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”!

366 Comments

  • #366 by Susie February 26, 2015 at: 3:34 pm

    If the hard disk is locked can you reboot back to factory settings with disk? If so how?

  • #365 by Takbal January 23, 2015 at: 3:12 pm

    Halp I am not quailified to operat computers Hard drive not to working and I NEED MY DATA NOW HELP ME!!!!!!

  • #364 by fara January 18, 2015 at: 5:00 am

    does anyone know how to repair or recover the laptop screen ? my lappie screen has two colors which is black n white (its a ctually a real contrasting color where when i open a white windows or tab, the screen become all white contrast like silver?) i really dont have any more money to repair for my laptop..anyone help me?

  • #363 by DearHelper.org January 7, 2015 at: 9:31 am

    Post your questions to DearHelper.org to get quick support.

  • #362 by Farrukh kamboh December 16, 2014 at: 9:27 pm

    My pen drive can not formate, when i try to formate than show ‘ write protected …………..”

    Please help me.

  • #361 by Alber December 8, 2014 at: 11:20 pm

    I’ve been using Kakasoft Advanced Folder Encryption for file and drive protection.

  • #360 by Ikbal November 27, 2014 at: 1:45 am

    My pen drive can not formate, when i try to formate than show ‘ write protected …………..”

    Please help me.

  • #359 by Ikbal November 27, 2014 at: 1:42 am

    My HDD was attached by virus, Can not formate please help me, I want to formate HDD.

  • #358 by ramdayal November 12, 2014 at: 4:30 am

    hii..my Sony laptop is lock …please help me to unlock but without deleted HDD data

  • #357 by Akbar October 15, 2014 at: 8:37 pm

    Sata Port 0 WDC WD 25008EVT-22A23LOCK. Please help me :(