The Toshiba Pentium portables have two passwords, a user and a supervisor
one. When either password is set then when the machine is turned on, or is
resumed after a suspend, you have to enter a valid password in order to gain
access to the laptop. If both passwords are registered then it is possible to
set it so that the setup programs cannot be run when logged in using the user
To improve security the passwords are held in the EEPROM containing the
BIOS. This means that they do not disappear when the batteries run down.
They can only be removed if you already know them. DO NOT bother
pestering me on how to remove passwords you have forgotten, as I don't
know how to remove them. If you do forget the password for your laptop, then
you will have to take the laptop to an authorised Toshiba dealer, complete with
full proof of ownership where they can remove the password for a fee.
I have written two programs svpw for setting the supervisor
password and tpasswd for setting the user password. For a number of
reasons these programs will only run from the console, and must be run as root
in order to work. Currently there is no method of manipulating the hard disk
and eject passwords for models that support these features.
In the future I hope to add additional programs to enable the hard disk and
eject passwords to be set as well.