Removing a password from an external HDD

WannabePBA

Solid State Member
Messages
8
OK, I searched the forums on here and saw a thread with my exact same problem, but the girl that asked the question figured it out on her own and didn't post the solution....

I have been having problems with my brand new laptop "corrupting" my hard drives. I'm on my 3rd hard drive in less than 2 months. Best Buy's "Geek" squad tells me that I have bad luck and I keep getting bad hard drives, but I think they are full of crap. So I went out bought a case for the drives to see if they would work externally. Well, they work fine. The problem is that when they were in my laptop I had my username password protected, so I can't access any of the data in the "My Documents" on the hard drives now. I get an access denied error, because obviously the drive thinks I'm a different user (or something like that). I have about 4 years of data on there that I need to get out so I can format my drives and use them for something useful (btw, anybody in the market for an external hard drive? :p j/k). So my question is if there's anyway for me to go into the hard drive and delete the password file or something? I remember being able to do something similar in NT, but I don't know if its possible in XP Pro. Thanks in advance for any help.
 

Computer Head

Fully Optimized
Messages
2,841
Is your laptop a Dell, by any chance?

I did some research (remember, Google is your friend) and found some interesting results. On a Dell laptop, when you have the hard drive in the laptop, you can set a password in the BIOS. This is stored on a EEPROM chip. Clearing the BIOS by taking out the clock battery will NOT affect the hard drive password. You have to clear the password by:

1) going into the BIOS on the laptop and disabling the "Disk Password"
OR
2) Maybe you can call the manufacturer of your laptop, and if you can verify you own the laptop, they will email you the password to get into the BIOS and clear it. The directions are:

To enter the System Setup program, press <Fn><F1> (or <Scroll Lock> <F1> on an external keyboard if the External Hot Key option is enabled in the System Setup program).

Press <Alt><p> to go to Page 2 of the System Setup program.

Use the up- or down-arrow key to highlight Disk Password.

Press the left- or right-arrow key once.

If you are setting or changing a password, type a password and then press <Enter>. If you are disabling a password, enter the current password and press <Enter> twice.
You can use up to eight characters (including spaces) in your password. The computer makes no distinction between lowercase or uppercase letters. As you enter each character, a placeholder appears in the field. To erase a character when typing your password, press <Backspace>.


When prompted to confirm the password, type the password again and press <Enter>.

I hope this works for you. There is an alternative, although I think it is inconvenient and dangerous, and possibly ridiculous, but if you expose a UV light to the chip for about 10 minutes, it will clear the EEPROM chip. I am not sure if this works for sure, though. I hope this solves your password issue.
 

WannabePBA

Solid State Member
Messages
8
No, my laptop is an HP. Brand new, only 8 weeks old. The hard drives are all Seagata ATA 80 Gb 5400 RPM. I also tried searching on Google, but all I was able to get was 500,000 hits on programs I can download to put passwords on folders I want to keep private so other people can't access them (why don't they ever just say to "hide your porn?" Its less typing...).
 

Computer Head

Fully Optimized
Messages
2,841
Do you know if the hard drive was encrypted or password protected by a third-party software or not? An alternative would be to try to find a system file with security settings in it and possibly modify the usernames allowed on the directory. I was looking at the article you gave a link for. Is that your problem? If it is, try logging into the computer as an administrator and changing the ownership of the files back to your normal user name.
 

WannabePBA

Solid State Member
Messages
8
No, the link was the solution to the problem. I guess I just wasn't using the right words when I was searching before. I dumbed down my search query to 2 words and looked through about 300 hits on Microsoft and found that.
 

WannabePBA

Solid State Member
Messages
8
Joxley:

As far as my computer goes, I think its something in the computer causing the hard drives to go bad. I find it highly unlikely that two different brands of hard drives would have the exact same problem in under two weeks that would cause a replacement to be needed. The diagnostic tests that they run say that the SMART (?) sectors have gone bad, which could explain why they work externally and not in the computer (since they don't actually boot up externally they are just storage space). But the "geek" squad says that its definatly the hard drives. So I guess I'll just keep going back and getting new hard drives until my lemon policy of my warranty kicks in and I'll get a replacement computer and I'll have collected about four 80 gig hard drives. I have a friend that does IT and he said his boss thinks that it might be a bad capacitor on the motherboard or something. My knowledge of computers doesn't go that far into hardware, so I'm not sure. I can replace stuff, but I wouldn't know if he's right or not.
 

WebSuccess4You

Beta member
Messages
4
Location
USA
the old hard drive I have is external in a Sabrent USB 3.0 SATA hard Drive DOCK which I know works because it saw another hard drive. I cannot see this hard drive in Windows Explorer and when I see it i Computer Management it appears as Not Initialized,Not Formatted. Well,
it is a formatted NTFS with about 170 GB out of 320GB on it but I put a hard drive password on it and had a Dell technician replace it with a new 500 GB because I was going to clone the old hard drive with TrueImage14
and with the newest version of trueImage14 you have to have the new/destination hard drive inside the computer. But before he removed the
old hard drive I forgot to remove the hard drive password. I know the hard drive password but because (I think )it is on the old hard drive, Windows Explorer won't recognize it and Computer Management thinks it is
Not Initialized and UnFormatted. Please verify that this is the reason Windows Explorer cannot see it and Computer Management thinks it is
Not Initialized and UnFormatted.
I have a URL where I can buy HD Reset software but I have to sign a
waiver of liability because it might wipe out the info on it. Not what I want.

I read this: "Dell Inspiron BIOS Password Recovery

Each Dell Inspiron has a master password that clears the BIOS password. Call Dell Technical Support at (800)624-9896 to get this number.

Dell Technical Support will request the Service Tag and Express Service Code from the bottom of the Inspiron."

Does this apply because it is a hard drive password and not a BIOS because it is not affecting my installed new hard drive ?

How can I connect to the old hard drive to reset or remove the password ? I am copying this same post and emailing it to western Digital Support because the old hard drive is a WD Scorpio Blue.
 
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