View Full Version : IBM Travelstar Drive Locked

June 4th, 2009, 12:02
Hi everyone,
I got a 2.5" drive at a boot sale and it is drive locked.
What happens is the drive parameters are detected and then it displays a message asking for the pass word. It gives you 5 attemps then locks you out so you have to reboot to get another 5 attempts.

Searching the net I found some info :-
There are two levels of password - a user and a master these are stored in encrypted form in an eprom on the hard drive.

There are various progs on the net that claim to be able to wipe or reset these passwords. I have victoria which is on ultimate boot cd.

One problem is that the bios detects the drive lock before I can boot to CDRom and if I disable the slave IDE them it does not see the hard drive.

I found some details for another IDE drive about Drive lock and it said that the master password is set to all characters 20h (ascii space)
so I tried 30 spaces but had no luck.

How do you go about talking to the hard drive before bios kicks in ?
One suggestion on the net was to find a motherboard that did not support drive lock. I have several 386 boards could try one of these.

Has anybody messed with this stuff any help or ideas appreciated.

June 4th, 2009, 15:13
Long shot: There are very cheap (~US $15) interface converter IDE to USB, which you can connect 'hot swap' to an already booted computer. IDE (PATA) is not designed for hot connection while SATA, firewire and USB are. Now, the real question is praying that the victoria util is able to connect to the HD via USB. . .

June 4th, 2009, 17:35
It's also possible that you could get a similar drive, and swap the controller boards. I think some of the newer drives connect the drive to the controller board via the use of "pogo pins", so there aren't really any wires to disconnect.

June 4th, 2009, 18:20
You can get Victoria for Windows here: http://majorgeeks.com/Victoria_for_Windows_d5688.html . Apparently it's AES-128 crypto, by the way.

June 4th, 2009, 18:49
my current understanding around this is that the only way is to swap the eeprom with one that doesn't have a password set. if you manage to solve this via a software-only method though (such as with victoria), please let us know.

June 6th, 2009, 02:03
I found this info in relating to another Travelstar drive :
Vendor Unique Functions
Drive Lock Function
Drive Lock is powerful security feature. With a drive lock password,user can prevent unauthorized access to hard disk drive even if thedrive is removed from the computer.

New commands are supported for this feature as below.
- Set Password ('F1'h)
- Unlock ('F2'h)
- Erase Prepare ('F3'h)
- Erase Unit ('F4'h)
- Freeze Lock ('F4'h)
- Disable Password ('F6'h)

The Master Password is set to all ASCII blanks (20H) during manufacturing and the lock function is disabled.

The system manufacturer/dealer can set a new Master Password using the Set Password command, without enabling the lock function.

Initial setting user password by System user When a user password is set, the drive will automatically enter lock
mode the next time the drive is powered on.

Operation from POR after User Password is set When drive lock is enabled, the drive rejects media access command
until an Unlock command is successfully completed.

Password Lost
If the user password is forgotten and High level security is set, the user can't access any data. However the drive can be unlocked using the master password.

If a user forgets the user password and Maximum security level is set, data access is impossible. However the drive can be unlocked using the Erase Unit command to unlock the drive and erase all user data.

Disavowed may well be right, there are adverts on the net for a kit of parts and software to build an eprom reader.
It seems that you have to unsolder and remove the eprom read it re-write it and solder it back - all without trashing it !!

I just thought there must be a way of doing this with software, there is obviously a way to "read " the contents as it does that to compare the password you entered with the password stored. And as the Password can be set by the user (maybe on an IBM machine only) there must be a way to write to it. Its only 6.5Gig and cost me $1.50 so its not the end of the world if I throw it away. I'll keep trying and loking for info.

June 6th, 2009, 11:16
Oh, well, but let me get this straight: those 'commands' are keyboard shortcuts? If so, they should work if you press the key in the password prompt screen.

June 7th, 2009, 03:27
Thanks Hering, I did try the commands at the password prompt screen. They are Hex values.
I'm wondering if those commands relate to some piece of IBM setup software ? I've found a reference to powering on the 'dead' IBM machine whilst holding down the F1 key to go into BIOS setup then selecting passwords.
This is all a journey of exploration. I have found the eprom read/write sofware on the net and also a prog to decode the encryption.

I took the control board off and FrankRizzo is right it does sit on pogo pins. I need to put the board under a magnifier to be able to read the chip ID. And its going to take some micro soldering to fix the wires to the chip pins but i'll give it a try.