A friend? of mine locked the Hard Drive in my Laptop (it was his way of
"sticking it to me", and so far it's worked very well). As the boot process
begins it stops, and asks for the password. The boot sequence is set for
floppy first, but even trying to boot with a floppy wont allow progress past
the password prompt.
So far I've tried to boot to a floppy - no success - with the thought of a
Low Level Format. I've placed the drive, with an adapter, into a desktop,
and I discovered that BIOSs without a password scheme like a Laptop, reports
the drive as a "failed disk". If I place it into another Laptop it asks for
the password. I locked a different drive, placed it into the desktop, and it
reported as a "failed disk". I put it back into the Laptop, unlocked it, and
back into the desktop where it worked normally.
Further research led me to the Hard Disk ATA Standard, which allows for a
Hard Drive to be locked, and unlocked. It appears that the passwords (user,
and master) are not on the platter, but stored in a register on the
controller board. The logic sequence on boot up is to check if the drive is
locked, and if it is it wont unlock the drive until the proper command, then
the password is sent to the drive.
The ATA Standard also indicates that if you know the Master Password, it
will unlock the drive, and reset the user password to null.
I understand the need for security, but I can't help but suspect that some
clever chap has discovered a workaround short of sending the drive to a data
recovery facility, and spending thousands of $$$.
There has to be a way of probing the register in question, and reading the
data necessary to unlock the drive.
I can buy a new drive for my Laptop, but I guess the challenge of
overcomingmthe situation is too much to pass up.
Any suggestions, Web Sites, other news groups, or assistance would be
Remove the two fish in address to respond
18 years ago