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392 Posts

01-20-2008

Canada

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  • Message 1 of 11

Turning on an A20M after 8 years: Results & BIOS Power-on Password

2008-08-24, 22:45 PM

I had recently come across my A20M ThinkPad in storage. For fun, I had decided to turn it on, as it had been dormant for the last 8 years.

 

My A20M had roared to life, and it had loaded Windows 98 perfectly. Everything had worked perfectly!

 

Interestingly, the power-on password that I had set in the BIOS had failed to prompt me for my password at power-on.

 

Other than that, everything had worked exceptionally well.

 

I will have to see if it still works after another 8 years!

 

 

Solved! See the solution
MacBook Pro, with an aluminum unibody enclosure **As of September 15, 2008, our company has completely switched to Apple. Having used ThinkPad products for over 10 years, we had desperately tried to find just one reason to continue using these products, to no avail. We are of the view that ThinkPads are no longer premium products. We wish you the best of luck with your ThinkPad! Happy computing…**
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441 Posts

11-21-2007

US

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Re: Turning on an A20M after 8 years: Results & BIOS Power-on Password

2008-08-24, 23:13 PM

You would only be prompted for the SP when you attempted to access the BIOS, not when you BOOTed the system.

Regards,

James
_______________________________
Full disclosure, I don't work for Lenovo.
James at Thinkpads dot com
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392 Posts

01-20-2008

Canada

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Re: Turning on an A20M after 8 years: Results & BIOS Power-on Password

2008-08-25, 0:13 AM

Thanks James,

 

All of my ThinkPads have a power-on password that prompts for a password when turning on the computer. If you do not enter the password, it will not load the operating system.

 

Somehow, this feature had failed after 8 years on my A20M. I have been able to reset it, but I am just surprised that it had been deleted.

 

I had learned how to use this feature on my A20M, and I had never removed it.

 

It seems that date changes or resets can reset BIOS settings.

 

PS

 

Since my A20M, I have learned that power-on passwords are never 100% secure. In my view, it is a false sense of security.

 

 

 

Message Edited by LukeD on 08-24-2008 05:13 PM
MacBook Pro, with an aluminum unibody enclosure **As of September 15, 2008, our company has completely switched to Apple. Having used ThinkPad products for over 10 years, we had desperately tried to find just one reason to continue using these products, to no avail. We are of the view that ThinkPads are no longer premium products. We wish you the best of luck with your ThinkPad! Happy computing…**
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3290 Posts

02-17-2008

Australia

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  • Message 4 of 11

Re: Turning on an A20M after 8 years: Results & BIOS Power-on Password

2008-08-25, 6:34 AM
Your button battery for CMOS has drained out completely, so all the password got erased and any personal settings on your BIOS is gone too (this is how people remove the password when they forgot it, by removing the button battery cell). The battery usually last around 4-6 years depending on the quality, after which you have to change one.

0 person found this solution to be helpful.

This helped me too

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441 Posts

11-21-2007

US

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  • Message 5 of 11

Re: Turning on an A20M after 8 years: Results & BIOS Power-on Password

2008-08-25, 13:38 PM

LukeD wrote:

Thanks James,

 

All of my ThinkPads have a power-on password that prompts for a password when turning on the computer. If you do not enter the password, it will not load the operating system.



The Power On Password (POP) is radically different than the Supervisor Password. The POP can be cleared by removing the backup (CMOS) battery from your system. But this will also clear all of the Date, Time and configuration settings from the BIOS which would have resulted in you being prompted fore the SP when you attempted to update them.

 

As our Aussie friend stated above, the depletion of the backup battery while the unit sat on a shelf resulted in the unit forgetting its POP but it should have remembered its SP. We have heard so many tales of woe from users over the years who have had their CMOS battery run down or unwittingly removed it only to be prompted for a previously unknown SP when they attempted to restart the system.

Regards,

James
_______________________________
Full disclosure, I don't work for Lenovo.
James at Thinkpads dot com
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392 Posts

01-20-2008

Canada

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  • Message 6 of 11

Re: Turning on an A20M after 8 years: Results & BIOS Power-on Password

2008-08-25, 20:01 PM

James and Wjli2,

 

Thanks so much for your comments. I have learned a lot!

MacBook Pro, with an aluminum unibody enclosure **As of September 15, 2008, our company has completely switched to Apple. Having used ThinkPad products for over 10 years, we had desperately tried to find just one reason to continue using these products, to no avail. We are of the view that ThinkPads are no longer premium products. We wish you the best of luck with your ThinkPad! Happy computing…**
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392 Posts

01-20-2008

Canada

316 Signins

6645 Page Views

  • Posts: 392
  • Registered: ‎01-20-2008
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  • Message 7 of 11

Re: Turning on an A20M after 8 years: Results & BIOS Power-on Password

2008-08-25, 20:12 PM

Wjli2,

 

Do you know of any resource that shows how to change such a battery?

MacBook Pro, with an aluminum unibody enclosure **As of September 15, 2008, our company has completely switched to Apple. Having used ThinkPad products for over 10 years, we had desperately tried to find just one reason to continue using these products, to no avail. We are of the view that ThinkPads are no longer premium products. We wish you the best of luck with your ThinkPad! Happy computing…**
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3290 Posts

02-17-2008

Australia

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  • Message 8 of 11

Re: Turning on an A20M after 8 years: Results & BIOS Power-on Password

2008-08-25, 20:37 PM

I don't know what the button cell in A20M looks like or whether it is the same as the newer T, R series. But have a look in this maintenance manual and see whether there is reference to the button cell, if it uses similar one as to the new T and R series, you can get it over ebay. If it is a regular button cell then any supermarket stores should sell it and you can get one for a few Canadian dollars at the most.

 

ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/pc/pccbbs/mobiles_pdf/23p0896.pdf

Message Edited by wjli2 on 08-26-2008 06:37 AM
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3290 Posts

02-17-2008

Australia

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  • Message 9 of 11

Re: Turning on an A20M after 8 years: Results & BIOS Power-on Password

2008-08-25, 20:45 PM

It looks like it uses the same battery from T and R series:

 

Here is a search result of the battery used.

 

 

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7651 Posts

11-24-2007

USA

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  • Message 10 of 11

Re: Turning on an A20M after 8 years: Results & BIOS Power-on Password

2008-08-25, 21:40 PM

A20m does use the same CMOS battery as the later ThinkPad units, dime a dozen on fleabay. Easy replacement, 5 minutes or less.

 

Hope this helps. 

Cheers,

George




In daily use: R60F, R500F, T61, T410

Collecting dust: T60

Enjoying retirement: A31p, T42p,

Non-ThinkPads: Panasonic CF-31 & CF-52, HP 8760W




Starting Thursday, 08/14/2014 I'll be away from the forums until further notice. Please do NOT send private messages since I won't be able to read them. Thank you.
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