After failed reformat I'm getting a HDD password prompt?

Posted on 2007-10-12
Last Modified: 2013-11-17
Toshiba laptop quit running Windows XP after what I believe was either overheating or perhaps a virus. The OS would operate in Safe mode but would lock at the desktop whenever I tried to boot into normal XP. The system would not install any network cards load any devices. I just tried to reformat the HD and made it to 76% but then installation was aborted due to a HD format incomplete message. When retried the installation I am now receiving a HDD password prompt.
Question by:rmcgouh
    LVL 66

    Expert Comment

    Like a BIOS password? Sounds like something has gone wacky in the Board.....
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    Can you run system diagnostics? Also, can you try running DBAN, available from to completely wipe the drive and then reinstall the OS?
    LVL 34

    Accepted Solution

    Sounds like the electronics on the hdd are failing, it may be time for a replacement hdd.
    LVL 31

    Expert Comment

    I'd recommend you examine the hard drive in another computer. Preferably a system which you can strip of any other hard drives. Hook up the HD to the controller directly, no USB casing (you may need an adapter for laptop HD to desktop computer if that's what you'll use). See if you can access the HD at all through BIOS (is it detected?). If you're asked for a PW even in that system, the HD indeed has a password set. If you don't know the password, and can't guess it, you're in a bad situation. If you're NOT asked for a password, boot the system wiht a Knoppix CD or use DBAN to examine and/or wipe the hard drive. Note that a wipe operation can't be executed on a PW-protected drive, unless you can unlock it with the correct PW and you can't take away the PW with a wipe operation.

    If you can access the HD properly (no password is set) you should RESET the CMOS in the laptop BEFORE you put the HD back in. A new CMOS battery may be a good idea, too. Wiping the HD may not be necessary, unless you're set for a system reinstall or something.

    LVL 91

    Expert Comment


    Author Comment

    Turns out that it was a failed hard drive. Replacement of the HD solved the problem and everything went smoothly with the new OS install. Thank you all for your input.

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