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  1. #1
    T3h 1337 N00b kryptonic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Seattle, Washington.

    Unhappy Getting around hard drive password on dell laptop

    So to make a long ass story short I got my laptop back today and the person that had it decided to put in a different hard drive because the one that was in it had a virus on it...why they swapped it out for this one is beyond me because it wouldn't have been to hard to remove the virus...anyways the hard drive that they put in is password protected so when you turn on the laptop it asks for a password before it will begin booting windows...after ****in around with it for a lil bit I realized that after three failed attempts at the password it seems to allow some access to the computer but says that the hard drive cannot be read or some ****. It does allow the option to boot from a cd tho so I booted from a linux live cd and it now allows me to use a version of linux so I can use the computer...anyways my question is does anyone know of a way to get around the password or maybe a program I can use to figure out the password while using linux? I am also able to boot up a program thats called windows xp mini version or some **** which is basically a watered down version of XP so if anyone knows of a program I can use on windows to get around the password thats possible too...hopefully I'll be able to get my old hard drive back because I know how to fix the virus on that one and then all this mess would be over with but it would be cool if I could get this hard drive figured out because its almost 100gigs bigger than the original one...any help is very much appreciated

  2. #2
    Administrator Steve R Jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Sure sounds like you're talking about a BIOS password.

    Calling the person that entered the password would be thing to do... Because its against the rules to to publically discuss cracking passwords.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    As far as I know, you can't really crack a hard drive password.....easily anyway. Best thing to do is to get the person who put the password on the drive to remove it. Other than that I think you are S.O.L....

  4. #4
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    The usual solution for a forgotten hard drive password is to replace the drive and reinstall everything.

    The password and firmware are stored on a chip on the HDD's control card. It won't work with a different OS, or on a different computer; and if you wipe the chip, the drive won't work.

    @ Steve:

    The BIOS tries to access the boot sector on the HDD, at which point the HDD firmware asks for the password to the HDD. This protects the drive even if you remove it, or use a different operating system. The password is not stored on the drive platters.

    DELL laptops generally have three passwords (optional), two are the "power-up" or BIOS ones and the third is the HDD.

    All these are access control rather than data security, so if you want to secure your data you need to use encryption. If you don't, someone with the right equipment and training could recover your data quite easily using standard techniques.

    If you have the misfortune to "lose" the password, a data recovery company will be able to help, either by replacing the control card component or putting the platters on a spin-up table and extracting the data from there.

    They don't attempt to "crack" the password as this is totally impractical given the submission/response times and the three strikes rule.

    I have known this happen a few times in cases of probate, where only the deceased knew the password.
    Last edited by nihil; March 2nd, 2013 at 10:49 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    It really depends on what system you are using. HDD encryption has increased over the the past 5 years or so and it is more relevant in the mobile market. The problem is the whole drive is encrypted I believe at the controller level, making it useless in any other machine. If it is this type of setup, you are most likely SOL. Sorry dude!

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