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HDD boot question


RoninSmurf
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Previously I posted a question in regards to a locked SSD drive (relatively old topic so I created a new one. If this isn't acceptable I'll delete this and bring up the old one).

Brief issue/question: I have about 15 laptops that a unknown user placed a password on the hard drives through the BIOS. The drives are SSD drives and on bootup will ask for the password. Repeated failure will result in the computer turning off.

Done: Removed the drive from the boot order, disabled the drive in the BIOS, slaved the drive to another computer, booted up with Boot'n'nuke (and other programs), Called Samsung (it's one of their drives) and tried to use their Secure Erase software, Slaved the drive as a USB device, and plugged the drive in after the computer has booted up.

Result(s): No matter what the setting or if the drive is a primary or slave it will always ask for a password on bootup. If it's plugged in after a computer has booted then the drive will be locked.

Final: If I need to replace the drives that's doable, but if there is anything else anyone can suggest then I would like to give that a try. Also had the site techs double back and ensure that the passwords on the BIOS was set on the remaining systems and external booting methods were disabled on the other systems.

Thanks

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So you called Samsung who recommended that program. You tried it and it didn't work. How did they respond when you told them this?

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Their response was that was all that they could do at this point, which is unfortunate. Also what I forgot to mention in the above post was that at this point I guess what I would like to know is, is there a way to boot a system without the drive being read on bootup (already took it out of the boot order) so I can try to run a disk wipe utility.

Or if anyone has any suggestions on a hardware/software solution that can either decrypt or remove a SSD SATA drive password. Right now I'm seeing if it's cheaper to go that route or replace 15-20 128gb SSD drives.

Thanks

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I know you said you couldn't see the drive after an OS was booted and it comes up locked, but have you tried using linux to force mount the drive, after the OS is booted, using a drive kit to mount it as external media?

Try the methods above that cooper mentioned first, but I have a feeling this whole bios password, is nothing to do with the bios as much as it is instructions on the drive which could be in the MBR area or the first 80 bytes of the drive. Unless these drives have special capabilities that work with certain instructions to lock them down, all the instructions on how they change the drive should be on the drive itself and the sequence to block you, has to be somewhere in the boot sequence to nullify a full boot along with changing the drive structure somehow so it can't be read such as special partition table. Do SSD drives have encryption hardware on them?

I use a rosewill kit when working with dying drives or ones that won't boot after either corruption or malware on friends and families systems. If the above doesn't work, maybe pick one up, and try force mounting it on linux as external media. There are tools to inspect low level areas of disk as well, which you may need to dump in hex and decode manually to see what is happening, but I would imagine there are some forensic disk tools that help take care of this as well these days.

Kit I use myself: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812119152

I don't think this is strictly bios password connected though since this would need the same bios and system with special instructions to disable it, more than likely it's special instructions in the mbr and a change to the drive table structure that gets undone after you enter the matching stored password which should all be on the drive itself.

Reminds me of how Compaq used to put a software bios on their HDD's back when you couldn't boot off optical media, and there was no way to change the boot order, where floppy was first by default, no USB hardware, and optical media required special MS-DOS sys drivers to see and use CD-ROM drives.

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