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Unknown Hard disk password, prompt

I have a Acer Travelmate C100 tablet notebook. The problem is that yesterday during installation of OS, I went into the BIOS setup, and messed around with the settings, now what has happened is that, the Harddrive has a password set on it, asking me to enter the password upon bootup for the hard disk. The thing is I did not set a password, when I had gone into BIOS, it showed as the hard drive already had a password on it. Before yesterday it did not prompt me to enter the password. I called up acer and they told me it would cost me £50 to repair this. Is there any way I can resolve this without paying the £50. I think if I were to flash the BIOS then it would work, by removing the CMOS battery, but I am not too sure about that. Also I do not know where the CMOS battery is located.
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yogeshmistry
Asked:
yogeshmistry
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4 Solutions
 
nobusCommented:
you cannot reset  or disable disk or bios passwords on modern laptops, they are stored in security chips on mobo and disk. you will need to contact acer and pay - sorry -
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ridCommented:
In addition to the good info above, the hard drive password is an ATA standard feature of hard drives and the PW is NOT resettable, not by any operation in the BIOS anyway. It's stored on the HD itself.  Unless you have the PW, the HD is usable only as a paperweight. I doubt even Acer can do anything about it, perhaps the HD  maker can.

Unless you remember typing anything while in BIOS setup, you could try a blank password, a space only or just about anything that you may have hit accidentally. If you're not lucky, you should remove the HD from the laptop and try it in a working system (as secondary -"slave"- drive) and see if you can access it. If you can't, it is indeed a proper HD password set - which is bad...; if you can access it, its a weirdness with the Acer BIOS and you should try to fins a way to reset CMOS, possibly even reflash the BIOS. This is an operation I almost never recommend, but if there is a problem such as this, it might be a good idea. It's not totally trivial, though; BIOS version and procedure must match to the letter or the machine may be rendered unusable.

/RID
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yogeshmistryAuthor Commented:
I was considering purchasing a new hard drive anyway, so would it work if I were to purchase a new hard drive, and do the installation again.
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ridCommented:
Yes, probably... Personally I'd perhaps browse through the BIOS setup before installing a new HD and verify that a "hard drive password" is NOT set, perhaps remove all password requests until everything is up and running. Setting passwords on modern machines is, as nobus' posting suggests, rather dangerous (or at least expensive...).

/RID
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yogeshmistryAuthor Commented:
would you guys know the default password on a hdd, that would have been supplied by hitachi, as acer are not being much help
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nobusCommented:
i was never able to get a default password.
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yogeshmistryAuthor Commented:
I have tried reflashing the BIOS, did not work, I guess I will have to buy a new HDD, but before I place the order I wanted to know, whether the new HDD would work, as the current HDD has a password, and this will not affect the functioning of the new HDD, cos If i were to pay ACER the £50, I would be able to buy a new HDD for less than that.
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nobusCommented:
i am guessing it will not work; that is how and why the safety system is supposed to work - against theft
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ridCommented:
A HD password is stored on the HD itself. Once it is set to wait for password, you need the password. If you can supply a correct password, you can access the HD (obviously) and switch off the password requirement. If you haven't got the PW, tough luck.

I recommend that you DO verify that BIOS setup is NOT set to ask for HD password and then install a new HD. A new HD in itself is by default NOT set to ask for password. Otherwise all new HD's would come with the default password included, which they don't.

If you have problems with accessing BIOS setup, due to a password that you don't know, see nobus' comment - you'll have to pay Acer.

BIOS password is not the same thing as a HD password.

/RID
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yogeshmistryAuthor Commented:
Ok, this is the information displayed in the BIOS

Setup Password [None]
Power On Password [None
Hard Disk Password [Present]

As I do not have the password for the hard disk it is showing as present and therefore I am unable to change the status of it, so I wanted to know if I were to replace the hard disk, the Hard Disk Password would be set as None, as there is no Password set on a new Hard drive, as the BIOS would detect the new hard drive on startup, I hope logically it would not ask me for a password as there is none set.
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nobusCommented:
imho, it will ask just the same, you can test it with an old one, if available
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ridCommented:
I *think* it will not ask for a PW, if you connect a new HD. You could try by removing the old HD and see what BIOS setup shows; you should be able to access BIOS setup without a HD in the machine.

If the HD wants a PW it reports that to the BIOS, so my GUESS is that the BIOS will say [None] until a PW is actually set, as new HDs don't have PW set.

There is a very long but informative thread here at EE about hard drive passwords. I haven't got the link, but searching the site should bring it up, I think. It's pretty interesting./RID
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yogeshmistryAuthor Commented:
ok thanks guys, you have been a lot of help. well I have placed the order, should be receiving the Hard drive in the next few days, so will find out and let you guys know.
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yogeshmistryAuthor Commented:
ok guys help me out, i think i have screwed my laptop up. i received my hard drive yesterday, in my eagerness to resolve this issue, I removed the HDD, and then in BIOS ensured that all password values were set at none, shut down the laptop, and put the new HDD in, but in my haste I forgot to remove the battery, so the HDD was plugged in with the battery still in, now when I switch the laptop on, I dont get the start up screen, all I get is an long ear piercing beep from the laptop, I dont even get the Acer startup screen then the option of setup etc. it just a blank black screen showing my reflection. Please dont tell me that I have screwed up my laptop, that would entail me throwing away a lot of my hard earned money. If it is BIOS issue I have the latest BIOS file from acer for the laptop, the question is how do I load the BIOS back. Im a novice in this so I have to ask stupid questions.
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nobusCommented:
did you connect the disk in right direction? on some lappoes, you can install the disk upside down  . .. .
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yogeshmistryAuthor Commented:
yes the disk is in the right way, as it was with the old hdd, both are hitachi travelstars.
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nobusCommented:
xan you test with the old drive?
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ridCommented:
Test the thing with no hard drive and with old hard drive.

Try removing the battery and all removable peripherals (and AC power). Press and hold the "On" switch for 30 seconds. Insert the battery and try again - you should at least get the BIOS screen.
/RID
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yogeshmistryAuthor Commented:
Hey guys, I got it working, I get the BIOS screen, I removed the RAM and HDD, tried it one by one, it booted up in BIOS all the times, I dont know why, it never booted up before, but what the hell, its working now. The only little problem is that now when I try to do a fresh install of Win XP tablet edition, it does not get to the windows installation screen, I cant do it from the HDD, as it is a brand new blank HDD, so nothing on there. The laptop came with an external cd- drive, so when I try installing it does not go through, It keeps on asking me to "Insert system Diskette then press enter to reboot".

I have tried going into the BIOS, changing the BOOT order, so it's cd drive first, then HDD, then floppy drive. I have tried the multi boot option by pressing F12, and it goes to the same screen.

P.S. I called up acer regarding the problem with no display on the laptop, they quoted me £200+ saying that the Motherboard had gone. Boy talk about ripping people off. Im in IT support as well, and even we dont rip customers off like that.
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ridCommented:
You'll probably have to connect the HD to a working system, format it and make it bootable (somehow... like the old DOS "sys" command; working still??) and copy the XP install files to it. Then put it back in the laptop, boot to "DOS" and run XP install. That's one of the major drawbacks of ultra-portables w/o an optical unit...
/RID
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yogeshmistryAuthor Commented:
im trying to install windows 2000 it accepted the disk, going through the install now, but midway through i got the blue screen of death
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nobusCommented:
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yogeshmistryAuthor Commented:
trying it again, touch wood it goes through. will let you know how it goes
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yogeshmistryAuthor Commented:
tried it again it copies the files, then when it comes to setting up Windows, I get the blue screen of death.
will try it again at home with linux or another OS. will let you know how it goes
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ridCommented:
Are you trying to install windows on the new hard drive while it is in another machine? That migh not be a good idea. Some confusion will certainly ensue when it is put back in the laptop again.
/RID
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nobusCommented:
try what is suggested in my link
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yogeshmistryAuthor Commented:
guys i did it, i had to install xp from as bootable cd. then I installed the tablet edition.
thanks for all your help
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