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Old 06-17-2007, 07:56 PM   #1
jens
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BIOS password trouble


A friend of me locked his laptop completely by setting a bios password.
The laptop is an "acer travelmate 2201WLC".

I do have the password but that doesn't help me since I can't even access the keyboard. Nothing boots at all, it just shows a password screen.

I assume this means I need to open it?
That doesn't seem to work either.
Some screws simply can't be removed (so far).

I've tried googling for a (hardware) manual but can't find that either.
Any suggestions?

PS: I did mail global.acer.com, but they didn't respond.

Last edited by jens; 06-17-2007 at 08:00 PM.
 
Old 06-17-2007, 08:04 PM   #2
Hern_28
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External Keyboard

Have you tried using an external keyboard?
 
Old 06-17-2007, 08:21 PM   #3
jens
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hern_28
Have you tried using an external keyboard?
Yes.
It does seem to recognize everything, but the password keeps blocking any input.
 
Old 06-17-2007, 08:31 PM   #4
ErV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jens
I've tried googling for a (hardware) manual but can't find that either.
You can try to find a factory password or you can reset CMOS or remove CMOS battery and wait. Though I don't know if there will be some problems with resetting cmos on a laptop.
 
Old 06-17-2007, 08:40 PM   #5
jens
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErV
You can try to find a factory password or you can reset CMOS or remove CMOS battery and wait. Though I don't know if there will be some problems with resetting cmos on a laptop.
Well, a factory password wouldn't work since I can't access anything to insert it (I would use use debug if I had access)...
Removing all batteries is actually what I'm trying to do, but I can't open the damn thing. Some screws just don't appear to be removable...

I can't seem to find(google) a manual for this model either.
 
Old 06-17-2007, 09:10 PM   #6
SlowCoder
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It sounds to me like there's more problems to this machine than a simple password. If you are unable to enter the password using either the onboard, or external keyboards, there's something bigger wrong.

What is your indication that there is no keyboard input? Does your laptop allow you to press a key to access the BIOS, then prompts you for the password?
 
Old 06-17-2007, 09:16 PM   #7
jens
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowCoder
It sounds to me like there's more problems to this machine than a simple password. If you are unable to enter the password using either the onboard, or external keyboards, there's something bigger wrong.

What is your indication that there is no keyboard input? Does your laptop allow you to press a key to access the BIOS, then prompts you for the password?
It doesn't allow any input (I tried to access it with an other system as well).
It shows the password screen even before the bios interface...

Last edited by jens; 06-17-2007 at 09:29 PM.
 
Old 06-17-2007, 11:15 PM   #8
jens
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I finally did find some info.

As I already mentioned it's not mine(it's from a friend's 13 year old son) so don't really know what happened with it.

It seems Acer has some weird security tool called eService, so I'm guessing that's what blocking everything:
https://www.synapsenow.com/synapse/d...UserManual.pdf

Support from acer seems to suck badly (I guess that's why they didn't reply my mail):
Quote:
Acer refuses to assist customers with BIOS password issues. The only option they will discuss involves sending them your laptop and paying a $100 fee.

Here is a copy of an email from Acer Support:

Thank you for contacting Acer America. I apologize for the delay in responding to your inquiry. In order to have the BIOS or hard disk password removed (This include any biometric security), the notebook will need to come in to our repair depot for password removal. This service is not covered by warranty and unfortunately there is no other recourse to remove a BIOS or HDD password from the notebook. The flat fee for BIOS password removal is $100.00 US dollars plus tax. If it is a BIOS or HDD password and you would like us to service it for you, please contact our telephone technical support line at 1-800-816-2237. Hours of operation are 7am-9pm CST Monday-Friday and 8am-5pm CST Saturday and Sunday, excluding holidays.
http://www.tech-faq.com/acer-bios-password.shtml

This thing is really hard to open but that does seem to be the only way.

I did finally found a way to remove those annoying screws (you had to turn them in the opposite direction).

I'll try removing the CMOS batteries tomorrow (I really need some sleep now).

Last edited by jens; 06-17-2007 at 11:25 PM.
 
Old 06-17-2007, 11:22 PM   #9
jens
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........double_post.........

Last edited by jens; 06-17-2007 at 11:24 PM.
 
Old 06-18-2007, 01:47 AM   #10
ErV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowCoder
It sounds to me like there's more problems to this machine than a simple password. If you are unable to enter the password using either the onboard, or external keyboards, there's something bigger wrong.
I suppose, it should beep or print a message like "keyboard error" if something goes wrong with keyboard. Since that isn't mentioned, it's possible that it is not the case.
 
Old 06-20-2007, 03:56 PM   #11
SlowCoder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErV
I suppose, it should beep or print a message like "keyboard error" if something goes wrong with keyboard. Since that isn't mentioned, it's possible that it is not the case.
Right, I agree. But as the OP said earlier, it doesn't even get to the BIOS screen before prompting. It depends on how Acer's BIOS is written, also.
 
Old 06-20-2007, 05:12 PM   #12
quietguy47
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This site may offer some help.
http://www.elfqrin.com/docs/biospw.html
 
Old 06-21-2007, 01:42 AM   #13
J.W.
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One other option to consider would be to remove the hard drive from the laptop, put it into a USB enclosure, and access the data that way. Obviously that doesn't solve the BIOS password issue, but you can get to your data
 
Old 06-22-2007, 03:43 PM   #14
jens
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.W.
One other option to consider would be to remove the hard drive from the laptop, put it into a USB enclosure, and access the data that way. Obviously that doesn't solve the BIOS password issue, but you can get to your data
Well, it's not really the data that matters.
This laptop is from a 13 year old who bought it with his own money(and that's a lot for a kid). This kid really felt bad for breaking it...
Thank you for the suggestion though.

I did get some very useful info from a nice hardware/laptop forum:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hairy_Lee
remove the cover where the thermal module for the CPU is; underneath the stick of RAM there are two small contacts (they my be hidden by a sticker); when you find them remove the battery and short out the two contacts for about 10 seconds, reassemble the unit and the password should be cleared.
I did find those (_very_ small) contacts under that sticker.
I'd still like to remove the battery cause that always works and can't fry your system.

If it really doesn't open, I will short those contacts though.

Last edited by jens; 06-22-2007 at 04:05 PM.
 
Old 07-12-2007, 08:19 PM   #15
jens
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Update

Since Acer kept refusing to give any info on how to open the damn thing, I did what Hairy_Lee recommended.
I had to short it three times before the CMOS managed to reprogram itself.
After that it all just worked again (no data loss either).

PS: I was happily surprised to see this 13 year old kid was actually dual booting winXP and Fedora Core 6 (his father never mentioned this)

Last edited by jens; 07-12-2007 at 08:22 PM.
 
  


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