I want to rescue this 7 year old laptop that has been crippled by a glitch in its BIOS:
'A "Password =" prompt may be displayed when the computer is turned on, even though no power-on password has been set. If this happens, there is no password that will satisfy the password request. The computer will be unusable until this problem is resolved. [..] The occurrence of this problem on any particular computer is unpredictable -- it may never happen, but it could happen any time that the computer is turned on. [..] Toshiba will cover the cost of this repair under warranty until Dec 31, 2010.' -Toshiba
As they stated, this machine is "unusable." The escape key does not bypass the prompt (nor does any other key), thus no operating system can be booted and no firmware updates can be installed. After doing some research, I found solutions that have been suggested for various Toshiba Satellite models afflicted by this glitch:
"Make arrangements with a Toshiba Authorized Service Provider to have this problem resolved." -Toshiba. Even prior to the expiration of Toshiba's support (see above), there have been reports that this solution is prohibitively expensive, labor charges accruing even when the laptop is still under warranty, and other reports that are generally discouraging:
"They were unable to fix it and the guy who worked on it said he couldn’t find the jumpers on the motherboard to clear the BIOS. I paid $39 for my troubles and still have the password problem." - Steve.
Since the costs of the repairs can now exceed the value of the hardware, it would seem this is a DIY solution, or a non-solution (i.e. the hardware is computer graveyard material).
Build a Toshiba parallel loopback by stripping and soldering the wires on a DB25 plug to connect connect these pins: 1-5-10, 2-11, 3-17, 4-12, 6-16, 7-13, 8-14, 9-15, 18-25. -CGSecurity. According to a list of supported models on pwcrack, this will likely not work for my Satellite A55-1065, as well as many other models of similar age. -pwcrack
Disconnect the laptop battery for an extended period of time. This laptop already sat in a closet for several months without the battery connected. The poor thing!
Clear the CMOS by short circuiting a specific pair of solder pads. Examples given for other Satellite models:
Toshiba Satellite 1800:
"Underneath the RAM there is black sticker, peel off the black sticker and you will reveal two little solder marks which are actually 'jumpers'. Very carefully hold a flat-head screwdriver touching both points and power on the unit briefly, effectively 'shorting' this circuit." -shadowfax2020
Toshiba Satellite A105:
"You will have to jump the two solder squares at label C88." -kerneltrap
Toshiba Satellite L300:
"Short the B500 solder pads on the system board." -Lester Escobar
Wiping the CMOS might clear the password prompt issue, but I cannot locate a jumper or a battery on this board. Nothing that looks remotely like a battery can be removed (everything is soldered). See for yourself:
Update: Matt located a pair of solder pads marked "reset." I shorted the circuit several times, but the password prompt still remains.
Possibly related questions: