Hardware Thread, Lost hard drive password! in Technical; I have been handed a laptop from a teacher who has somehow managed to set a hard drive password in ...
30th December 2011, 03:46 PM #1
Lost hard drive password!
I have been handed a laptop from a teacher who has somehow managed to set a hard drive password in the BIOS on her Acer TravelMate 4200. She has no idea what the password could be and the hard drive is no accessable at the moment!
Does anyone have a clue how to resolve this? I have tried several things including any and all utilities from the latest Hiren's disk, stripping down the thing to find the CMOS battery only to find it soldered to the mboard but havent got anywhere as yet.
Any and all ideas welcome!!
IDG Tech News
30th December 2011, 03:58 PM #2
Use it as a 'teachable moment' to show the teacher that blind messing with tech will lead to stuff like this
Seriously though HD paswords are quite secure and may require a very long talk with the manufacturer to possibly recover the password providing you can show the proof of purchase etc.
30th December 2011, 04:32 PM #3
BIOS password or harddisk password? I suspect the former.
What's important? The data, or reusing the laptop? If the data is what you need - external 2.5" caddy - excuse to get get Zalman ZM-VE200-SE Portable HDD Enclosure with Virtual Drive (I bought some for the tech team here and they love them).
If it's the laptop you need back - there maybe a bios reset jumper so you don't need to remove the battery. Could be just 2 solder pads.
Edit: according to a service manual, there's a jumper to the right of the RAM slots (if you have the cpu on the left), that will clear CMOS. Should be just a case of closing the jumper for a few seconds.
Last edited by tom_newton; 30th December 2011 at 04:38 PM.
31st December 2011, 06:13 PM #4
If it is a hard drive password, you will have to contact acer and ask for a override password. The jumper won't remove the hard drive password. If you want to re-use the laptop you could remove the hard drive and insert a new one, because the password is stored on the hard drive not in the BOIS.
31st December 2011, 06:24 PM #5
Last edited by markcuk; 31st December 2011 at 06:26 PM.
31st December 2011, 11:46 PM #6
If it is the harddrive password then there is no way you can unlock it if you do not know the password. The drive must be in the computer that set it and it will not allow you to wipe the drive. The password is stored in an area of the drive only known to the manufacturer. Contact Acer with proof of ownership and they may be able to give you an override. On some Mobos the password is also stored on a built in chip that cannot be erased by removing the battery. This would also need to be reset.
31st December 2011, 11:51 PM #7
1st January 2012, 11:45 PM #8
we have had a couple of acers that have had passwords set on the HDDs and on both times Acer have requested the unit be sent back to them and they have cleared the password.
2nd January 2012, 12:15 AM #9
2nd January 2012, 11:03 AM #10
Cheers Ben - I will try that one later and let you know if it works! First impressions look promising!
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