Don't ask how to hack password. (BIOS Passwords)
#46104 by jd_hupp
Sat Sep 15, 2007 8:23 pm
On an eMachines M5105 laptop that someone gave me, a bird had pecked off many of the original keycaps on the keyboard (part number HMB891-B01). I replaced the keyboard (twice) with the same part number, but I still have this problem:

When I press e, i, o, q, r, u or w (all in the QWERTY row of the keyboard), the output includes ][ PgUp and another nearby character -- all from the QWERTY row. So I get this output for these characters:

e --> eq][PgUp
i --> io][PgUp
o --> our][PgUp
q --> qi][
r --> rw][PgUp
u --> ur][PgUp
w --> we][PgUp

I only know about the PgUp character from a Passmark keyboard test.

When I press Q, the machine also does a shutdown, and Passmark is not able to capture its output.

I no longer have the the original damaged keyboard to test if any of those keystrokes work right.

It is interesting that an external USB keyboard works flawlessly. I have some information that USB keyboards don't use the BIOS keyboard controller.

Someone may have better information, but I'm thinking that the problem is in the BIOS/keyboard controller. I'm hoping that simply reflashing the BIOS would straighten it out. But eMachines has never published a BIOS update for this laptop, and tech support has so far refused to email me a copy of the original BIOS. They want me to send it in for service instead of first supporting this simple potential cure.

More information:

The boot screen says AMIBIOS (C) 2003, BIOS Date: 10/02/03 17:04:48 Ver: 08.00.09

The BIOS setup screen shows American Megatrends, Inc. v02.36, BIOS/KBC ver. a6700f00/3107

But the newly downloaded AMI Motherboard Identification Utility v1.4 reports that this is not an AMI BIOS but a NEC BIOS!

The same utility reports that the motherboard is an Arima W720P4. If Arima provides BIOS support, they don't seem to do so for end-users. Notebook support on their web site at arima.com.tw requires an account login.

I was not able to find any BIOS support through NEC other than for NEC computers.

eSupport's utility offers this info:

BIOS Type: AMI
BIOS Date: October 2nd 2003
BIOS ID: 63-0100-000002-00101111-100203-MONTARA-a6700f00
BIOS OEM: BIOS Date: 10/02/03 17:04:48 Ver: 08.00.09 - NOTE BIOS Version /a6700f00
(I note that the 3rd string of the BIOS ID does not conform to the 6-digit format which Wim's BIOS says is used by an AMI BIOS.)

1) What do you think of my diagnosis -- that the keyboard problem is due to the BIOS?

2) What can I do next?