[ 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 ]
SVP recovery or Clear
using KeyMaker KMX2 with a second PC or Laptop
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
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
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
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.
more on Safety Precautions here
In the text below any
reference to KMX2 applies equally to KMX2 PRO and KMX2 PRO Plus
Before you can use KMX2
to unlock any TP you must first Activate
If the Green EEPROM
Activity LED on your KMX2 is flashing continuously that means
it has not been Activated
The images below show a
board, for the functions described below KMX2 performs in the same way as
Please read this entire page, more
than once if you have to, until you have a really good understanding of
ALL the steps involved, only then start unlocking your ThinkPad
Recovering or Clearing a Supervisor
Password (SVP) from a TP is fairly straightforward.
Once you know how to avoid all the
TRAPS IBM/Lenovo have set for you the customer.
I know this is all very exciting and you are ready
to start stripping down your TP and jump into it, but WAIT! read all
of this first.
Most people are absolutely certain they have a
Supervisor Password (SVP) set.
There is a chance you may not have a SVP set in
I have exchanged emails with many people who have
gone through all the SVP unlocking thing read the EEPROM, wasted days,
only to discover there is no SVP set at all.
How is that possible, are these people really dumb
The answer is NO, these are all perfectly sane
The real problem is IBM/Lenovo and their warped
sense of humour.
When you really do have strong security, you
challenge people to try and defeat it, you invite peer review to
make sure it is in fact secure.
When you have flimsy pretend security and you
obstinately pretend it is so secure even you cant unlock it, well you
have to get all secretive and vague about everything HOPING people
wont find out, in other words an illusion of strong security where
none really exist, which is what we have here.
Trap number 1, the Hard Disk Password
If at any time you see this Password
That icon with the small number 1 (it
may be a small number 2 or 3 if you have more than one Hard Disk]
means the HDP is set. You will not be able to easily recover or clear
the HDP, KMX2 will NOT recover or clear HDP.
It will cost you more to clear the HDP
than a new Hard disk is worth.
Clearing a HDP is only worth the
expense and effort if there is valuable data on the Hard disk that
MUST be recovered.
If HDP is set then
remove the Hard Disk [HD] before continuing so that you can determine
which other passwords (IF ANY) you need to recover or clear.
There may not be any other password set!
Ok, you removed the HD and you see yet another
Password Prompt icon.
Trap number 2, the guessing game - is it SVP
or POP -
The trap is that IBM/Lenovo in their wisdom chose to
have THE SAME PASSWORD PROMPT ICON for BOTH SVP and Power on
The password prompt icon pictured
Does NOT define which PASSWORD it is asking you to enter.
It can be either POP or SVP
Only ONE way to find out for sure
which one it is and maybe save a LOT of time.
your TP model
the Hardware Maintenance Manual (HMM) for your TP model
The link above is to the IBM/Lenovo site, if
it doesn't work, don't panic, it isn't broken, their site is shut
down daily for maintenance and at those times they display
spurious messages like the page you requested cannot be found,
wait a good while and try again.
Using the HMM link above, once you select a model
and are on the page that has the PDF HMM for that model, it is best to
right click on the PDF HMM for your model then select Save Target
AS, that way you will have the PDF HMM on your PC to refer to any
time you need it.
Spend the time to read the first part of the HMM
which deals with Cautions some of which like for example Shock Sensors
are very important, you would not want to roughly handle your System
board to find out when you power it up to unlock it that in fact you
have ruined it.
Read the HMM section dealing with Passwords and
become familiar with how to remove Power on Password [POP]
Then follow the instructions for POP Removal
After performing POP Removal if there is no password
prompt icon displayed, you are done, your TP is unlocked.
if you have performed POP Removal and
you continue to see this password prompt icon
It does NOT mean you didn't
perform POP Removal correctly
It means that with POP removed,
you have now absolutely confirmed that you do indeed have a SVP set
and you can now put the time and effort into removing or clearing it.
How to recover or
You must ACTIVATE
your KMX2 before it will do anything useful.
If you jumped straight in here
without reading all of the above information - STOP - and read all the information above
Recovering or Clearing a Supervisor Password (SVP)
from a ThinkPad (TP) always involves these steps.
your TP model.
- Find the location
of the EEPROM connection points and EEPROM Type.
and save the HMM, then follow the HMM to enable you strip
down the TP [without damaging it as you would if you don't
follow the HMM] down to the point you can access that EEPROM
location, depending on the model this could be ONE Screw or a
total strip down.
- Connect 3 leads between the EEPROM's connection
points and KMX2 I2C connector
- Switch on the TP and use the KM9A Menu to select
the EEPROM type which you would have from the EEPROM connection
At the TOP of each EEPROM
LOCATION page you will find a message, for example for
R61 you would see;
R61i EEPROM you treat it as a 24RF08
That is the eeprom type you select at this point from the menu
for your model TP if you are unlocking an R61, check for your
own model and select what that page says is the EEPROM in your
- select the command to Recover or Clear your
More detail on those 5 steps follows below,
please continue reading
It will lead to this
The connection Points on KMX2, VCC - GND - SCL - SDA
Most times we only use GND - SCL - SDA and leave
VCC NOT connected.
When you purchase KMX2 you are supplied with a 4 wire
Most of the time you will ONLY be using 3 of those 4
In the photo above on the right, the 4 wire lead is
connected onto the I2C header pins
NOTE: The orientation, by convention, much like a car
battery, RED is Positive Voltage, in this case it is called VCC.
Black is Negative or as we will be referring to it as
GND which stands for Ground, in plain English Ground is the negative or
common point in a circuit.
You do NOT connect VCC [the RED lead] unless you are
reading an unsoldered 24xx series EEPROM and I can't see you doing that
very often if at all unless you run a Laptop Repair Shop.
All the EEPROM location pages show 3 connection
- GND which you connect to the BLACK lead above.
- SCL which you connect to the YELLOW lead above.
- SDA which you connect to the WHITE lead above.
Make it a habit of connecting the 4 wire lead as per
above with the RED wire over VCC.
When it comes to making those 3 connections between KMX2
and the EEPROM you have the choice of using;
- Clips to make the connections
- Using Sharp Probes, for example multimeter leads
that are skinny and come to a sharp point, they also have an
insulated handle for you to hold without your sweaty hands
interfering with the low power signals on SDA and SCL.
about Clips and Probes
Whichever method you chose to make the 3 connections
is up to you, so long as there is a good electrical connection during
any Read or Write operation between the connection points at both the
EEPROM and KMX2 I2C CONNECTOR all is well.
want to unlock your TP and use it again?
It does not get any
easier than this!
Yes, you can easily do it
If you have read all the
preceding information on this page and not simply skipped all that
boring IMPORTANT information, - if you skipped it, go
back and read all of this page above.
You should already
your TP model.
and saved the HMM, then followed the HMM POP removal procedure
to be certain it isn't simply a POP and NOT SVP you are faced with
Having confirmed it is
a SVP, found the location
of the EEPROM connection points and EEPROM Type for your
Followed the HMM to
enable you to strip down the TP [without damaging it as you would
if you don't follow the HMM] down to the point you can access that
EEPROM location, depending on the model this could be ONE Screw or
a total strip down.
Having found the EEPROM
connection point for your TP Model, having decided if you use clips or sharp probes to make the actual connections.
The time has come to
actually make those connections.
method you chose, your KMX2 should be switched ON, your Terminal
software should be connected to your KMX2 and you should be at the
Main Menu displayed on the screen
If you really really
skipped a lot of preceding information, here is a clue, the Terminal
software runs on a second PC or Laptop, the USB port on that second PC
is connected to KMX2, NOT ON THE LOCKED TP as clearly that is
A quick lesson: IBM and
Lenovo used three different key layouts for country specific
QWERTZ for DE German
AZERTY for FR French
Since some keys are in
different places, the password could be different for each keyboard
if those keys were used.
Use Command 6 first to
select your TP keyboard language.
Pay attention to
Selecting ThinkPad's Keyboard if you are doing different Language
Keyboard Selection Menu
First, you connect the 3
wires (GND, SDA, SCL) from the KMX2 I2C header to the EEPROM connection
points on your Password Protected TP.
You can solder the 3
wires, or you can use a clip on each wire, or you can use a clip for
GND and sharp probes for SDA and SCL.
Below are photos of an R52
being unlocked using another R52 to run the Terminal software and power
locked R52 has
been opened and placed on its side to allow access to the ON/OFF push
button and also to allow access to the underside of the R52.
cover underneath the R52 has been removed, the Memory has also been
removed to allow access to the EEPROM
connection points, only 1 screw to undo.
is powered by the USB port of the second R52, the one running the
Terminal Software to communicate with KMX2.
Making the 2 probes used is described
Nothing else is required.
A black clip is being used for
the GND connection attached to the metal clip which normally holds the
Memory in place.
Leaving one hand free to
operate the Terminal Software, in some case you may need 2 persons.
Looks easy - because - it is
easy when you have the right tools.
You can find the EEPROM
location and connection points for the R52 in this case on the EEPROM
Locations page, there you see the photo below of the R52 EEPROM
The 2 probes held in place,
GND clip not visible clipped to finger on left that holds memory in
The 3 connections MUST be
made to the correct connection points.
Double check you have not
mixed up the 3 wires.
With some models, you will
have a totally stripped down bare, yet able to be switched on and run
TP for this operation.
In that case make sure the
metal parts of the keyboard cannot come into electrical contact with
any part of the circuitry on the system board you can use paper or
plastic or insulating tape to keep things electrically isolated.
Make sure you do have
attached the CPU heat sink and that the CPU cooling fan is connected
and will operate when the TP is switched on, else you will fry your
On some models it helps if
you open the LCD screen at 90 degrees and stand the TP vertical so one
side of the LCD screen and one side of the Machine are resting on the
table surface, that way you can access the front and back of the TP
after it is switched ON.
If you are using sharp
probes to make the connections then you can wait until the locked TP
has Powered UP and is at a password prompt before making the
connections using your sharp probes.
You have made sure
nothing can 'short out' ?
Plug a mini-USB cable from
one of the USB Ports on your unlocked laptop or PC to the USB socket
on your KMX2, that will power KMX2.
Switch the KMX2 on and
run the Terminal software on your laptop or PC, NOT THE ONE LOCKED
WITH A PASSWORD, ANOTHER PC OR LAPTOP.
Connect the GND wire
from the ThinkPad to the KMX2 I2C interface.
Of course you do need to
connect some power to the ThinkPad via your TP AC adaptor, else
nothing useful will occur.
Switch the ThinkPad ON.
PRESS AND HOLD DOWN the
ThinkPad F1 KEY
If you don't hear the
sound of the CPU cooling fan running, switch off and check it before
continuing, normally the fan runs the instant you switch the TP ON, it
may stop in the next few seconds, that's OK, so long as it does run at
start up you know you have not forgotten to connect it during
WAIT until you see the
message 'Entering Bios setup' or similarly worded message or you see a
Password Prompt icon or you see an error message that is NOT about a
ONLY THEN RELEASE THE
If the ThinkPad has booted
to any operating System, switch it OFF and pay MORE ATTENTION, hold
down the F1 key and continue to hold it down while switching the
VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU
DO NOT continue unless the ThinkPad is displaying the message
'Entering Bios setup' or similarly worded message or you see a
Password Prompt icon or you see an error message that is NOT about an
operating system boot error.
If you see this password
prompt icon with either the number 1 or 2 or 3 etc
means, that like a LOT OF PEOPLE, you are rushing and you completely
skipped the important information at the start of this page, please
switch the TP OFF, and start reading from the top of this page, this
time do NOT skip anything!
You should be seeing
final reminder for those in a huge rush who skip important
information, you did already follow the POP Removal procedure detailed
at the top of this page, YES?
Did you notice that each
page showing the location of the EEPROM connection point for your TP
model, starts off with, for example for R52;
EEPROM you treat it as LSI
That is telling us that
the EEPROM TYPE for an R52 is LSI.
That EEPROM TYPE will be
your first Main menu selection
Go ahead and select your
TP's EEPROM type LSI, 24RF08, 24C01, 24C03 or 93C46 from
the main menu.
Type in the command number
for the EEPROM Type in your TP.
Depending on the EEPROM
Type selected, you will then see either 1 or more Command options.
Recover LSI SVP is
always the number 1 Command.
Notice in the display above - 5 second
That delay is to allow YOU to start an
operation and then during the delay connect your SDA and SCL Probes to
the System Board so that when the delay counts down to zero and the
operation starts the SDA and SCL probes are already connected and all
is in place for the operation to succeed.
Without the delay you would need
someone else to help you to start the operation once you had the
probes in place - problem is you ONLY HAVE 2 HANDS and without the
delay you would need 3 hands or more !
Do not press a command button before
YOU are ready to connect SDA and SCL before the countdown expires, you
can set the delay to 0, 5, 10 or 15 seconds.
The GND connection needs to be made
before we start an operation, so make the GND connection now using a
Clip so that you do not need to hold that in place.
Now press the command
number for the operation you wish to perform and perform that
If you are using sharp probes to make
the EEPROM connections, you must now apply them to the EEPROM
connection points for SDA and SCL before the delay countdown reaches
If for example we had
select LSI as the EEPROM type and then selected Command 1 for Recover
LSI SVP we would see the following screen.
ABCDEFG displayed ready to type in a the password prompt using a
QWERTY English Keyboard
The Supervisor password
The copy of the SVP (CSVP)
which on some older models contains the Hard Disk Password (HDP) can
also be recovered and displayed.
NOTE: on newer
models, Hard Disk Password cannot be recovered from anywhere inside
the TP, the Hard Disk itself internally looks after the HD Password.
NSC The type of
Scan code decoded, in this case Normal Scan Code. Will also decode R
series Scan Codes RSC
Now that you KNOW what
the Supervisor Password is.
Your TP is asking you to
enter the Supervisor Password?
Well now you have it!
You simply type in your
and press the ENTER key.
Your TP is
now unlocked, as a reward, you are greeted by this welcome sign of
an UNLOCKED TP
Now you have
full access to your TP
Time to congratulate
yourself on a job well done.
To permanently remove the
Supervisor Password, follow the instructions for turning off the
password option in the setup.
I would recommend that you
set a new Supervisor Password, one you can remember. If you don't set
one someone else can and you may have to do this all over again, much
easier to set your own password so no one else can set one and
To avoid confusion between
different language keyboards, you can select which Keyboard language
you wish to use to display your recovered passwords, see sample Screen
Shots further down at the foot of this webpage.
If you really skipped a
lot of information and did NOT BOTHER to check
which passwords are set and in fact there is no SVP set you would
see *BLANK* displayed which means there
is NO SVP set and you wasted a lot of time recovering a SVP that is
NOT SET. Always check first which
passwords are set.
If the optional TPM/TCPA
Security (encryption) was enabled, then the SVP cannot be recovered -
it isn't a word or phrase that can be displayed. In that case
you would see something like this instead of your recovered SVP,
*BADCS* or *NVPC** as per the image
below - that simply means the SVP is encrypted and cannot be Recovered
to be typed in at the Keyboard, instead you need to use the KMX2 Clear
SVP command to Clear that encrypted SVP
encrypted SVP is NOT a problem for KMX2 !
As you can see in the
screen shot above, command 2 lets you Clear LSI SVP.
This will clear ANY
password including the encrypted TPM/TCPA SVP or as some people call
it Reset TCPA.
You press the 2 key, a
message appears asking you if you are ready to Clear SVP
You type Y
for Yes and make the SDA and SCL connections
BEFORE the delay reaches zero.
A few seconds later
there is no longer an encrypted SVP and TCPA has been reset.
encrypted SVP is gone, however there are important remaining steps you
NOT SKIP THESE VERY IMPORTANT STEPS BELOW
IF your laptop is set to boot over a Corporate Network then you will
need to find out and set teh correct BIOS settings for your Corporate network.
After the Clear
SVP operation is completed, AND YOU HAVE
COMPLETED THE VERY IMPORTANT STEPS ABOVE
if you press 1 for Recover LSI SVP
operation is completed you will see the screen below, see *BLANK*
that means - NO SVP -, gone as if it
Final quick lesson;
When using KMX2,
connection leads to the EEPROM inside a TP can be connected whilst the
TP is switched OFF or ON, the leads can be left connected while
the TP is being switched ON and OFF.
If you are new to TP
unlocking you might be thinking - so what! well read on and you
will see what a significant difference that can make.
RS-232 based simple
interfaces when connected to the EEPROM inside a TP impose a
substantial load on the EEPROM's signal lines and if left connected
will interfere with the power on and power off functions of the TP.
Which means that when
using an old RS-232 interface the EEPROM leads must be
disconnected while the TP is powering up, connected to perform a
function then disconnected again before switching the TP OFF.
When using an old RS-232
interface the EEPROM leads can ONLY be connected after the TP has been
switched ON and has completed its power up functions.
A lot of TP unlock
operations require that you Power Cycle the TP, in other words
Switch OFF, Switch ON the TP, having to disconnect leads
from the EEPROM and reconnect those EEPROM leads each time the
TP is switched ON or OFF becomes tedious and can lead to mistakes.
Another plus for Joe's
[ 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 ]
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