Activate KMX2


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Activate KMX2

Safety Precautions to ensure that your KeyMaker Board and ThinkPad are not damaged

In order to avoid damage to your KeyMaker Board as well as the ThinkPad you are using it on, there are certain precautions you MUST observe.

If you ignore these precautions you will join the 3% of customers who bought a KeyMaker board - ignored these precautions and damaged their KeyMaker Board  by being careless - then had to pay to have it replaced - and lost a lot of time in the process.

Your KeyMaker has electrical contacts on both sides, you must ensure that no part of your KeyMaker USB board comes into contact with any conductive surfaces such as bare metal or bare wires.

You should place down a piece of paper and place your KeyMaker USB on top of it in order to avoid any electrical contact which may damage your KeyMaker.

There is no danger of receiving an electrical shock from your KeyMaker USB as the highest voltage anywhere on the board is 5 Volts which is a safe voltage to touch.

If you prefer you can place your KeyMaker USB board inside an Anti-Static  plastic bag during use, the board does not get warm at all, so there is no issue with ventilation.

The same precautions apply to your ThinkPad when you are performing any operation and BEFORE your ThinkPad is switched ON, you must ensure that nothing can short out by coming into contact with other parts, you can use sheets of plastic or plain paper to make sure things remain electrically isolated.

You MUST NOT allow the SDA and SCL leads from any KeyMaker KMX1 or KMX2 to come into contact with ANYTHING other than the correct SDA and SDA EEPROM connections points and ONLY AFTER;

You have traced the wire you are using for your probe right back to the label on the I2C header on the KeyMaker board which reads SDA for YOUR SDA lead and reads SCL for YOUR SCL lead.

You have absolutely confirmed that you have correctly identified the SDA and SCL connection points on your ThinkPad System Board.

3% of customers who purchased a KeyMaker Board have somehow managed to damaged their KeyMaker board.

NOT ONE of those customers can tell me exactly what he or she did to damage it.

I have tried all sorts of seriously ridiculous ways to damage a KeyMaker board and I have NOT BEEN ABLE TO DAMAGE ONE !

I only tried MILDLY STUPID THINGS like connecting a solid 9 Volt source to SDA and SCL - theoretically that should have damaged the I/O pin on that KeyMaker powered from 3.3 Volts, IT DIDN'T.

Your KeyMaker board is a delicate piece of equipment, treat it with respect.

Do NOT experiment or connect to anything if you are not certain you have the correct connection points identified.

There are voltages much higher than 3.3 Volts inside your ThinkPad, in fact up to 20 Volts. 

20 Volts is not a danger to YOU but it is to the KeyMaker KMX1 or KMX2.

Connect SDA and SCL leads ONLY if you have double checked and are CERTAIN you have correctly identified SDA and SCL connection points

The above is VERY IMPORTANT - don't ignore it else you WILL damage your KeyMaker KMX1 or KMX2 board and that is expensive, wastes a lot of time and is not much fun.

Read more on Safety Precautions here

All of Joe's KeyMaker KMX2, KMX2 PRO and KMX2 PRO S are shipped NOT Activated.

Before you can use your KMX2, KMX2 PRO or KMX2 PRO Plus KeyMaker board first you must Activate it.

The Zap SVP will NOT work until after the KMX2 board has been Activated.

Put simply, do not waste your time trying to use the KMX2 board until it has been Activated.

The videos below show Activation of a KMX1. Activation KMX2 is exactly the same, the board is different.

NOT activated KMX1 flashing Green LED

Activating a KMX1 board


Activation involves using a PC or Laptop - another PC or Laptop, NOT the Locked ThinkPad which obviously cannot run any programs.

On that other PC or Laptop you will need to install Drivers, unless you are using Windows 7 which does not require any drivers, it already knows all about the KMX2 USB interface.

You will then need to install a Terminal Program and connect the KMX2 board via a mini USB cable to that PC or Laptop so that you can see on the PC or Laptop screen messages displayed by KMX2 and type in commands and serial numbers which will be received by the KMX2 board.

Installing Drivers

If you are running Windows 7 either 32 or 64 bits, you usually do NOT need to install any drivers as Windows 7 will automatically recognize KMX1 and install the correct drivers.

With some batches of FTDI USB chips used on KMX1 and KMX2 the default windows software drivers do not work, in those cases refer to the instructions here

FTDI the manufacturer of the FTDI FT232RL USB chip used in KMX2 has drivers as well as comprehensive guides to install those drivers in all the applicable Operating Systems.

There is not a lot more I can add about drivers that FTDI don't cover in their USB driver guides except to WARN YOU;

Please review ALL the instructions from FTDI first before doing anything. When you have a clear picture of the entire process, only then follow the FTDI instructions.

If your operating system is OLD and you have not kept up with all the latest service packs, then;

You should install the FTDI drivers BEFORE you connect your KMX2 to a PC, if possible.

Temptation is to just connect the board to a PC and assume that Windows knows all about it.

WRONG! if your Operating System is outdated

If you let it Windows will automatically install some drivers which may be old and not the correct drivers.

If possible, it is best to install FTDI DRIVERS FIRST before you plug your KMX2 into a PC USB port, DO NOT just blindly say OK to everything Windows suggests, first read what is being suggested.

If you have the latest Operating System and it is up to date then it should easily find the FTDI FT232RL and install the correct drivers automatically.

All you need to install on your PC, MAC or Linux Personal Computer is;

USB drivers for the FTDI FT232R USB chip, 

Detailed installation guides for FTDI USB drivers

FTDI USB Drivers are compatible with the following operating systems; 

Windows Server 2008 R2

Windows 7

Windows 7 x64

Windows Server 2008

Windows Server 2008 x64

Windows Vista

Windows Vista x64

Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003 x64

Windows XP

Windows XP x64

Windows 2000

Windows ME

Windows 98


Mac OS X

Mac OS 9

Mac OS 8

Windows CE.NET (Version 4.2 and greater)


Terminal Software

Before your KMX2 can do anything useful, you need to connect a mini USB cable to it, the other end of the cable should be plugged into a PC or Laptop that is switched ON.

KeyMaker KMX2

The same board is used for KMX2, KMX2 PRO and KMX2 PRO PLUS, the differences arise depending on which product keys are used to Activate it to enable various levels of functionality.

Once the KMX2 board is powered by the mini USB cable plugged into a PC or Laptop that is switched ON, you should see;

The Green Power LED [just to the right of the RESET Button] light up and stay ON.

A few quick flashes of the Red TX and RX LEDs

The Green EEPROM activity LED flashing continuously which indicates that this KMX2 has NOT been Activated yet.

Your KMX2 is switched ON and ready to be Activated.

To Switch your KMX2 OFF you unplug the mini USB cable.

 There are a lot of different Terminal Software programs out there, most are free.

Windows comes with a Terminal Program called Hyperlink which you can access by Start - All Programs - Accessories - Communications - Hyper Terminal.

The choice is yours,  almost any Terminal Software should work with KeyMaker KMX2

I prefer to use a program called Tera Term which is available for Download here  tera term save the downloaded file to your computer then run the exe file just like any other Windows program to Install it.

If you run another operating system then you will need to search the net for a suitable Terminal Software program for your Operating System.

The following is about Tera Term running under Windows however you can use this as a guide for most Terminal Software.

The USB interface on the KMX2 board and the FTDI Drivers act as a USB Serial COM Port to which Windows assigns a COM Port Number.

This is a good time to be introduced to the switches and buttons on your KMX2 board

Let's start with those 2 slider switches on the left side.

  1. Top one should always be over to the left as in the above photo.

  2. The next switch should always be over to the left as in the above photo.

Down the bottom left, you have the RESET Button, labelled RST which we will be using further down this page, above the RESET Button is the green Power LED labelled PWR which lights up whenever the KMX2 is powered up.

On the right, the 4 wire cable has been plugged in over the I2C Header pins, NOTE: the RED wire goes over the VCC pin.

On the middle right you have the ZAP SVP button.

Just left of the Text on the board 'v1.22' is a Green LED labelled L, that is the Green EEPROM activity LED which is used to signal EEPROM activity, it is lit and stays lit while the KMX2 board I2C cable is accessing the EEPROM connected to the other end of the I2C cable.

The Green EEPROM Activity LED is also used to indicate if the KMX2 has been Activated or not as well as to signal success or failure of EEPROM operations.

If the KMX2 has not been Activated the Green EEPROM Activity LED will flash constantly.

After the KMX2 board has been activated when you power up the KMX2 board the LED will flash 4 times and then remain OFF to indicate the KMX2 board has been Activated and ready to be used.

I should mention at this point that it is better to power up [plug in the mini USB cable connected to a PC or Laptop which is switched ON] before you run your Terminal Software.

The reason being that until KMX2 is turned on its COM Port doesn't exist, so your Terminal Program would not find it which can be frustrating if you don't realize what's happening.

So power up KMX2 ON first, then run your Terminal Software.

Select the COM Port that was allocated to KMX2 during the USB Driver installation.

If you are not sure which COM Port KMX2 is attached to, see further down this page for help in finding the right COM Port

Set up the Serial Port on your Terminal software to;

Baud rate: 115200
Data: 8 bit
Parity: none
Stop: 1 bit
Flow control: none
Transmit delay: 0 msec/char 0 msec/line

Save all these setting so you don't have to do this again.

On some Terminal programs you also need to CONNECT before anything useful happens.

The drop down screen for making these settings in Tera term is shown below

You get there by - Setup - Serial port..

Each of the settings has a drop down menu which allows you to chose the correct settings, click OK when done. 

To save those settings, you would chose - Setup - Save setup - type in a name and click Ok, now each time Tera term is run it starts up with all the correct settings.

Press the Reset button on KMX2, Bottom left of board black coloured push button labelled RESET.

You should see the KMX2 Product Activation Screen with the cursor blinking ready for you to type in your KMX2 Activation Product Key, the background and Text colours will vary depending on your settings.

If you see no characters displayed

That is because of 2 incorrect FTDI drivers installed.

You need to uninstall those 2 incorrect drivers.

Then install 2 correct drivers, refer to the instructions here


If you see no characters displayed

That is because of 2 incorrect FTDI drivers installed.

You need to uninstall those 2 incorrect drivers.

Then install 2 correct drivers, refer to the instructions here


If what you see is like the image below - a random bunch of characters - DON'T PANIC, it is OK, that simply means that you have not set the Baud Rate correctly, KMX2 Baud Rate is 115200

Or maybe you are on the wrong page - This page is for KMX2 -

Don't concern yourself with Activation right now that is fully covered later, for now lets get KMX2 to display something

If nothing appears on your PC or Laptop screen.

Watch the KMX2 board while pressing and releasing KMX2's RESET button which is next to the illuminated GREEN Power LED.

Each time you press and release the reset button you should see a RED LED on middle of the KMX2 board flash very briefly, that is the TX LED which flashes any time serial data is being sent out by KMX2 to your computer via the USB Port.

If the RED LED flashes it confirms all is well as your board is indeed sending out the Initial Activation Screen to your computer but you are not seeing it.

The usual cause for not seeing anything on the screen is you have NOT selected the correct COM Port connected to the KMX2 board.

Finding the COM Port KMX2 is attached to

The easiest way to find out which COM port KMX2 is on is to

Click on START, Right Click My Computer - Properties

The System Properties window should appear.

Select the Hardware tab by clicking on it, then click on Device Manager

In the Device Manager Window, scroll down until you see Ports (COM & LPT)

Click on the + symbol on the left of that line + Ports (COM & LPT)

Which call cause it to Expand and display all available Ports.

Watch that list while you unplug the mini USB cable from your KMX2 board for a few seconds then plug it back in again.

The COM port that disappears each time you unplug the mini USB and re-appears when you plug it back in is the COM Port assigned to KMX2 by Windows and the FTDI Drivers.

Now you know for sure what is the correct COM Port, go back to your terminal Software and select that COM Port.

On my PC, when KMX2 is connected, USB Serial Port (COM21) is displayed


When KMX2 is unplugged, USB Serial Port (COM21) disappears, so my KMX2 is attached to COM Port 21

NOTE: In the images displayed below, THE BACKGROUND is NOT from a KMX2 so ignore the background.

Setting Tera Term colours for background and text can be customized by clicking Setup - Window..

To set Text colour, click the Text Radio Button and move the R G B Sliders, then click OK

To set Background colour, click the Background Radio Button and move the R G B Sliders, then Click OK

Now that you can interact with KMX2 by using a Terminal Program it is time to Activate your KMX2 board

Activating the KMX2 board

Press the Reset button on KMX2, Bottom left of board black coloured push button labelled RESET.

You should see the KMX2 Product Activation Screen with the cursor blinking ready for you to type in your KMX2 Activation Product Key, the background and Text colours will vary depending on your settings.

The KMX2 Serial number in the example above is KMX2-92157

The Serial Number of the KMX2 you are Activating will be a different number it will NOT be KMX2-92157.

Every KMX2s has a Unique Serial Number and a Unique Activation Product Key that ONLY works on that Serial Number KMX2. 

You need to email me the serial number displayed by the KMX2 you are activating.

 DO NOT email me the sample serial number KMX1-92157 as that is NOT the serial of the KMX2 you are activating.

You email me the Serial Number displayed by the KMX2 you are activating.

You must send that email from the email address that is registered to the PayPal account you used to purchase your KMX2

Send your email to 


type KMX2 Activation in the Subject line of your email

By return email. to your PayPal registered email address. you will receive your unique 8 alpha character Activation Product Key that you can type in at the Initial Activation menu.


YOU need to ensure that YOUR ISP or YOUR email SPAM filter is not blocking my reply from

Once you have received your Unique Activation Product Key by return email:

Press the Reset button on KMX2, Bottom left of board black coloured push button labelled RESET.

You should see the KMX2 Product Activation Screen with the cursor blinking ready for you to type in your KMX2 Activation Product Key

If you typed in an incorrect Product Activation Key you simply wait 5 seconds before you can try again

Depending on which KMX2 you purchased.

Your Product Activation key will Activate your KMX2 to that level of functionality.

See example below for KMX2 Activation.


Successful activation of KMX2  typed in KMX2 Product Key HINRPEMV result is PASS

Activation ONLY needs to be performed once and remains in effect forever.

With your KMX2 Activated now is a good time to become familiar with how the SVP Zap button works.

It is safe to operate the Zap SVP button without any EEPROM connected.

It will fail almost immediately and give a short burst of fast flashes on the Green EEPROM Activity LED which indicates a failed Zap SVP operation, in this case it fails because obviously it can't find an EEPROM since none is connected.

You will notice there is a 5 second DELAY count down, that is the default delay count down setting, you can change this later to 0 [no delay], 5, 10 or 15 seconds using the 0 command -- Delay

Following the delay the Green EEPROM Activity LED will stay lit steady briefly and when the Zap SVP operation fails you will see the Green EEPROM Activity LED display a burst of quick flashes [signalling failed operation] then go out, you also see this error message displayed.

If you purchased the KMX-LCD you will see this on the KMX-LCD attached to the KMX2 board

Top line of LCD displays the status of the 5 second delay countdown
Bottom line displays EEPROM Type, currently set delay time and Keyboard Country.

Zap SVP procedure failed LCD display

It is recommended that until you are thoroughly familiar with using your KMX2 that you use KMX2 with a second PC simply because you will benefit from the detailed instructions and detailed error messages displayed on your PC. Once you are familiar with your KMX2 then you can use it with only the Zap SVP button or with the KMX-LCD

After Activation has been completed AND you are familiar withe the operation of your KMX2 then -  you do NOT need a second PC or laptop when using the KMX2 Zap SVP button or when using KMX2 together with the KMX-LCD

Up ] [ Activate KMX2 ] Activate KMX2 PRO ] Activate KMX2PROPLUS ] KMX2 unlocks TP ] KMX2 Zap ] KMX2+KMX-LCD ] KMX2+PC ] 93C46 Connections ] Save EEPROM ] Write EEPROM ] Diagnostic ]

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I make no warranty that any of my information is correct, or safe, or does or does not breach any warranty clause,  or anything else, it is up to you to decide if you will follow all or any of the instructions to recover the Supervisor Password from a TP. It is up to you to decide, I am not responsible for the results or for any consequential or incidental damages whatsoever.

If you have any questions, email Joe at

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