. The machine will appear to hang while you do this (trying to read the data from the EEPROM and failing). This step should clear the 'user' portion of the password and you should now be able to enter the BIOS (however the Supervisor password is still set).
  4. On rebooting and pressing F1 for BIOS and just press 'enter' e.g. blank password and you should be into the BIOS but with the Supervisor Password still set.
  5. Power off the machine and reboot with the pins shorted. Release the pins and machine should complain it can't read the EEID data or somesuch
  6. If the machine seems to hang release the short to proceed to the next step, then reshort the pins. You should be able to get to a point where you have complete access to the security menu (except you still don't know the supervisor password to remove it). Here is the clever bit:-
  7. Select the supervisor password from the menu with the pins shorted. The BIOS setup assumes the password is blank and asks for a new password. Release the short.
  8. Enter a blank password twice and press F10 to save.

 

The supervisor password is gone!

If you found this useful please consider buying me a beer with a small donation using the PayPal button on the right. Many Thanks.

Matt.

Last modified on Sunday, 16 October 2016 18:36

44 comments

  • Comment Link Silas Wednesday, 15 February 2017 03:00 posted by Silas

    Hi m having same problem with Lenovo ThinkPad R61, I try short PINS 5 & 6, but the machine can not boot while those PINS are short, just battery and ac lights are blinking until I disconnect the ac adapter and reboot without shorting pins. Any help

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  • Comment Link willem Saturday, 18 March 2017 16:33 posted by willem

    You've made my day! It works perfectly on a Lenovo S440.
    This saves me money after buying a secondhand board on ebay with the SVP active.
    Fiddling around with the 2 wires connected to pin 5 and 6 worked like a charm. Much appreciated!! Donation on its way.
    Willem

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  • Comment Link Serg Saturday, 01 April 2017 16:16 posted by Serg

    спасибо,THANK YOU, lenovo thinkpad x200, Clear the supervisor password accordinj to your metod.

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  • Comment Link Matt Saturday, 08 April 2017 16:48 posted by Matt

    Thanks Willem!

    You are the only person to have ever donated! Good to know there are some good guys out there.

    Many Thanks,
    Matt.

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