Laptop hard drive passwords - Storage

This is a discussion on Laptop hard drive passwords - Storage ; In a thread under a newsgroup in an Earthlink server, an argument has been going on as to whether or not a laptop hard drive can be reformatted if it has a password assigned that has been misplaced or forgotten. ...

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Thread: Laptop hard drive passwords

  1. Laptop hard drive passwords

    In a thread under a newsgroup in an Earthlink server, an argument has been
    going on as to whether or not a laptop hard drive can be reformatted if it
    has a password assigned that has been misplaced or forgotten. Can a laptop
    hard drive be formatted if it has a password that no one knows?

    Here is what one guy said in that thread:

    "The answer is no, if you don't have the
    password (or successfully somehow bypass it), the drive is totally
    non-functional. It can't be used at all, for any purpose whatsoever, it
    can't even be reformatted. The hard drive password scheme places data
    security above absolutely everything else. After a power-up or reset,
    the drive is totally non-functional until the proper password is
    entered, it isn't even recognized by the bios." END OF QUOTE

    Is this true?





  2. Re: Laptop hard drive passwords

    With the information given, how can anyone advise? What computer? Bios
    maker and version? Is the password entered into a prompt by the Bios or
    some security software? If you take the drive and put it into a desktop as
    a secondary drive, can you see valid data on the drive or is it encrypted?
    Ask the vendor for specifics.

    "Papa" wrote in message
    news:OJGCmz9eEHA.2560@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
    > In a thread under a newsgroup in an Earthlink server, an argument has been
    > going on as to whether or not a laptop hard drive can be reformatted if it
    > has a password assigned that has been misplaced or forgotten. Can a laptop
    > hard drive be formatted if it has a password that no one knows?
    >
    > Here is what one guy said in that thread:
    >
    > "The answer is no, if you don't have the
    > password (or successfully somehow bypass it), the drive is totally
    > non-functional. It can't be used at all, for any purpose whatsoever, it
    > can't even be reformatted. The hard drive password scheme places data
    > security above absolutely everything else. After a power-up or reset,
    > the drive is totally non-functional until the proper password is
    > entered, it isn't even recognized by the bios." END OF QUOTE
    >
    > Is this true?
    >
    >
    >
    >




  3. Re: Laptop hard drive passwords

    The discussion, as I said, was about laptops in general - any brand, any
    laptop based BIOS. As far as removing the HD and putting it into a desktop,
    the claim was that even then it would not be possible to view the data,
    would not be possible to reformat it, or anything else. I find that very
    hard to believe.

    "David J. Craig" wrote in
    message news:%23f61cT%23eEHA.2916@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
    > With the information given, how can anyone advise? What computer? Bios
    > maker and version? Is the password entered into a prompt by the Bios or
    > some security software? If you take the drive and put it into a desktop

    as
    > a secondary drive, can you see valid data on the drive or is it encrypted?
    > Ask the vendor for specifics.
    >
    > "Papa" wrote in message
    > news:OJGCmz9eEHA.2560@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
    > > In a thread under a newsgroup in an Earthlink server, an argument has

    been
    > > going on as to whether or not a laptop hard drive can be reformatted if

    it
    > > has a password assigned that has been misplaced or forgotten. Can a

    laptop
    > > hard drive be formatted if it has a password that no one knows?
    > >
    > > Here is what one guy said in that thread:
    > >
    > > "The answer is no, if you don't have the
    > > password (or successfully somehow bypass it), the drive is totally
    > > non-functional. It can't be used at all, for any purpose whatsoever, it
    > > can't even be reformatted. The hard drive password scheme places data
    > > security above absolutely everything else. After a power-up or reset,
    > > the drive is totally non-functional until the proper password is
    > > entered, it isn't even recognized by the bios." END OF QUOTE
    > >
    > > Is this true?
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >

    >
    >




  4. Re: Laptop hard drive passwords

    It may be or not. I don't have a notebook, but I know of software that will
    not permit it to work if the drive was moved. You can then format the drive
    by erasing all data and then reinstall in the notebook and use the recovery
    CDs or an OS CD.

    "Papa" wrote in message
    news:OBdpcn%23eEHA.332@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
    > The discussion, as I said, was about laptops in general - any brand, any
    > laptop based BIOS. As far as removing the HD and putting it into a

    desktop,
    > the claim was that even then it would not be possible to view the data,
    > would not be possible to reformat it, or anything else. I find that very
    > hard to believe.
    >
    > "David J. Craig" wrote in
    > message news:%23f61cT%23eEHA.2916@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
    > > With the information given, how can anyone advise? What computer? Bios
    > > maker and version? Is the password entered into a prompt by the Bios or
    > > some security software? If you take the drive and put it into a desktop

    > as
    > > a secondary drive, can you see valid data on the drive or is it

    encrypted?
    > > Ask the vendor for specifics.
    > >
    > > "Papa" wrote in message
    > > news:OJGCmz9eEHA.2560@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
    > > > In a thread under a newsgroup in an Earthlink server, an argument has

    > been
    > > > going on as to whether or not a laptop hard drive can be reformatted

    if
    > it
    > > > has a password assigned that has been misplaced or forgotten. Can a

    > laptop
    > > > hard drive be formatted if it has a password that no one knows?
    > > >
    > > > Here is what one guy said in that thread:
    > > >
    > > > "The answer is no, if you don't have the
    > > > password (or successfully somehow bypass it), the drive is totally
    > > > non-functional. It can't be used at all, for any purpose whatsoever,

    it
    > > > can't even be reformatted. The hard drive password scheme places data
    > > > security above absolutely everything else. After a power-up or reset,
    > > > the drive is totally non-functional until the proper password is
    > > > entered, it isn't even recognized by the bios." END OF QUOTE
    > > >
    > > > Is this true?
    > > >
    > > >
    > > >
    > > >

    > >
    > >

    >
    >




  5. Re: Laptop hard drive passwords

    Thanks, David, but laptops are a lot different than desktops. I was looking
    for a more definitive answer. Those participating in that other NG are
    saying that you simply cannot format such a drive, or do anything else with
    it, if it is password protected.

    Anyone else?



  6. Re: Laptop hard drive passwords

    Guess you just can't provide specifics. Yes, it would be possible to key
    the hard drive to one system where all data was encrypted via the Bios, but
    getting Windows to work with it would be difficult and painful. It might be
    useful for certain businesses or the government, but not likely a home user
    would buy one that could do this. If I tell you I have a bridge in Brooklyn
    for sale, would you believe me? Just because 'someone(s)' says something
    doesn't make it true. How can IBM, Dell, HP/Compaq, Toshiba, Gateway, etc.
    ever replace a failed hard drive? While I could design such a system, I
    sure don't think there is a market to support it. KISS is still the first
    rule for consumer computers.

    "Papa" wrote in message
    news:O%23aizB$eEHA.2824@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
    > Thanks, David, but laptops are a lot different than desktops. I was

    looking
    > for a more definitive answer. Those participating in that other NG are
    > saying that you simply cannot format such a drive, or do anything else

    with
    > it, if it is password protected.
    >
    > Anyone else?
    >
    >




  7. Re: Laptop hard drive passwords

    Please stay off this thread unless you really know something about laptops.
    Thanks.



  8. Re: Laptop hard drive passwords

    They're referring to a hard-drive password, versus the BIOS password. (the
    BIOS password is easy to defeat, by resetting the BIOS or mounting the drive
    in another machine.)

    If it's an HDD password, that's different. There are services which will
    address the situation, so obviously it's *possible* but not easy:
    http://www.nortek.on.ca/hdd_pw.html#HDD

    I don't know of any non-commerical tools/methods to defeat the password.

    Doug

    "Papa" wrote in message
    news:O%23aizB$eEHA.2824@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
    > Thanks, David, but laptops are a lot different than desktops. I was

    looking
    > for a more definitive answer. Those participating in that other NG are
    > saying that you simply cannot format such a drive, or do anything else

    with
    > it, if it is password protected.
    >
    > Anyone else?
    >
    >




  9. Re: Laptop hard drive passwords

    Well, I know you're going to piss all over me because I "don't know anything about laptops"
    but think about the following sentence:

    "After a power-up or reset, the drive is totally non-functional until the proper password is
    entered, it isn't even recognized by the bios."

    If it isn't recognized by the bios, what's going to enable it? It can't very well enable
    itself. The BIOS is in charge until the computer starts executing the boot sector from the
    boot drive. Where's the password prompt coming from? I have a hard time accepting this
    statement.

    --
    Tom

    "Papa" wrote in message news:OJGCmz9eEHA.2560@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
    > In a thread under a newsgroup in an Earthlink server, an argument has been
    > going on as to whether or not a laptop hard drive can be reformatted if it
    > has a password assigned that has been misplaced or forgotten. Can a laptop
    > hard drive be formatted if it has a password that no one knows?
    >
    > Here is what one guy said in that thread:
    >
    > "The answer is no, if you don't have the
    > password (or successfully somehow bypass it), the drive is totally
    > non-functional. It can't be used at all, for any purpose whatsoever, it
    > can't even be reformatted. The hard drive password scheme places data
    > security above absolutely everything else. After a power-up or reset,
    > the drive is totally non-functional until the proper password is
    > entered, it isn't even recognized by the bios." END OF QUOTE
    >
    > Is this true?
    >
    >
    >
    >




  10. Re: Laptop hard drive passwords

    Thanks for the very detailed response. Much appreciated.

    "Doug Baker" wrote in message
    news:OVKtRMtfEHA.3556@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl...
    > They're referring to a hard-drive password, versus the BIOS password. (the
    > BIOS password is easy to defeat, by resetting the BIOS or mounting the

    drive
    > in another machine.)
    >
    > If it's an HDD password, that's different. There are services which will
    > address the situation, so obviously it's *possible* but not easy:
    > http://www.nortek.on.ca/hdd_pw.html#HDD
    >
    > I don't know of any non-commerical tools/methods to defeat the password.
    >
    > Doug
    >
    > "Papa" wrote in message
    > news:O%23aizB$eEHA.2824@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
    > > Thanks, David, but laptops are a lot different than desktops. I was

    > looking
    > > for a more definitive answer. Those participating in that other NG are
    > > saying that you simply cannot format such a drive, or do anything else

    > with
    > > it, if it is password protected.
    > >
    > > Anyone else?
    > >
    > >

    >
    >




  11. Re: Laptop hard drive passwords

    Makes sense. Thanks.

    "Tom Stewart" wrote in message
    news:elxzkntfEHA.2544@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
    > Well, I know you're going to piss all over me because I "don't know

    anything about laptops"
    > but think about the following sentence:
    >
    > "After a power-up or reset, the drive is totally non-functional until the

    proper password is
    > entered, it isn't even recognized by the bios."
    >
    > If it isn't recognized by the bios, what's going to enable it? It can't

    very well enable
    > itself. The BIOS is in charge until the computer starts executing the boot

    sector from the
    > boot drive. Where's the password prompt coming from? I have a hard time

    accepting this
    > statement.
    >
    > --
    > Tom
    >
    > "Papa" wrote in message

    news:OJGCmz9eEHA.2560@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
    > > In a thread under a newsgroup in an Earthlink server, an argument has

    been
    > > going on as to whether or not a laptop hard drive can be reformatted if

    it
    > > has a password assigned that has been misplaced or forgotten. Can a

    laptop
    > > hard drive be formatted if it has a password that no one knows?
    > >
    > > Here is what one guy said in that thread:
    > >
    > > "The answer is no, if you don't have the
    > > password (or successfully somehow bypass it), the drive is totally
    > > non-functional. It can't be used at all, for any purpose whatsoever, it
    > > can't even be reformatted. The hard drive password scheme places data
    > > security above absolutely everything else. After a power-up or reset,
    > > the drive is totally non-functional until the proper password is
    > > entered, it isn't even recognized by the bios." END OF QUOTE
    > >
    > > Is this true?
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >

    >
    >




  12. Re: Laptop hard drive passwords

    "Tom Stewart" wrote in message
    news:elxzkntfEHA.2544@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
    > Well, I know you're going to piss all over me because I "don't know

    anything about laptops"
    > but think about the following sentence:
    >
    > "After a power-up or reset, the drive is totally non-functional until the

    proper password is
    > entered, it isn't even recognized by the bios."
    >
    > If it isn't recognized by the bios, what's going to enable it? It can't

    very well enable
    > itself. The BIOS is in charge until the computer starts executing the boot

    sector from the
    > boot drive. Where's the password prompt coming from? I have a hard time

    accepting this
    > statement.


    Did any of you speculators think to look at the ATA spec for the ATA
    SECURITY command set documentation? It's pretty clear, and it's almost
    exactly as the OP describes, with very minor detail differences.

    On the other branch of this thread, someone mentioned that there are
    services that will recover data protected by a hard disk password. I'm not
    familiar with such services, but it's certainly possible to recover a lost
    password through brute force methods, since the retry counter resets after a
    power cycle. Programatic power control isn't rocket science...

    Phil
    --
    Philip D. Barila Windows DDK MVP
    Seagate Technology LLC
    (720) 684-1842
    As if I need to say it: Not speaking for Seagate.
    E-mail address is pointed at a domain squatter. Use reply-to instead.




  13. Re: Laptop hard drive passwords


    Papa wrote:
    > *In a thread under a newsgroup in an Earthlink server, an argumen
    > has been
    > going on as to whether or not a laptop hard drive can be reformatte
    > if it
    > has a password assigned that has been misplaced or forgotten. Can
    > laptop
    > hard drive be formatted if it has a password that no one knows?
    >
    > Here is what one guy said in that thread:
    >
    > "The answer is no, if you don't have the
    > password (or successfully somehow bypass it), the drive is totally
    > non-functional. It can't be used at all, for any purpose whatsoever
    > it
    > can't even be reformatted. The hard drive password scheme place
    > data
    > security above absolutely everything else. After a power-up o
    > reset,
    > the drive is totally non-functional until the proper password is
    > entered, it isn't even recognized by the bios." END OF QUOTE
    >
    > Is this true? *


    Here's the straight scoop, I am a tech with a certain "blue" compan
    that will go unamed(but if you have any knowledge you'll know who
    mean) now regarding the hard drive password it IS NOT the same as th
    power on password, while it is initially set in the BIOS like the powe
    on password it is encoded into the firmware of the drive, it WILL NO
    clear by resetting the BIOS, you can take the CMOS battery out all da
    long, makes no difference to the HD. Laptop manufacturers have n
    officially supported way of removing this password once it is set, I'v
    seen ads for some data recovery companies who say they can remove i
    but have never seen it done & I am skeptical of their claims. Botto
    line is if you set a Hard Disk password DO NOT FORGET IT, if you do yo
    can pretty much forget about any data you had on that drive. Also fo
    those out there who think that if you boot a system with a non passwor
    protected drive and a password protected drive the password wil
    automatically apply itself to the non protected drive, YOU'RE WRONG
    the password can only be manually set through the BIOS


    -
    AllKnowing
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