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How do I remove a hard drive password without deleting data?

Posted on 2010-04-06
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-09
I have removed a hard drive from a dead laptop and need to recover the data. The hard drive is password protected so does not show when used in a caddy (this I believe to be caused by the password). I need to get windows to recognise the disc so I can enter the password and remove the data (I do have the password). I know this can be done by sending the drive away but as I have the password I thought I may be able to do it myself. Any ideas?
Question by:IBSSupport
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LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 29912565
Have you read this: http://home1.gte.net/johnfull/n57.htm
First of all set the drive in BIOS as first boot device. Since then at boot it should ask for password. Enter it.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:Dr. Klahn
ID: 29934751
Agree with noxcho above.  Try to boot it first.

When you say

... does not show when used in a caddy  ...

do you mean that the drive does not appear to either the BIOS or Windows Disk Management?  If this is the case, then the controller is faulty.  Even when a drive has a hardware password installed, the drive will appear to the BIOS and to Disk Management.  In this case, there are two options:

a) Buy an identical drive (completely identical) and swap the controller board from the good drive onto the bad drive.  The password is stored on the drive in the "negative address" cylinders in encrypted form, not in the controller.  This should render the drive readable assuming that there are no other problems.
b) As stated, send it out to a disk recovery shop, which will do a) above for you.

Author Comment

ID: 30000778
The drive does show in Disk management but cannot be used due to the password restrictions. When setting the device as the first boot device I get an error message saying no boot sector found.
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LVL 47

Assisted Solution

noxcho earned 80 total points
ID: 30000984
Then you have the only way to get to the data - find the same model laptop and connect the drive to it. When it requests pass enter it and get to drive.

Accepted Solution

IBSSupport earned 0 total points
ID: 30098611
I have found the solution to this problem. I installed the drive into a different laptop and entered the password when prompted, I then booted into a Linux operating system from cd. This enabled me to access the files, I then copied them to an external drive.
LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 30100370
Quote: "Then you have the only way to get to the data - find the same model laptop and connect the drive to it. When it requests pass enter it and get to drive." - 20 points only? =))))

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