Wired HDD Problem to Solve!!! Help

  • stephen.h1
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have the same problem on the same drive and has happened twice to me now, Im still trying to find an answer. I did send the drive back to Seagate but they have no record of my RMA so I have lost two Seagate drives and will not be buying anymore....
P.S. did you find out how to fix it???
  • Anonymous
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • alantan1982
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Post 3+ Months Ago

:?: i have said already. I can't even access the HDD. how to boot?
  • twmspro
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Post 3+ Months Ago

very very wierd
would taking magnet to it do anything
if its in the firmware probably not
make sure the magnet is very strong
dont take my advice
i've never done it and never will
  • lucassix
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Post 3+ Months Ago

This is the only thing that I have found that sounds like it might work. I don't know if it will work, I do not have any ATA-3 drives to test it on. Try it with however many grains of salt you wish.


www.rockbox.org wrote:
Grab atapwd here: http://rockbox.haxx.se/atapwd.zip
(written by Alex Mina)

Create a bootable DOS floppy disk, and put atapwd.exe on it.

Boot from the floppy and run atapwd.exe

Select the locked harddrive and press enter for the menu.

Choose "unlock with user password", then "disable with user password". The password is empty, so just press enter at the prompt.

If the above doesn't work:
Choose "unlock with master password", then "disable with master password". The password is all spaces.

Your disk is now unlocked. Shut down the computer and remove the floppy disk.
  • alantan1982
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Post 3+ Months Ago

stephen.h1 , test it out and post the result.. i have no time to try at the moment
  • ahmed
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Post 3+ Months Ago

wow!!!!!!!!!!

I finally found someone had the same problem as me :wink:

I have a 120 GB Western Digital , i was using it since around 5 month and everything was looking fine . i had (2 instances of Win Xp proffessional + Mandrake 10 linux ) installed on it , then on one day while i was working and after pc was updating windows xp with sp2 the pc asked for restart so i restarted then after logging in (the same system that asked for restart) for few second the pc hanged so i pushed restart button..

AND GUESS WHAT... I was asked about the damn password !!!!

Anyhow for me the probelm was not that easy because i didn't knew that a hard disk password thing does exist although i was using PC for years (even before pentium ) and the motherboard doesn't ask for password in a clear way it just stops while booting and allow me to write something (this thing is written in astrsicks and is 32 bit length and after five trials it stops accepting anymore trials) i spent days searching and trying to write a new MBR or accessing the hard disk using a low level tools as Norton disk edit but i couldn't.

till i used Western Digital disk which boots from Dos i tried to partition the disk so it tols me : The Disk is locked please unlock it first.....

so i googled for this error message and here i started to learn about the ATA Stanard Build in security and all that issues...

Conclusions i had made till now:
1- The Password is written on the platter meaning that even changing the ata controller will make no use.

2- although the password is firmware but There is a software solution for this problem but it is considered a secret known only by data storage companies..
I found companies offering remove of password without voiding any type of warranty (meaning they won't open the Hard disk) for 89$ but you should send it to them in Canada,
and other companies offer to remove the password over the internet without even pulling the disk ut of your computer ( for 149$)

3- Now i am getting more certain that this problem is caused by a virus that is not yet know by antivirus companies ... why?

a- you had the problem with segate and i had it with WD thus it is not a manefacturer bug.

b- We had the problem at nearly the same time which means it is a new virus.

c- setting a hard disk password isn't hard at all and there is a lot of tools that already make it (as ATAPWD )

d- Viruses usually takes in consideration a method to spread and that's why antivirus companies can easily find them but this virus is actually killing itself because it just lock the hard disk to which it reach.

e- The other option is that i was hacked but i really find it difficult as i had (Full Mcafee security center which include antivirus, firewall,spamkiller, privacy service)

4- By the way ATAPWD won't unlock the harddisk without providing it with the password and leaving the password empty won't work.
I think that you it was a bug reported by a company that make firmwares that sometimes their firmwares reports a lock with empty password ( ithink i read your quote somewhere when i was searching)


i hope we get in contact more may be we can understand the cause of the problem

Note: i used another PC that has a motherboard doesn't recongnize ATA passwords this allowed me to run win Xp while making the locked hard disk a slave so that i can try all these tools (ATAPWD ...etc) anyhow, this won't give you acceess to the locked disk it will onlu be recognized and the disk reports its geometry but without allowin read/write access to it.
  • alantan1982
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Post 3+ Months Ago

:shock: Wow...!!! You did a great job in providing us with such a valuable information. Thanks a lot man... Appreciate that :D

It still means that there is no cure to it besides sending it to HDD companies for assistance, :cry: (worst method to unlock)

Is there any way to get what the HDD companies having? to unlock the HDD??
  • ahmed
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Post 3+ Months Ago

:o Thanks

I am planning to send the HDD tomorrow (actually today it 5 am now) for replacing by the assurance.... I am really sad for my work which was on it :?

I will anyhow try to keep on searching this problem maybe we can get a way .....

For getting what comapnies have i am not sure :
http://www.binarybiz.com/hddrepair/supported-drives.php

as i said before provides a program that allows them to take control of your computer remotely then you pay $149 after which they will remove the password from your harddisk while it is in your computer
They say if they failed they won't charge you....

So if there is a method to know what their program is trying to do while removing the password (what is he accessing or what logarithms he send to the HDD) may be we can know how they remove it.

Without having a friend in these data recovery companies this appears to me to be the only way to know the method.Anyhow, i should say that this is very difficult and required a proffessional person (May be a cracker can make it)

We all need brainstorming here so please everybody give us your opinion.
  • ahmed
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I was thinking of other cause of the problem:

May be the Bad power off had caused errors in the area of the Hard Disk that was supposed to hold the ATA password ,

It is a part of the Platters so why not have errors !

and as this area is only accessible to the IDE controller and not the computer it can't be fixed through normal programs.
At the same time it may cause the IDE controller to Think that there is a password on that area.

I feel moving in the dark, we really need a person who is aware of the IDE programming so he can tell us.
  • alantan1982
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Post 3+ Months Ago

This is interesting... now I realized that I do own a average or ba power supply... It may be the reason though..

At least someone figure out the root of the problem so that in the future, we won't repeat the same mistake again and make the HDD lock...

This topic is getting more and more interesting I believe... Trying to dig out something which is unknown to many... :lol:
  • sunon
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Post 3+ Months Ago

"hdd locked , enter password (5 left)"

i see it too,and no way to enter my computer!
  • alantan1982
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Post 3+ Months Ago

until now i still can accss the HDD... SOMEONE PLZZ HELP.... I even bought myself a new HDD
  • Chaosmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi im having a similar problem as you just the locked hdd is my fault because i typed a wrong password when locking and now i don't remember it.
I found the following but for me it not worked maybe one of you has more luck:

Thanks to Gene Plantz for discovering that users of IBM PC based
system can do the following to unlock the drive.

You should already have the drives connected to your PC as noted in
section 2.9 above.

1. Download dlgcheck at
http://www.westerndigital.com/service/f ... dlgchk.zip . Place
the files in the zip archive on a bootable DOS disk.

2. Make sure the PC's CMOS is set to AUTO for the locked drive.

3. Boot up with the dos floppy you prepared in step 1.

4. Run the DLGCHK program. Just press Enter on all the screens until
you exit.

5. Insert your disk with your backup program of choice (the Linux boot
disk, Dolly, or Diskpro Lite).

6. Reset the computer (do not power it off). Hit CTRL-ALT-DEL, or hit
the reset button.

7. Proceed with the backup instructions as you would for an unlocked
drive.

**Note: If your drive is still locked after this procedure, http://www.9thtee.com hosts a file called qunlock. This file will permanently unlock your hard drive. Use this file if the above doesn't work: http://www.9thtee.com/qunlock.exe
  • Ziptop
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I know that this is a pretty old thread, but this may be of interest to any others experiencing similar issues.
Hard Drive Password / ATA Lock is NOT to be confused with the CMOS BIOS password protection on a motherboard.
Hard Drive Lock /ATA Lock is part of the ATA specification.
The password information is stored on the "System maintenance Cylinder" of the disk itself, this is the area where other information such as track layout, drive serial number and calibration information are stored.
Therefore, changing the PCB controller from an identical disk, or attempting to erase any flash rom information on the PCB will not work as the password information is not stored there.
Data Recovery companies like BinaryBiz (http://www.binarybiz.com/hddrepair/index.php) can, for a price unlock the drive, however it is a very HIGH price and the data would have to be very very important to make it worth spending that kind of money on.
  • supdoc
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It won’t let you, if you are getting a true HDD password message at startup then that means someone had to put one in. The only way an HDD password can be removed is by entering it when prompted to do so. Now you can also pay someone to crack your HDD and recover your data, or you can learn how to unlock LOCKED drives. That is your problem right your drive is locked, you can try to remove the circuit board on the bottom of the HDD and replacing it with another one then you should have access to the data. I suggest you simply get a broken HDD and swap out boards. That is the cheapest idea I can come up with. The HDD password is stored on that board.
  • dencee
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello. It may be of interest to people reading this that this whole problem could have been avoided if the system that was used to boot the drive had an updated/sophisticated BIOS. Every time I see a post where someone's hard disk drive is locked with an ATA firmware password and that person has no idea how that password was set I immediately know that the system's BIOS is out of date or primitive. Any decent BIOS is supposed to issue a "security freeze lock" command when the system is booted to prevent malicious manipulation of the ATA password system. Apparently, the creator of this thread does not a have a system with a BIOS that does this. This means that even if the drive is unlocked somehow or if a brand new drive is bought, then the same problem can occur again if plugged into the same system with the same BIOS. A permanent solution would be to try and update the BIOS version of the system and hope that the programmers have fixed the security hole in their BIOS or purchase a new system altogether with a BIOS that issues the freeze lock command (I can personally say that my AMI 5000412 v.08.00.09 BIOS does this). I have found a source that discusses this issue in more detail:
http://www.heise.de/ct/english/05/08/172/
  • kikwete
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello,
I got 300Gb internal drive and since there is no space in my computer for another HDD, I decided to remove floppy disc and put the new HDD in floppy place using same connecting wires. First, the computer seem to work perfectly, but after some time there were some errors on the operating system. Therefore I needed to reinstall windows XP. I did it about 5 times and right now, I can't even install fresh copy of windows, there are many errors etc.
I also disabled floppy disc on my system, but it did not solve the problem.

Question: are wires from floppy disc are different from HDD? Is this HDD fault that my computer is not working?

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