How to clear hard drive password

May 23, 2007 at 10:08:41
Specs: Win XP, p4-1.6/512

My friend give me one used hard drive, while I power on pc, error message came out--" this hd under password protection, please enter password".

I called my friend, he said he haven't touch this hd long long time, he totally forget he did setup password or not, he don't know password.
If no password enter, pc can not recognized this hd, pc keep said no hd in this pc.

How do I can clear hd password and let pc recognize this hd ?

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May 23, 2007 at 10:24:07

Contact Dell. They will tell you how to remove password protection but they will probably require proof of ownership.


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May 23, 2007 at 10:52:27

Can't you just wipe the drive? or does the password prevent that?

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May 23, 2007 at 11:14:58

Use Killdisk to erase the drive.

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Related Solutions

May 23, 2007 at 19:30:55

If the drive is password protected, one can not format or use killdisk. The firmware will not permit any access. Depending on the brand of hdd one might find software with google that will remove the password and zero the drive.

Some brands the manufacture can not even remove password on others see StuartS post.

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May 23, 2007 at 20:22:00

I never gave this issue much thought but if this is the case then would any Hardrive be subject to this condition, or just drives with special firmware installed in their control circuitry.
The poster didn't specify what the brand was of the drive in question. I assume it isn't the drive in their computer.

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May 24, 2007 at 04:21:28

Usually applies to laptop hard drives as they can more easily be stolen than desktops.


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May 24, 2007 at 05:16:36


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May 24, 2007 at 06:17:55

That link just provides more confusion. If the MBoard or the BIOS chip is the locking mechanism then removing the drive should allow formatting. If on the other hand the lock is built into the drive controller then ARE these special drives or are all 2.5" HDrives like that. Also, If the lock wer on the MBoard in a laptop, replacing the drive would not solve the problem.
Going back to the origins of this thread it would appear there is no solution to this problem. Makes you wonder how this drive came to be removed from whatever laptop it may have resided in.

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May 24, 2007 at 06:51:55

OtheHill - I haven't yet seen a laptop with Seagate FDE technology incorporated - it is quite interesting.

Do you have time to review this article? Note that when booting the laptop, the onboard ASIC chip on the mobo will prompt you for password. If you remove the HD, how would you crack the password anyway? If you can't you cannot format it either or Fdisk it. Personally I doubt there is a way around it.


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May 24, 2007 at 07:01:52


While that article is interesting it doesn't address the issue here. As I see this situation the purpose of the HDrive lock is to discourage theft. This is evident as there are also system passwords and BIOS passwords. That said, I'm not convinced the method is very effective. Many dishonest people aren't even aware of this security feature.
In answer to your query about cracking the encription, that wouldn't be the concern of a thief. They just want to restore the computer to a useful state, not decipher the data.
Still doesn't answer either of my basic questions.

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May 24, 2007 at 10:32:23

i believe the encryption is based on unique info identifiers on the hdd and the in the bios , and without the password the hdd stays in locked state thwarting further use, (btw there are several types of locking notably the xbox systems use to prevent you looking at the files stored there (has been circumvented tho since hdd replacement 'services' occur.

some ata hdd info here,

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May 24, 2007 at 10:57:10

1 stepbeyond

Thanks for that informative link. That article is a real eye opener. It also answers my questions. Scares me too.

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May 24, 2007 at 11:37:18

Me too :-)


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May 24, 2007 at 11:40:34

It would help a lot alpha314 if you could tell us whether this is a laptop drive (sounds like it is) and what make and model of laptop it was installed on. If it was on an old enough laptop, you may be able to remove the password without knowing it, probably only on the laptop it was installed on, but otherwise you're probably not going to be able to remove the password.
We're assuming it was on a Dell model, but it isn't clear from your description whether it was or not.

If this is a laptop hard drive that was on a fairly recent laptop when the password was installed, the password and/or the info about whether it is locked or not is stored in an oddball area on the hard drive known only by the hard drive manufacturer that is not erasable by wiping the drive, even if you could wipe it.
In order to remove the password you have to know what it is, and you can only remove it on the computer the password was installed on, or on one of a small group of laptops made by the same maker at about the same time. If you don't know the password, even the experts can't remove the drive lock.

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May 28, 2007 at 09:06:47

Thank you for every one help.
This hd come from my friend HP laptop. This is old P3-600 laptop. On this laptop had BIOS password on, my friend also don't know know BIOS password because he haven't touch that laptop many year.

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May 28, 2007 at 21:23:32

What is the model number of the HP laptop?
If it is old enough, there may be a prodedure to remove the password/drive lock without knowing it, but probably only if you connect it to the HP laptop.

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June 13, 2007 at 22:26:00

Hi Guys,

I've got a same problem with my Acer 1691 WLMI laptop, it has a hitachi 80 GB HDD in it. I tried removing the hard disk to connect another one however when i connected the 80 gb back in it asks me for a HDD password. Is there absolutely any way i can get around this because i had some really important data stored on that drive.
Many thanks for your help.

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June 14, 2007 at 08:00:25

You should have started a new thread for the best possibility of response from others.

See the above, including response 14.

If you are the legimate original owner of the laptop the hard drive was/is on when the password was used, or if you know the person who was, you or that person could try contacting Acer.
Otherwise, passwords/drivelocks cannot be removed from hard drives on fairly recent laptops (generally those less than ten years old), even by the experts. You must know the password, and the hard drive must be in the computer the password was installed on, or in one of a small model family made by the same maker that use the exact same method/software to lock the drive access. The password info is also stored on a chip on the more recent mboards that cannot be erased by removing a battery - you must know the password to remove a password - you could go to the expense of having that chip replaced so that the computer could be used otherwise, but the hard drive that has a password/drive lock will still have the password/drive lock.

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June 14, 2007 at 08:20:59

And all of the above is by design.

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June 14, 2007 at 22:42:11

Hi Tubes and Wires....thanks for all the advice I am the owner of that laptop and as I said while I was replacing the hard disk one of the chips got damaged. and the HDD started acting crazy when i used to connect the AC power it never asked me the HDD passwrd however when i used to run it on battery it asks for the password. and then i started getting those hard disk error blue screens thats when i took it to a repair shop and they said an IC had to be replaced and they did it but now they say the password on the hdd is still there. I really dont get it why is it asking for a password when i never typed it in the first place. Will it still ask me this password if I connect the HDD through a USB drive?

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June 15, 2007 at 08:32:50

"....i took it to a repair shop and they said an IC had to be replaced and they did it but now they say the password on the hdd is still there."
That's exactly what I said would happen in response 18.
"I really dont get it why is it asking for a password when i never typed it in the first place."
I don't know why that is either. Sometimes laptop software buggers up for one reason or another and your situation happens - obviously the hard drive password/drivelock info is still on the hard drive. If you are the legitimate ORIGINAL owner, contact Acer - that's your only hope now. If they can't help you, nobody can, not even the experts, and you will have to get a new hard drive and start over. You can order a set of Recovery disks from Acer to re-load the software that was originally on the hard drive, which if it is the same situation as those for a HP or Compaq computer will cost you less than buying an OEM XP Home CD, or you could use or get yourself a regular or OEM XP CD and load Windows but you will have to load the drivers for your mboard after Setup is finished, and you will probably need to obtain drivers for components Windows doesn't have the drivers for, probably found in the downloads for your model on the Acer site.

"Will it still ask me this password if I connect the HDD through a USB drive?"

Yes. The password/drivelock is on the hard drive, no matter which way you connect it.

"HDD started acting crazy...."
"...then i started getting those hard disk error blue screens..."

Blue screen errors are almost always software errors. They can be caused by software conflicts, or the data can become corrupted becaise the hard drive is failing or the data has been damaged by a power surge or spike.
If your hard drive was failing in any case, it is likely you wouldn't be able to rescue much if any data off of it anyway.

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