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Windows 7: Harddisk Security Forgot password

12 Feb 2012   #1

Windows 7
Harddisk Security Forgot password

I have an Acer Aspire 5733z. My daughter went in and changed my password and now she forgets what it is. I cannot log into my computer at all, I keep getting a Harddisk Security prompt then I push Enter and it prompts for a password. That I don't know. I also cannot find the start up disk. What can I do to try and fix this? Thanks for any help..

My System SpecsSystem Spec

13 Feb 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1

Hi lori42, welcome to 7f!

You will need to contact Acer to see if they have a master password, and if they will reset it for you.

This is one manufacturers version of Hard Disk Security, see Note area:
4.) BIOS Lock needs a supervisor/user password to access BIOS setup. BIOS settings can be configured to prompt for password at every first bootup or all bootup sequences. Access to BIOS setup is needed to configure Hard Disk Lock. Hard Disk Lock requires an access key to retrieve data on the hard disk. This is a Data
Confidentiality security feature. Anti-theft Lock Slot allows the use of a lock to physically secure the LifeBook. Smartcard slot usage is dependent on customer's solution. Fingerprint sensor uses AuthenTec TruePrint™ Technology and Softex OmniPass to remember customer list of user IDs and passwords. Full security unlock
sequence - Bootup Lock (BIOS Lock), Hard Disk Lock, Fingerprint Windows Logon.

Loss of password requires the LifeBook to be returned to Japan factory for system refresh. Cost of shipment and lost data will be borne by the customer. Backup your user's profile before changing HDD. Without the user's profile associated with a document at the point of encryption, Softex OmniPass cannot decrypt
the encrypted document. 2 passwords refers to Master Password and User Password of the HDD Lock. The Master Password can be used to clear the User Password at the BIOS settings under Hard Disk Security. If HDD Lock prompt is enabled, only the User Password can be used to boot up the unit. Loss of these 2
passwords means the HDD content cannot be retrieved.
It is the customer's responsibility to ensure the safe keeping of these 2 passwords for retrieval of data from the locked HDD.

Some manufacturers will not even touch them: The down side of hard drive passwords - Computerworld Blogs

I do not know what HDD your Aspire would have, but anyone returning one to Fujitsu for a "system refresh" sounds like the user would lose any data already stored on the drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Feb 2012   #3

XP, Win7 Pro, Ubuntu LL

You have your research cut out for you on this one. First off, so you don't waste your time, find out how many times the hdd will accept a pw attempt before a restart is needed. I believe around 5 attempts is a common number. Have you tried your bios pw by chance? I understand some systems will use the same pw for both.

You should be able to find a few sites with a list of "default" passwords that may function as a master pw per manufacturer. Some have posted they had success with those. I don't know if your setup will accept a "master" pw at boot (vs "user") but if not you can try a program like Gparted. It will enable you to enter ATA commands at a cmd prompt. Also look at a few programs called "Victoria" and "MHDD". Some have reported success with these too.

There are also drive unlock programs such as hddunlock (pay to unlock) but I believe they are all the same in that they have to erase the drive in order to unlock it. The logic behind that is that if you erase the data (with ATA commands) then you can set a new pw since the data is gone? I went through a locked hdd before. IIRC I had to erase and set another pw to get it to unlock. In any event good luck with your search and post back how it turns out?

Edit: Check out "A-FF Repair Station". Supposedly able to unlock hdd AND save data. Think it was listed as $50 for a single use.
My System SpecsSystem Spec


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