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Solved: Help this dummy recover from a self-inflicted HDD password problem

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Bearspa, Mar 9, 2015.

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  1. Bearspa

    Bearspa Thread Starter

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    My wife retired her Dell 15z and I wanted to use the 750GB hard drive as a storage medium. I took apart the 15z, unfortunately destroying the connector for the on/off switch in the process. It was only after I had removed it, and tried to access it using an USB to SATA adaptor that I realized that I had forgotten to remove the HDD password. The drive is seen in Disk Management in another computer without giving it a drive letter, and it shows as unallocated space. It does not show up in Explorer.

    Note that I know what the password is.

    I have tried everything I could find on the internet, including putting it into another Dell as the primary harddrive and inputting the password, but it will not accept it. I even tried to use a good harddrive to get into the Setup, tell it I wanted to change the HDD password, input the correct password on the good harddrive, and, when it asked me for the new password, I replaced the good harddrive with the harddrive from the 15z, but it said it was an unacceptable password. I guess there must be some interaction between the HD password and the motherboard?

    The harddrive does not have any data that I want or need, so I tried to wipe it clean using several disk wipe programs like DBAN, various utilities from Hiren’s Boot Disk, but to no avail!

    At this point, it has become a struggle of wills! I have wasted a couple of days on this (perhaps because, subconsciously, I don’t want to have to face the drudgery of doing my taxes!)

    I know your policy about passwords, but is there any program (preferably free) that will allow me to wipe out the harddrive and also then allow me to access it with either the old or new password, or allow me to input the old password and then wipe it clean.

    TIA.
     
  2. valis

    valis Moderator

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    is there data on there you are trying to get off? Have you tried an enclosure for it? Or is that what you meant by usb to sata?
     
  3. Bearspa

    Bearspa Thread Starter

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    Hi valis:

    No I am not trying to recover any data--I just want to use it as a mini-backup device. The usb to sata is a powered connector, one end of which plugs into the hard drive sata connector, another connector powers the harddrive, and there is a usb connector on the other end that plugs into the computer.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. valis

    valis Moderator

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    what happens when you put it in as a slave to another hd? Does windows show it in disk management?
     
  5. Bearspa

    Bearspa Thread Starter

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    It shows in disk management with the drive size, but without a letter, and as unallocated volume. When I try to initialize it as suggested, it gives me a cyclic redundancy error.
     
  6. valis

    valis Moderator

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    how is it formatted? RAW?
     
  7. Bearspa

    Bearspa Thread Starter

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    I'm not sure what exactly the question means. I think it was NTFS in the old laptop. Does not provide you with the info you need?
     
  8. valis

    valis Moderator

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    sort of. NTFS is a filing system, and generally if a hard drive dies, or has some other trouble, the format will be in the RAW format as opposed to NTFS.
     
  9. Bearspa

    Bearspa Thread Starter

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    I don't think the drive is dead--it was working in the old laptop. It just won't accept the password, or allow me to access it in any way I can think of because I killed the old laptop when trying to remove the drive!
     
  10. replay

    replay

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  11. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    The hd password is stored in the drive's firmware; not on the platers so wiping the drive does not accomplish anything.

    You can run hdd unlock and see if it will work for you. Note you often lose all data on the drive so as long as you do not need anything, you can run this program.
    http://www.hddunlock.com/download/
     
  12. Bearspa

    Bearspa Thread Starter

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    replay: Thanks for the link, but unfortunately, any computer I attach the hard drive to does not have a letter assigned to it, so I can't run chkdsk on it.

    crjdriver: I looked at the documentation on hddunlock (and also tried it), but it will not work unless the drive is directly attached to the motherboard, i.e., it will not work if the drive is in an adapter or enclosure. Thanks, though.
     
  13. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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  14. Bearspa

    Bearspa Thread Starter

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    You're right about the illogic of it, crjdriver, re the cost, to say nothing of the time I've spent on it, but it has almost become a personal challenge! :)

    Actually, I have another laptop with two drives, and I could take it apart and plug this harddrive into it! I just might have to give that a try!
     
  15. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    You can also boot the laptop or system with parted magic linux. PM allows for a secure erase of drives and allows drive passwords to be input or changed. You do have to have a reasonable skill level with linux to go this route.
     
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