Recovering ATA Hard Drive Master Password

I recently purchased a Hitachi 7k60 for my IBM T41 online and found out that it was password protected with both User and Master passwords.  After contacting the seller and learning the User password I am able to access the disk 100% but I can't disable the password protection without knowing the Master password (not through the conventional BIOS settings anyway).  I've looked on the forum and only found questions relating to how to crack a hard drive where you have no access.  I would like to know how to find the Master password when I already KNOW the user password.  If anyone has any advice on how to do this please let me know.  Thanks!
chchchiggaAsked:
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drauchCommented:
You could try a low level format of the drive to erase all sectors.  Some bios's allow you to do this otherwise you could try a program called kill disk. www.killdisk.com

Both methods will overwrite every sector of the disk so it should erase the password protection.

Where did you buy the disk from?  
chchchiggaAuthor Commented:
I purchased the disk off someone on an online forum.  He in turn purchased off someone else on the same online forum so I'm not sure where the original purchase was made.  

I thought that the ATA Password was stored on the firmware?  Will Kill disk or a low level format still work?
nobusCommented:
up to now, i never found anything that could break a protected disk with a master and user password in the security chip.
i fear you may have bought a doorstopper; if possible, return it.
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mikemCommented:
Hi,

You need to Disable the User password. All you are soing is unlocking the drive which only applies until you turn off the computer, then you need to re-enter the password again. Disabling will get rid of the password.

Search for and download ATAPWD

Or try this link: http://www.rockbox.org/atapwd.zip

Extract the files to a bootable floppy.

Boot the computer from the floppy

Once in DOS. Run the program (atapwd.exe) and select the drive.

1. UNLOCK the drive using the USER password you were given.
2. DISABLE the USER password.

Remove the floppy and reboot..

Dont mess around with the Master password as too many attempts will lock the drive.

Mike
chchchiggaAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the advice buuutt...ATAPWD doesn't work for whatever reason and KillDisk didn't either.  ATAPWD won't even accept the user password (which I KNOW works since I can unlock the drive with this).  Upped the points.
chchchiggaAuthor Commented:
I would just like to point out the fact that I KNOW the USER PASSWORD, so it is not a lost cause as some are quick to point out since I have full access to the hard drive.  I need a piece of WORKING software (not ATAPWD.EXE since it says that all commands are rejected) that will let me do a SECURITY ERASE UNIT.
mikemCommented:
Hi,

Is the drive showing up as secured in ATAPWD ? look at the list on the right hand side.. Under the list of letters, which ones are checked?

Mike

chchchiggaAuthor Commented:
All the expected checks showup okay.  I just found out from another program that the System BIOS is disabling the ATA security features.  So I plan on moving the HDD to some other laptop to see if i can do a clean wipe.  Will let everyone know how it goes, thanks for the input.
nobusCommented:
for a clean wipe use any of these :

http://www.disk-utility.com/hard-disk-low-level-format.html

pr DBAN   :    http://dban.sourceforge.net/      
mikemCommented:
Hi chchchcigga

When you connect to the other Laptop, try ATAPWD on that machine to disable the password. Wiping the drive will not remove the password as it is stored in the 'Factory Zone' an area that is not accessible to the user.

If it does not work on that laptop, try connecting to a desktop machine with a 2.5 - 3.5 adapter.

Mike

chchchiggaAuthor Commented:
So I tried connecting to a laptop but it looks as if it may be too old or something because it won't even allow me to boot up with the user password.  after this, i had enough so I just sent it back to hitachi for a quick RMA and got back a brand new 7k60.
DarthModCommented:
PAQed with points (250) refunded

DarthMod
Community Support Moderator

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