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My brother has a Lenovo Thinkpad laptop.

He decided to format his laptop, but after the format he couldn't power on his laptop because of the power-on password. The password is required at start-up.

My question is: what is power-on password and how do we bypass it? We tried to remove batteries but it did not work.

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The formatting and the power-on password are not related. The power-on password should be the same as before the formatting. –  FredrikD Jan 4 '13 at 20:52
Can you get into the BIOS? If so login and you should be able to change the password there. I may be wrong, but sometimes you can change the boot password from the BIOS. Is the Hard Drive encrypted? –  Sam Jan 4 '13 at 22:38

5 Answers 5

On any relatively new ThinkPad, there is no way around the supervisor password, short of attemping to short the power to some chips, which in untrained hands is a good way to fry the motherboard entirely. Unlike a lot of BIOS level settings, including passwords on some other machines, removing the CMOS battery will NOT reset a supervisor password on a ThinkPad.

Lenovo's remedy for this is a motherboard replacement.

The power on password can be reset by removing the CMOS battery for ten minutes. Manual for thinkpad Edge 11 & E10: http://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/pc/pccbbs/mobiles_pdf/75y6925_01.pdf

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This is designed to block any access to the system.

Lenovo has some tips for their older units: How to set, remove or change a Power On Password on your IBM ThinkPad 365X, 380, 385, 560, 600, 750, 755, 760, 765, 770. Not sure if it applies: Lenovo Sujpport>Diagnose & Fix site or old IBM page on web.archive.org.

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This does not work on anything newer than the machines listed (all of which are antiques). –  Shinrai May 16 '11 at 14:15

You have to disconnect bios battery for a couple of seconds with the battery and AC disconnected. Watch a video tutorial.

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Resetting power-on password is documented in the Hardware Maintenance Manual:

  1. Turn off the computer.
  2. Remove the battery pack.
  3. Remove the backup battery.
  4. Turn on the computer and wait until the POST ends. After the POST ends, the password prompt does not appear. The POP has been removed.
  5. Reinstall the backup battery and the battery pack.
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For resetting Lenovo Thinkpad power-on password, I think you can read the following article. It is helpful for you: http://www.passwordunlocker.com/knowledge/reset-lenovo-thinkpad-password.html

Reset Forgotten Power-on Password If the Power-on password is forgotten and the Supervisor password is known, simply go into the ThinkPad BIOS setup utility and reset the Power-on password, otherwise try the following:

1.Power off the Lenovo ThinkPad computer

2.Remove the battery pack

3.Remove the backup battery

4.Please power on the computer and wait till the POST ends. If the password prompt does not appear then the Power-on password has been reset.

5.Reinstall the backup battery and the battery pack.

Note: Some ThinkPad systems have the ability to reset the Power-on passwords in the ThinkPad BIOS setup utility if a Supervisor password has been set.

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