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Password Locked Hard Drive Reformat

Hey all, I am currently working as an intern for a public school district in their IT department and I was tasked with reformatting a 60 GB hard drive that a student had locked with a password. I tried moving it from the unit to my home computer to see if I could access it there, but the password is definitely on the hard drive itself.

I've tried Hitatchi's own hard drive software in an attempt to reformat this hard drive because I can't even initialize it in the state that it is in right now, and if I do try and initialize it, it gives me an I/O error, which I know isn't caused by the cable or the mobo because I took the exact SATA cable slot and cable from my CD drive.

I'm reaching my wits end, is there any way to reformat this thing without trying brute force number punching?
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More about password locked hard drive reformat
  1. Daraks boot and nuke. then format and re-install OS. we will not help you break/circumvent security or encryption in this forum.
  2. Sorry, double post.
  3. tripledouce said:
    Daraks boot and nuke. then format and re-install OS. we will not help you break/circumvent security or encryption in this forum.


    I'm not trying to get at ANY of the files. I just need a clean slate. Could you clarify on what a Daraks boot is?
  4. You could also use a Linux LiveCD and boot a system with Linux (I suggest Ubuntu). Use parted (Linux Disk Utility) to remove the partitions on the HDDs and then add new partitions (NTFS). Make sure they are MBR vice GPT while you are it as well.
  5. What is the model number of the drive?

    If the Master Password has not been changed, then an ATA Secure Erase command should recover the drive (but not the data).

    See http://cmrr.ucsd.edu/people/Hughes/SecureErase.shtml
  6. fzabkar said:
    What is the model number of the drive?

    If the Master Password has not been changed, then an ATA Secure Erase command should recover the drive (but not the data).

    See http://cmrr.ucsd.edu/people/Hughes/SecureErase.shtml


    The model number is HDS728040PLA320
  7. Sorry, this thread seems prone to double posting ^^;
  8. koudou said:
    Hey all, I am currently working as an intern for a public school district in their IT department and I was tasked with reformatting a 60 GB hard drive that a student had locked with a password. I tried moving it from the unit to my home computer to see if I could access it there, but the password is definitely on the hard drive itself.

    I've tried Hitatchi's own hard drive software in an attempt to reformat this hard drive because I can't even initialize it in the state that it is in right now, and if I do try and initialize it, it gives me an I/O error, which I know isn't caused by the cable or the mobo because I took the exact SATA cable slot and cable from my CD drive.

    I'm reaching my wits end, is there any way to reformat this thing without trying brute force number punching?


    We cannot help you bypass passwords and that includes reformatting the disk.

    Hard disk passwords are stored in the hard disk controller's non-volatile firmware. There is no way to remove one once it's been set.
  9. HDD passwords are NOT stored in the "hard disk controller's firmware". They are stored in a special firmware module in a reserved System Area on the platters. Most ATA passwords are easily defeated with commercial tools, and some can even be defeated with freeware. However Hitachi passwords can be more difficult to beat.
  10. Thank you for all the responses! I'll be trying all of these options, and if that doesn't work, its only a 60 gb hard disk, so its not much of a loss considering that we took it off a Dell Optiplex 280!

    If it does work, I'll select my best answer to the solution that works and re-image the hard drive if all goes well. Thanks for all the replies!
  11. This topic has been closed by Inzone
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