Welcome to our site!

Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

  • Welcome to our site! Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.

elecrtonics newbie

Status
Not open for further replies.

Wayne_Zombie

New Member
Ok, I am really new to electronics and have a big problem. I have an IBM laptop that I forgot the admin password to. Aparently the password will not clear when you remove the battery backup and so now I determined that it is stored in the EEPROM. I found all this info at this site: https://www.ja.axxs.net/unlock/key_for_390x.htm

Now for the fun part... this site wants me to build a device to read the EEPROM and dump it to an encrypted file that only this guy can read. I have to send the file to him, he will decrypt it and read the contents and for $50 tell me my password. I want to get around this and just read the EEPROM myself. Problem is that I have no idea what I'm doing as far as the EEPROM reading. Looking online, I find many EEPROM readers and software to acompany them, but none of them seem to be able to read 24RF08 EEPROMS. When I do a search online for just that number, all I get is references to that laptop or places I can buy the chip. I want to know if reading the EEPROM is the same from model to model, and if so, how can I read the eeprom? Is buying one of these reader devices and using the software that comes with them going to work? I need any advice I can get.
 

Wayne_Zombie

New Member
refer to the site i referenced.... if you really read my post, it is saved the password in the eeprom.... i cleared the cmos, it erased the password i knew.....

go to the site i referenced before replying to my post.....
 

mattg2k4

New Member
Have you tried contacting IBM about it? They may be able to restore it, provided you can provide proof of ownership. It may also cost more than $50 for the shipping and a fee it may entail, but you wouldn't have to go through such a complicated procedure either.
 

Wayne_Zombie

New Member
look people, stop trying to give me ideas on what to do.... i just want to know how to read the chip... if you LOOK AT THE SITE I REFERENCED, you will see that you are all making suggestions that are not possible!!!! THE ONLY SOLUTION IS TO READ THE CHIP! STOP TELLING ME STUFF I KNOW WILL NOT WORK!
 

Wayne_Zombie

New Member
ok, after some extensive research I have found some info that i think may be of some use on this. looking at the datasheet for the 24RF08 shows that it is compatible with the 24C08. but looking at several sites about the 24RF08 programming, they all warn that if you try and read it at a 24C08, it will be corrupted. one site says this clearly and says to use a different programmer but dosen't give any more info, and finding a different programmer is seeming impossible (none say anything about the 24RF08) if anybody out there knows what to do about reading this particular chip, please let me know.

oh, and by the way, interesting note, the RF in 24RF08 is reference to the fact that this chip is used in some of those doors that u don't have to have a key to open, just wave a card near a device and it will unlock for you.
 

petesmc

New Member
Contact IBM and stop shouting! For PC's, to get around this, you take out the CMOS battery (tiny little battery inside PC). So you COULD try this, but you would have to open up your laptop, and try find a battery, then remove it.

But I'd just contact IBM.
 

Wayne_Zombie

New Member
ibm says replace the board.... i removed the battery, it is stored on the chip so it won't clear..... i just want to know how to read the chip with an eeprom reader/programmer....

i thought this was a forum for electronics, but so far, nobody has given me a response that has anything to do with electronics.....

look, the only way to fix my problem is to read the eeprom chip, i know this because i have so far spent 4 days researching this.... if anybody else spent close to this amount of time on it, they would understand why i get frustrated when people give me suggestions that i know are not gonna work. i don't mean to be pissy, but every thing people are suggesting has been ruled out already and i have 1 solution that i know will work, i just don't know anything on the matter except what i am learning by constant research.

if you know anything about eeprom reading, please try and help me... if you want to give me some advice on fixing the laptop, read the page i referenced at the beginning (the whole thing), do a few searches on google, and also check IBM's site.... you will come to the same place i am, then you may be able to give me some advice on how to read the chip
 

Exo

Active Member
here's the datasheet for the device
https://www.electro-tech-online.com/custompdfs/2003/11/DOC1072PDF.pdf

And it is NOT completely compatible with a normal 24C08 - The I²C protocol is, but the chip itself isn't - it has extra inputs to lock it and seems to have some sort of RF identification.

You could try to use software like IC-prog to read the contents of the chip, but problem is you don't have room to experiment; one fault and the eeprom data might get damaged screwing everything up

I spent hours to read/write my first normal 24C02 eeprom and many things went wrong during those hours... now you want to do it good from the first try... :?

better to just send it back to ibm or make the device on that site and pay the guy to extract your password
Even if you managed to read the chip contents; how are you going to know where the password is located, i doubt it will just be stored as ascii
The guy on that site obviously spent a lot of time trying to find out the data format on that chip...
 

Wayne_Zombie

New Member
thank you for your response. i figured that it might be too hard for a beginner to take on, so i guess i'm going to just replace the mainboard. i found one on ebay but i'm scared about the quality of it, just like all ebay stuff. once again, thank you for the good response.
 

eemage21

New Member
eeprom

first of all - it seems kind of dumb that one would have to go through all of this just because they forgot their password. Secondly - rather than trying to build the device for reading ee-proms, try to find somebody who has an eeprom programmer (a friend at college or electronics company). That way you could just read it, and not risk corrupting the device.
Having the bin file - you could try looking at it as ASCII characters, and maybe your pass would come up - but I doubt it, because it's probably encrypted - but try anyways.
 

eemage21

New Member
just did some searching on the topic:

looks like it is not such a bad idea with the passwords - I mean I don't want somebody who just stole my tp be able to use it, just by taking the battery out.
 
My two cents:
Time is money. I don't know what you do for a living but you're spending a lot of time writing, surfing, and arguing, when you could just pay the fifty bucks and be done with it. You want to get paid for your efforts, pay the man for his.
Tip: If you have to make the device(s) to read the eeprom, I'd suggest buying a new breadboard as they get sloppy after a few uses. You don't want a break during a read. It could be fatal to the 'prom. Also, tape down any wires coming from the board. Once, reaching for a switch, I snagged a wire loose and killed a programmable radio.
Be methodical. Good luck.
 

windozeuser

Member
Wayne Remove The cmos battery for atleast 24 hours, On Some Computer's (Most) The Battery is actually built into the chip so remove the chip for atleast 8 hours. If That Dont Work Then Contact IBM. As For That Site I Think it is a scam

5 weeks ago I forgot my power on password but i have a desktop so i removed the bios chip and battery and left it sit on a anti-static pad over night and when i woke up i put the chip and battery back in and it cleared everything (Before you remove it write down all your bios setting's)But it might be different for laptop's Since they can be stolen very easily :roll:
Some laptops even got finger print security were u put ur thumb on a scanner and it grants you access

if your not the person who likes opening up stuff and getting your hands dirty then leave it too someone else. But Even if It was me i would Contact IBM And tell them what happened. Also You could Very well void your warannty if you open ur laptop up.

Plus you shouldnt have to throw away the motherboard if you lost your password... thats like burning your house down cause you lost your keys LOL :D
 

Wayne_Zombie

New Member
windozeuser, i appreciate your advice, but the chip can't be removed and the battery backs up the cmos, but the admin password is stored in the eeprom and is not affected by the battery being removed. ibm laptops have a special thing like this that won't let people easily remove the password incase it's stolen. the CE (certified engineer) hardware repair manual that the ibm techs themselvs have says the only way to fix it if you lose the admin password is to replace the mainboard. i can't contact ibm cuz i bought the laptop used, and i have no idea where they got it from, but it's kinda old so the warranty is long gone. if you do the research i have done, you will see that i have only 2 possible solutions. replace the board, or read the chip.... i am broke right now because my company (ibm subcontractor) has not paid local or school taxes for 2 years and i had to pay that out this month and now i'm broke, plus christmas is coming. i took out the battery cuz i know how desktop pcs are and my stupidity messed it up so i couldn't even use it anymore. i'm an electronics newbie, but not a pc newbie. i know what i'm doing and if you had this same problem and have gotten no real help in 4 days, you would understand why i'm so frustraded....
 

eemage21

New Member
it's only $50, so don't sweat it. Also - doesn't look like a scam to me - found similar companies elsewere.

As far as you trying to read the eeprom - even assuming that you'll be successful - the password is not likely to be just sitting there waiting for you. There's probably some encryption scheme involved - so even if you read the eeprom the chances you'll be able to decypher the pass are small - because unlike that guy you don't know what address to look at.

If it were me I would just pay the guy and get it over with - like somebody said - it's just not worth wasting your time.
 

Wayne_Zombie

New Member
ok, here is a quote from one of the sites you just referenced me windozeuser:

"To have the full functionality of the BIOS Setup Utility when a Supervisor Password is set, the correct password must be entered."

i don't have the supervisor password, that is what i'm looking for.

ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/pc/pccbbs/mobiles/37l5153.pdf

there is the address for the hardware manual, look at it and you will see that quote from above applies there too. if you don't have the supervisor password, the only way to fix it is to replace the system board, why is it so hard for you to accept that i'm right and all the advice you are trying to give me is completely useless (except to make me mad cuz u think i'm stupid and can't figure any of this out on my own).
 

Agent 009

New Member
What operating system are you running? And I don't think you should tamper with the EEPROM also, could just touching it with your bare hands could just burn it...
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Latest threads

EE World Online Articles

Loading
Top