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Hardware Thread, Toshiba C660- BIOS in Technical; Has anyone had issues with locking down the BIOS for Toshiba C660 laptops? In our case – even after setting ...
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    Toshiba C660- BIOS

    Has anyone had issues with locking down the BIOS for Toshiba C660 laptops?

    In our case – even after setting a “master” BIOS user password, students are able to get into the BIOS and be able to set a HDD password. Without the HDD password the laptop will not boot into the OS, from what I can gather the HDD password is written to firmware of the HDD and this can NOT be reset.

    Is anyone experiencing the same problem? Does anyone know of a work around?

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    I emailed Toshiba when i discovered the same thing. They confirmed it, but couldn't offer a work around. I suggested they issued a BIOS update, but got no reply.

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    Same problem with Vostro 3550, but not 3450. And as 3350 is similar to 3550, probably same on that. Don't buy the 3450 though, can't easily replace the hdd. 3750 is similar to 3450 in hardware terms, and easy to replace hdd though. BIOS sucks, at least it's nearly dead, with UEFI PCs are almost at the level of Macs and Acorn machines were 20 years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trolleypusher View Post
    Has anyone had issues with locking down the BIOS for Toshiba C660 laptops?

    In our case – even after setting a “master” BIOS user password, students are able to get into the BIOS and be able to set a HDD password. Without the HDD password the laptop will not boot into the OS, from what I can gather the HDD password is written to firmware of the HDD and this can NOT be reset.

    Is anyone experiencing the same problem? Does anyone know of a work around?
    We did have a similar problem some time ago. We set a BIOS password and then discovered a second method into the BIOS which did not require the password. This was fixed by updating the BIOS to the latest version. I guess I need to check to see if we can set a HDD password on the new BIOS.

    Out of interest do you know how they managed to do this? It will save me quite some time trying to work this out.

    And, yes, the password is written into the HDD firmware.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mavhc View Post
    BIOS sucks, at least it's nearly dead, with UEFI PCs are almost at the level of Macs and Acorn machines were 20 years ago.
    BIOS is decades old, the new Macs actually use intel's UEFI, there previus solution was alright but still quite slow and rather messy if the PRAM got squiffy. They could get a lot more hashed than a BIOS ever could.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trolleypusher View Post
    from what I can gather the HDD password is written to firmware of the HDD and this can NOT be reset.
    I think it depends on the security mode...

    A disk can be locked in two modes: High security mode or Maximum security mode. Bit 8 in word 128 of the IDENTIFY response tell you which mode your disk is in: 0 = High, 1 = Maximum.

    In High security mode, you can unlock the disk with either the user or master password, using the "SECURITY UNLOCK DEVICE" ATA command. There is an attempt limit, normally set to 5, after which you must power cycle or hard-reset the disk before you can attempt again.

    In Maximum security mode, you cannot unlock the disk! The only way to get the disk back to a usable state is to issue the SECURITY ERASE PREPARE command, immediately followed by SECURITY ERASE UNIT. The SECURITY ERASE UNIT command requires the Master password and will completely erase all data on the disk. The operation is rather slow, expect half an hour or more for big disks. (Word 89 in the IDENTIFY response indicates how long the operation will take). (Source)
    The following master passwords might be worth a try too?

    Master Passwords
    These passwords were received from unofficial sources, they may not work!

    Western Digital: WDCWDCWDCWDCWDCWDCWDCWDCWDCWDCWD
    Maxtor: Maxtor*INIT SECURITY TEST STEP*F (* means 00h)
    Seagate: Seagate
    Fujitsu, Hitachi, Toshiba: 32 spaces
    Samsung: tttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt
    IBM:
    CED79IJUFNATIT
    VON89IJUFSUNAJ
    RAM00IJUFOTSELET (Source)

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