Laptop went Bananas on Me HELP!
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Thread: Laptop went Bananas on Me HELP!

  1. #1
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    Laptop went Bananas on Me HELP!

    Hello everyone,

    Been a while since i have been around here. The working/school part of life has gotten the best of me lately. However my Laptop is not making it any easier. I own a dell laptop. Latitude C510/C610. Thats the best info i can get to describe it. I have had it for over two months now, and two days ago, i shut it down to go to sleep. Next morning, I turned it back on and have been stuck at this screen forever, with this error message about entering a password, which i do not remember entering in the first place. Last week, it was running pretty slow, and i couldn't stop popups if my life depended on it, so i figured a spyware, however, i used Hijackthis to clean it up a bit. Ran well, but I would loose control every here and there like someone was controlling my pointer. It stopped, and all was fine and then i shut it off and have been getting this message ever since. Message is exactly as it is written below..


    " This computer system.. #7s87m11, is protected by a password authentication system. You cannot acces the data on this computer without the correct password."

    "Please type in the primary administrator password and press <ENTER>"


    I do not recall entering any password for any administrator access, etc. This is the first time it has done this, and i am completely lost. I have a lot of important information and data on this laptop and i cannot afford to loose them. I even gave up and attempted to format it by inserting an Windows XP Cd that i own in to give it a whole new OS, because it is currently running on Windows 2000, and it would not pick up the cd or read it without this password. Is There anything i can do? I have hit all dead ends, and i know there are people here that know tons more than i do, please help me with this. Do you think I was hacked or i lost control of my laptop to someone else? If so, how is it still in effect when i am disconnected from the internet? Any help would be MUCH appreciated. Thank you all very much.

  2. #2
    The Iceman Cometh
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    I think I already know the answer, but any luck getting into the BIOS to reset the password?

    First off, I'd suggest getting your data off of the hard drive so you don't run the risk of losing it. The easiest way I know is to run by a local computer store and get a drive mount with cables so you can connect it to a desktop (I've heard they even have USB devices nowadays you can plug a laptop HD into, but I haven't seen or tried them myself). Once you've done that, you have a couple options. One thing you could look into is to see if there's a way to reset the BIOS by setting a jumper or something on the motherboard. I don't think you'd be able to find this information online (though it's worth a shot), but you could definitely get it from a Dell representative (if they speak enough English, that is). Another option would be to simply ship the system back to Dell (I'm assuming it's a new system?) and have them sort it out there, but then you'd be without a laptop for a couple weeks.

    As for what happened to the system, you didn't happen to spill a drink on it or anything, did you? I know it's a stupid question, but one of my friends spilled a glass of bacardi and coke onto her laptop and it had a lot of issues thereafter until I opened it up and cleaned every component carefully. She still needed a new keyboard and pointer, but the hardware was fine. She not only had random problems occuring (such as some of yours), but her pointer was going crazy as well. She had no control over it whatsoever. Anyway, it's just a thought based upon what I've seen.

    A.J.

  3. #3
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Hmmm,

    That is the BIOS password, which lives in its own EEPROM chip. Probably a 24c02 chip (look at markings on the top).

    As suggested, get an adapter and connect the HDD to a desktop. If you cannot get into that because of a password you are basically SOL.

    Is the machine new? or did you buy it second user? Dell will want details of any previous owner before they will help you. And you will need them for a HDD pass.

    There is no way you can reset the password with a jumper or by removing the battery. This is a EEPROM chip.

    You say that you do not recall setting a password?................trust me you didn't; if you had you would have hit this problem the very next time you tried to restart.

    I also do not think that any hardware issue or spillage would suddenly set a BIOS password for you............this sounds very much like someone jerking your chain.



  4. #4
    AFLAAACKKK!!
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    The fact that it's an EEPROM chip is not the reason you can't reset the password... (In fact the bios password isn't even stored in the bios chip, it's stored in the CMOS chip... completely different chip.) Most, if not all motherboards store the BIOS in an EEPROM chip these days... That is what makes it so easy to flash (upgrade) the bios in a computer...

    EEPROM - Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory

    When you flash your bios, there are instructions in the floppy disk you use that tell the motherboard to draw more electricity then usual for the EEPROM... Enough electricity to "electrically erase" the data the EEPROM chip holds so it can be rewritten with the new bios information...
    I am the uber duck!!1
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  5. #5
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Hello, The Duck

    We are talking laptops here?it is actually a separate chip. It is a security feature specific to lappies.

    Sure, the stuff I have built over the last few years have had EEPROM chips for the BIOS............in fact, the Gigabyte ones I have used have usually had "dual BIOS"

    The chip that I am talking about is soldered to the MoBo, and is purely for a BIOS/BOOT password.

    Desktops do not have this feature.

    The important thing IMO is to find out if he has a HDD password set as well?



    EDIT: When you flash your bios

    This is seagull country old chap..............that sort of activity is not recommended

  6. #6
    The ******* Shadow dalek's Avatar
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    There are a couple of ways to get around the BIOS password, either flashing or removing the battery, or you can try some standard BIOS passwords....

    Standard BIOS backdoor passwords

    The first, less invasive, attempt to bypass a BIOS password is to try one of these standard manufacturer's backdoor passwords:

    AWARD BIOS
    AWARD SW, AWARD_SW, Award SW, AWARD PW, _award, awkward, J64, j256, j262, j332, j322, 01322222, 589589, 589721, 595595, 598598, HLT, SER, SKY_FOX, aLLy, aLLY, Condo, CONCAT, TTPTHA, aPAf, HLT, KDD, ZBAAACA, ZAAADA, ZJAAADC, djonet, %шесть пpобелов%, %девять пpобелов%

    AMI BIOS
    AMI, A.M.I., AMI SW, AMI_SW, BIOS, PASSWORD, HEWITT RAND, Oder

    Other passwords you may try (for AMI/AWARD or other BIOSes)
    LKWPETER, lkwpeter, BIOSTAR, biostar, BIOSSTAR, biosstar, ALFAROME, Syxz, Wodj

    Note that the key associated to "_" in the US keyboard corresponds to "?" in some European keyboards (such as Italian and German ones), so -- for example -- you should type AWARD?SW when using those keyboards. Also remember that passwords are Case Sensitive. The last two passwords in the AWARD BIOS list are in Russian.



    How to bypas the BIOS Passwords
    PC Registered user # 2,336,789,457...

    "When the water reaches the upper level, follow the rats."
    Claude Swanson

  7. #7
    AFLAAACKKK!!
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    Ah... you were just talking about laptops...

    So your saying a laptop actually has an eeprom chip just for a bios password??

    lol kind of a waste of space for a product that has to be concerned about space management...
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  8. #8
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Hi, dalek

    My problem is that I am pretty sure that this is laptop specific security?

    Sure, I do know how to circumvent it, but I will not post that information in an open forum

    And I want to know if the HDD is accessible.................and I do not support people who buy on scum-bay and that is my final word on those trash throwers.


  9. #9
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Hi Quackkers

    Yes, the modern lappies have that feature. It can be a pain, and a lot of stuff goes through e-bay?

    I personally bid $1 for each of them............on the Gentleman's agreement that they will ALL go to Nigeria?


  10. #10
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    well, if it is bios issue (which it isn't) the cmos battery can be found by taking out the main battery any opening that little plastic door. (I cant remember if it is that way on the 510 or not... might be the bluechip expansion slot. been on vacation for a week and a half... If memory serves me the 410s have the bluechip slot there and the 500/600 series have the cmos battery there)
    The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool - Good Ole Bill Shakespeare

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