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Lost Hdd Password


Phantom
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I was clearing out my store room and I found an old laptop I had. At first it wouldn't even start. But it turned out to be a problem with the charer so I used a multi-charger. However when I boot up the laptop after showing the boot opitions I am taken to a screen saying, "This drive is locked. Please enter the HDD Password." It has been at least a few months since I last used it and I have tried all of my most common password to no success. I even booted from a portable wwindows but it does not even see the drive. Is there anyway of removing or brute forcing the password or bypassing it all together just so I can see whether there is anything data on the drive. From what I can remember it had windows xp installed on it.

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Clear what from the bois?

Its only the HDD thats password protected.

Just to clear things up a bit, when you say the HDD is prompting you for a password, is this happening during the post process? When you first turn your computer on!

If this is the case, what you need to do and as Abferm stated previously, remove the CMOS battery from the laptop. In order to do that, you will need to take you laptop apart and locate on the motherboard, a socket holding a "3V Lithium Battery"

The battery should look like, as exactly as from the picture below.

cmos.gif

Once removed,

1) You will need to connect the power pack back to the laptop, but DO NOT turn it on.

2) Leave the power pack on for several minutes,

3) Disconnect the power pack and place the battery back onto the socket.

4) Reassemble the laptop and turn it back on.

5) At this stage, the password should have been cleared off.

6) You will also need to go into the BIOS and adjust the time and date settings, as they get wiped off when the battery is disconnected.

Good luck...

Edited by Infiltrator
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Its an HP, which means it probably has the old Compaq software bios on the HDD setup as well. Something older Compaqs were known for. My mother in law has two laptops which have the BIOS on the HDD's, which were a PITA to reinstall windows 98 on, since the person who owned them before her, just formatted the HDD's and then gave them to her. Had to boot off a floppy, copy files to the HDD, then boot off the HDD using a dos bootup hack to boot from C: instead of A:, then load drivers to see the cd-rom so I could install win98. Was too old and small to run even XP. 64mb of ram, 1GB HDD, so no XP lovin for them. But I do recall the problem with them having factory install BIOS protection on the HDD's. Formatting the drive removes this, but also causes all sorts of problems since you then can't for some reason access the hardware bios. Not sure if that would happen on this machine, but just a fair warning.

I would try the linux boot method as suggested by Mr-Protocol, see if you can find the drive and mount it. If it can, then copy off what you want, format, and reinstall something else. If however you can't access it because of the proprietary bios shadowing they use which prompts for a password, then you might have to remove the drive, get an adapter cable and mount in a desktop machine to copy files off, format or whatever.

Edited by digip
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As I have previously stated I have removed the battery on the motherboard and that removed the password to enter the bois.

Also when you boot up the laptop I go through these stages;

1. Turn it on

2. I get to the screen with options on; F9 for lan boot, F10 for Bois, F11 to select boot device.

3. Then the sceen changes and it tries to boot from the HDD

4. Then I get the promt for the password.

When it comes to linux I'm a total noob. I know how to basics such a browse the internet and launch programs but thats basically it. I don't have any adapters for a 2.5 HDD.

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As I have previously stated I have removed the battery on the motherboard and that removed the password to enter the bois.

Also when you boot up the laptop I go through these stages;

1. Turn it on

2. I get to the screen with options on; F9 for lan boot, F10 for Bois, F11 to select boot device.

3. Then the sceen changes and it tries to boot from the HDD

4. Then I get the promt for the password.

When it comes to linux I'm a total noob. I know how to basics such a browse the internet and launch programs but thats basically it. I don't have any adapters for a 2.5 HDD.

Now is a good time to learn then. You can try http://bit.ly/mI5Gb4 and http://bit.ly/lFWJUo to mount it in another system and see whats on it, but no guarantee its the correct adapter for your specific Laptop HDD. Might need both the first and second adapter together, as I own the second one, and wasn't compatible with MY older laptops HDD by itself, but that is also because its an older machine and doesn't use the newer pins on the second adapters, but the first adapters might make it compatible to plug into the second one, then mount the drive over USB in a desktop machine. Something I do to recover files off old drives for people and well worth the money, even just for tools to have in your collection.

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Now is a good time to learn then. You can try http://bit.ly/mI5Gb4 and http://bit.ly/lFWJUo to mount it in another system and see whats on it, but no guarantee its the correct adapter for your specific Laptop HDD. Might need both the first and second adapter together, as I own the second one, and wasn't compatible with MY older laptops HDD by itself, but that is also because its an older machine and doesn't use the newer pins on the second adapters, but the first adapters might make it compatible to plug into the second one, then mount the drive over USB in a desktop machine. Something I do to recover files off old drives for people and well worth the money, even just for tools to have in your collection.

This is what I bought and its compatible with any laptops hard drive.

IDE/SATA HDD to USB

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This is what I bought and its compatible with any laptops hard drive.

IDE/SATA HDD to USB

Mine claimed the same thing, but didn't fit my Gateway laptop's HDD, which is why you might need the additional adapters for laptop to ide conversion.

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Guest Deleted_Account

Are you referring to the hard drive lock? Meaning you cannot boot or mount the HDD in any computer without the password. The password is stored in both bios and HDD firmware and AFAIK modern ones can NOT be bypassed with out special tools from the vendor. Hopefully yours is not a newer one. The good thing is that most passwords are limited by the bios to letters and numbers only. You could modify a teensy to brute force it but it may take a while.

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Boot into the BIOS and there should be an option to remove the HDD password

This is true. This is where I set the password for both my bios and HDD password settings for my laptop. Removing the CMOS battery reset his BIOS password, but didn't for the HDD password though, which if it were a BIOS issue, I would think would have reset both. Worth a shot though to try though.

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