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  1. #1

    Default Bios/HDD Password & archosunlock.exe

    Hello there people

    Right i got a Toshiba Laptop here, pentium III, Windows 98.

    Turn it on comes up with the Toshiba logo and press F2 for boot options. Unfortunatly if you press this it wont let me access the boot options.

    Then the next screen just says HDD Password =
    and has a prompt for me to type in a password.

    Unfortunatly I do not know the password.

    This is a latop at work, the help desk cannot help me as they were not here when we purchased it.

    Is there anyway I can reset this, or bypass this password as I am not able to find out what it is.

    Or am I just left with a laptop I will neve be able to use.

    Thank you People.

  2. #2
    Member buzz762's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004


    I got the same problem as him on one of these school computers here. One of the kiddies got in and changed the setup password so I only have read only access to the BIOS. There's no jumper circuit (at least that me or anyone else in the building can see) on the thing and the cmos battery is inaccessable. ANyone know anyway to fix this?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    United Kingdom


    If you go to the motherboard manufacturers' website you should find a default password that you can use.
    I had a listing somewhere but I can't find it, I'll post it here if I do.

  4. #4
    Member Help2Go Moderator whoozhe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Wallaroo South Australia


    Where did you purchase it?
    Not like a vendor to password out a client.
    Take control of your life. Leave others to control their own.

  5. #5

    Default FAO Whoozie

    Any idea what I can do with my Toshiba SP4600 laptop from work which has a bios password on it which no one knows?

    i have been in touch with toshiba , and all they can is charge me for fixing it.

    i want to fix it myself

    Any ideas dude?

  6. #6
    Member Help2Go Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Boston, MA USA


    Are you even able to "Boot into MS-DOS" or get a boot options screen by pushing F8 @ startup? If for some odd/excellent reason you are, try doing this from the command line...

    unlock drive:

    where drive: is the drive letter of your hard drive/partition.

    This is a built in command for windows 95 and 98. Hopefully this is your only problem. If not, you have bigger problems. I have a 70% bad feeling the above won't work but I guess it's worth a try. What I think you're up against is a drive lock provided by the manufacturer of the drive. The password is actually stored in the HDD's firmware / eeprom. Unfortunately, I haven't really heard of any way to "unlocK" these drives without sending them to a data recovery specialist, which I am not. I can only imagine the data on that hdd is sensitive / valuable but I am going to give you a couple more tips that I've located but YOU ARE TO USE THEM AT YOUR OWN RISK! I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW.

    There are some people that I see that are hacking / modding their xbox hdd's and they too come with a hard drive locking utility such as the one I believe you are faced with. This is a shot in the dark but it doesn't seem like you have any other choice so here it is..

    *ignore the stuff about xbox*
    Quote Originally Posted by
    If this is infact an xbox harddrive, depending on what the person before you did with it... it might be possible to unlock it. I have 2 suggestions. First you'll need

    put that on a dos boot disk... boot from it, and run the prog... once you do you should be presented with a list of hdd's on the system... select the locked drive from the list.

    now you will be presented with some options...
    (time for a side note: if this drive infact has come from an xbox, then there should be no master code set, the xbox only uses the user password option...)
    so try setting a master password and then try unlocking the hd with it... (there might be an option for disabling lock, use if available since the drive will relock upon rebooting)

    option number 2 (consider yourself lucky if this does) if the person you received the drive from has locked/unlocked it on an xbox with a utility called "ConfigMagic" the master password would be set to "TEAMASSEMBLY" <--CaSe SeNsItIvE

    Hope this helps... only other way is with a copy of the eeprom of the xbox this drive came out of...
    Now, i'm not sure if this only works on HDD's that were OEM'ed by the xbox or not. I can only imagine it is but once again, it seems you are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    On another note, if any of your techs are programming nuts (especially in machine language) or know about ISO Standards / specs then they may be able to help you out by reading this post also from

    Again. It's not a software lock. It's a firmware lock that's actually built-in to all ATA3 compliant hard-drive controllers.

    The HD controller doesn't allow read or write operations while the disk is locked. So, you can't format, you can't fdisk, you can't low-level format. You can't do anything. This is because the ATA controller will not allow it.

    If you would like to review the ATA specifications yourself, please refer to:

    Page 47 of the PDF document (Document page 30) describes the basics of ATA locking.

    Page 160 of the PDF document (Document page 144) describes the device registers and ATA subsystem commands used to interface with the locking features.
    Well, I hope some of this info has helped, if was worth the information.


    I found out more information will still applies to the "USE AT YOUR OWN RISK" rules above...

    There is a recovery service here, not free:

    Maybe this help (it's not mine):

    1. Find a Windows XP (or 2000, probably) machine with IDE. Plug the
    locked drive into the power, but not the IDE, while the computer is off.
    2. Power on. It'll boot normally (my computer wouldn't start with a
    locked drive in the IDE chain).
    3. Plug in the IDE, then use Device Manager to look for new devices
    until it finds the drive. Don't worry, it won't fry anything.
    4. Use LiveInfo ( ) to find the
    drive's password. Print it out.
    5. Go to DOS and use HDUNLOCK
    ( ).
    Enter the password for the drive. It'll say that it succeeded even if
    it's the wrong password, so make sure you put it in correctly.
    6. Use HDDISABL (same archive) and enter the same password. It will
    give you an error if you have the wrong password.

    Look dangerous to plugin the ide with the power on, so I don't recommend you to do this.
    ------------------------------end quote-------------------

    Once again, ignore any instances of it saying XBOX.

    Also, there is more...sorry this post is so huge but hey, you just want your computer back....


    Unlocking a password protected harddisk
    During development of the Rockbox firmware, on several occations the harddisk has become locked, i.e. password protected. This results in the Archos displaying:

    Part. Error
    Pls Chck HD

    We are still not 100% sure why it happened. Theories range from low-power conditions to accidental chip select failure. It has also happened for normal users, using the standard Archos-supplied firmware, although it was more frequent for us developers.

    Note: None of us developers have experienced this problem since march 2002.

    We do however know how to unlock the disk:

    Windows/DOS unlock
    Note: This requires taking the Archos apart, which will void your warranty!

    Grab atapwd ( ) (written by Alex Mina)
    Create a bootable DOS floppy disk, and put atapwd.exe on it
    Remove the harddisk from your Archos and plug it into a laptop (or a standard PC, using a 3.5" => 2.5" IDE adapter)
    Boot from the floppy and run atapwd.exe
    Select the locked harddrive and press enter for the menu
    For Fujitsu disks: Choose "unlock with user password", then "disable with user password". The password is empty, so just press enter at the prompt.
    For Toshiba and Hitachi disks, if the above doesn't work: Choose "unlock with master password", then "disable with master password". The password is all spaces.
    Your disk is now unlocked. Shut down the computer and remove the disk.
    Big thanks to Magnus Andersson for discovering the Fujitsu (lack of) user password!

    There is also a program for win32, ArchosUnlock.exe ( ), that creates a linux boot disk with the below mentioned patched isd200 driver.

    Linux unlock
    For those of us using Linux, we have written an isd200 driver patch for unlocking the disk. This modified driver will automatically unlock the disk when you connect your Archos via USB, so you don't have to do anything special. Apply the patch to a 2.4.18 linux kernel tree.

    Still locked?
    If the above suggestions don't work, here's some background info about the disk lock feature:

    The disk lock is a built-in security feature in the disk. It is part of the ATA specification, and thus not specific to any brand or device.

    A disk always has two passwords: A User password and a Master password. Most disks support a Master Password Revision Code, which can tell you if the Master password has been changed, or it it still the factory default. The revision code is word 92 in the IDENTIFY response. A value of 0xFFFE means the Master password is unchanged.

    A disk can be locked in two modes: High security mode or Maximum security mode. Bit 8 in word 128 of the IDENTIFY response tell you which mode your disk is in: 0 = High, 1 = Maximum.

    In High security mode, you can unlock the disk with either the user or master password, using the "SECURITY UNLOCK DEVICE" ATA command. There is an attempt limit, normally set to 5, after which you must power cycle or hard-reset the disk before you can attempt again.

    In Maximum security mode, you cannot unlock the disk! The only way to get the disk back to a usable state is to issue the SECURITY ERASE PREPARE command, immediately followed by SECURITY ERASE UNIT. The SECURITY ERASE UNIT command requires the Master password and will completely erase all data on the disk. The operation is rather slow, expect half an hour or more for big disks. (Word 89 in the IDENTIFY response indicates how long the operation will take.)

    -----------------end quote---------------------

    And then there is this:


  7. #7


    All you have to do is remove the round silver battery from the motherboard and then put it back it. This will reset the bios settings. As far as I know its perfectly safe. Anyone out there know of any possible damage this could do?
    Why isn't the battery on it accessible?

  8. #8


    The reason why this won't work is because this little feature is not stored in the BIOS on the motherboard. It is stored in teh Firmware on the hardware, in this case, on the hard drive so removing the BIOS battery won't help.


  9. #9

    Default right then

    i still havent been able to resolve this.

    Im going to take the advice that says i should plug the drive into another machine then plug the ide cable in later.

    one question,,, can i plug a laptop hardrive into a normal tower???

    for the dude who suggested going into msdos ,,, no joy cant even get into msdos...

    thanks for all the help will let you know how i get on