390 390E 390X


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Instructions on how to actually unlock your ThinkPad (TP) are in the User's Guides

EEPROM Location and Type

390 390E 390X you treat it as a 24RF08

Locating the 390 series connection points

Switch the 390 OFF.

You should have already downloaded the hardware Maintenance Manual for your ThinkPad model, if you have not done so use the link below to download it now,

Download the Hardware Maintenance Manual (HMM) for your TP model

The links above are to the Lenovo site, if it doesn't work, don't panic, it isn't broken, their site is shut down daily for maintenance and at those times they display spurious messages like the page you requested cannot be found, wait a good while and try again.

Using the HMM link above, once you select a model and are on the page that has the PDF HMM for that model, it is best to right click on the PDF HMM for your model then select Save Target AS, that way you will have the PDF HMM on your PC to refer to any time you need it.

Locating the eeprom

Using the appropriate TP 390 Hardware Maintenance Manual and your nice small Philips screw driver, dismantle the TP

Follow the Hardware Maintenance manual "FRU Keyboard" to lift up your TP's Keyboard and gain access to the underside of the System Board where the 24RF08 eeprom is located.

The eeprom is directly under the F2 key under the keyboard, on top of system board, remove led cover plate, undo 2 screws holding keyboard, pop plastic lock by pushing it backward under the LCD panel hinge, the lock is just behind the INSERT and HOME keys, it moves backward.

Lift up the keyboard from the end nearest the LCD,  no need to disconnect the keyboard, just lift it to one side, place a sheet of paper in front of the LCD to protect it and rest the keyboard against the LCD at an angle.

There in a square hole in the casing under where the F2 key normally is, you can see the AT24RF08CN 8 pin SOIC eeprom.



 This is the orientation of the 24RF08CN on the system Board facing the TP as you would see it normally when operating it.

There is more than one way to connect to the eeprom, it all depends on YOUR SKILLS, lighting and your eyesight etc.

Make sure you have really good lighting to see the small pins, a bare 60W globe hanging from the ceiling high above you in a dark room will make this job impossible.

The EEPROM is down a hole in the plastic casing, you may be able to solder to the pins, I have done this many times, people tell me they can't do it.

You could use sharp probes to contact the SDA and SCL pins on the EEPROM.

If you wish to use Pomona SMD Grabbers then you will have to strip the machine down a lot more to remove the plastic frame above the EEPROM and the reason for doing that is that the Pomona SMD grabbers need to be at about 30 degrees up from the flat PCB and you cannot achieve that angle with the plastic frame in the way.

The photo below shows a 24RF08 EEPROM from a DIFFERENT MODEL ThinkPad with the Pomona clips attached to SCL and SDA pins.

See my page on Options for Clips and Probes including making your own probes.


I receive many emails asking about the GND connection, in reality it is very simple, you use some kind of a clip so that you don't have to hold it in place, you DON'T HAVE 3 HANDS and there are 3 connections, GND SDA and SCL, so have a clip for GND, then you can use the 2 hands YOU DO HAVE to hold your SDA and SCL probes in place.

Almost any large piece of metal or the screws for the external connectors of any ThinkPad are a good GND connecting point.

Anyway a picture is worth a thousand words

Click here for pictures of GND Connections

Keep things from electrically shorting out, later you will need to plug in the AC adaptor and switch ON the TP, then you will need to hold 2 probes in place to the SCL and SDA points on the system board.

See my page on Options for Clips and Probes including making your own probes.

This page ONLY describes how to connect the KeyMaker Interface to the EEPROM.

The instructions on how to Recover or clear a Supervisor password are in The "User's Guides" click here


Assembling your TP - AFTER - you have finished.

Follow the Hardware Maintenance Manual [FRU System Board], very carefully, double check screw type and size for each individual module.  Assemble the TP in the reverse order used to dismantle it.


I make no warranty that any of my information is correct, or safe, or does or does not breach any warranty clause,  or anything else, it is up to you to decide if you will follow all or any of the instructions to recover the Supervisor Password from a TP. It is up to you to decide, I am not responsible for the results or for any consequential or incidental damages whatsoever.

If you have any questions, email Joe at

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