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HDD Locked

FalxFalx Registered User regular
edited July 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
I've got a HDD someone gave to me to try and fix, but the problem is it keeps asking for a password. There's no option in the BIOS for the laptop's HDD to change or remove a password so I can only assume it's something else. He can't recall ever adding a password either.

Is there any freeware software to fix this without losing all the data? This laptop has got all of this dudes most important work stuff on, it's the last thing he wants to lose.

Falx on
Hisao? What's the word for when it feels in your heart that everything in the world is alright?
.

STEAM

Posts

  • PirateJonPirateJon Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Make/model numbers?

    Also - there's a cheap adapter to hook a laptop 2.5 drive to a PC. Unless the drive is encrypted this will allow access to the data and be hella-easier than screwing with a weird security system.

    all perfectionists are mediocre in their own eyes
  • FalxFalx Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    We've tried the adapter route... still asks for a password.

    It's an Acer Aspire notebook, 5610Z series.

    Hisao? What's the word for when it feels in your heart that everything in the world is alright?
    .

    STEAM
  • PirateJonPirateJon Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    How odd. I did not know about this.

    http://www.laptoptips.ca/security/hard-disk-password/
    It is not a very well known fact, but all hard disks have a very strong hardware password capability build in. This password is usually stored both in a chip on the HD controller (the printed circuit board on the hard disk) and on the hard disk itself in a special hidden sector.

    Setting this password will make the hard disk completely unusable to anyone that doesn’t know it. And not only on your computer, but on any computer.

    A lot of newer laptops will set the HD password together with the BIOS password, completely locking all the hardware.

    The hard disk manufacturers are unable to unlock a password protected hard disk, as there aren’t any “secret” master passwords build into the firmware. Even swapping the controller of the password-protected hard disk with exactly the same controller from an unprotected HD will not remove the protection on most disks, as the password (together with most of the firmware) is also stored on the hard disk itself.

    The only way of retrieving any files from a password protected hard disk without knowing the password is to send it to a data recovery company for unlocking, but not all data recovery companies could or would unlock a password protected HD.

    In this time of rising identity theft, protecting your personal data by locking your hard disk with a password is indeed a good idea. The downside is that when the HD eventually malfunctions it will be harder or even impossible to retrieve any files from it. So, the first rule of using a computer applies here in full strength - “Your data is only as good as your latest backup”!

    Apparently there are services to beat this.
    http://www.hddunlock.com/

    all perfectionists are mediocre in their own eyes
  • FalxFalx Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Ugh, I found that site before but the price was a bit steep in comparison to what we'd get paid for doing it... oh well. Thanks, I'll leave this topic open for a bit incase someone knows of freeware that can do the same thing.

    Hisao? What's the word for when it feels in your heart that everything in the world is alright?
    .

    STEAM
  • ThomamelasThomamelas “Three films a day, three books a week and records of great music would be enough to make me happy to the day I die.” Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Falx wrote: »
    Ugh, I found that site before but the price was a bit steep in comparison to what we'd get paid for doing it... oh well. Thanks, I'll leave this topic open for a bit incase someone knows of freeware that can do the same thing.

    Their prices look to be fairly reasonable if they work. Are you doing this as freelance work?

  • FalxFalx Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    No but we have a policy of sticking to our quoted price... we thought it was just a bios password :( We might make a tiny profit like this... oh well.

    Hisao? What's the word for when it feels in your heart that everything in the world is alright?
    .

    STEAM
  • PirateJonPirateJon Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Have you tried adding your own password in the BIOS? One thing I read said on some systems the HDD PW would be set once you add a BIOS PW. worth a shot.

    all perfectionists are mediocre in their own eyes
  • ThomamelasThomamelas “Three films a day, three books a week and records of great music would be enough to make me happy to the day I die.” Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Falx wrote: »
    No but we have a policy of sticking to our quoted price... we thought it was just a bios password :( We might make a tiny profit like this... oh well.

    Data recovery work is generally more expensive then normal repair work for a reason. Often it's pretty trivial but sometimes it's a huge PITA.

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