Hard drive will not format! Hard drive is password protected!

Discussion in 'Computer Help' started by adubz1, Jul 14, 2004.

  1. adubz1

    adubz1 Junior Member

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    I have a 12 GB IBM laptop hard drive. Apparently this hard drive has a built in password and because it has a built in password it will not let me format, delete the partition, or do anything for that matter. I did some research on the internet and there is only 1 company in the United States that can get it off but for a PRICE. I've been a technician for 5 years now and have never seen this before. Please can some PC GURU tell me how I can format this hard drive or get this password off???

    Thank you,
    Al
     
  2. Aleksandar

    Aleksandar Senior member

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    never heard of a hdd with a password on it am a tech 4 5 years to
    maby you can see if there is a jumper on the hdd to disable it or something
    maby you can get a low level format program form the hdd maker maxtor western digital or whatever it is
     
  3. redbeard1

    redbeard1 Diamond Member

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    Have you tried IBM/Hitachi's utility to erase the drive? Otherwise you might track down DBAN and try his wipe.

    I swear I've seen this before, and it had to do with the drive not being seen properly by the system.
     
  4. oldman420

    oldman420 Platinum Member

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    if you boot from the xp cd it will not let you reformat? wow
     
  5. TallCoolOne

    TallCoolOne Junior Member

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    Try booting from a linux installation CD and see if that will let you reformat. You can just exit the installation after the reformat step.
     
  6. PrincessGuard

    PrincessGuard Golden Member

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    Some drives are indeed password-protected so that you cannot access them at all without entering the key. Booting from CD or floppy and trying to format won't work because access is either controlled by the BIOS or the hard drive controller itself.

    Try:
    - Putting the drive in another system.
    - http://rockbox.haxx.se/lock.html
    - Giving up and thanking the ATA group for this wonderful feature.
     
  7. 23skidoo

    23skidoo Golden Member

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    Have you tried booting to the IBM/Hitachi Drive Fitness Test boot floppy and then doing a complete low-level format of the drive? That should take care of it.
     
  8. Fern

    Fern Elite Member <br> Super Moderator
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    I recall reading earlier this year about a viris that triggers the passwaord lockout. IIRC, the ATA standard has two levels of passwords. One can be worked around, and spoke of how to do it in the article. The other cannot. Renders your drive useless.

    Maybe you can google around a bit and find the article. Sorry, I seemed to have deleted the link.

    Good Luck
     
  9. imported_Bunter

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    Saw a similar problem recently with a laptop. Turned out the hard drive had died. It was spinning, but could not be accessed. Ontrack could not even pull any data out of it. Hope it is not the same type of issue.

    It was a head-scratcher around here.
     
  10. moonsite

    moonsite Senior member

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    Try with hddkill or debug command?
     
  11. adubz1

    adubz1 Junior Member

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    Can you guys maybe give me links to softwares I can try??
     
  12. ShenFu

    ShenFu Junior Member

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    I've seen this quite a few times, especially on Dell machines, we use their laptops at work and we set a password for the hdd so that no-one from outside the company would not be able to access the information that is stored on it.

    To set a password on those systems you need to do it in BIOS so I presume if you clean the bios you should be able to clear the HDD password. That is jst a theory and I have not tried that yet ;)

    A utility like MadBoot (madboot.com) provides you with a freeware floppy disk that has several things on it and one of them is a CMOS cleaner, which basicly resets the cmos and removes cmos passwords, that might work for the HDD too ;)
     
  13. adubz1

    adubz1 Junior Member

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    Where can I find DBAN?
     
  14. homestarmy

    homestarmy Diamond Member

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    -Cut it open and use the platter(s) as chinese throwing stars and cut someone's head off.
     
  15. redbeard1

    redbeard1 Diamond Member

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  16. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    You could try downloading a modern copy of DFT. (I think that there might be versions specific for their notebook drives too, might want to check.)

    The newer versions have a way of utilizing a HD's own internal "secure erase" feature, when choosing the "Erase Disk" function from the menu. That command might still be valid, even if the HD is locked-out from normal read/write access with a password. If you don't care about saving the contents, and just want to be able to reformat and use the HD, then that might be worth a shot to try.

    If not? Well. You probably have yourself a 12GB paperweight.

    (Well, there is one more thing to try - try doing a firmware update for the HD, if there is one available. It might clear the internally-stored password on the HD too. At least, updating the firmware on my 75GXP HD, cleared out all of the persistent SMART data. Good luck.)
     
  17. Polishwonder74

    Polishwonder74 Senior member

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    Not to be a complete a$$hole here or anything, but did you try booting with a floppy and FDISKing?

    I dunno, I'm just trying to eliminate everything here.
     
  18. adubz1

    adubz1 Junior Member

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    Yea POLISHWONDER I've tried FDISK. That's the very first thing I tried, I'm not a fu*kin' rookie!!
     
  19. AnotherPCGuy

    AnotherPCGuy Junior Member

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    PrincessGuard gave some good info - though after checking into it and going through it and another 20 things you still need to know what the Master Password is! Aaaaargh! I have been fighting with a similar issue all day! The ATA folks were well intentioned - just wish there was some type of backdoor. For all the others here: this is something independant of the BIOS or the OS - directly provided by the hard drive as a means of protecting the data in the event of theft. (Just DONT forget your password!) If anyone else has any ideas - feel free! I would love to make the Hitachi Travelstar 40GB drive a replacement to the 20GB already in my laptop!
     
  20. dclive

    dclive Elite Member

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    http://www-1.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=0&amp;q1=thinkpad+drive+password&amp;uid=psg1PSMS-3PWHTZ&amp;loc=en_US&amp;cs=utf-8&amp;cc=us&amp;lang=en

    http://www-1.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=0&amp;q1=thinkpad+drive+password&amp;uid=psg1MIGR-4VGUYL&amp;loc=en_US&amp;cs=utf-8&amp;cc=us&amp;lang=en

    http://www-1.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=0&amp;q1=thinkpad+drive+password&amp;uid=psg1MIGR-4VGUYQ&amp;loc=en_US&amp;cs=utf-8&amp;cc=us&amp;lang=en

    Short version - I'm guessing you're out of luck, but it might be worth a quick call to IBM to confirm. They're talking about drive microcode updates, so it's plausable that without that password, you won't be able to hit the drive...
     
  21. Steve

    Steve Lifer

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    Just for $h!ts and giggles, try Zap or Wipe.
     
  22. CHANDA

    CHANDA Junior Member

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    Removing a Hard Disk Password:
    The procedure to remove a hard disk password depends on whether or not it is set to the same password as the power-on password.

    When the hard disk password is set the same as the power-on password:
    Remove the password by following the procedure below. This operation removes both the hard disk password and the power on password.

    You must remove your password at the password prompt that appears when you turn on the computer. To remove the password, at the prompt: Enter your current password, press the Spacebar and then press Enter.

    When the hard disk password and the power-on password are different, or a power-on password has not been
    set:
    1. Turn off the computer and wait at least 5 seconds: then turn it on.
    2. If you have set the power-on password, type it; then press Enter.
    3. When the hard disk password prompt appears, type your current password, press the Spacebar, and then press Enter.

    HOPE IT WORKS FOR YOU

    CHANDA R PATEL
    SHRIMANT K PATEL

    PATELPLANET.COM