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removing hard disk password lock on IBM laptop

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by sswats, 12 Oct 2009.

  1. sswats

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 26 Mar 2004

    Posts: 1,198

    An old IBM X41 laptop has password set by the BIOS on the hard drive (ie not a windows password)

    Is there any way to get this password removed?
    There's no data so the drive can be wiped clean if necessary.

    Its a 1.8" IDE which is annoying and expensive to get hold of, so that isn't really an option. Although i've read that i risk locking another hard drive if i put it into the laptop without remivng this password first.
    Last edited: 12 Oct 2009
  2. Outcast


    Joined: 25 Jan 2008

    Posts: 2,921

    Location: Peterboro, Distro:Ubuntu

  3. wardster


    Joined: 2 Oct 2009

    Posts: 46

    Doesn't OPHCRACK only works for windows passwords.

    How about flashing the bios?
  4. JonJ678


    Joined: 22 Dec 2008

    Posts: 10,371

    Location: England

    Updating the bios may resolve the issue. Failing that, reset the bios to defaults (you'll probably have to take out/short a battery for a while, or possibly even short two of the pins on the chip). It's fortunate that you don't want the data on the drive back.

    If Ophcrack works then fair play. Given it brute forces windows passwords I can't see it doing very well. Not sure any software is going to help here, brute forcing a drive encryption password will take considerable patience.
  5. eLbot


    Joined: 15 Aug 2003

    Posts: 749

    Are you absolutely certain that this is a HDD lock rather than a Supervisor/ Power on password preventing boot?

    Can you confirm that the computer displays a cylinder to the left of the padlock on the password prompt rather than a square? I can direct you on how to pull the password off the cmos if it’s the latter, if however it is a HDD lock I’m not much use.
  6. sswats

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 26 Mar 2004

    Posts: 1,198

    There was a password on the bios too so i couldn't access BIOS settings. A friend managed to remove that so i now can access that, but couldn't fix this one.

    But there is a cylinder to the left of the padlock.

    It won't even boot up from any CD unless i remove the hard drive totally.
  7. J.B


    Joined: 16 Aug 2006

    Posts: 5,922

    IBM passwords are notoriously hard to circumvent, Im surprised you managed to get the BIOS password off. I remember a few years ago trying to get rid of one involved soldering a couple of pins on the BIOS chip to a COM port and running this special program!
  8. Aod


    Joined: 7 Oct 2004

    Posts: 8,675

    Location: London

    IBM specifically say that if you set, and then forget the HDD password, your data is gone

    replacing the HDD should work though, because i think the passwording is on the HDD itself, not the BIOS.
    there are LOADS of 1.8" IDE HDD's on ebay for very reasonable prices.
    Last edited: 13 Oct 2009
  9. Auraomega

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 22 Sep 2009

    Posts: 2,089

    Location: Leicester

    Well, back when I worked at a rather shady warehouse that worked with PCs, we had a number of IBM laptops come in, many of which had passwords on their BIOS and HDD, one of the guys had a tool which he used to remove the passwords, the tool was simply a paperclip bent in a certain way to short out a couple of pins (could be done without taking it apart too), I'm not sure how it worked, but it did.

    I managed to remove my password on my laptop in the same theoretical way, I didn't want it removing but it did anyway (and reset the BIOS at the same time), all I did was slot in my DVD drive during operating and the laptop reset and password was gone.

    As far as I'm aware this is the same method as used on PCs, however laptops are designed to not show which pins to short.