04-30-2011 08:31 PM
K, so after hours of searching Google for solutions and trying a few things here and there, I've resorted to just simply asking the people here that might actually know how to help me....imagine that.
My question is kind-of 2 fold so please bear with me.
First off, to make a long story short and hopefully answer any questions the pro's might have, I recently bought a Toshiba NB505-N508GN mini notebook. Very cool looking little computer...hopefully I can get her running. I purchased it from a salvage store, so not from any original owner nor a dept store like Best Buy or anything like that. Basically its a place the takes all the returns from places like that and sells them as-is. So that's where you guys come in....hopefully.
I'll make this very brief and answer more specific questions as needed I guess. Basically, I turn it on and almost immediately get a "Please Enter Built-in HDD/SSD User Password" prompt. After trying a few obvious things, can't seem to get lucky enough and guess it after about 50 attempts. No, this is not a BIOS password as I'm able to enter setup and change those passwords. It's very specifically a HDD password issue. Being relatively computer savvy, I took out the HD, booted it and no prompt for password, just says it can't find an OS.
So here's my concerns. Honestly, I couldn't care less about whats currently on the HD. I would just assune wipe the thing clean from the get go and re-install a fresh OS. From what I've read, this whole HDD Password thing is a built in security feature to deter thieves from gaining access to info. A) I'm not a thief...I bought the comp legit through a salvage company and B) again, I don't give two you know whats what is on the HD...I just want it to work.
Now from a lot of what I read on other forums from other "tech" sites...not this one....they said even getting a new HD and slapping it in may not fix the issue. It could actually end up locking the new out-of-box HD leaving you back and the original problem. And secondly, lets say I do that and it works fine, in comes question two....what about the "recovery partition" on the factory Toshiba HD? Seeing as how this little gem doesn't have a CD drive makes it difficult, I know not impossible. but a real pain the tuckus to get an OS on it, not to mention Windows 7 that came with it stock.
Hopefully that was enough but not too much info. If more is needed please PLEASE let me know. Again, I just wanna wipe it to the point that I can re-install Windows whatever and don't give a darn about whats currrently on there. I read, on this site, that there may be a way around it. What do I need to do to get into the Toshiba circle of trust and receive that bit of info. Or even for that matter if there is a backdoor password for HDD passwords that would be awesome! Unlikely I know but I would be forever grateful.
And worst case senerio, I've got to drop even more money on this baby, do I really run the risk of locking a brand spankin new drive by sticking it in here or is that not really the case? And whats my best case solution for that recovery partition issue?
Thanks so much for your help guys! I look forward to being in the Toshiba family!
Petty Officer First Class, US Coast Guard
05-01-2011 04:31 AM
You might as well make up your mind now and get a new HD to install in this laptop. First, what gets me is that you say that you were able to boot it, is this in another machine ? I gather this to be the case.
Let me state that if you do have a HD PW set somehow, there is no way around it unless you know the PW for any attempt to use it at all. The PW is written to the logic board on the HD and is not a machine thingee, it is strictly a HD one. The process is as follows : you turn the machine on, the BIOS in a CMOS is "shocked" to life, it knows to look for HD C:\, it does. There is a flag set in sector 0,0 to look for a PW on sector 0,1 and the process stops there until the PW is input. It gets the PW, goes back to the rest of sector 0,0 and proceeds. The PW is carried with the HD !
You say that you booted it somehow ??? If so, there is a BIOS fault. Try another HD and see if you have the same problem. I toyed with this HD PW for a while, I had two identical Thinkpads ( A & B ) and protected one HD with a PW, I got it to run fine then I interchanged the HDs from TP-A to TP-B and vice versa. I was able to boot both fine but the one with its new HD ( HD A in TP-B ) needed the PW in the second Thinkpad. See ?
There is from Hitachi, a 127 page.pdf on this should you be interested. But if you really got it running in another machine, you do not have a HD PW problem. I can not say that if you flash the BIOS it would erase that error, keep asking.
Have a great day and thanks for the CG. Jean.
05-01-2011 09:09 AM
Let's try this one more time before I throw not only my new mini out opf the window but my desktop as well....
And the even more abbriviated version.....now that I can copy and paste.
Never "booted" it. Wrong choice of words. It started. I yanked the HD....started it...no password issue. Never tried it in another machine. Don't have one in order to. I know it's the HD. Now, here's my concerns....
I buy a new one, stick it in, is it going to work? I've read in various other places that doing this could cause the new HD to lock as well. Legit concern or scare tactics used by these "recovery companies" so that you'll just use their service?
Secondly, the recovery partition...I buy a new HD...its not going to be on there. So ok, I buy the USB sticks or whatever to re-do it. Although possible I know, from what I understand a serious pain in the you know what to do it...and not only that, by the time I shell out the cash for a new HD AND the recovery sticks plus the original purchase price of the computer to begin with...I might as well just go buy another brand new comp from best buy or whatever. I mean its only a $300 computer to begin with out of the box ready to go.
All replies and suggestions are very appriciated and welcome. Please reply with you opinions and/or suggestions or feel free to e-mail me at Chewy13@gmail.com. thanks again!
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