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Andrew James
Andrew James, Senior Systems Engineer
Category: Laptop
Satisfied Customers: 11
Experience:  RedHat certified. Ansible & Salt Ninja. Professional background running the automation platform for a major internet firm
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I have a tecra z50 with a locked bios and a corrupt file

Customer Question

i have a tecra z50 with a locked bios and a corrupt file system on m ssd so cant reinstall os..
JA: How much experience do you have with this particular machine?
Customer: a lot..i have been using computers since the commodore vic 20 and pc jr my first real computer...I have pulled the mssd from another non locked bios toshiba tecra z50 and confirmed no boot probably b/c the locked system is set for legacy boot no uefi
JA: Have you installed any updates recently? What troubleshooting have you tried?
Customer: swapped motherboards bought two used ones but they had a defective video interface but no locked bios there are two copper pads near battery connector from lion backu battery, have tried booting off win10 usb which works in non lockedup machinebut with no bios control only boot options are hard disk/ssd and lan nether of which will work
JA: Anything else you want the computer expert to know before I connect you?
Customer: nah thats a decent overview
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Laptop
Expert:  bbao replied 1 year ago.

Hi There. I am Bing and I look forward to helping you with your issue today.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
anything you need to know about what has happened so far..
Expert:  bbao replied 1 year ago.

In a few words, it looks like a $83 question. :)

Expert:  bbao replied 1 year ago.

OK, basically you got two used Toshiba laptops and want to merge them in to a workable one but for some reasons the BIOS is locked while having some other issues such as corrupt files systems on SSD. Is that correct?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No I have a laptop that was purchased with a locked bios it was brand new I have another chassis that I'm able to use for switching and testing that has an unlocked bios the one that I bought with the supervisor password ***** it I'm able to use to swap things in and out like the SSD the motherboard and so on I've also purchased two motherboards but they had bad video interfaces so I don't have that as an option soldering in a new bios is a little beyond me abilities
Expert:  bbao replied 1 year ago.

Just clarify, when you say the BIOS is locked, you just mean it is protected by an unknown supervisor password. Is it correct? The brand new one has no other hardware issues except the BIOS locking problem?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
one used z50 available for hardware swapping testing one new tecra z50 with unknown supervisor password now down hard on account of file system corruption we have ufe and Legacy BIOS settings differences and no way to reload OS on corrupted SSD file system because we can't tell the lock bios probably Legacy BIOS boot system to pay attention to the USB bootable out and about using a cell phone for this hoping words are getting transcribed properly
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did try putting the SSD into the good chassis start the Windows 10 loading then before final reboot switch it to the bed chassis but because of the BIOS settings differences which I can't see of course no luck
Expert:  bbao replied 1 year ago.

It seems the BIOS locking is the main issue and all other issues should be fixed or addressed once the BIOS is accessible. If so, download this Toshiba Supervisor Password utility to fix the issue. Don't swap other parts, it could cause more trouble. If the new machine has only password ***** just fix it and keep using existing hardware.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am familiar with that utility but that requires a working operating system which I don't have
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also for the record that does not remove supervisor password ***** the Bios it is a Windows level program not a bios level
Expert:  bbao replied 1 year ago.

You mean the Toshiba utility is for resetting Windows password??

BTW, specific Windows requirement is not an issue, just boot the laptop from a Windows 7 bootable USB drive.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I can't boot from a USB drive I don't have control of the BIOS it's currently only looking at the Drive and Lan interface for boot options
Expert:  bbao replied 1 year ago.

You may HARD RESET this Toshiba laptop:

There is a reset function implemented which might solve a no boot up problem on your Toshiba Notebook.
A hard or forced reset erases all information of the memory and may restore functionality of the Notebook.
Resetting your Toshiba Notebook forces the system to clear and reestablish the software connection between BIOS and hardware.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If you're suggesting pushing and holding the power button that's already been tried that was 27 hours ago I'm not sure you're aware of the severity of the problem is there any way to talk about this on the phone
Expert:  bbao replied 1 year ago.

> If you're suggesting pushing and holding the power button that's already been tried that was 27 hours ago

Tried? No help? Or, all content were gone?

> I'm not sure you're aware of the severity of the problem

Urgent request or cause hardware damage?

> is there any way to talk about this on the phone

You may request Secure Remote Assistance for talking over phone. Extra fee applies.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I tried the hard reset again but as there is no os on the drive no way to tell it to boot from a usb anything it just comes back with an attempt to boot over the lan interface and of course the ssd has no operating system files on it so no go there either. I need to get that supervisor bios password ***** to reload the system.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
there is no remote/teamviewer option available either as there is no operating system
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Secure Remote Assistance. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just scratch on this, I am a 46 year old user of computers for 35 years 25 of those years I made a career out of it. You don't seem to understand the severity of the problem. You are suggesting very very very basic solutions that are the first thing tried by inexperienced users and readily available on a google search for an exceptionally difficult problem whose solution is closely guarded by toshiba. I attempted to use this service because I thought I would find a subject matter expert (which I am not).
Expert:  bbao replied 1 year ago.

FYI - I am one year older than you and I started programming when I was 15, and I never did any career other than IT. I provide IT consulting services to enterprise clients and do computer tricks for hobby and fun. BTW, my first laptop was a Toshiba made in 1995.

Expert:  Andrew James replied 1 year ago.


I'm going to start by disclaiming that my z50 knowledge is very limited, but working with Toshiba in general is not.

As you've already googled, I'm going to guess you've done many of the below things, but here is an ordered list of the usual "at home" options, before you end up having to ask Toshiba how specifically to do it for a z50.

1) Pull the cmos battery. From memory however, Toshiba has decided to be wonderful and make sure cmos doesn't lose its passwords during a battery pull. You can try the "pull the battery for an hour" method though, just in case i'm wrong there.

2) Short the bios reset pins. Thats generally what a professional shop will do. I tried to find a picture of where they are on a z50, but I can't find anything. Unfortunately Toshiba is not consistent in the slightest in the location of these pins. They do, however, on some models print "reset" in tiny tiny letters on the board. It's entirely possible you'll be lucky and reviewing your spare MB can find where it is.

2.1) On this note, its not always labeled (which makes this while likely the same solution Toshiba would use, extremely difficult to guess on at home), and sometimes requires the computer to be started. Even within the Tecra line of laptops there are a bunch of different possible scenarios of which pins you need to short to reset. Some are near the mini-wifi adapter, some are near the memory. It's gonna depend on the laptop.

3) You can try some of the backdoor passwords for BIOS systems. I am including the link to that, I'm not sure how much this is still practiced by manufacturers, but maybe we'll be lucky

4) Beyond that, the answer is the Toshiba Repair Centers. While not an ideal answer I'm sure which is why you came here instead, they at least have the expert specific for that model. I unfortunately, don't have a manual for the z50.