A drive password is stored in protected flash on the drive itself, not in BIOS. Actually only the hash is stored, never the password itself. Only the correct password will unlock the drive and permit normal operation. There is a master password that is known only to the manufacturer that can be used in a pinch, but it will reset the hash and render all data on the drive permanently unrecoverable. The drive has to be shipped to the manufacturer in order to get this master unlock. It will however restore normal non-passworded operation to the drive.
You just learned a valuable lesson, the hard way, about backing up important files.