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  1. #31
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    Re: Hard drive locked

    ^^Most sensible post in the thread so far!

  2. #32
    Joined
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    Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
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    585

    Re: Hard drive locked

    If the hard disk isn't formatted to the PC standard, doesn't have a normal 64-byte long partition table between the 447th to 510th bytes inthe first sector, has a mangement layer/partition controlling the hard disk or encrypting the filing system then it would not be possible to read it by another operating system. In such case the user may have to go back to the software vendor for unlocking the partition information.

    I wouldn't have thought a hard disk can be locked. If the information can be discarded the user should be able to delete the hard disk partitions and start it as a raw disk.
    Last edited by saikee; 06-06-2008 at 07:53 PM.

  3. #33
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    4,513

    Re: Hard drive locked

    saikee, if he has what I think he has then you won't even be able to delete the partition. The entire drive will be locked against read and write of any kind. It's a security feature to prevent data theft.

    Don
    R.I.P Brad (BWM). You will be missed.

  4. #34
    Joined
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    Location
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    Posts
    1,084

    Re: Hard drive locked

    And the password is on a protected area of platter, so though the drive is detected by all utilities, it will not talk to any of them.

    I've posted a couple of links in one of my posts which you could possibly read through. This is quite troublesome and I've had it happen to me - it's difficult to imagine till it actually does. I finally had to dump the drive.

  5. #35
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    Re: Hard drive locked

    You guys have got me interested in this ATA security feature.

    This is what the manual page of the hdparm command in a Linux kernel says (only the section relevant to ATA Security)
    Code:
           ATA Security Feature Set
    
           These switches are DANGEROUS to experiment with,  and  might  not  work
           with every kernel.  USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.
    
           --security-help
                  Display terse usage info for all of the --security-* flags.
    
           --security-freeze
                  Freeze the drive´s security settings.  The drive does not accept
                  any security commands until next power-on reset.  Use this func‐
                  tion in combination with --security-unlock to protect drive from
                  any attempt to set a new password. Can be used standalone,  too.
    
           --security-unlock PWD
                  Unlock  the  drive, using password PWD.  Password is given as an
                  ASCII string and is padded with NULs to  reach  32  bytes.   The
                  applicable  drive  password  is  selected with the --user-master
                  switch.  THIS FEATURE IS EXPERIMENTAL AND NOT WELL  TESTED.  USE
                  AT YOUR OWN RISK.
    
           --security-set-pass PWD
                  Lock  the  drive, using password PWD (Set Password) (DANGEROUS).
                  Password is given as an ASCII string and is padded with NULs  to
                  reach  32 bytes.  The applicable drive password is selected with
                  the --user-master switch and the applicable security  mode  with
                  the  --security-mode  switch.   THIS FEATURE IS EXPERIMENTAL AND
                  NOT WELL TESTED. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.
    
           --security-disable PWD
                  Disable drive locking, using password PWD.  Password is given as
                  an  ASCII string and is padded with NULs to reach 32 bytes.  The
                  applicable drive password is  selected  with  the  --user-master
                  switch.   THIS  FEATURE IS EXPERIMENTAL AND NOT WELL TESTED. USE
                  AT YOUR OWN RISK.
           --security-erase PWD
                  Erase (locked) drive, using password PWD (DANGEROUS).   Password
                  is  given as an ASCII string and is padded with NULs to reach 32
                  bytes.  The applicable  drive  password  is  selected  with  the
                  --user-master switch.  THIS FEATURE IS EXPERIMENTAL AND NOT WELL
                  TESTED. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.
    
           --security-erase-enhanced PWD
                  Enhanced erase (locked) drive, using password  PWD  (DANGEROUS).
                  Password  is given as an ASCII string and is padded with NULs to
                  reach 32 bytes.  The applicable drive password is selected  with
                  the  --user-master switch.  THIS FEATURE IS EXPERIMENTAL AND NOT
                  WELL TESTED. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK.
    
           --user-master USER
                  Specifies which password (user/master) to select.   Defaults  to
                  master.   Only  useful  in  combination  with --security-unlock,
                  --security-set-pass,  --security-disable,  --security-erase   or
                  --security-erase-enhanced.
                          u       user password
                          m       master password
    
                  THIS  FEATURE  IS  EXPERIMENTAL AND NOT WELL TESTED. USE AT YOUR
                  OWN RISK.
    
           --security-mode MODE
                  Specifies which security mode (high/maximum) to  set.   Defaults
                  to high.  Only useful in combination with --security-set-pass.
                          h       high security
                          m       maximum security
    
                  THIS  FEATURE  IS  EXPERIMENTAL AND NOT WELL TESTED. USE AT YOUR
                  OWN RISK.
    When I interrogated my own hard disk the output looks like this
    Code:
    root@saikee-desktop:/home/saikee# hdparm -I /dev/sda
    
    /dev/sda:
    
    ATA device, with non-removable media
    powers-up in standby; SET FEATURES subcmd spins-up.
    	Model Number:       IC35L060AVVA07-0                        
    	Serial Number:      VNC300A3C36W7A
    	Firmware Revision:  VA3OA50K
    Standards:
    	Used: ATA/ATAPI-5 T13 1321D revision 1 
    	Supported: 5 4 3 & some of 6
    Configuration:
    	Logical		max	current
    	cylinders	16383	16383
    	heads		16	16
    	sectors/track	63	63
    	--
    	CHS current addressable sectors:   16514064
    	LBA    user addressable sectors:  120103200
    	device size with M = 1024*1024:       58644 MBytes
    	device size with M = 1000*1000:       61492 MBytes (61 GB)
    Capabilities:
    	LBA, IORDY(can be disabled)
    	bytes avail on r/w long: 52	Queue depth: 32
    	Standby timer values: spec'd by Standard, no device specific minimum
    	R/W multiple sector transfer: Max = 16	Current = 16
    	Advanced power management level: disabled
    	Recommended acoustic management value: 128, current value: 254
    	DMA: mdma0 mdma1 mdma2 udma0 udma1 udma2 udma3 udma4 *udma5 
    	     Cycle time: min=120ns recommended=120ns
    	PIO: pio0 pio1 pio2 pio3 pio4 
    	     Cycle time: no flow control=240ns  IORDY flow control=120ns
    Commands/features:
    	Enabled	Supported:
    	   *	SMART feature set
    	    	Security Mode feature set
    	   *	Power Management feature set
    	   *	Write cache
    	   *	Look-ahead
    	    	Release interrupt
    	   *	Host Protected Area feature set
    	   *	WRITE_BUFFER command
    	   *	READ_BUFFER command
    	   *	NOP cmd
    	   *	READ/WRITE_DMA_QUEUED
    	    	Advanced Power Management feature set
    	    	Power-Up In Standby feature set
    	    	SET_FEATURES required to spinup after power up
    	    	Address Offset Reserved Area Boot
    	    	SET_MAX security extension
    	   *	Automatic Acoustic Management feature set
    	   *	Device Configuration Overlay feature set
    	   *	Mandatory FLUSH_CACHE
    Security: 
    	Master password revision code = 65534
    		supported
    	not	enabled
    	not	locked
    	not	frozen
    	not	expired: security count
    	not	supported: enhanced erase
    	36min for SECURITY ERASE UNIT. 
    HW reset results:
    	CBLID- above Vih
    	Device num = 1 determined by CSEL
    Checksum: correct
    root@saikee-desktop:/home/saikee#
    Must admit I rarely hear users playing around with it. The information and the control of the parameters is free to any Linux user with root privilege (equivalent to Admin right in Windows). MS systems do not provide the users with facilities to alter the speed, DMA mode, geometry, noise level, bad blocks, standby mode etc etc on a hard disk but I think such facilities are available in Unix-like operating system.

  6. #36
    Joined
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Mumbai, India
    Posts
    1,084

    Re: Hard drive locked

    Great. Now all he needs is the password! You don't need any OS, there are many freeware utilities that will allow him to unlock the drive. Even the BIOS of his laptop will allow it.

    As long, that is, he knows the password. Which no utility will detect...

  7. #37
    Joined
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    67

    Re: Hard drive locked

    so far i still have not been able to unlock the drive and have now replaced it with a new one, with more storage capacity too. from 60gb to an 80gb hdd, though i was not able to retrieve any data which i see now as being lost forever in a drive that no one will never be able to access, despite this my buddy took it with him, he saw it as a challange to try an unlock it. hopefully can one day.

    other than this i really enjoyed reading everyones replies and have gained a bit of knowledge on password locked drives. HDD in general.
    Last edited by jubei636; 06-10-2008 at 09:48 AM. Reason: typo

  8. #38
    Joined
    May 2002
    Location
    Kansas
    Age
    33
    Posts
    1,088

    Re: Hard drive locked

    Question: After putting in the new (hopefully normal) hard drive, does it still offer you the option of passwording it? If so, then the protection is entirely managed by your laptop.

    Consider passwording your new hard drive so that little shit can't screw you over again without knowing the password herself. If she does, there's always the 9mm solution! (No, not for her: This One)

    Also, have you considered professional data recovery if there is anything important on the disk? Rates these days are good--possibly as low as a couple hundred bucks. They might have the tools required to overcome whatever encryption scheme your laptop employs. They're in the business to know what it is and if it is feasible to crack it. Many will give a free estimate or tell you flat out if they can't do it.
    Last edited by TBird761; 06-10-2008 at 10:22 AM.
    Sometimes I feel like I'm becoming a dinosaur.

  9. #39
    Joined
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    67

    Re: Hard drive locked

    Quote Originally Posted by TBird761 View Post
    Question: After putting in the new (hopefully normal) hard drive, does it still offer you the option of passwording it? If so, then the protection is entirely managed by your laptop.

    Consider passwording your new hard drive so that little shit can't screw you over again without knowing the password herself. If she does, there's always the 9mm solution! (No, not for her: This One)

    Also, have you considered professional data recovery if there is anything important on the disk? Rates these days are good--possibly as low as a couple hundred bucks. They might have the tools required to overcome whatever encryption scheme your laptop employs. They're in the business to know what it is and if it is feasible to crack it. Many will give a free estimate or tell you flat out if they can't do it.
    Yes it does give me the option to password lock the new HDD under the BIOS setup. though i decided to put a password on the BIOS just in case, and im considering getting our payback, i found a huge magnet from a 12" Kicker comp VR i use to own, now i just have to gain access to her room and next her HDD on her piece of shit Emachine.

    there was several important Doc's. that was in the locked HDD which were financial data as well as some addresses, phone numbers and a few account numbers. not to mention about a year worth of college work..

  10. #40
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    Re: Hard drive locked

    Instead of wiping her drive you might consider holding it for ransom.
    R.I.P Brad (BWM). You will be missed.

  11. #41
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    Kansas
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    Re: Hard drive locked

    I'm fairly certain both ideas are illegal.
    Sometimes I feel like I'm becoming a dinosaur.

  12. #42
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    Re: Hard drive locked

    True enough. But the judge would look at one a lot different than the other under the circumstances.
    R.I.P Brad (BWM). You will be missed.

  13. #43
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    Location
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    Age
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    Posts
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    Re: Hard drive locked

    Wait, how old is she? If she's < 18, just get permission from her parents as a form of teaching a lesson of responsibility for one's actions. She'd have no legal recourse, being a minor.

    ---



    That picture, btw, is of a hard drive that took a bullet for me (not in the dramatic sense). It flew out of the laptop after being hit, but it didn't quite make it through. It was a 9mm FMJ.
    Last edited by TBird761; 06-10-2008 at 04:01 PM.
    Sometimes I feel like I'm becoming a dinosaur.

  14. #44
    Joined
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    67

    Re: Hard drive locked

    I believe shes 19 or 20, dont really know and dont really care, though she has no idea that what she did is illegal. compromising someones data is a crime i just dont know how sever it is. i would be more than happy to format her drive,,, uh that didnt sound right....damn i have to get my head out the gutter, but ya wiping it out would be more of a gurantee than magnetizing it.

    that was a nice shot TBird761.

  15. #45
    Joined
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    Re: Hard drive locked

    I still say if you can get close enough to wipe her drive you are close enough to take it. If she wants if back she'll get the password for you and I doubt that you'll get into nearly as much trouble as you would if you actually wiped it (since in effect you would be damaging her property).

    Don
    R.I.P Brad (BWM). You will be missed.

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