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Thread: Stolen Laptop

  1. #11
    Just Another Geek
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    Quote Originally Posted by isildur
    I was a bit intrigued by the Eeprom issue, not having ever had it come up personally. There were a few sites that claimed the only method around that was the old soldering iron and a replacement chip. I saw some others mention using ultraviolet to clear the password. Others claimed you could send it to them and they would fix it for you (providing you proved legitimate ownership) for a fee.
    About 10 years ago I was a certified Compaq and Toshiba service engineer working for a repairshop. Some laptop models did have those eeprom passwords, even back then. IIRC for certain Toshiba models you needed to have a special connector, attach it to the printer port, turn the laptop on while holding F2 and the bios password would be cleared. Taking the batteries out really didn't work.

    UV light erases 'regular' eproms not eeproms. Soldering the chip off will of course work but since it's all SMD you would need special equipment. One little trick I learned while working for a modem company was to temporarily short the Data-OUT to ground (it used a serial data interface) of the eeprom and turn it on. That would effectively erase it.
    Last edited by SirDice; May 16th, 2008 at 04:49 PM.
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  2. #12
    Agony Aunty-Online Moira's Avatar
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    This was a Toshiba laptop actually ....so it sounds as if it might be safer than some. But all this still doesn't stop you just removing the hard drive and attaching it to a similar machine.
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  3. #13
    Just Another Geek
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    Very true indeed...

    Have you reported it's serial number to Toshiba?
    Again IIRC they keep an eye out if that serial pops up somewhere (perhaps to get the password removed?).

    Back then we had a situation like that.. Some guy came in, gave us a real phony story about loosing the password.
    If he just said he forgot it we would never had it checked. But we didn't trust it so we called Toshiba.. Wasn't reported..
    Hmm.. Right.. Let's just erase the password and see what's on it..
    Hey, some word documents.. Hmm.. Letters, signed with a different name then the guy that brought it in..
    Just for the hell of it we phoned the person that signed the letters..
    Guess what? The poor sap had his house cleared by some burglars not to long ago..
    Cops came by to pick up the laptop and pretended to be us to "return" it.
    As soon as he took hold of it he was arrested on the spot
    Last edited by SirDice; May 16th, 2008 at 05:33 PM.
    Oliver's Law:
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  4. #14
    Agony Aunty-Online Moira's Avatar
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    As far as I gather the serial number and the theft has been reported, though the victim doesn't expect to see it again.

    Good example SirDice, amazing how complacency can trip people up. For once, justice was done if he couldn't remove the hard drive or sell the laptop, he shouldn't have stolen it!
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