IBMs are a nightmare when they lock out.
Unlocking a locked out drive is usually not an option. It's normally cheaper and certainly faster to replace the drive with a new unit.
IBM often bill you for a replacement drive AND motherboard at a cost of several hundred poounds and often it is cheaper to replace an entire system than pay for repair. I was recently quoted slightly over £600 for a clients Thinkpad that was locked out.
There are some drive unlocking options available for IBM but again you will have to pay for an unlock key to be created.
You could try calling IBM tech support and explain that you didn't have a password applied to begin with and this is the result of a system crash but from past experience I wouldn't hold your breath.
The web is full of people searching for a means to unlock their IBM hard drive and there are presently only a couple of real solutions: replace the drive, pay to have it unlocked or pay IBM to replace things for you.
Perhaps you may be in a better position with an Aptiva, but Thinkpads cost serious money to be unlocked.