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Password protected HDDs...

Discussion in 'Notebooks' started by ~misfit~, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Flightless Bird

    I have a friend who is the IT guy for a company. Recently he was tasked with
    disposing of several EOL (for them) laptops and company policy for them is
    to remove and destroy (big hammer...) the HDDs and then pass on the rest of
    the machine to the IT reseller company which the always deal with.

    I couldn't bear to see / hear about good HDDs being smashed so I gave him my
    word (which is indeed my bond, he's known me long enough to know that's
    true) that the data wouldn't be accessed at all, just wiped. So I became the
    proud owner of five second-hand Toshiba 120GB 5400rpm SATA HDDs. (Model
    MK1252GSX)

    However, when I dropped them in a USB dock and went to run my HDD scrubbing
    / over-writing software I got a message that the HDD was password protected.
    They all are. (I get a similar message when I put them in my ThinkPad HDD
    ultrabay only from the ThinkPad BIOS.) I've Googled but have so far been
    unable to resolve the issue. It seems that I may have to destroy them after
    all. That goes against everything that I believe in. :-(

    Can anybody help me in my quest to keep perfectly good HDDs out of the
    landfill and do my bit for reducing needless waste?

    TYVMIA,
    --
    Shaun.

    "When we dream.... that's just our brains defragmenting" G Jackson.
     
  2. gargoyle60

    gargoyle60 Flightless Bird

    On Thu, 1 Jul 2010 11:46:55 +1200, "~misfit~" <sore_n_happy@nospamyahoo.com.au> wrote:

    >I have a friend who is the IT guy for a company. Recently he was tasked with
    >disposing of several EOL (for them) laptops and company policy for them is
    >to remove and destroy (big hammer...) the HDDs and then pass on the rest of
    >the machine to the IT reseller company which the always deal with.
    >
    >I couldn't bear to see / hear about good HDDs being smashed so I gave him my
    >word (which is indeed my bond, he's known me long enough to know that's
    >true) that the data wouldn't be accessed at all, just wiped. So I became the
    >proud owner of five second-hand Toshiba 120GB 5400rpm SATA HDDs. (Model
    >MK1252GSX)
    >
    >However, when I dropped them in a USB dock and went to run my HDD scrubbing
    >/ over-writing software I got a message that the HDD was password protected.
    >They all are. (I get a similar message when I put them in my ThinkPad HDD
    >ultrabay only from the ThinkPad BIOS.) I've Googled but have so far been
    >unable to resolve the issue. It seems that I may have to destroy them after
    >all. That goes against everything that I believe in. :-(
    >
    >Can anybody help me in my quest to keep perfectly good HDDs out of the
    >landfill and do my bit for reducing needless waste?
    >
    >TYVMIA,


    Don't know if this would work...
    but have you tried using something such as GParted to repartition the drives - I don't know how it
    works but I wonder if it might ignore passwords as it's going to destroy the partitions (and their
    data, including passwords) anyway? Just a thought
     
  3. spamme0

    spamme0 Flightless Bird

    ~misfit~ wrote:
    > I have a friend who is the IT guy for a company. Recently he was tasked with
    > disposing of several EOL (for them) laptops and company policy for them is
    > to remove and destroy (big hammer...) the HDDs and then pass on the rest of
    > the machine to the IT reseller company which the always deal with.
    >
    > I couldn't bear to see / hear about good HDDs being smashed so I gave him my
    > word (which is indeed my bond, he's known me long enough to know that's
    > true) that the data wouldn't be accessed at all, just wiped. So I became the
    > proud owner of five second-hand Toshiba 120GB 5400rpm SATA HDDs. (Model
    > MK1252GSX)
    >
    > However, when I dropped them in a USB dock and went to run my HDD scrubbing
    > / over-writing software I got a message that the HDD was password protected.
    > They all are. (I get a similar message when I put them in my ThinkPad HDD
    > ultrabay only from the ThinkPad BIOS.) I've Googled but have so far been
    > unable to resolve the issue. It seems that I may have to destroy them after
    > all. That goes against everything that I believe in. :-(
    >
    > Can anybody help me in my quest to keep perfectly good HDDs out of the
    > landfill and do my bit for reducing needless waste?
    >
    > TYVMIA,

    You're gonna have to go back to your friend and get the passwords.
    They may all be the same.
    Be aware that violating company security policy can get your friend fired.
     
  4. ED

    ED Flightless Bird

    "~misfit~" <sore_n_happy@nospamyahoo.com.au> wrote in message
    news:i0gl1k$rqn$1@news.eternal-september.org...
    >I have a friend who is the IT guy for a company. Recently he was tasked
    >with disposing of several EOL (for them) laptops and company policy for
    >them is to remove and destroy (big hammer...) the HDDs and then pass on the
    >rest of the machine to the IT reseller company which the always deal with.
    >
    > I couldn't bear to see / hear about good HDDs being smashed so I gave him
    > my word (which is indeed my bond, he's known me long enough to know that's
    > true) that the data wouldn't be accessed at all, just wiped. So I became
    > the proud owner of five second-hand Toshiba 120GB 5400rpm SATA HDDs.
    > (Model MK1252GSX)
    >
    > However, when I dropped them in a USB dock and went to run my HDD
    > scrubbing / over-writing software I got a message that the HDD was
    > password protected. They all are. (I get a similar message when I put them
    > in my ThinkPad HDD ultrabay only from the ThinkPad BIOS.) I've Googled but
    > have so far been unable to resolve the issue. It seems that I may have to
    > destroy them after all. That goes against everything that I believe in.
    > :-(
    >
    > Can anybody help me in my quest to keep perfectly good HDDs out of the
    > landfill and do my bit for reducing needless waste?
    >
    > TYVMIA,
    > --
    > Shaun.
    >
    > "When we dream.... that's just our brains defragmenting" G Jackson.
    >

    www.WindowsPasswordsRecovery.com
     
  5. Mike S.

    Mike S. Flightless Bird

    In article <i0gl1k$rqn$1@news.eternal-september.org>,
    ~misfit~ <sore_n_happy@nospamyahoo.com.au> wrote:
    >I have a friend who is the IT guy for a company. Recently he was tasked with
    >disposing of several EOL (for them) laptops and company policy for them is
    >to remove and destroy (big hammer...) the HDDs and then pass on the rest of
    >the machine to the IT reseller company which the always deal with.
    >
    >I couldn't bear to see / hear about good HDDs being smashed so I gave him my
    >word (which is indeed my bond, he's known me long enough to know that's
    >true) that the data wouldn't be accessed at all, just wiped. So I became the
    >proud owner of five second-hand Toshiba 120GB 5400rpm SATA HDDs. (Model
    >MK1252GSX)
    >
    >However, when I dropped them in a USB dock and went to run my HDD scrubbing
    >/ over-writing software I got a message that the HDD was password protected.
    >They all are. (I get a similar message when I put them in my ThinkPad HDD
    >ultrabay only from the ThinkPad BIOS.) I've Googled but have so far been
    >unable to resolve the issue. It seems that I may have to destroy them after
    >all. That goes against everything that I believe in. :-(
    >
    >Can anybody help me in my quest to keep perfectly good HDDs out of the
    >landfill and do my bit for reducing needless waste?


    http://www.rockbox.org/lock.html
     
  6. Richard Bonner

    Richard Bonner Flightless Bird

    ~misfit~ (sore_n_happy@nospamyahoo.com.au) wrote:
    > I have a friend who is the IT guy for a company. Recently he was tasked with
    > disposing of several EOL (for them) laptops and company policy for them is
    > to remove and destroy (big hammer...) the HDDs and then pass on the rest of
    > the machine to the IT reseller company which the always deal with.


    (Snip)

    > However, when I dropped them in a USB dock and went to run my HDD scrubbing
    > / over-writing software I got a message that the HDD was password protected.

    (Snip)

    > Can anybody help me in my quest to keep perfectly good HDDs out of the
    > landfill and do my bit for reducing needless waste?
    > --
    > Shaun.


    *** If you know a repair tech, have him load a bootable DOS service disc
    into the CD/DVD drive or on to a flashdrive if the USB port is bootable.
    See if it can do the partitioning. I suggest Ranish because it can
    recognise Windows' (among others) partitions.

    However, if the laptop itself is password protected and no removable
    media will boot, then you might try removing the CMOS battery and waiting
    for the laptop to forget what it is. Be aware that there may be dangers
    with this method given the relative newness of the laptop. Of course after
    you reinstall the battery, you will have to tell the CMOS about the laptop
    and reissue any non-default changes you want.

    Finally, you might take it to your IT friend, get him to boot and
    unlock the machine with his password and then to hand it to you. At that
    point, you can wipe the system. Seeing it done in front of him will be a
    demonstration that you are being true to your word about not accessing
    company data.

    --
    Richard Bonner
    http://www.chebucto.ca/~ak621/DOS/
     
  7. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Flightless Bird

    Somewhere on teh intarwebs gargoyle60 wrote:
    > On Thu, 1 Jul 2010 11:46:55 +1200, "~misfit~"
    > <sore_n_happy@nospamyahoo.com.au> wrote:
    >
    >> I have a friend who is the IT guy for a company. Recently he was
    >> tasked with disposing of several EOL (for them) laptops and company
    >> policy for them is to remove and destroy (big hammer...) the HDDs
    >> and then pass on the rest of the machine to the IT reseller company
    >> which the always deal with.
    >>
    >> I couldn't bear to see / hear about good HDDs being smashed so I
    >> gave him my word (which is indeed my bond, he's known me long enough
    >> to know that's true) that the data wouldn't be accessed at all, just
    >> wiped. So I became the proud owner of five second-hand Toshiba 120GB
    >> 5400rpm SATA HDDs. (Model MK1252GSX)
    >>
    >> However, when I dropped them in a USB dock and went to run my HDD
    >> scrubbing / over-writing software I got a message that the HDD was
    >> password protected. They all are. (I get a similar message when I
    >> put them in my ThinkPad HDD ultrabay only from the ThinkPad BIOS.)
    >> I've Googled but have so far been unable to resolve the issue. It
    >> seems that I may have to destroy them after all. That goes against
    >> everything that I believe in. :-(
    >>
    >> Can anybody help me in my quest to keep perfectly good HDDs out of
    >> the landfill and do my bit for reducing needless waste?
    >>
    >> TYVMIA,

    >
    > Don't know if this would work...
    > but have you tried using something such as GParted to repartition the
    > drives - I don't know how it works but I wonder if it might ignore
    > passwords as it's going to destroy the partitions (and their data,
    > including passwords) anyway? Just a thought


    Wow! I forgot about this thread.

    Uhhh, the drives aren't available to the BIOS even until the password is
    entered so I doubt that GParted would even get as far as seeing partitions.

    Thanks though.
    --
    Shaun.

    "Let food be thy medicine" Hippocrates.
     
  8. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Flightless Bird

    Somewhere on teh intarwebs spamme0 wrote:
    > ~misfit~ wrote:
    >> I have a friend who is the IT guy for a company. Recently he was
    >> tasked with disposing of several EOL (for them) laptops and company
    >> policy for them is to remove and destroy (big hammer...) the HDDs
    >> and then pass on the rest of the machine to the IT reseller company
    >> which the always deal with. I couldn't bear to see / hear about good HDDs
    >> being smashed so I
    >> gave him my word (which is indeed my bond, he's known me long enough
    >> to know that's true) that the data wouldn't be accessed at all, just
    >> wiped. So I became the proud owner of five second-hand Toshiba 120GB
    >> 5400rpm SATA HDDs. (Model MK1252GSX)
    >>
    >> However, when I dropped them in a USB dock and went to run my HDD
    >> scrubbing / over-writing software I got a message that the HDD was
    >> password protected. They all are. (I get a similar message when I
    >> put them in my ThinkPad HDD ultrabay only from the ThinkPad BIOS.)
    >> I've Googled but have so far been unable to resolve the issue. It
    >> seems that I may have to destroy them after all. That goes against
    >> everything that I believe in. :-( Can anybody help me in my quest to keep
    >> perfectly good HDDs out of
    >> the landfill and do my bit for reducing needless waste?
    >>
    >> TYVMIA,

    > You're gonna have to go back to your friend and get the passwords.
    > They may all be the same.
    > Be aware that violating company security policy can get your friend
    > fired.


    Yeah, we know that. He doesn't know the password (he's relatively new) and
    isn't about to ask....
    --
    Cheers,
    Shaun.

    "Let food be thy medicine" Hippocrates.
     
  9. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Flightless Bird

    Somewhere on teh intarwebs ED wrote:
    > "~misfit~" <sore_n_happy@nospamyahoo.com.au> wrote in message
    > news:i0gl1k$rqn$1@news.eternal-september.org...
    >> I have a friend who is the IT guy for a company. Recently he was
    >> tasked with disposing of several EOL (for them) laptops and company
    >> policy for them is to remove and destroy (big hammer...) the HDDs
    >> and then pass on the rest of the machine to the IT reseller company
    >> which the always deal with. I couldn't bear to see / hear about good HDDs
    >> being smashed so I
    >> gave him my word (which is indeed my bond, he's known me long enough
    >> to know that's true) that the data wouldn't be accessed at all, just
    >> wiped. So I became the proud owner of five second-hand Toshiba 120GB
    >> 5400rpm SATA HDDs. (Model MK1252GSX)
    >>
    >> However, when I dropped them in a USB dock and went to run my HDD
    >> scrubbing / over-writing software I got a message that the HDD was
    >> password protected. They all are. (I get a similar message when I
    >> put them in my ThinkPad HDD ultrabay only from the ThinkPad BIOS.)
    >> I've Googled but have so far been unable to resolve the issue. It
    >> seems that I may have to destroy them after all. That goes against
    >> everything that I believe in. :-(
    >>
    >> Can anybody help me in my quest to keep perfectly good HDDs out of
    >> the landfill and do my bit for reducing needless waste?
    >>
    >> TYVMIA,
    >> --
    >> Shaun.
    >>
    >> "When we dream.... that's just our brains defragmenting" G Jackson.
    >>

    > www.WindowsPasswordsRecovery.com


    It's not a windows password, I can get past one of those in about as many
    minutes as the computer takes to boot.

    It's a HDD-firmware password. The HDD simply isn't available to a controller
    until the password is given. OR maybe a generic, or a crack.....
    --
    Shaun.

    "Let food be thy medicine" Hippocrates.
     
  10. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Flightless Bird

    Somewhere on teh intarwebs Mike S. wrote:
    > In article <i0gl1k$rqn$1@news.eternal-september.org>,
    > ~misfit~ <sore_n_happy@nospamyahoo.com.au> wrote:
    >> I have a friend who is the IT guy for a company. Recently he was
    >> tasked with disposing of several EOL (for them) laptops and company
    >> policy for them is to remove and destroy (big hammer...) the HDDs
    >> and then pass on the rest of the machine to the IT reseller company
    >> which the always deal with.
    >>
    >> I couldn't bear to see / hear about good HDDs being smashed so I
    >> gave him my word (which is indeed my bond, he's known me long enough
    >> to know that's true) that the data wouldn't be accessed at all, just
    >> wiped. So I became the proud owner of five second-hand Toshiba 120GB
    >> 5400rpm SATA HDDs. (Model MK1252GSX)
    >>
    >> However, when I dropped them in a USB dock and went to run my HDD
    >> scrubbing / over-writing software I got a message that the HDD was
    >> password protected. They all are. (I get a similar message when I
    >> put them in my ThinkPad HDD ultrabay only from the ThinkPad BIOS.)
    >> I've Googled but have so far been unable to resolve the issue. It
    >> seems that I may have to destroy them after all. That goes against
    >> everything that I believe in. :-(
    >>
    >> Can anybody help me in my quest to keep perfectly good HDDs out of
    >> the landfill and do my bit for reducing needless waste?

    >
    > http://www.rockbox.org/lock.html


    Thanks. Been there (well, at least been to where it ends up <g>). No luck.
    :-(
    --
    Shaun.

    "Let food be thy medicine" Hippocrates.
     
  11. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Flightless Bird

    Somewhere on teh intarwebs Richard Bonner wrote:
    > ~misfit~ (sore_n_happy@nospamyahoo.com.au) wrote:
    >> I have a friend who is the IT guy for a company. Recently he was
    >> tasked with disposing of several EOL (for them) laptops and company
    >> policy for them is to remove and destroy (big hammer...) the HDDs
    >> and then pass on the rest of the machine to the IT reseller company
    >> which the always deal with.

    >
    > (Snip)
    >
    >> However, when I dropped them in a USB dock and went to run my HDD
    >> scrubbing / over-writing software I got a message that the HDD was
    >> password protected. (Snip)

    >
    >> Can anybody help me in my quest to keep perfectly good HDDs out of
    >> the landfill and do my bit for reducing needless waste?
    >> --
    >> Shaun.

    >
    > *** If you know a repair tech, have him load a bootable DOS service
    > disc into the CD/DVD drive or on to a flashdrive if the USB port is
    > bootable. See if it can do the partitioning. I suggest Ranish because
    > it can recognise Windows' (among others) partitions.


    Nothing I do even allows me to see partions. They're locked at a HDD
    firmware level.

    > However, if the laptop itself is password protected and no removable
    > media will boot, then you might try removing the CMOS battery and
    > waiting for the laptop to forget what it is. Be aware that there may
    > be dangers with this method given the relative newness of the laptop.
    > Of course after you reinstall the battery, you will have to tell the
    > CMOS about the laptop and reissue any non-default changes you want.


    I don't have the laptops, just the HDDs that were to be destroyed.

    > Finally, you might take it to your IT friend, get him to boot and
    > unlock the machine with his password and then to hand it to you. At
    > that point, you can wipe the system. Seeing it done in front of him
    > will be a demonstration that you are being true to your word about
    > not accessing company data.


    The laptops are long gone to an IT re-seller. It's just the bare HDDs,
    password-locked.
    --
    Cheers,
    Shaun.

    "Let food be thy medicine" Hippocrates.
     
  12. Adrian C

    Adrian C Flightless Bird

    On 28/07/2010 14:14, ~misfit~ wrote:
    >
    > The laptops are long gone to an IT re-seller. It's just the bare HDDs,
    > password-locked.


    Googling 'ATA password unlock' shows an industry of folks distributing
    unlock online tools and demands for cash per unlock :-(

    Same swizz as done for unlocking mobile phones, but among all that
    googling you might strike gold. Good luck :)

    --
    Adrian C
     
  13. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Flightless Bird

    Somewhere on teh intarwebs Adrian C wrote:
    > On 28/07/2010 14:14, ~misfit~ wrote:
    >>
    >> The laptops are long gone to an IT re-seller. It's just the bare
    >> HDDs, password-locked.

    >
    > Googling 'ATA password unlock' shows an industry of folks distributing
    > unlock online tools and demands for cash per unlock :-(
    >
    > Same swizz as done for unlocking mobile phones, but among all that
    > googling you might strike gold. Good luck :)


    Thanks Adrian. However after spending more time than the drives were really
    worth I decided I wasn't spending money as well. They've been destroyed.
    :-( I hate that! Perfectly good drives.....
    --
    Cheers,
    Shaun.

    "Let food be thy medicine" Hippocrates.
     

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