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Unlock the Western Digital Hard drive

Posted on 2006-05-23
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Last Modified: 2016-06-26
I purchased this hard drive 2 years and been use for two year, I swiped the hard drive using the Zillasoft but after I swiped it the hard drive became locked.
I downloaded lots of application from the Western Digital website to diagnosis, the answer is the drive is "
220, Drive is Locked, Security feature of the drive reports locked status. Some vendors use the security feature to ensure the usage of only specific drives in their system, or the drive may have been locked by a user using a third party utility to enable this feature. The same utility and the original code used to lock the drive are necessary to unlock this drive. Please contact the system vendor for the above-mentioned information."
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Question by:Mantemper
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by:
Callandor earned 672 total points
ID: 16744723
What do you mean, "I swiped the hard drive using the Zillasoft"?  You stole the drive with software?

Or did you mean you wiped the drive?  If the drive is locked, only the manufacturer can unlock it.  Here is a previous question on locked hard drives: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Q_20423260.html
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by:mjcoyne
mjcoyne earned 664 total points
ID: 16744777
This sounds like a firmware level lock, at the hard drive controller level.  The ability to set such a lock is part of the ATA specification.  If you don't know the password, you might be in trouble -- you may need to buy a new HD controller add-in card to operate the drive, or swap in the drive electronics from an identical hard drive, or some similar manipulation.

But, we're not exactly sure what kind of lock is in effect here.  What is Zillasoft?  You can try booting into DOS from a boot disk and using the DOS unlock command (see http://www.computerhope.com/lockhlp.htm).  Or you can try accessing the drive by booting off a Linux Live CD (like Knoppix, see http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html).  If this is a password or lock set in your BIOS, try booting into the BIOS and disabling it from there.

There is a lot of info on hard drive locks in the XBox modding community, because XBoxes use locked WD drives.  Do a Google search for "atapwd.exe and "hdunlock.exe" and you'll find many pages of explanations of how to overcome the lock, though I've never personally tried any of them and can't vouch for their usefulness.
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by:rid
ID: 16744786
Heh... I love that thread.... very instructive. Was just about to ask something similar. I'll listen in here...
/RID
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Author Comment

by:Mantemper
ID: 16745131
Yeah I mean wiped, credit stuck i my head.
I think there is something that modified my hard drive firmware

I installed the hard drive on my usb external drive on the different computer,  in the hardware management the hard drive does show up but the disk management doesn't.

So I guess it has nothing to do with the hard drive controller, maybe
I didn't not use any password to lock my hard drive.

The ZillaSoft is the application that I use to wipe the hard drive to make it unrecoverable.

I guess this is going to be top
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Author Comment

by:Mantemper
ID: 16746361
I didn't  use any password to lock my hard drive.
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LVL 70

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by:garycase
garycase earned 664 total points
ID: 16748718
Too late now, but in case anyone else is reading this thread and decides to try ZilaSoft ...

The Zilla Data Nuker (the program you used from ZilaSoft) has some REALLY bad reviews on Download.com.   There ARE a few positive ones as well, but I'd recommend you avoid any programs that have that many negative comments.

... apparently one of the things the program did to make the drive unrecoverable was to set a password -- and an ATA Secure drive with a password is almost impossible to recover without knowing the password.

The good news is the drive obviously doesn't have any data on it you need to recover (since you "wiped" it intentionally).

... time to buy a new drive :-)   (at least at today's prices you'll get a MUCH larger one)
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by:mjcoyne
ID: 16750041
As I mentioned above, I was afraid this was a firmware lock.  Not much you can do about it, unless the company that wrote the software that set it can tell you what the password is...

Setting a firmware lock is appropriate, I suppose, if you're wiping the drive in order to discard it, but pretty dangerous if the use of such a lock could be accidentally enabled on a drive which you're wiping in anticipation of reusing (which is apparently what happened to Mantemper).

On the one hand, I encourage people to wipe their drives before discarding them (but most people don't -- see, for example, Garfinkel, S. L. and A. Shelat. 2003. Remembrance of Data Passed: A Study of Disk Sanitization Practices. IEEE Security and Privacy, January, pgs. 17-27; available at http://www.rootsecure.net/content/downloads/pdf/disk_sanitization_practices.pdf), but, on the other hand, there's no need to download some spy- and ad-ware filled utility to do it.  There are plenty of good programs out there -- Darik's Boot and Nuke (http://dban.sourceforge.net/) and Eraser (http://sourceforge.net/projects/eraser/ or http://www.heidi.ie/eraser/) are two examples.

BTW, in case anyone's interested, the much touted DOD standards for hard disk erasure are available at http://iase.disa.mil/asd_hd_disposition_memo060401.pdf, they suggest degaussing and physical destruction as alternatives to overwriting methods in preparation for discarding the disk.
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by:Mantemper
ID: 16762527
Oh my, I better contact ZillaSoft
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by:Mantemper
ID: 16800767
I been waiting for the Zillasoft to email me back but seem like they don't even read their email, or to afraid to respond to my email.
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 16800788
... not a good sign => sounds like it's time for a new drive :-)
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Author Comment

by:Mantemper
ID: 16896339
I been waiting for 2 weeks but no response, I don't know what answer should I accept from you guy, seem like what you gave me is about the other concerning question, I think about it.

thanks guys

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Expert Comment

by:mjcoyne
ID: 16901501
The title of your question is "Unlock the Western Digital Hard drive".  I pointed out to you that your drive is inaccessible due to it being locked at the firmware level, and explained that there you cannot unlock it, unless you can recover the password.  Though it's understandably not what you were hoping to hear, it is the answer to your question...
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by:garycase
ID: 16905124
You actually answered your own question in the question - with your quote from Western Digital.  Callandor confirmed that with his statement in the very first post ("... If the drive is locked, only the manufacturer can unlock it ...") and gave you a link to a long previous thread that discusses exactly that issue.   Most of the rest of us just restated that answer in a different way, or provided ancilliary information not directly related to the drive locking issue (e.g. I noted the ZilaSoft is NOT a good program to use for wiping the drive).

I'd suggest you either Accept Callandor's initial answer, or Split the points amongst the various answers as you see fit.

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