Hi, I ran across something I've not seen before, and that is an older thinkpad that was manufactured for business travelers, running XP, that has a fingerprint scanner built into it. While the scanner itself is turned off (the owner is afraid of using it; he works with metal and is afraid that the small cuts he gets occasionally will change his fingerprint), the what appears to be the associated security program scans the computer at start-up, usually just taking a couple minutes.
However, in repeated attempts to boot into safe mode, said security program ran forever, and even after 30 minutes was still running, and you can't do anything until that check is complete.
Before I dig deeper, am I correct in thinking that this security "chip" (as the owner called it) is built into the BIOS somewhere?, and knowing that there is (was, hopefully malwarebytes did it's job without using safe mode) some sort of malware on the computer, has anyone had any experience with malware causing this type of security to hang?
I am a computer engineer and Lenovo x61 owner. The security chip is capable of storing fingerprint data as your customer says but it is not used by the windows fingerprint software, it is used only for using a fingerprint to access the bios if the bios is security locked. In order to use fingerprints, a password MUST be set and can be used to gain access to the machine instead of the fingerprint at any time.
As for it not booting correctly, as well as checking for malware, you may need to use ram and hard drive diagnostics software on it as the symptoms you describe can be caused by all kinds of problems.