Reset HDD password on stolen laptop recovered

December 27, 2010 at 22:05:50
Specs: Windows Vista

My Dell Studio 1737 laptop was stolen but recovered but whomever stole it put a HDD password on it and I don't know the password. How do you reset the computer and override this HDD password problem. Please help

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December 27, 2010 at 22:22:54

Contact dell for a replacement harddrive. Unfortunately there's no publicly accessible way to break a harddrive password.

Goin' Fishin' (Some day)

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December 28, 2010 at 07:06:01

That is a situation I have not seen before. As Richard59 stated you need to contact Dell for help with that. You will need to provide proof of ownership.

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January 6, 2011 at 13:22:57

It all depends on if the password is set in the BIOS or by a 3rd party utility. Sounds like something that could be as simple as resetting the BIOS. Typically, this type of password is stored within the BIOS and by removing the CMOS battery on the motherboard for about 5 seconds it should cause the BIOS to forget user defined settings and default back to the original default configuration thus removing the password.

If your computer is under warranty by Dell still, you shouldn't try this yourself since it would probably void the warranty. But if your system has a CMOS battery it would be located on the motherboard and looks like a large watch battery (silver about the size of a dime typically). Usually they are easily visible by just unscrewing the bottom access panel, but some are hidden behind other cards and are difficult to get to.

It could also be that the password is set via a specific utility and in that case it is not stored in BIOS and the above fix wouldn't help you.

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January 6, 2011 at 14:06:40


Laptop passwords are NOT stored in the BIOS or anywhere else that is accessible by a user that doesn't already know the password. There can be as many as three passwords set.

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April 7, 2011 at 17:16:54

Thank you Dougshap! I had removed the Cmos battery like you had said, and it worked like a charm. It cleared the HDD Password and reset everything! Thanks so much!


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April 7, 2011 at 18:37:50

Do a search. There are programs that clear the password on a hard drive. also wipes the drive and there is no guarantee the hd will be usable.

As stated above going into the bios to see if it set there would be the first option......
because if it is set there even a new hd will be password protected.

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April 7, 2011 at 19:42:55

this thread is quite comical...I wonder how people can just remove the bios battery on a laptop...sounds like it is real easy especially if Alicia could do it...sounds like a snap...LOL

Some HELP in posting on plus free progs and instructions Cheers

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June 7, 2011 at 07:35:13

Have the same issue did the battery thing and nada it didnt work what now???

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June 7, 2011 at 10:36:08

Me thinks Dougshap created the Alicia_z profile and posted that to save face. Removing the CMOS battery will not clear out the BIOS or the hardrive password.

Nor would I beleive the average user would know how to dissasemble a laptop to get to the CMOS battery.

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June 7, 2011 at 16:28:25


I was thinking the same thing.

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June 15, 2011 at 11:46:16

What activates this hdd password. My work computer was stolen two weeks back but it has been recovered and it came back with this problem.

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