XP not recognising HDD due to password?

By cpc01
Mar 6, 2008
  1. Hi,

    Have an issue with an IBM thinkpad T60 HDD. Its one of those that is password protected at BIOS level however I HAVE the password. The laptop unfortunately is damaged. I have connected the HDD to another pc via a usb caddy. The PC recognises the USB HDD in device manager and says it is working normally. However due to the password on the disk, it does not display the drive in either explorer or the disk management tool. Its as the password on the disk renders the disk invisible to windows, which may well be the case.

    So what i need is a method of typeing in my HDD password at windows level or any other way on an alternate PC so that i can access the drive. Im sure this is possible as ive seen it done a long time ago but cannot remember how - anyone out there had the same issue. Pulling a few hairs out here.

  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Hi cpc01 :wave:

    Instead of USB caddy. Can you connect the Hard Drive to the internal IDE or Sata cable, inside your PC.
    The issue is that external USB is not always the best at picking up Hard Drives.

    Also if the Hard Drive is not formatted properly, it is also possible that Windows cannot see it.
  3. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    USB storage does not support ATA passwords for sure. You have to connect the drive directly to do anything with the password. Also, IBM implemented some proprietary password thing with some of its laptops. Your best bet would be to use another T60 and hope that the HD password was not tied to the onboard TPM chip.

    If the password was set using the TPM, then you are screwed. The drive can be unlocked only when attached to the original locking motherboard.

    Are you sure the laptop is damaged beyond repair?
  4. cpc01

    cpc01 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks Guys,

    As you say, probably best bet is to find another T60. Cant think a pc will pick up the requirement for a password at boot level. Have access to a T30 but its IDE and has no sata connection for the drive, hense the attempts via USB.

    Still hoping the laptop's recoverable.

    Cheers for your help.
  5. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    The computer doesn't have to support the ATA password at boot. You can attach the drive as a secondary and use special software for ATA unlocking. Of course, this will work only if the password implementation is standard.

    Had to scrap a T43 hard drive the other day because it was an IBM special and we couldn't find any way to unlock the thing besides a recovery lab.
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