Hard Disk Password

It is not a very well known fact, but all hard disks have a very strong hardware password capability build in. This password is usually stored both in a chip on the HD controller (the printed circuit board on the hard disk) and on the hard disk itself in a special hidden sector.

Setting this password will make the hard disk completely unusable to anyone that doesn’t know it. And not only on your computer, but on any computer.

A lot of newer laptops will set the HD password together with the BIOS password, completely locking all the hardware.

The hard disk manufacturers are unable to unlock a password protected hard disk, as there aren’t any “secret” master passwords build into the firmware. Even swapping the controller of the password-protected hard disk with exactly the same controller from an unprotected HD will not remove the protection on most disks, as the password (together with most of the firmware) is also stored on the hard disk itself.

The only way of retrieving any files from a password protected hard disk without knowing the password is to send it to a data recovery company for unlocking, but not all data recovery companies could or would unlock a password protected HD.

In this time of rising identity theft, protecting your personal data by locking your hard disk with a password is indeed a good idea. The downside is that when the HD eventually malfunctions it will be harder or even impossible to retrieve any files from it. So, the first rule of using a computer applies here in full strength – “Your data is only as good as your latest backup”!

339 thoughts on “Hard Disk Password”

  1. My laptop is an Dell company
    And some sound is comming in my system and there is an message show, hdd lock.. Enter the pwd
    When I research this error then It show “BIOS” settings pwd
    Plz help me to recover my bios hdd pwd

  2. I input password on my ASUS hard drive but have forgotten it and hence cannot access it but can install newer Operating System (OS) on my machine and still can use it upon removing the on board battery from it.
    But want to ask where the password is saved and if on the bios, does it mean that I still need to to clear the password from the bios in other to continue using my ASUS laptop ease. Thus no need to border about password issues.
    Hope this will be of much concern to others and answers would resourceful to others here.
    Thank you guys.

    1. NB:
      Do need to clear the password from the bios when I insert a brand new hard drive for smooth usage.
      (Original poster of the above query).

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