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How to access a password protected HDD in a USB caddy?

Last response: in Storage
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May 17, 2010 10:59:00 PM

Hi,

My old laptop died and I'm trying to retrieve some of my files from it's hard drive.

It's a password protected SATA drive and I'm using a USB caddy to connect it to a new laptop running Windows 7.

I know what the password is, I'm not trying to bypass the password system in any way.

When I plug it in to the new laptop, Windows 7 detects a USB2 SATA bridge, and when I go to Disk Management, the disk is detected as unallocated and a dialog pops up with the following: "You must initialize a disk before Disk Management can access it". At no stage does it ask me for a password (which I know is set).

My guess at this stage is that the disk appears to be unallocated because it is password protected, the question is, how do I make this disk accessible? Is there a way for me to remove the password? Is there a means for me to enter the password and get to the data within?

Any help or pointers would be gratefully received :) 
May 18, 2010 1:43:10 AM

Password protected by what encryption scheme?
May 18, 2010 9:40:36 AM

I set a power on & HDD password via the BIOS of the old laptop.

I'm assuming that the HDD password is stopping me being able to access the disk directly via the caddy on the new laptop?
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May 18, 2010 12:22:18 PM

Right, well, that wasn't straightforward.

I tried attaching the password protected drive directly to me new laptop. After rebooting, I was challenged for the password - I entered the correct password but it was rejected. I suspect that my new Dell Studio 17 uses a different encryption scheme to my old Inspiron 9600.

I had a crack at resurrecting the old Inspiron by basically disconnecting the broken lcd panel and connecting up an old monitor via the VGA port. On rebooting with the old drive, I was challenged for the password - which was accepted!

I have now gone in to the old laptop's BIOS and removed the HDD password.

Now, when use the old drive with the caddy, the original partitions are there and the files are instantly available :) 

I've learnt some lessons from this:

1) Hard drive password schemes seem to vary from machine to machine.
2) Setting a password on one machine doesn't mean you can use that password to access your data on another machine.
3) If you add a password protected drive to a USB caddy, when you plug it in to a new PC, it will appear as unallocated and you won't be able to initialise it (which is probably a good thing as you would most likely lose your data)
4) It would seem that the only way to have an opportunity to enter the password is if you connect the drive directly (ie, by internal interface) to a machine that uses the same password scheme.

I think I'll skip drive passwords in future ...
May 27, 2011 10:10:33 PM

Hi,

This is true.
Using an external case I bought from China :D  I had the same issue.
I have an ACER ASPIRE 4520 crashed, probably motherboard, waiting to be fixed.
While it I am completely unable to access the HDD.
In windows it appears as an no formatted volume.
The first thing I though was the password!
I think if the BIOS of motherboard is similar to the previous machine will probably work.

I am looking into internet praying to be able to fix it :( 
I see that you found the "workaround" of disabling the password but this is usually impossible :) 

I will let you all know if I find anything.
March 11, 2012 9:37:13 PM

So, can someone tell me how to do this very thing described, except for a Windows password? I am in the same situation, trying to remove data from a drive with some bad sectors that still seems to spin.
a c 204 D Laptop
a c 103 G Storage
March 12, 2012 3:59:25 PM

jeff_r0x said:
So, can someone tell me how to do this very thing described, except for a Windows password? I am in the same situation, trying to remove data from a drive with some bad sectors that still seems to spin.


http://www.tomshardware.com/search.php?s=windows+passwo...
!