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Bypass Toshiba HDD Password
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Geoff Online
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Post: #1
Bypass Toshiba HDD Password
So being all security concious and such when i purchased my Toshiba Satellite i enabled the HDD password feature. Seeing as this was built in to the hard drive I /assumed/ that this meant it was "portable". Apparently it is not. See my Toshiba Satellite has now perished forever. The motherboard is toast and i sold a few of the other parts. There really is no chance of reassembling it.

However, my assumption was, that if i took the harddrive, and put it in, for example, my Toshiba Tecra, I could put the password in and viola, use the drive. Well. While the Tecra does indeed ask for the password, the correct (100% no doubt about it) password is not accepted. So my thoughts at the moment are that the Toshiba HDD passwords are not just dependant on the hard drive, but rather must have some sort of symbiotic relationship with the computer (motherboard?) itself.

I havent found a whole lot of information regarding how the password protection works, or whether it can be bypassed. Im thinking its not likely. Just wondering what other experience/knowledge someone else might have on this subject. While 90% of my data is backed up, id really like to go in and see what i might not have backed up and rescue any thing else i would like to keep.

And inb4 someone asks I am not an idiot. I am talking about the hdd built in password. I am NOT asking about the BIOS password, or windows password or any other password other than those that are built into the hard drive itself.

Thanks.
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08-03-2013 11:46 AM
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chmod Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Bypass Toshiba HDD Password
I would have made the same assumption as you I'm afraid and although I don't have an answer I'm interested in knowing the outcome myself. I'll do some digging when I'm home from work and let you know if I find anything it may be in the motherboard or perhaps something built into the bios/post as that starts before anything else and is responsible for booting the HDD.



Quick question that may provide a few clues, how was the password originally set? Was it done inside the OS or at boot time?
If you need help feel free to PM me
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(This post was last modified: 08-03-2013 11:58 AM by chmod.)
08-03-2013 11:52 AM
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Geoff Online
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Post: #3
RE: Bypass Toshiba HDD Password
Well, what im thinking at the moment is that the password is actually an encryption key used in conjunction with the motherboard/bios. My line of thought at the moment is that different systems may use a different encryption algorithm and/or possibly aspects of the motherboard/hardware itself as a type of salt. So while my Tecra can detect that the drive is encrypted/protected, when i enter my (again, definitely correct) password, the encryption algorithm used is different and thus fails.

Still looking, and im going to try a couple hdd reset tools that I have now found. But im thinking the most likely method of getting access to my data is by using the same model computer and hoping there is no additional salt. But that means buying and shipping a used one from Canada to Australia which would not be cheap. Still not sure how desperate i am for the data cause im not sure what i dont have backed up LOL

oh and the HDD brand is actually Seagate apparently (Just noticed lol)
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(This post was last modified: 08-03-2013 12:03 PM by Geoff.)
08-03-2013 12:02 PM
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chmod Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Bypass Toshiba HDD Password
That seems viable and if that's indeed the case bypassing it would be extremely difficult without the actual hardware plugged into it I'll do a bit of research myself tonight and let you know if I find anything.
If you need help feel free to PM me
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08-03-2013 12:26 PM
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diana32 Away
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Post: #5
RE: Bypass Toshiba HDD Password
The password is save on the hdd.So presuming that you are not abble to use your toshiba satellite but you have another toshiba- the key encription must be the same since we are talk about the same vendor. One solution is to go on a toshiba store that made system recovery ,or i find this i don't know if you have tryed untill now :
1) Start the computer
2) Enter the BIOS
3) Scroll down to HDD Password box
4) Select "REGISTERED" in the password field
5) When prompted enter the existing password
6) When prompted for the new password press the "backspace" key" once
7) When prompted for the [assword the second time, press the "backspace" key once more
8) A message to say that the password has been changed will appear and the word UNREGISTERED will appear in the password field
9) Select "exit and save"

At the next power up you will not be asked for the password.
08-03-2013 01:31 PM
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Geoff Online
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RE: Bypass Toshiba HDD Password
(08-03-2013 01:31 PM)diana32 Wrote:  The password is save on the hdd.So presuming that you are not abble to use your toshiba satellite but you have another toshiba- the key encription must be the same since we are talk about the same vendor. One solution is to go on a toshiba store that made system recovery ,or i find this i don't know if you have tryed untill now :
1) Start the computer
2) Enter the BIOS
3) Scroll down to HDD Password box
4) Select "REGISTERED" in the password field
5) When prompted enter the existing password
6) When prompted for the new password press the "backspace" key" once
7) When prompted for the [assword the second time, press the "backspace" key once more
8) A message to say that the password has been changed will appear and the word UNREGISTERED will appear in the password field
9) Select "exit and save"

At the next power up you will not be asked for the password.

Well, they must not be the same because I had a Toshiba Satellite, and im putting the drive into a Toshiba Tecra. It does not accept my password. When i load the BIOS it does not allow me to change or access the HDD password.

Tools like MHDD and UBCD (atapwd) have not worked. Even saw a trick that *almost*? worked which involved disconnecting the hdd, putting in a wincd, and then as the wincd is loading files you insert the hdd and eject the wincd. The computer restarted and did not ask for the password, but then the drive failed to boot.

Im hoping the drive itself isnt damaged. i suppose thats a possibility. but I wouldnt expect that.
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08-03-2013 04:04 PM
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Linuxephus Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Bypass Toshiba HDD Password
Essentially certain models of computers where the HDD password is "registered" requires that exact same hardware to authenticate the HDD's password where the password was registered.
Not having the motherboard anymore, will in fact require you to use other obfuscation methods, and there are methods to that very end just as the hardware authentication on the originating motherboard prevents the HDD from being hot swapped into another computer to gain access to the HDD via exploitation of the password in differing hardware.
A security precaution, built in, yes.
A pain in the arse for such a scenario as yours, yes.
08-04-2013 01:53 AM
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Geoff Online
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Post: #8
RE: Bypass Toshiba HDD Password
(08-04-2013 01:53 AM)Linuxephus™ Wrote:  Essentially certain models of computers where the HDD password is "registered" requires that exact same hardware to authenticate the HDD's password where the password was registered.
Not having the motherboard anymore, will in fact require you to use other obfuscation methods, and there are methods to that very end just as the hardware authentication on the originating motherboard prevents the HDD from being hot swapped into another computer to gain access to the HDD via exploitation of the password in differing hardware.
A security precaution, built in, yes.
A pain in the arse for such a scenario as yours, yes.

When you state the exact same hardware do you mean down to the serial name? or may it be possible to purchase a replica system to boot the hdd? ie same computer model/mobo.
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08-04-2013 02:27 AM
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Linuxephus Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Bypass Toshiba HDD Password
(08-04-2013 02:27 AM)Geoff Wrote:  When you state the exact same hardware do you mean down to the serial name? or may it be possible to purchase a replica system to boot the hdd? ie same computer model/mobo.

I would imagine from how Toshiba manufactures the motherboards, it would literally be unique to each motherboard's serialization and/or coding for the password authentication near as I can tell.
08-04-2013 04:41 AM
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Geoff Online
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RE: Bypass Toshiba HDD Password
im having some really bad luck with encryption this week

Some of my backups were on a truecrypt encrypted flash drive. Now im not 100% of the password, but im pretty sure. And ive tried all the other passwords i normally use... and its not letting me in. so i may have lost more than I thought

I may need to stop using encryption :/
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08-05-2013 10:30 AM
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necrojones Offline
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Post: #11
RE: Bypass Toshiba HDD Password
Did you contact Toshiba and ask them about placing the hard drive into another model of laptop? This might be your problem, as it might do a checksum compared to the satellite hardware. I would go to a computer shop and see if they have a satellite (same model) lying around, plugin your hard drive and see if it works.

I would have said do a cold boot attack if you still have the RAM chips but you already know your password...
08-15-2013 08:00 PM
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