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Thread: Laptop HD, password encrypted - break it?

  1. #1
    Maximum Bitrate kiltjim's Avatar
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    Laptop HD, password protected - break it?

    Ok, I know this will probably sound really bad, and I'll probably get yelled at for it.... But for those of you who don't want to flame me for this here's the story:

    My friend at work had some problems with his original hard, so he got a replacement under warranty. No problems. They sent him a new one.
    He tries to install it, and gets some warning that the hard drive is password protected. He tries to get them to send him a new one, but they say its the laptop, not the hard drive. He has graduated from (I think) 3 different IT associate programs, he knows what he is talking about.

    He bought a new drive, and intalled it himself, everything is fine. He gave me the drive that was giving him the problem. I would love to use this drive in an external enclosure for some portable media.

    Is there any program or hardware solution to this? I'm not looking for the external enclosure, thats easy. I'm looking for a way to get past this password protection. Now, I haven't even hooked it up yet. I am hoping someone could point me in the right direction first, then I'll get the enclosure and worry about that.

    And, yes. I know what it sounds like. If you know of a solution PM or me post it here. If you don't trust me, I completely understand. Just don't post your "You shouldn't be doing this" here, please.
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    Try a low level format. That should get rid of everything on the drive and then you don't need to worry about recovering information you should not be looking at.

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    Maximum Bitrate kiltjim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by voidunknown
    Try a low level format. That should get rid of everything on the drive and then you don't need to worry about recovering information you should not be looking at.
    See, there shouldn't even be information on the drive, at this point. It is suposed to be a brand new drive. Now, when you say low-level format, just fo into Windows, and format the drive?
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    Mac Car Moderator kandyman676's Avatar
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    exactly was going to be my solution voidunknown. :-P

    stick it in an external enclosure or another laptop, and format it with some bootable linux distro since most do a low level format. I *think* even a bootable WinXP disk can do it as long as you do not do the quick format option.

    that should remove any protection the drive has, and destroy any data the drive has.
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    Low Bitrate got2liv4him's Avatar
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    actually I think you can only low level format in the bios... I doubt Linux distros low level because there is potential to permanetly damage te drive.
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    No no no. Alright let me explain this a bit...

    When you format from a Windows or Linux CD it does a HIGH level format. Most people just call this a "Format." It simply erases the contents of the drive and/or removes the "Table of contents" from the drive (quick format). This process can take just a matter of seconds/minutes.

    A low level format is what is done by every hard drive manufacturer before a hard drive is boxed and sold. A low level format will rid the hard drive of bad sectors (so to speak). It makes it impossible to recover any info from the drive because it completely fills the drive with "useless" information. It also sets certain properties of the disk such as the interleave factor. A low level format also determines what type of disk controller can access the disk. It can/will also take several HOURS to complete this type of format. A low level format UTILITY can be downloaded from the website of the hard drive manufacturer. If you have a maxtor hard drive, DO NOT use a Seagate low level format utility. Your drive WILL be useless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by got2liv4him
    actually I think you can only low level format in the bios... I doubt Linux distros low level because there is potential to permanetly damage te drive.
    No, you can boot from disk and low level format, I do it all the time. Yes, some BIOS' do have a low level format option (the older ones) but it is not recomended that you use that one. Get the one from the manufacturer of the drive.

    Also, he hit the nail on the head. IF NOT DONE RIGHT A LOW LEVEL FORMAT CAN DAMAGE YOUR HARD DRIVE! BE CAREFUL!

  8. #8
    Mac Car Moderator kandyman676's Avatar
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    you are right voidunknown. I was confusing the low level programs with linux, but they were actually old DOS programs, like the one Western Digital has.

    this site has a list of them:
    http://www.ariolic.com/activesmart/l...el-format.html

    also you can use some other utilities to write zeros to the whole drive to completely wipe it clean:
    in DOS: http://www.killdisk.com/
    in linux: http://www.linuxgazette.com/issue37/tag/38.html
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    Quote Originally Posted by kandyman676
    you are right voidunknown. I was confusing the low level programs with linux, but they were actually old DOS programs, like the one Western Digital has.

    this site has a list of them:
    http://www.ariolic.com/activesmart/l...el-format.html

    also you can use some other utilities to write zeros to the whole drive to completely wipe it clean:
    in DOS: http://www.killdisk.com/
    in linux: http://www.linuxgazette.com/issue37/tag/38.html
    Yes, but those last 2 programs will not perform a low level format. In order to get rid of the encryption on the drive so that he CAN write zeros to the drive, he will need a low level format. Period. As long as the drive detects in the BIOS when booting, a low level format can be performed.

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    Variable Bitrate BiohazrD's Avatar
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    1) Buy screwdriver
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