How to Clear the BIOS Password on an IBM ThinkPad R51

Updated July 19, 2017

The Lenovo ThinkPad R51 is a laptop computer that gives you the ability to set a password that must be entered before the computer will boot. This password is called the BIOS or power-on password. While this password enhances the security of the computer, it can also be an inconvenience if you purchase the ThinkPad R51 on the second-hand market and it prevents you from using the computer. A small battery supplies power to the memory chip that stores the ThinkPad R51 BIOS password, and you can clear the password by removing this reserve battery from the computer temporarily.

Turn the ThinkPad R51 completely off, and remove the battery pack from the bottom of the computer. Place the ThinkPad R51 facedown on your desk or work surface.

Remove the one Phillips-head screw holding the hard drive carrier to the corner of the ThinkPad R51 opposite the empty battery compartment. Slide the hard drive carrier out of the computer and place it in a safe location.

Find and remove the four Phillips-head screws on the bottom of the ThinkPad R51 with keyboard-shaped icons nearby. Turn the ThinkPad R51 over and open the screen.

Push the plastic panel on the top part of the ThinkPad R51 keyboard forward, in the direction of the screen. The locking tabs on the bottom of the keyboard come out from under the palm rest, releasing the keyboard.

Lift the keyboard slightly to reveal the cable connecting it to the motherboard. Gently lift the cable off of the motherboard connector and set the ThinkPad R51 keyboard aside. Close the screen and turn the ThinkPad R51 over.

Unscrew the five Phillips-head screws along the bottom of the front edge of the ThinkPad R51, under the palm rest. These screws have icons nearby that look like a palm rest or touch pad.

Unscrew the four Phillips-head screws near the empty battery compartment with the same icon as the one in Step 6.

Unscrew the six Phillips-head screws from the interior of the bottom of the ThinkPad R51. These screws should have the same icon as in the previous two steps. You should have removed 15 total screws over the previous three steps.

Turn the ThinkPad R51 over and open the screen. Disconnect the small cable connecting the touch pad to the motherboard, and lift the palm rest and touch pad away from the ThinkPad R51. Under the touch pad, you should see the small reserve battery for the computer.

Disconnect and remove the reserve battery.

Connect the power cable to the back of the ThinkPad R51 and push the power button. The computer turns on and does not ask for the BIOS password to be entered.

Put the ThinkPad R51 back together by reversing these steps.


Depending on the configuration of the ThinkPad R51, it may have up to two additional passwords: a supervisor password and a hard drive password. You cannot clear or change these passwords unless you know what the passwords are or are able to replace hardware components in the ThinkPad R51. To clear the supervisor password, replace the motherboard. To clear the hard drive password, replace the hard drive.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Jason Artman has been a technical writer since entering the field in 1999 while attending Michigan State University. Artman has published numerous articles for various websites, covering a diverse array of computer-related topics including hardware, software, games and gadgets.