IBM Thinkpad 390X locked

Login password
Windows 2000
I have an IBM Thinkpad 390x with windows 2000 installed after the updates it now is locked will not boot asking for a password has an icon of a computer next to a icon of a lock can not boot to floppy or cd and will not let me in the bios

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You are locked out of the machine via a bios password. IBM was on a security kick with these machines in 99 and 2000. So there are two levels of bios passwords. One normal bios password that can be reset using the removing the cmos battery method here:

A. Power off the computer.
B. Remove the battery pack and AC Adapter.
C. Remove the backup battery for 20 minutes
D. Put back the backup battery .
E. Power on the computer and wait until POST ends.
F. Verify that the password prompt does not appear.

If that does not work you need to replace the security chip on the main board I have seen it done for you around $75 and I have seen the chips on ebay for about $35. It might be time for a new laptop – seeming you can get a decent older machine (better than this) for around $200 on ebay as well.

I also found these “Methods” of getting into the IBM’s backdoor – but it will not work if the bios has ever been updated:

a.) Press both mouse buttons repeatedly during the boot
b.) Hold down shift+enter when prompted for the password

And finally here is another method (not verified that I found here. Good Luck!

You can remove most if not all BIOS/Hard Drive/All types, or passwords from IBM machines… but it’s not w/o challenge. We have done this on several models successfully and without damage… but I did kill one. So, please THINK and BE CAREFUL. The following procedure can DESTROY your laptop if done incorrectly.

Find you BIOS chip (usually labeled =BIOS=) or lookup the board layout/schmat from the web. Find the grounding pins. Usually 2 to 6 – yours may (read WILL) vary. Using a 1.5 volt AA battery hooked on a carrier (available at Radio Shack for about $2) run voltage from the lower numbered pin the higher numbered pin for about 30 seconds, if it doesn’t work try again for a LITTLE longer till you get it) GET THIS RIGHT! THE POSITIVE + on the LOWER NUMBERED PIN AND THE NEGATIVE – ON THE HIGHER NUMBERED PIN. This will caused the BIOS to reset to factory specs.


Thank you for the reply:

Didn’t work for me last time I had this issue I replaced the hard drive and re-installed OS.I have some one to buy it and don’t really want to put money in another hard drive.I think it’s more the OS than the machine it’s self but what do I know.If I have to I’ll buy a converter cable and reformat the drive and install xp on it never had any issues except a little slow with xp.It runs smoother with 2000 but not now after the service pack what ever number it was been in closet for a year.


Discuss This Question: 5  Replies

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  • Kevin Beaver
    Did you not set this password? Please post an update when you can so others will know what did/didn't work.
    27,515 pointsBadges:
  • Jjonelove
    I have been trying to get into my IBM thinkpad 390X Type 26262. It runs Windows
    10 pointsBadges:
  • Herc94
    Can someone reply to me, for how much could i sell this laptop? :D
    10 pointsBadges:
  • ToddN2000
    @Herc94: What laptop? You did not mention and make/model or specs. Laptop prices have come way down in the past few years. Recently I just got one with 8gig ram a 1tb HD and Intel i-5 processor and 4gig dedicated Nvidia graphics card for just over $500.00.. If its an older laptop you are looking to sell and it's over 3 or 4 years, you might get 100.00.
    133,645 pointsBadges:
  • Subhendu Sen
    @Herc94, That is not the matter what model / manufacturer your laptop. We can not say it correctly as we are depending on your voice. If you want to know actual cost / exchange price, better carry it to a nearest IT shops / computer related dealers and ask them the same query. They are the best persons. Also you can try it with on line shopping web site for exchange the same.
    140,480 pointsBadges:

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