Thinkpad 24RF08 SVP unlocking

I just got a donated Lenovo R500 notebook. Fortunately it works, and also includes a puzzle before I can actually use it. It has the SVP password enabled (supervisor password). This password is stored in a 24RF08 i2c EEPROM, and is NOT clearable by removing batteries, shorting stuff etc. Also the EEPROM includes two CRC fields, and can not just be patched.

I am possibly going to get pounded on for publishing this. The Lenovo support forums clearly forbid even talking about this. This is to prevent theft of notebooks they state. But there are multiple websites out there, that wants to take your hard earned cash and sell you a small device which can talk to the i2c bus on the notebook, and either display the password or reset it. If someone steals a notebook, they can unlock it with such a device.

But paying for the solution is unsportly behaviour, and not a part of this solution. I already have the Dangerous Prototypes Bus Pirate v3, which talks i2c natively, via a terminal emulator interface.

Read on for this adventure … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments

Unauthorized Latitude E5500 upgrades

… or how to upgrade it beyond recognition 🙂 I found an abandoned Latitude E5500 notebook on a shelf while visiting a customer. Being in good relations with them, I asked about the notebooks status and why it was lying there in a stack of other notebooks. “They’re just junk” I was told. Hmm, one mans junk is another mans gold. Read on for a great upgrade adventure. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Upgrading Sony Vaio VPC F11S1E with SSD …. and HDD!

I just got my hands on an used Sony Vaio VPC F11S1E. It’s a really nice 16.4″ true HD model, with BluRay and Nvidia 330M graphics card. I got it, because it got really really hot, the noise levels were unbearable and also the HDD turned out to be defective.

On my never ending quest to do some fun upgrades, I disassembled it completely and cleaned out the dust and grime in the radiator and fans inside. Also I gave it some new thermal paste, which got the noise level somewhat down.

The HDD had to be replaced with a SSD drive, ofcourse, and I had just bought a Force 3 120GB drive. It’s SATA3 6.0Gb/s and should perform around 500MB/sec. The Sony only runs SATA2, but hey, but then at least the drive won’t be the bottleneck. Also I had a nice 1TB drive lying around, and thought the 120GB for both Windows XP, Windows 7 and Ubuntu might be a bit small if I also needed somewhere to place some data.

So why not try to fit both?

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 25 Comments

RAID 1E recovery the hard way

Manual IBM ServeRAID recovery of a broken RAID1E setup – using Linux, hexedit, custom scripts – and coffee!

Yesterday I was called to a customer with a broken down IBM xSeries 232 server. The powersupply was gone, and the machine was rebooting every two minutes. Also it had 6 drives in a RAID setup with one marked as faulty (id 2). Oh – and did I mention the last backup was sometime last year?

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ice Cream Sandwich on Acer Iconia A500 / A501

I recently got the Samsung Galaxy Nexus mobile phone, and I am so impressed with it. It was an upgrade from the HTC Evo 3D that I only used for a couple of months. The difference between the two are staggering. Everything on the Nexus is fluid and smooth, and the new upgrades Google did to the UI are working fantastic.

I recently traded a notebook for an Acer Iconia A500 10.1″ tablet. So how are things looking for the Acer Iconia A500?

Downgrade and root

My unit was running Honeycomb 3.2, but a quick look-through at XDA Developers got the unit downgraded from 3.2 to 3.01 (see http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1276227). I used method 2 mentioned there, and that was easy. After running Iconiaroot 1.3 and upgrading recovery 1.3 to recovery 1.6 from within the recovery I was ready to rock.

Installing ICS

Currently development of an ICS port for the A500 is dead in the water at the XDA Developers forums, but a user called thor2002ro has a WIP ROM over at Tegraowners (http://forum.tegraowners.com/).

You need to register to get the links for the download, the thread is here: http://forum.tegraowners.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=106

The good news? Everything essential is WORKING. The camera is not working, and if you have the A501 the 3G modem is also not working. But for me the upgrade is really worth it. Thanks a lot for your effort thor2002ro!

Later it has dawned on me that the A500 developers are a fighting bunch, and lots of time is wasted on this on XDA Developers with locked threads and all. I hope this will change, as everyone loses and nobody wins in this situation.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment