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Hi, First Post, Performing Surgery On Old Laptop


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#1 im n a hurry

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 12:58 AM

Basically the subject of my experiment is a Dell Latitude. I got it free a while back and it has been sitting around. I finally got an AC power connector (im sure there is a more technical term...) but anyway i wasnt surprised to find it password protected when I gave it some power. I dont care about any data on it, I want to erase it all. It has no floppy drive or cd-rom, but it does have one USB port and some other ports and whatnot. So this brings us to tonight, when the idea hit me to try and get to the motherboard battery in hopes of taking it out and putting it back in, which from what I understand would wipe out the whole computer.

So.... what kind of help I need from you guys:

Am I crazy for trying to do that?
Is there another way I should have gone about things?
If I'm somewhat close to the right track, can you help me locate the battery?

I snapped a few pics of what stage it is at now that I have removed lots of screws and stuff.
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SO....like i said it's an old laptop i got for free, I dont care much about it its just a toy to play with...If i screw it up completely its ok I can throw it in the dumpster.. but if I somehow manage to piece it back together and get it working id be happy. Anyway, please throw some advice my way if you have read this far in my post haha. Thanks in advance for any replies. Adios!

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#2 im n a hurry

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 01:02 AM

Just FYI, I was going to try and get an external USB floppy drive and/or cd-rom and try to reboot with new OS and whatnot, but i thought about the battery and figured what the hell id give it a shot. So Maybe i should have just waited til i got the external drives to try playing with it more...anyway thanks again for any help!

#3 Andrew

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 01:13 AM

Unfortunately, removing the CMOS battery won't affect the operating system. You may be able to boot from a USB flash drive, but it depends on the motherboard, can you post the make & model?

You may also be able to boot from a USB floppy drive like this

#4 FireKracker

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 07:11 AM

When you say 'it's password protected' do you mean the BIOS is password protected or when you log onto Windows (assuming it's a Windows machine).
If all else fails, hit the reset button.
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#5 usasma

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 08:15 AM

Removing the CMOS battery (and the laptop battery) for 30 minutes should remove a BIOS password. I'm just guessing that the battery is the bluish knobby thing on the right in the bottom right of the 2nd photo. The way to tell is to try it and see if it works.

You may not want to wipe the hard drive if it doesn't boot from the USB. Maybe you can get it to boot into Windows enough to repair the installation. Otherwise it'll be torture to try and get a working Windows installation onto the hard drive (hmmm - I wonder if you can make an ISO of the bootable Windows CD and then write it to the hard drive?)
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

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#6 im n a hurry

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 08:28 AM

Thanks for the quick replies guys...
first off it does run windows, and when i say it is password protected it is not a BIOS pw just one to log onto windows.

I have a crappy mp3 player that doesnt really play music but i have always made good use out of it as a storage device (aka using it as a flash drive). I never thought about trying to use it with that laptop so I suppose that is worth a shot. My original plan when I found out I couldnt log on was to just get an external lfoppy or cd rom drive to try and reinstall my own windows OS.

As for the make and model, it is a Dell Latitude CS and i found a couple spots that said model or model #, one said v411 i think and one said model number PMP i think...

Thanks again for the help!

#7 usasma

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 08:55 AM

Specs: http://support.ap.dell.com/support/edocs/s...en_ug/specs.htm

Documentation: http://support.ap.dell.com/support/edocs/s...en_ug/index.htm
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#8 oldf@rt

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 09:27 AM

does the machine still have the service tag on the bottom?

if so you can look up everything that you need to know at dell help and support.

Edited by oldf@rt, 09 February 2007 - 11:29 AM.

The name says it all -- 59 and holding permanently

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