[rescue] Thinkpad X60 help

Bill Green bill at supposedly.org
Tue Jan 20 13:16:49 CST 2015

Hi all,

I find myself with a Thinkpad X60 with a firmware supervisor password.
(I got it out of the scrap pile at the local recycler -- it was clearly
marked "BIOS password", but I didn't know about the actually secure
supervisor passwords on these machines. Disconnecting the CMOS battery
without doing any research was a big mistake.)

Thinkpads of this era usually store the supervisor password in an
EEPROM. Thanks to this site <http://www.ja.axxs.net/x60_x60s.htm> I've
found out that the motherboard revision in this machine, instead of a
standalone EEPROM, has instead an Atmel 8356908. I haven't been able to
find a datasheet on this, but it seems to be a microcontroller that in
this model implements the TPM features.

Supposedly this chip has an onboard EEPROM that is used to store the
supervisor password and other information. If the site linked above can
be trusted, a 2-wire serial interface (I2C maybe?) to the EEPROM is run
out to vias (I've checked that there are indeed two lines from the
8356908 connected to the vias, but since I don't have a datasheet, I
can't verify this).

People have apparently had success by making connections to these vias
via a simple interface and dumping the EEPROM from another computer over
RS232. (ISTM that you'd need a level converter at least, but the
schematic I found only uses pullup resistors). The password is stored in
cleartext -- unless TPM is enabled, in which case the EEPROM data is

I should probably just give up, but it's really a nicely-built little
machine and after having a look at some of the brand-new (terrible)
Thinkpads recently I was excited to find this one (and I'm just
stubborn). Any tips? Has anybody done this before? Or got a datasheet?

One other thing: after breaking down and then reassembling it, the LED
indicator lights on the LCD bezel don't work anymore. I'm afraid that
they're transmitted via a bit of the LCD ribbon cable that branches off
and ends in a little square component that rests underneath the bottom
of the LCD assembly in the hinge area. Since that bit of the cable is
torn (I don't remember tearing it, but it seems most likely) and I can't
find any other connections I forgot to hook up again I'm guessing this
is some kind of proximity interface? Does anybody know for sure? Any
tips on the possibility of repairing ribbon cables?


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