Hard Drive Locked ?

I have a big problem.
I have a PC with a 120GB Western Digital 7200rpm 8MB Cache hard drive.
it worked fine at first, but then, a few months ago, I started getting these weird hard disk read failures, after restarting. usually, another restart would fix it, and since I rarely restart my computer (it is usually on weeks at a time), I didn't give it another thought and figured something must be wrong with my motherboard or something..

until a few weeks ago, when my hard drive stopped responding all together.

I took out an old 40G drive from the closet and installed windows XP on it.
with it I tried to access my 120G drive. with no luck, windows refused to give it a drive letter, though I could see it in "Device manager" it was impossible to access the drive in any way. I got the same result in Linux. no mounting what so ever.

then I started using diagnostic tools and recovering software.. every recovering tool just said it could not access the drive, and when I ran Western digitals own diagnostic tool, it said it couldn't access the drive because it was LOCKED.


I immediately called western digital on the phone and spoke with technical support. Their response was that they are aware their drives can be locked, but offer no support on the subject, and also hinted to me that it may be the cause of a virus.

I also tried a tool called ATAPWD.EXE for locking / unlocking hard drives, but it also said it couldn't gain access to the drive.

Why am I going through all this effort?
I have about 60G of documents, programs, family pictures and other important files.

I refuse to believe this is a hardware problem, and more over, I refuse to pay some disk recovery lab hundreds of dollars for unlocking my drive.
I am certain, that with the right help, I can recover the files myself.

I require a solution that does not involve taking the hard drive apart or seeking professional help. nor do I need people telling me how stupid I am for not backing up.

I know how stupid I am.

in any case,
this is my conundrum. I will supply you with any system information you need.

thanks for your help.

Good day.

Yoav Erez.

~ forgive my stupid questions ~
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More about hard drive locked
  1. This what I dug up by googling.<A HREF="http://www.driverforum.com/harddrive3/2085.html" target="_new">http://www.driverforum.com/harddrive3/2085.html</A>

    I was curious, never heard of a "locked" HD.

    Might check out this site <A HREF="http://www.runtime.org/gdb.htm" target="_new">http://www.runtime.org/gdb.htm</A>. Never tried it, looks like it might cost a little. Maybe check it out.

    EDIT: Checkout this if you have not already,(EDIT: OOPS forgot to leave this link yesterday <A HREF="http://rockbox.haxx.se/lock.html" target="_new">http://rockbox.haxx.se/lock.html</A>) scroll down to the "Stil Locked" section. If this is a virus, it's a real ugly one - looks like it would use the industry standard ATA lock codes. If it's the last one, the unlock code erases all ur data. Hope it ain't that.

    Good Luck dude.

    BTW, if the guy in the first link gives u the "back door", please PM with the data. Thanks

    Barton 2500+
    Abit NF7-S v 2.0
    Maxtor 60GB ATA 133 7200RPM
    512MB Corsair Twinx 3200LL
    9600 Pro
    Enermax Noisetaker 420 watts
    Win98SE<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Coyote on 04/20/04 11:36 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
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