Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3349 mails)

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Re: [SLE] (Semi-OT) Travelstar locked disk
  • From: James Wright <jwright@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 02 May 2005 14:06:49 -0400
  • Message-id: <42766C39.6020605@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Anders Norrbring wrote:

I'm trying to set up a second IBM (Hitachi) Travelstar 20GB disk for use
with my Fujitsu-Siemens laptop.

However, it seems like the Travelstar disk is locked by the infamous ATAPI
HDD master lock.

Does anyone know how to reset the disk? Without sending it to Nortel and
pay them almost $100 to unlock it, 5 times more than I paid for the drive..


Anders, it does not look good. I am still looking. My first suggestion is to contact the person/place you got it from and request the password. Apparently your only other choice is to get a program that reads or resets the firmware on the HDD. A low-level format will not remedy the situation. Pasted from

The problem with locked drive is two fold. The modern BIOS which are used to set password in the first place usallt encode password which it's sent to the HDD. Meaning if you take that HDD out of the notebook even if you know user/master password you will not be able to unlock the drive with the same password.

When data recovery techniques applied to access locked drives, special access to firmware required. Each model of the drive will have different approach to unlock the drives and requires research to be done on each model. Meaning that not all drives have been researched. e.g. latest Hitachi/IBM models are still in research.

I believe if you don't know user password and don't have access to original notebook no ATA command will help you. You can send it to the Data Recovery company to unlock the drive, but that may not be cost effective if you don't need data from that drive.
[end quote]

This is very interesting to me. If certain corporations can do it for big bucks, there is a way. Finding a cost effective way to do it may prove difficult, if not impossible. A solution that may or may not work (at your own risk, of course) i to try an unlocking program for a different type of lock. Check out It may help you, but I wouldn't be too hopeful.

Look at and see if your model is listed here.

Some people have reported the ability to unlock Western Digital drives using an XBox hack called atapwd.exe. Apparently you can d/l it from the IRC channel.
I found at

Hard Drive Password - This password is stored on the hard drive itself. Therefore, moving a drive that is protected in this manner to another computer will not allow you to access the drive (unless you know the password). This can be defeated by shorting a jumper on the hard drive itself, but on most ThinkPad models, this will require that the drive housing be partially disassembled. (This will likely damage the drive housing on 760 class machines. 770 class drive housings should be able to be reassembled without too much difficulty. 600 class machines do not have any drive housings. I don't know about other models)
[end quote]


BUT in most of cases it's the SAME as the SuperVisor password, becouse if You set a SuerVisor pasword on an IBM laptop, and it has HDD, it will set the HDD password automatically, and this is the same as supervisor. We cannot restore SuperVisor password from a bare HDD, only, if the laptop is available for this
[end quote]

All in all it looks a bit hopeless. If I come accross anything else I will let you know.

- James W.

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