Swapping similar hard drives

By kennyj
Jan 27, 2009
  1. Aloha from Hawaii
    I have a Dell 8400 that began having problems and does not allow the computer to boot properly. I have taken the hard drive (both machines use a Western Digital 2500) and put it in my Dell 9100 as a slave and turned on the drive. It was recognized and the files are there. Unfortunately, I am not able to get around the password that allowed access on the 8400.

    I have looked at several similar situations but could not figure out how to apply it my situation. I would like to either figure out how to get around the password or I would like to know if the the 8400 hard drive would boot up in the Dell 9100 if it were swapped with the one that is in there now. It was tempting to remove the existing hard drive and see if it would boot up the 8400's hard drive. Both systems use XP Pro and both hard drives are WD 2500, but I have read that this could damage everything. Maybe the solution is easier than I think and less risky.

    I would appreciate any help you folks might be able to offer.
  2. jdillman1502

    jdillman1502 TS Enthusiast Posts: 120

    Are you able to boot the 8400 long enough to get into the bios? If so, you should be able to remove the password in there then slave it on the 9100 again.
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    You must have a different view than anyone I know about how to access the 8400.
  4. kennyj

    kennyj TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I tried a few times but it always shut down before I could get past the log in
  5. xehqter

    xehqter TS Rookie

    Is the password in question a
    Boot Password - Required to boot he computer once the BIOS has finished its self tests
    Hard Drive Password - Required to Access Data on Hard Drive
    Bios Password - Required to Modify BIOS settings.

    Boot Password can be removed by clearing the CMOS, either look for the jumper on the motherboard or remove the CMOS battery (clock battery) for a minute while the computer is unplugged, then re attach it.

    Hard Drive Passwords: Required to access data on the hard drive, since you can see your files on the 9100 i'll assume this isn't the case.

    BIOS password, same steps as System Password.
  6. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    The information above is good, and important.
    Do the removal in Safe Mode by pressing <F8> repeatedly once per second as soon as you press the <ON> button.
    Also, look at the Dell 8400 System by pressing <F12> repeatedly as soon as you press the <ON> button then look through all the possibilities for change listed there.
    Take some time when relaxed and well fed to see if you can figger out all the possible passwords you would have used, then try them.
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