Q

Hacking around a forgotten password

Windows security expert Wes Noonan gives a detailed description on how to access your computer after you've forgotten your password.

I have a Toshiba T4800CT Laptop. I have forgotten the power-on password. How do I get back into it? When I turn it on it flashes for a millisecond then goes directly to the enter password screen.
Outside of a method that Toshiba technical support might know (and I would encourage you to contact them) you start to get into the area of hacking.

One option that I am unable to confirm with this model of laptop is that if you hold down the left shift during the power on, POST and boot process that the laptop will bypass the BIOS password.

SearchWindowsSecurity has a good general BIOS password recovery article here.

If none of these options work, the following website has some information regarding some general BIOS password recovery procedures. A couple of warnings first: 1) Follow these procedures at your own risk. It is entirely possible that even if properly followed that damage to the system may result
2) The following website has some links that are not work friendly. If you are concerned at all about the content (some of which is adult content) I encourage you to visit this website from home.

For those unable to visit this website, here is the relevant content:

"Key Disk for Toshiba laptops"

Some Toshiba notebooks allow to bypass BIOS by inserting a "key-disk" in the floppy disk drive while booting. To create a Toshiba Keydisk, take a 720Kb or 1.44Mb floppy disk, format it (if it's not formatted yet), then use a hex editor such as Hex Workshop to change the first five bytes of the second sector (the one after the boot sector) and set them to 4B 45 59 00 00 (note that the first three bytes are the ASCII for "KEY" :) followed by two zeroes). Once you have created the key disk put it into the notebook's drive and turn it on, then push the reset button and when asked for password, press Enter. You will be asked to Set Password again. Press Y and Enter. You'll enter the BIOS configuration where you can set a new password."

Click here to view the website with all of this information.

Click here to view questions and answers from all of our Windows security experts.

This was first published in May 2006

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