hard drive password

January 23, 2005 at 17:00:11
Specs: Win XP Pro, ?

I am helping a friend with a Dell Latitude L400 Notebook. The owner recently passed away. When turning it on I have found a "HD1 PASSWORD" before windows starts loading (which is a hard drive password I’m guessing). There was also a password on the BIOS.
I reset the CMOS and successfully cleared the BIOS password.
It still prompts me for the hard drive password. After entering the wrong password three times it tells me to “Enter HD1 Master Password.” When I get that wrong it goes to a copyright screen, then says “operating system not found”.
Here are some of my attempts to fix it:

The computer still prompts me for a hard drive password. I changed the boot order so the CD-ROM and Floppy boot first.
I put in the Win XP Pro cd disk and powered on. It asked for the passwords then went black.
I put in the Win XP Pro floppy boot disks and powered on. It asked for the passwords and then it went to a command prompt screen off of the floppy drive (a:). It wouldn’t recognize drive C.
So I can’t format it!
I then called Dell. They wanted a error message code that was supposed to appear after three error messages. It didn’t appear and I had to hang up.
I put the hard drive in an IBM notebook. The hard drive did the same thing on the other computer.

I’m stumped. Please help!

See More: hard drive password

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January 24, 2005 at 06:33:19

Sounds like the late owner achieved precisely what he wanted! Never heard of HDD passwords although there is bound to be a piece of freeware/shareware somewhere.
I think your looking at booting with something like Partition Magic & deleting the existing partition. If the message still appears then it is written on the boot track so FDISK /MBR should restore it
Best of luck.

Bob Mitchell.

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January 24, 2005 at 23:00:49

How would I go about using partition magic? Plugging the HDD into another comp? Its still locked then!
Also how would I format it without access to it?
Thanks for your help!

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January 25, 2005 at 00:22:16


Yes, for many modern notebook, it has a new function so-called "drive-lock". To use password to lock the hd even the hd is swap to another notebook.

I also drive-lock my notebook hd, and glad to see your case is what i expect to see if one day my hd was stolen.

For un-lock the hd without passwd, I will suggest:

Take to a old desktop PC in will the BIOS does not support hd drive-lock to see whether it can pass it out.

Or use "Ultimate Boot CD" from
to make a boot CD n use one of the program called "ATA Password Tool 1.1" to unlock any locked hd as claimed by this small program. I didnt ever try , for i dare not in case my data was all messed up.

Have a try n look for yr turn our feedback.

Good Luck

dickson (HK)

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Related Solutions

January 26, 2005 at 00:11:16

This works on 98, I'm not sure about XP....might be worth a try.

Here is a simple way to eliminate this prompt When you originally entered
your password Windows created a PWL file. For example it your user name is
BOB then the file is called BOB.PWL. The file is found in the WINDOWS
sub-directory. All you have to do is delete this file.
The next time you LOGIN you will still see the ENTER WINDOWS PASSWORD
dialog box. At this point simply click OK, but don't enter anything into
the PASSWORD text box. You shouldn't be prompted again for a password

I used to kiss her on the lips
But it's all over now

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January 29, 2005 at 19:01:54

Thank You to response number 3 and 4 but I have failed to do either.
First I can not boot from the CD drive from any CD so I cannot use the "Ultimate Boot Disk."
Secondly, this is all before Windows starts that I am prompted for the password. I can't even get into the hard drive directories. The password seems to be below Windows so Operating System version is irrelevant.

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February 7, 2005 at 17:23:14

Would there be any value in inserting the notebook hard drive into a desktop computer? Please help!

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February 7, 2005 at 19:50:13

Hi, I have a similar problem. I bought a laptop hard drive from Ebay that is hard ware protected, thinking it would be easy to break down the password...wrong...I have placed the hard drive into my desktop hoping to sue it for extra storage, but cannot gain access to it no matter how many utility programs I try to run on it. So forget about placing the h/d into a desktop.
I am not game to place it into my HP laptop in case I lose it as well.So far it looks like I wasted my money. I am now looking for a cheap 2 or 3 gig similar drive and will replace the board onto the locked hard drive and see where the password protection is located...I am hoping that it is on the chips on the circuit board.I am lokking at this page and will be monitoring it.
Good luck...
H. C.

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February 18, 2005 at 23:51:32

I have the same problem with my dell, Letitude CPi. It was working fine 2/17/2005, now 2/18/2005 I boot the computer and it was asking for a password for the hdd. I was playing with bios on 2/17, and there was a section below the other password options which was for the hdd and I think I enable it. I dont remember entering any password.

I am able to boot the bios but the section for the hdd password is gone now.

Hlep ...

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February 22, 2005 at 14:42:54

Try to find an option in the BIOS that says something like reset to defalt values.
If that doesnt work try opening up the computer, detach the power suppy cable in the back, take out the main battery, and take out the clock (RTC battery). (For instructions to do this go to the Dell website.) Then reinsert the cloack batter and main battery and power on. If after doing all this and you still gget the password then you are in the same boat as the rest of us. All you can do is buy a new hard drive or possibly contact professional repair services.

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