View Full Version : [SOLVED] Ubuntu does not see WD1600BEVT password protected HDD from DELL XPS laptop

February 12th, 2010, 05:03 PM
Hi All!

I have been using a Dell XPS laptop with both windows vista and ubuntu 8.04 on it as a dual boot system. I have purchased the Dell laptop in 2008 Sept. since than the laptop crashed 3 times once the motherboard had to be replaced, the adapter went dead and now the whole machine just died with no sign of electricity in the system at all. Certainly the laptop is covered by warranty so they always fix my machine the only problem is that it is taking ages until they get it done. Last time I had to wait 1.5 months until I got my laptop back. The problem this time is that I don't have the time nor the patience to wait 1.5 months until they get it done as my thesis is due soon. Having said that 3 weeks of not backed up thesis work is on the HDD of my Dell laptop the HDD is fine so I asked the service center to get the HDD back to me and I went out and bought another laptop (Sony Vaio VPCCW1S1E) so I can continue working on my thesis.

The only problem is that I have used the feature of Dell's bios that allows you to password protect your HDD so probably as a result of that I am not able to see the HDD when I connect it to either a windows machine or a ubuntu 8.04 machine (I also have a really old desktop that runs ubuntu on it.)

Currently I'm creating the recovery discs for my Sony Vaio so soon Ubuntu 9.10 will be running on it.

My question:
Will I be able to access the information on my HDD? Is it possible to boot from the HDD (may be it will prompt me for the password when booting from it)? (Certainly I know the password so I am not asking to crack the HDD or anything I am looking for a solution that involves entering the password.)

What do I have:

Spire HandyBook External Case for 2.5" Hard Disk to connect the HDD to any machine.

The password protected WD1600BEVT Western Digital 160GB HDD with ubuntu 8.04, Windows Vista Business on it. I also have a 100GB FAT32 partition on it (which actually has the information I want to access).

The Sony Vaio laptop soon with Ubuntu 9.10 on it.

My old destop with 8.04 on it.

Sorry for the long post just wanted to explain everything in detail.

Any ideas are greatly appreciated.
Thank you!

February 13th, 2010, 08:38 AM
IBM/Lenovo machines have a similar feature, it locks down the hard drive. Basically the "lock" is done through hardware. Meaning you cannot use software to remove the "lock". You need to put your hard drive into a Dell XPS machine in order to do that, as far as I know. You can't really take a locked hard drive that has your type of security and expect to unlock it using another manufacturer's laptop. --This is as far as I know. I havent touched that many Dell machines with the lock enabled.

If I were you I would call dell again and demand a new computer right away or at least access to a machine that will help you remove the lock from your hard drive. You do have to remember what password you put in. If they wont help you then I suggest you talk to a manager and explain to them your situation and let them know the amount of frustation youre going through. If they wont budge then mention to them how much money you are spending in your studies and to do your thesis and also mention the time and if they would like to quantify the time and effort in terms of a monetary compensation.

It really sucks that you have to wait that long for your machine to get fixed though. If you're really concerned about your data then encrypt your hard drive via software.

February 14th, 2010, 01:05 PM
Hi Tucemiux!

Thanx for your answer! Well the thing is that Dell Customer Care works really well in the States but the problem is that here in Europe they only have customer care in certain countries and if you happen to be located in a country where they are not present, which is the situation with me than you are screwed. Cause no one really, no one will help you out. It is impossible to get to some one who is actually responsible for you. Everyone told me that they are responsible for US, UK, Ireland ... etc. customers only.
However I will probably try again at the shop where I bought it to do something we will see.


I called the service and they did speed up the process so I got it back after not too long!