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Lost Bios Password after Toshiba warranty depot replaced mouse pads?


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#1
newbie geek

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May 23 I took my toshiba 2410 satellite, pent 4, xp-sp2, 512 RAM, 40 gig, intel processor in to have the mouse pads replace to an authorized warranty depot.

I had requested the replacement earlier of the pads however the depot said they were on back order and did not arrive until the day before my System Guard Warranty ($400 +) that covered droppage, everthing on the computer ran out.

The computer had been in this shop twice before, once for the lcd screen replacement and at the same time keyboard replacement and the second time before this for the scroll wheel on the mouse replacement.

They changed the mouse pads and brought the notebook from their back work area and had me try it out and the pads worked fine. I then asked for a receipt of the work done and as in the past it was like pulling teeth from a chicken, but I finally got the work order. (the notebook was not booted in front of me)

I should say also that the tech checked the PC slot pins,or whatever they are called as I had difficulties a couple of days before getting the PC card to recognize my hardware. He visually checked the slot and connectors and blew it with the air duster. He said all looked OK, that perhaps I did not have the PC card seated properly.
He commented on how clean my notebook was as he had blown out all areas and I told him that I do that regularly weekly and have done so from when it was purchased. He also commented on the excellent condition of the notebook, commenting on how some screens and keyboards are very dirty.
I explained that my notebook is my bread and butter as I am an accountant and so it is a huge investment for me and I treat it well.

I brought the notebook home and went in for some minor surgery after May 23rd and was not well enough to use the computer til last week when I took it to my software tech to remove Norton Systemworks Cleanly as I never trust myself to get rid of that program properly. (May 24 was the expiry of my warranty).

When my software tech was booting to remove Norton is when he noticed that I had no BIOS password which my management requires for all of us to have. This tech has worked on my notebook for all of my more complicated software applications and ghosting for me and so he knew that I had a BIOS password from the beginning.

My software tech tried to put back the password and it would not accept one. He phoned the Toshiba Depot and they spoke to both he and myself and said something must have happened to the notebook, moisture etc after I brought it home.
I said nothing had happended out of the ordinary and the Toshiba tech said the main board chip must be gone and that he charges $75/ hr and the board could be $250 - $500.
I told him the BIOS password worked all the way up to an hr before I brought it to the Depot.

He said it was a coincidence.

My software tech works on PC's and not notebooks and thought that a "jumper" may have been disabled, whatever a jumper is :whistling: and the Toshiba tech said there is no jumper and he said he did not touch the main board.

Is there a special way to set the Password?
I was wondering if my software tech may have been doing it as if it was a PC? and that notebooks maybe different; or Toshiba maybe different???

I set the password up originally myself when I bought it 3 years ago over the phone with the Toshiba Support tech walking me through the steps and it has been fine til now.

It simply won't remain after the software tech of mine tries to set it.

The Toshiba Tech said to update the BIOS to the software tech and referred us to the Toshiba Support site. There never has been a BIOS update for this model.

So I am really in a confused state and very angry with Toshiba who says it is a coincidence and tells me that it is likely the main board and the cost to replace it.
The Depot is a smaller outlet and contracts out to various notebook manufacturers.

I would really appreciate comments, or even instructions on how to try to set the password myself again.

It seems that I will have no recourse with Toshiba at this point???

Again I really hope there are members out there who could help, thankyou.
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#2
dsenette

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...so basically your computer has always had a bios password on it (due to company protocol) that has worked up untill you brought the device in for service. when you recieved the laptop back it didn't ask for a bios password to boot up (did it not ask? or did it ask and wouldn't accept your password?) your "software dude" attempted to set a password in the bios (SHOULD be the same method for a laptop or desktop as a bios is a bios...within reason) but upon reboot again it didn't request the password to be entered (did it not ask? or did it ask and wouldn't accept your password?)... when you boot up, is the system time correct? if you set the time in the task bar and reboot the computer, does the time change again?
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#3
newbie geek

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Correct, I always had to put my BIOS password in on the top left corner first.

After, I got it back and used it for the first time, the Toshiba logo flashed on the screen and then to the Windows logo for the password.
No need for the bios password.

I did what you suggested re the clock. The time is fine there is nothing unusual going on, I reset it and did a reboot and the clock is moving correctly.

I wondered if the tech at the Toshiba Depot could have set the notebook to default like it came out of the box or possibly as suggested in another forum, a member wondered if he fiddled with it so that it would not accept my own BIOS password and I am not a techie, but wondered if it is mixed up now and needs to be cleared in order to go back to its original password.

I am complaining to Toshibas Head Office, as I have all of what occurred on paper and find this all to odd that this can all be fixed at $75/hr and the main board $250 - $500 and unfortunately my warranty is out.

The Mouse pads were used and were back ordered until the day before my warranty ran out??? Something is too strange here.

I simply want to get a BIOS password in place.

I hope that this provides a little more information. Thankyou. :whistling:
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#4
Johanna

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So when you took your notebook into the shop they had to have your BIOS password, right? And they would have had to note it somewhere on the work order. Your friend booted into the BIOS and tried to reset a password, but it won't stick? Yep, something isn't right.

I would take that computer back into the shop, ask to speak to the manager and explain the situation. If he doesn't help, politely ask for the name of his boss and a telephone number. Stay calm, present your receipts and don't accept "no" for an answer.

Johanna
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#5
newbie geek

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No the Authorized Depot didn't fill out a work order, simply took the notebook in while I waited about a half an hour and then the Tech brought it out already booted into Windows and let me use it and the mouse pads were working fine and so I shut the computer down and asked them for a copy of the work that was done and then the Tech said "oh yeah", just a minute and went into the back repair room area and came out with the work order that showed a total of one and a half hours....(I guess that includes the time to order the part, p/u the part, and unwrap ....which took longer than the whole install of the mouse pad did :whistling:

And b/c I was racing off to my medical appointment which I had told him about I just took the paperwork and never tried the computer out for 2 weeks (as I was not well) then I took it into my software tech to have him deal with a software issue. That is when both he and I realized that my BIOS password was not in place and he phoned the Authorized Dealer but got no clear answer. He put it back in and I went out for awhile and came back and he was working on another computer and he told me everything was finished and suggested that I shut it down and reboot it, which I did and no prompting for a BIOS appeared in the upper left corner.

So I intend to indeed get the attention of the Head Office, but right now I would also like to know how the Tech got into my computer without any of my BIOS password nor my Windows password and now my BIOS password does not work????

:blink: Best Regards.
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#6
dsenette

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well....there are methods of getting around bios passwords...they aren't easy...and i would suspect the tech used the method of taking the bios battery out (which is why i asked about the clock) though...not sure about the location of those in a laptop it may be possible that he didn't put that battery back in...but in theory you'd be seeing other symptoms from that (such as the clock)
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#7
gerryf

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it is not unheard of for systems to have a backdoor bios password built in to the bios

Since this is an authorized toshiba center, they would know such a password if it exists for this model and he could have used that.
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#8
newbie geek

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Can any of this create the problem that i have now in not being able to have my BIOS password set?

I don't understand what kind of circustance makes a BIOS word unsettable a second time, since I am not that computer savvy.
The young tech's response to me that moisture must have gotten into the computer is ridiculous as the notebook has been sitting with no one using it while I was off on medical and there is no one else here to use the notebook. And this so called moisture destroyed the integrated chip on the main board??? Really.
The whole story this young Techie gives me seems hoaxy???
Regards
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#9
dsenette

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it's possible that moisture could get into the laptop and cause some funky things to happen....however in this case.. that's extremely unlikely..EXTREMELY unlikely...i wouldn't see where using a backdoor would cause you to never be able to set a bios password ever again...the battery could do it...but in theory you'd see some different effects...let's try one more battery test...unplugg the LT from the wall and turn it off completely...now take your battery out of the laptop...hold your power button in for about 5 seconds...put the battery back in and start it up...is the date and time wrong?
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#10
newbie geek

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Yes I did what you suggested and the time is correct. I appreciate your suggestions as I really want to get this resolved.
I have been on the phone to Toshiba the bulk of the day with my issue escalated to the supervisor's manager, but who knows where that will go! :whistling: They say that they are going to contact the warranty depot that I dealt with.

toshiba did seem to understand that it is unusal to diagnose the issue of the integrated chip being gone and the moisture suggestion all done over the phone without testing my notebook since my BIOS password problem toccurred after they did the warranty work on the mouse pad.
As I emphasized that the notebook is working fine and the only problem is the inability to put in a BIOS password in as it doe not request one like it did before.

One suggestion from another forum was "perhaps the hardware intervention" is in place as some authorized service agents use a physical hardware device to access some toshiba notebooks??? I don't understand what that is and there was no elaboration on it. I am definitely not a tech to understand the jargon. :help:

I told toshiba that this $75/hr to repair my main board that now has a damaged integrated chip and that the replacement board costing $250 - $500 diagnosis over the phone seemed unscrupulous to say the least.

I still feel like >>>> :blink:

Regards.
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#11
newbie geek

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The Head Office after persistence has agreed that it will be covered under warranty and have given me a work order number in writing and my software tech is going to take it in and deal with the matter as I don't want another "coincidence" of another problem arising after this computer has operated fine until this last touchpad install and of course it continues to operate fine with the exception of not asking for a BIOS password.

If it is the mainboard as the depot that fixed the touchpad indicates via their crystal ball over the phone then I will have to insure that I have ghosted it to current date if the mainboard is replaced as they allege is the only remedy.

It is an entirely different Authorized Depot that will be diagnosing and doing the repair.

Any comments.
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#12
dsenette

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if they replace the motherboard they will probably be replacing it with the same make and model board...so you shouldn't have any issues as far as the os not working when it comes back...but yeah...you should still make a full backup of everything near and dear to you on the drive...
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