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”!

341 thoughts on “Hard Disk Password”

  1. i forgetten my samsung hdd password..
    i want to remove that one.. please anyone help me..

    my laptop is samsung rv508

  2. My 3 week old Acer Aspire 5742Z-4601 has locked me out asking for a password. I can get into BIOS but can’t remove HDD password. No System or User Password is set. Acer wants to charge me $100 US to remove it. AQC I added you to YM. Your help would be greatly appreciated. (KEY:54002690)?

  3. My computer locked up on a download and my HDD password is frozen! It is an ACER. Any help or ideas as to how I can unfreeze it?

  4. Does reformatting HDD erase/delete HDD password?
    Can I then leave HDD unprotected, that is w/o password?

  5. Ok, my partner left his lap top on the internet and left for work, i went to turn it off and it keeps comming up with this screen:
    Press F2 to run setup
    Press F12 if you want to boot from the network
    Press ESC for BBS POPUP
    Memory Frenquency : 1067 mhz
    …and goes on with more info…then at the end says..
    Hard Disk locked, enter master password:
    (Press to skip)
    …whenever i press any key it just comes up with the same stupid thing again and repeats it over and over…
    What does this mean???? and how did this happen?

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