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Redeemed
02-19-09, 03:30 PM
Hey- I have a customer's laptop that has an HD0 Password set in the BIOS.

Here's the issue...

She inherited the laptop but was not given the password, and cannot contact whom she got the password from.

All she wants is the password cleared, so I tried removing the CMOS battery... no go, it still requests a password. I've done some searching on line and it seems that some manufactures will have a "default" password, and that password is provided to you when you purchase the computer from them.

The laptop is a Gateway 450SX4. I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to get around this password. I do have multiple tools via CD that would allow me to get around this, more than likely, except the computer does not have an optical drive. I've tried booting from an external optical drive... but no go. I could try to create a bootable USB drive to see if that works- but the BIOS does not list a specific option to boot from a USB device- only has an option to boot from a "removable device" which should mean any external device that is bootable, correct?

Anyhow, any suggestions or help ya'll may have will be *greatly* appreciate. :D

XDanger
02-19-09, 03:50 PM
Yes try to boot from a usb device or

Flash the bios on a different PC :headexplode: or

Get a new hard drive.

Redeemed
02-19-09, 03:53 PM
Flash the bios on a different PC :headexplode:

Get a new hard drive?

How would I flash the BIOS on a different PC? And why? As to new hard drive... it's an IDE and we don't stock those. She'd have to place an order else where.

Normally for clearing passwords I just use the Ultimate BootCD... but with this computer not having an optical drive, and not wanting to boot from our external optical drive (USB), that's not an option. :(

Runningman
02-19-09, 03:58 PM
The password isnt stored in the bios, its stored on an eprom crypto chip on the motherboard someplace. in order to clear the passwords you need to short the crypto-chip. this is all dependant on the make an model of laptop.
The only other way to clear the password is to call up the maker of the laptop and have them issue a onetime password for the device, the only cavet is that she must be the original owner of the device or they will not give you the password.

Redeemed
02-19-09, 04:02 PM
The password isnt stored in the bios, its stored on an eprom crypto chip on the motherboard someplace. in order to clear the passwords you need to short the crypto-chip. this is all dependant on the make an model of laptop.
The only other way to clear the password is to call up the maker of the laptop and have them issue a onetime password for the device, the only cavet is that she must be the original owner of the device or they will not give you the password.

Yeah... that's what I was finding in my google searches... that the password is either stored directly on the drive itself, or elsewhere in the mobo. And I really don't like the thought of "shorting" anything in the system... as if anything goes wrong we're liable. :(

Being that she isn't the original owner, Gateway won't offer her crap I bet. This might be something we just cannot solve for her. :(

XDanger
02-19-09, 04:08 PM
How would I flash the BIOS on a different PC? And why?
Was quoting that from my googling ,The reason given was if you cant boot to flash you'd have to use a different pc and swap the bios chip.
New hard drive is the only option for her.

Do they make ide to sata converters for laptops?

Runningman
02-19-09, 04:13 PM
Yeah... that's what I was finding in my google searches... that the password is either stored directly on the drive itself, or elsewhere in the mobo. And I really don't like the thought of "shorting" anything in the system... as if anything goes wrong we're liable. :(

Being that she isn't the original owner, Gateway won't offer her crap I bet. This might be something we just cannot solve for her. :(

yep, i would hand it back, not worth the headache.

Redeemed
02-19-09, 04:22 PM
yep, i would hand it back, not worth the headache.

I think this is what I'm going to do... considering we have an incredible back log of systems needing service (we have a special going and have been flooded with computers as a result), and she's wanting Ubuntu installed as well. :headexplode:

I'll just tell her that it is beyond anything we can do in store, offer her a refund for the small amount she had paid initially, and call it good.

Thanks all. :D

XDanger
02-19-09, 04:23 PM
apparently there is software available that will unlock a hdd password.
http://www.hddunlock.com/

Seems kinda shady though, The act of unlocking a locked HDD...

I'm guessing you'd have to install the HDD as a secondary drive.

Redeemed
02-19-09, 04:27 PM
apparently there is software available that will unlock a hdd passwords.

I know... I have some of it. Problem is the computer wont boot from our external optical drive, wont boot from any USB device, and it doesn't have an optical drive of its own.

I could take a gamble that the hard drive holds the password, and hook it up externally to our diagnostic PC, boot into one of our toolkits, and attempt to remove the password that way... but that's going under the assumption that the hard drive holds the password.

If it doesn't, it's on a chip on the motherboard, and we'd have to short out that chip to bypass the password. Not going to do this because if anything goes wrong during that process we are held liable.

Furthemore, I have over 30 computers currently that need servicing and sadly we're short on techs right now. I don't have time to waste on her laptop for a service that we "technically" don't even offer.

She will just have to find another place to get this done.