HDD Password

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by pcuser, Feb 22, 2008.

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  1. pcuser

    pcuser Registered Member

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    Hello,

    I face a difficult problem and I have to say from the beginning that I am not very optimistic about its possible resolution. On the other hand, I have been "watching" the forum for quite some time (and learned a lot) and I hope that somebody may have the experience to give the solution.

    I have an Acer Travelmate 663 and my hard drive a 40GB Seagate (ST94011A) has been "locked". To be more precise when I boot (from the hard drive) it asks for an HDD Password (HDD stands for Hard Disk Drive I guess). I had never set such a password, even though there is a possibility to do so in the BIOS. What happened is the following: The laptop shutdown because it ran out of battery. I restarted it without connecting it to the AC power. It shutdown again while it was booting. Then, if I correctly remember (all this was 2 months ago), I did this one more. Before I try to power on for a third time I connected the laptop to the AC power, but this time it asked me for this HDD password, which I obviously do not know.

    Since then I have not been able to to do anything with the hard drive and what I have learned is that it has been "locked", it cannot be seen by any other computer. I do not care about the drive itself, which I have already replaced, but about the data which I want to recover but I do not want to pay a fortune. I went to an official service center of Acer, as recommended by the manual in such a situation. They were not able to do anything (still, I think they are the one who should solve the problem). Googling I found a company specializing in such situations

    http://www.hdd-tools.com/products/rrs/

    but unfortunately the particular hard drive is not supported by them. Another possibility could be

    http://hdd.profesjonalnie.pl/faq.php

    but I have not contacted them yet.

    My question to the forum members is: Has anybody ever met such a problem? And if yes, did you solve it and how?

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2008
  2. Capp

    Capp Registered Member

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  3. Meriadoc

    Meriadoc Registered Member

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    There's a few one click fixes unfortunately not free. MHDD in the above link is freeware.
     
  4. pcuser

    pcuser Registered Member

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    Thanks, only method 1 would apply for my case. The other two do not support my drive. I see it is recommended some reading before trying. Btw, do you have your own experience with MHDD? Thanks.
     
  5. pcuser

    pcuser Registered Member

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    I would not mind paying a "reasonable" amount of money. What are the possible fixes you refer to?
     
  6. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    a h/d password is even harder to get at than the bios password and some need to do soldering to get at that too. what you could do is find an replacement of your motherboard even one not working and get a electronics guy to solder off the password chip and swap with the existing on your motherboard. that way it wont have the password.

    alternatively :) you might be in luck.

    try this software first. http://www.hddunlock.com/

     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2008
  7. pcuser

    pcuser Registered Member

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    Sorry, but I do not understand very well, so you may have to go to a "lower level of sophistication". Since as you say the password is not stored in the hard drive, then why other systems cannot read the drive? Something must be stored in the hard drive. Also, as I said, I have replaced the hard drive with a new one and everything works. If a password was stored in the motherboard, shouldn't I have faced problems with the new drive? (It is true that I read somewhere that the new drive might be locked, but I took my chances and luckily there was no problem).
     
  8. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    yes reread my post above i did some research and found possible solutions. i think this is why some electronic guys give up when you say its the H/D password as that is stored on the h/d. i stand corrected.
     
  9. pcuser

    pcuser Registered Member

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    Markymoo, I found the whole text you quote (capp recommended it). On the other hand http://www.hddunlock.com/ is not good since data will be lost. The same company has http://www.hdd-tools.com/products/rrs/ but it is no good again (as I already said from the opening post), since they do not support (and they will not) Seagate 2.5" drives. Thanks anyway.

    Capp or Markymoo (or anybody), I am learning now about this MHDD, but do you know if it is safe with respect to data? This is the impotant thing for me . I do not care at all about an old 40GB drive.
     
  10. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    ahh ok i found it from another source. why not try contacting seagate. apparently the motherboard knows the password of the drive also if its the original drive.

    if you could get hold of the firmware for that drive maybe a chance to flash it. this would reset the password.
     
  11. pcuser

    pcuser Registered Member

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    Seagate does not offer support in the country that I live. I guess I could email to another's country support, but I have the feeling they will send me back to Acer. I see they also have some data recovery services but it remains to see how much they charge for that.
     
  12. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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  13. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    One way round it.


    How to Swap Hard Disk Drive Platters

    This is an article regarding swapping hard drive platters. This is not a procedure for the technically inept or faint hearted. The following carries no guarantees, and defiantly voids and nullifies any existing warranty.
    1. Know that this is only a last resort. You have tried everything else, your data is not extremely important, and/or your cash flow restricts the use of a professional service.
    2. Purchase a new HDD with the same model number and firmware version.
    3. Test the new HDD. Make sure you can read and write data to and from it.
    4. Set up a clean work environment. You can not make a super clean environment at home but use some common sense, and do the best you can. Keep air flow to a minimum.
    5. Assemble and layout your tools.
    6. Don powder-free latex gloves.
    7. Ground yourself! If you don't know what is, or how to do it, ask google.
    8. Remove the cover of your dead drive. If the cover doesn’t just lift off, look for more screws! There are screws under labels.
    9. Once the cover is off, inspect the platters. If they are scratched, scorched, warped, or other wise damaged, stop you are done!
    10. Set the cover back on and remove the cover from your donor HDD.
    11. Remove the platters from the donor HDD. This is you chance to learn how they are assembled, if you slip and damage parts you can get a new donor.
    12. Remove the platters from your dead HDD.
    13. Reassemble the donor drive with dead HDD’s platters inside.
    14. Mount the donor drive.
    15. Quickly copy your data. You might only get one or two chances to read from the HDD. It might make some horrible noises.
    16. Unmount the HDD and discard it. Continued use of the HDD is ill-advised.


    Tips

    • To remove the platters you might have to remove the head assembly.
    • Use the right tools!
    • This procedure is not for logically erased data. This procedure is for physically inoperable drives with intact data.
    • When swapping the platters be very careful with the head! Make sure the head is parked before you attempt to remove the platters.
    • Do your homework. Look at photos of the internals of a hard disk drive before you open one up.
    • HDD = hard disk drive
     
  14. pcuser

    pcuser Registered Member

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    Markymoo, thanks for all the effort, but... For the first choice: pc3000 is extremely expensive. I think it is made mostly for data recovery companies. For the second choice: Somebody has already recommended it and then somebody else told me it would not work. Anyway, I do not want to try that, since I do not want to lose the data. It sounds very risky. I have been looking for a solution for 2 months, and even though every suggestion is welcome, I would hope to find somebody who had the same problem and solved it. Now this suggestion with MHDD sounds promising at the moment, but I want to be sure that it will unlock the drive without losing the data.
     
  15. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    maybe that was you on another forum asking the same question. i didn't expect it to be cheap. i thought you could start your own disk recovery service after you do your own lol sorry. i think you looking around $500 as the average quote for specialist data recovery. apparently seagate don't keep passwords they will tell you to contact Acer. good luck. keep trying.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2008
  16. pcuser

    pcuser Registered Member

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    No, this is the first place where I put my question. It is the most trusted place.
     
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