Problems with laptops - Techist - Tech Forum

Go Back   Techist - Tech Forum > Computer Hardware > Hardware Repairs and Troubleshooting
Click Here to Login
Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-27-2006, 08:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
True Techie
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 184
Post Problems with laptops

Hi, I have purchased a few laptops that were originally from the Forest Service. They were part of a government liquidation and have problems with them.

I have been trying to fix them but they are not working correctly. I am afraid that they have added some extra information to the motherboard, or some other added hardware, as when I pull the hard drive and boot they still display that they are US Government machines.

I have never flashed the bios before, and am wondering if that is the way to go with these. I have tried to run KillDisk, to zero out the hard drives, but it errors up.

So my question is if there is a way to easily reset the bios to factory settings, (pulling out the cmos battery, regular battery, and ac adapter doesn't seem to work.) And if it is possible to set up a laptop so that it will only work with one harddrive. As I have bought 4 of the same, but when i switch the hard drives around, they say that no hard drive is installed. when i put in the original ones, it sees the hard drives, but errors or freezes when I try to install or run a zero level format.

Anyone out there work for the forest service and know what they do to them to make them different from consumer laptops?

Thanks!

George

-----edit -- all added info is below ---------

Forgot to mention. The laptops are IBM Thinkpads A22m. Current Bios is Version 1.06 KXET33WW Date: 2001-09-05 Embedded Controler 1.01 Phoenis 4.0 Release 6.0.

The bios looks like it works fine. It just seems like it has extra security built in so that I can't use other hard drives, can't format and Can't install an OS. (unless the hard drives are all corrupt or something I guess).

----- End of edit ----------------
__________________

ssjheero_yuy99 is offline  
Old 05-27-2006, 08:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
Wizard Techie
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Delaware
Posts: 3,475
Default

You can try reformating them in a different machine then putting them back in and installing them.

Can you access the BIOS without a password?
__________________

turtile is offline  
Old 05-27-2006, 08:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
True Techie
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 184
Default

Thats the thing, everytime i swap the hard drive into a different laptop machine it pops up that there is no hard drive installed. But if i put back in the one that it came with, it finds it. That is why I am wondering if there is a way that they could have added a program that could limit the machine to only accept the one designated hard drive. it is possible that they wrote the program themselves.

Yes, I can get into bios just fine, except for one machine that has a hard drive lock password. I can get into it without the hard drive installed but when I plug the hard drive back in, it won't let in into the bios without the password, and since I don't know the password, I figure that hard drive is a lost cause.

Thanks!
__________________
Tech TV is Back!
www.dl.tv
-- watch it, its good stuff.
-------------------------------
AMD Athlon 64 3400+
Powered by: Antec Earth Watts
-------------------------------
ssjheero_yuy99 is offline  
Old 05-27-2006, 11:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
Wizard Techie
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Delaware
Posts: 3,475
Default

Did you try deleting each and every partition in the hard drive before the reformat?

Maybe there is a special boot partition causing this.

I think its a program called FDisk.
turtile is offline  
Old 05-27-2006, 11:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
True Techie
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 244
Default

yeah im thinking along the lines of turtile. it is possible to create hidden partitions. try using yeah FDisk. having ERD Commander would help but its expensive.

can u actually do anything with the machines? like can u install an OS and stuff?

might wanna try using a live CD such as a linux boot disk. some types of hidden partitions will show up.

may as well give flashing the bios a go, by the sounds of it, it wont hurt.
__________________
Have A Nice Day
chickenNcheese is offline  
Old 05-28-2006, 12:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
True Techie
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 184
Default

Thanks for all the help.

I figured that running a low level format would wipe them out, but I'll give FDisk a try. see if it does anything. Doesn't hurt.

I've never flashed the bios before, so I have no clue how to go about it. any help there?

Thanks!
George
__________________

__________________
Tech TV is Back!
www.dl.tv
-- watch it, its good stuff.
-------------------------------
AMD Athlon 64 3400+
Powered by: Antec Earth Watts
-------------------------------
ssjheero_yuy99 is offline  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:50 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.