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T23 Success - thanks and tips

 
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hoppinjohn
Nou Venit


Joined: 30 Aug 2013
Posts: 2
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:55 pm    Post subject: T23 Success - thanks and tips Reply with quote

Last night I recovered the bios (supervisor) password on a veteran T23. I'd bought it strictly as a parts machine, but when it arrived it was in such nice shape I couldn't bear to just tear it down.

Here are some thoughts on the process. Maybe these will help you as you tackle the same problem.

1. IMO, you need a little bit of basic electrical and computer experience to do this right. You should be able to read a schematic wiring diagram, make a reasonably good soldered electrical connection, use a DMM or multimeter, and run computer programs from a DOS prompt. If you don't have this kind of background, get help from a friend who does. Hint: ask the older guys at work. :)

2. Read the Tutorial section here. I know, it's 24 pages long. You don't have to read every post, but at least scan the titles and look at the posts that might apply to your situation.

3. Search the Practice section for posts that mention your Thinkpad model. Heck, it's only 3 pages long - read it all. You'll find lots of tips on what works, what doesn't, and what can wreck things for you.

4. Go slow. Read all the instructions. Read them again before you start - you'll find them in the readme.pdf file in the software installation directory. Double check everything. Use the itester program. (With my T22 technician machine running itester, I read about -0.7 volts for 0 and 4.7 volts for 1.)

Before I ever dug into the T23, I spent an evening reading here. I found lots of tips that made things go MUCH more smoothly.

A. The T23 has the 14-pin 24RF08. There was no way I was ever going to be able to solder to those tiny pins - I don't have the tools, and I'm not steady enough. However, as suggested here, small, thin sewing needles from the hobby store made perfect test probes. I sanded the eye ends with 600 grit sandpaper, to make soldering the wires easier. I covered all but the last 4-5mm of my probes with insulation stripped from some #26 solid wire - red for SDA, black for SCL - and insulated the soldered connections with heat shrinkable tubing. I wasn't sure what would happen if I accidentally shorted SDA and SCL together with my tech machine on, and didn't want to find out.

B. I built the simple reader circuit right into a plastic DB9 plug. I didn't see any need for perfboard or breadboard for such a simple circuit. You can make all the connections but one on the pins of the DB9 female. A dab (OK, glob) of hot glue on the wires where they exit keeps them secure.



(Click the image above for a larger version)

C. Big thanks to olex126, who posted a photo of test points on the T23 mainboard where the sewing needles fit perfectly. These are much easier to connect to than the pins of the IC. I printed the clearest photo, marked the test points with the colors of the probes, and taped it to the bottom of the T23 next to its memory hatch.

D. I don't think I could have done this without Victor's tip about using a batch script and a "ping localhost" command to delay launching the reader program. With my shaky hands, I needed a full 30 seconds to get both probes properly positioned so the reader program could do its thing.

Victor, you've written a magnificent lot of valuable information, and some fine software, for this essential task. I thank you a thousand times for your generosity and patience. A hearty thanks also to the many folks who've done this, and have posted their experiences and suggestions here.
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victor
S.F. Boss


Joined: 07 Mar 2004
Posts: 2475
Location: Staff

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi John,

Thank you for this excellent article posted here. Your amazing writing talent and, of course, your kindness reveal a truly hearted man and I am happy to have you here. I will link this in the Practice thread.

One mention is that I cant get credit for the "ping" tip as it was a member's idea. But I think that I should include a countdown option in R24RF08, something like:

r24rf08 dump.bin /t=xx

where xx are the seconds to wait before execution.

Thank you so much once again and be welcome anytime.
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Victor Voinea
ALLservice HQ, Romania.
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hoppinjohn
Nou Venit


Joined: 30 Aug 2013
Posts: 2
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad to help - just passing on, as best I can, the kindness you and all the other users here have shown to me.

I think adding a delay option to r24rf08.exe is an excellent idea.

For now, below is the batch script I used to run the program.

Before you can use this script, you have to create a little file. To do that, open a DOS prompt. Change to the r24rf08 installation directory. Then type the following at the DOS prompt, pressing the Enter key after each line:

copy con beep
^G
^Z

(^G means hold down the ctrl key and press G, similarly for ^Z)

This little file lets the script make some noise so you know what's going on without looking. ^G "rings the bell," a leftover from the old days, when computer consoles were Teletypes with physical bells in them. ^Z is the MSDOS End of File marker. (You could make noise more elegantly with an echo ^G command in the batch script, but Notepad won't let you type in ^G easily.)

The script counts down about 25 seconds, warns you with a beep, counts another 5 seconds, and beeps again. After yet another 3 seconds, it runs the r24rf08 reader program. Then it beeps one more time to tell you that it's done. (One warning, turn down your technician computer's volume or it might make you jump!)

Note the del dump.bin command *before* the reader program in the batch script. That's just in case I had to run the batch script multiple times. I didn't know what r24rf08.exe would do if the dump file I asked it to create, dump.bin, already existed. I knew that if it asked whether it should overwrite an existing file, I wasn't going to be able to type an answer!

Here's the batch script:

@echo off
ping -n 25 localhost
type beep
ping -n 5 localhost
type beep
ping -n 3 localhost
del dump.bin
r24rf08 dump.bin
type beep

I hope someone finds this helpful. Best of luck to all in this process!
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BillH
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Joined: 24 Dec 2009
Posts: 55
Location: United States

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:09 am    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

John and Victor - I would like to add my thanks. I've used r24rf08 quite a bit, and always make a little batch file for execution. Since changing to probes, I always get my wife to hit Enter to execute while I hold the probes. It never occurred to me to put a timer, with sound effects yet, in the batch file... and I've used MSDOS since 3.1.
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victor
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Joined: 07 Mar 2004
Posts: 2475
Location: Staff

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess the last line in the batch is not necessary since the program asks to hit Enter. You will be there hitting it before hearing the console beep.
Unless I add another switch for batch execution like /v that supresses verbosity
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Victor Voinea
ALLservice HQ, Romania.


Last edited by victor on Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:12 am; edited 2 times in total
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bob
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Joined: 07 Mar 2004
Posts: 770
Location: Staff

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 9:11 am    Post subject: Re: Thanks Reply with quote

BillH wrote:
.. I always get my wife to hit Enter to execute while I hold the probes...


I can imagine you being in the basement while wife's in the kitchen upstairs:

[You] -Samantha, I need you to get your ass down here and hit Enter!
[Wife] -I can't, I am speaking with my mother! [on the phone]-Ma, I gotta go. He wants me to hit his button.
[Mother in law] - Oh, that is how you call it today? Don't worry honey, it will pass over time.

Kidding. Rolling Eyes Oops, I gotta go...
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