How to bypass a HDD password?
November 11, 2006 10:29 AM   Subscribe

How do I bypass a Primary HDD password authentication check?

I recently purchased a used Dell Latitude laptop online. Upon recieving it today and booting it up, it asks for a HDD password..... Is there anyway to bypass this, or even to get a bootable disc to run...... I want to wipe the hard drive and reinstall XP....

The seller seemed a bit shady, so it it is entirely possible it is stolen.... I sent the serial numbers to Dell's stolen laptop database, so far there has been no match....

Or do I need to get a new hard drive for it?
posted by peewinkle to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
The only way to clear the password is to contact Dell and prove that you are the legal owner.

If your gunna knowingly buy stolen machines, atleast make sure they are working stolen machines.
posted by SirStan at 10:35 AM on November 11, 2006

Are you 100% sure it is asking for a HDD password and not a power-on password? A power-on password can easily be circumvented by removing the CMOS battery.

If it is a HDD password, you are pretty much SOL....sorry!
posted by Diskeater at 10:37 AM on November 11, 2006

Have you tried slaving the HDD onto another machine for a reformat?
posted by the cuban at 11:24 AM on November 11, 2006

First, take out the CMOS battery to clear the BIOS password, if there is one.
Next, obtain a bootable CD, floppy, or USB drive and windows install CD.
Then, go into the BIOS and change the boot order to first check whatever you obtained above.
Finally, boot off of your boot media and reinstall windows. Press R when the windows install screen comes up and make sure to delete any existing partitions.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 2:59 PM on November 11, 2006

If it's a HDD password, you can just toss it and buy a new HDD. CMOS password , see above.
FYI, buying stolen property is not cool. It got stolen from Somebody.
posted by defcom1 at 3:05 PM on November 11, 2006

dell did a surprisingly good job of password protecting certain of their laptop lines, unlike most of the rest of the mfgrs.

e.g. I recently was given (not everything is stolen you know) an old pII inspiron and the thing is nigh well invulnerable (owner forgot the password and naturally does not have the receipt for something so old, so little good calling dell) -- it is quite an impressive feat of engineering, protection which actually does not suck: it does not store the passwords in cmos, so no battery resetting will work. in fact it does not seem to have cmos at all much less a battery. shorting out the nv flash chip that hold the passwords may work but possibly hose the chip.

anyway, you have a latitude so you are in luck and may try:
(a) searching for "Latitude_MasterPW.exe" and additionally "Latitude.exe" which are dos programs that can pull the password when you input your service tag number
(2) and will be helpful as well
posted by dorian at 3:32 PM on November 11, 2006

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