Dell System Primary HDD password

By joeneilson · 7 replies
Oct 19, 2007
  1. Hello
    I have a Dell Lataitude C510 Service Tag 4D4TM0J. When it boots I get a message saying Hard Disk xxxx478732-595B. System Primary HDD Protected by Password Authentication system. I have not used any password for the CMOS or other components. Any idea how to get passed this message?

  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,243   +234

    Try posting this message in the "Mobile Computing" Forum for starters
  3. Dell_CA

    Dell_CA TS Rookie


    My name is Mike, I’m a Technical Analyst located at Dell corporate headquarters in Round Rock, TX. I'm part of an internet outreach team developed to interact with the online community regarding technical questions and issues that customers face with Dell products. I read your question and wanted to help.

    The hard drive password can usually be reset by calling in to Dell support and providing them with the code you've posted above. A full system ownership varification will be needed prior to unlocking the drive, but after that you should be all set. I hope this information is helpful.

    Dell customer advocate
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,243   +234

    Hello Mike welcome,

    "A full system ownership varification will be needed prior to unlocking the drive"...

    How does one do this if they bought the Dell system from a friend or off E-Bay for example?
  5. Dell_CA

    Dell_CA TS Rookie


    There are a few options in this case. First option, contact the seller of the system and ask for the password. These are usually user set passwords that help protect restricted information and access to restricted networks and they may not have realized that they shipped the system with sensitive information. They also may have just forgotten to remove the password.

    Second option; if the seller can’t provide the password, ask them to contact Dell and verify the information. Then provide the code that appears on the screen and then pass the information on to the customer to unlock the hard drive. Given that they sold the system this shouldn’t be too much trouble if they can’t provide the password.

    Third option; the hard drive would have to be formatted and the OS reinstalled. I have, however, heard of cases where this HDD password will not allow the sectors on the drive to be formatted. In this case the only option left is to replace the hard drive (which I would take up with the seller.)

  6. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,243   +234

    Thanks Mike,
    this post should be put in the Guides section of Techspot. I have asked many "Dell Password" posters to provide info on where they bought or aquired the Dell system. Many do not reply. I tell my customers to never apply a bios or hard drive password. I know laptops can be stolen easily, and their data needs to be more secure...

    Thanks again
  7. Dell_CA

    Dell_CA TS Rookie

    Exactly. With technology getting more and more portable/smaller, it gets easier and easier to "lose" your equipment which puts all of your personal data at risk. We can't be too careful anymore.

  8. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,243   +234

    I repair many computer systems, both desktops and laptop/notebooks. Knock on wood, I have had good luck with the laptop's owners remembering their passwords. Desktops are another story. Luckily I know how to remove Windows passwords. Dell desktops can be tricky though, but now I can follow your guidelines if I need assistance
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