Dell Latitude D600, HDD Security, Replace HDD?

Discussion in 'Portable Devices & Gadgets' started by Punkrulz, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. Punkrulz

    Punkrulz Somewhat eXPerienced

    Messages:
    790
    Location:
    Woodbury, NJ
    Hey guys, I'm asking around regarding this for my friend who's laptop has now become a paperweight. I don't remember this information from my Dell Warranty certification. Unfortunately his father purchased the Dell laptop for him off of ebay approximately 6 months ago. He's never had a problem with it, no security was on it or anything. Recently he decided he was going to dabble with Windows 7 (against my judgment) and he wound up breaking his laptop and wanted me to reformat it.

    The day of having me come over to do so, he reported that he was getting the HDD security screen and needed a password. My first hunch was that someone had messed with his laptop, however he swears up and down that no one would have accessed his laptop, and no one has copped up to it. Since he isn't the original owner of the laptop, Dell will not assist him with the backdoor password.

    The part I can't remember: Will replacing the hard drive in effect remove the error? Or will the error persist? Can this be replaced by replacing the hard drive, and if so is there a specific kind of hard drive that needs to be purchased that would work with the laptop?

    As always, thanks guys!
     
  2. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

    Messages:
    7,027
    Location:
    Maidenhead, Berkshire, UK
    remove the cmos battery for 30+ seconds.

    Failing that tell Dell it was bought off ebay, they cannot legally prevent you using something sold on.
     
  3. graeme86

    graeme86 OSNN Junior Addict

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Canada
    I don't know about the Dell system for sure but when somebody put a password on a hard drive in one of my laptops (IBM) i just swapped the harddrive and was good to go.
     
  4. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

    Messages:
    5,291
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    1) Contact the original owner and ask if there was a password. Also, ask if they will provide a letter confirming resale of the laptop. You are legally required to notify Dell, and possibly MS, if ownership is transfered since the new owner is assuming the Windows and Bios liscences. You liscence software, you do not own it. The hardware is yours, but without bios and an OS...

    2) If it is a password stored in the Dell MB security chip you are screwed. I have seen some very risky hardware hacks to reset them (results are questionable). If it is just security in the HD boot sector then drive replacement cures it. I'm not even sure if there is a backdoor on Dell systems. Usually, Dell requires the liscenced owner to return the Laptop for "repair" with a cost associated. I went through this with a buddy 2 years ago. He ended up just getting a new laptop.

    Has the Dell restore sector been wiped also?
    Are there a set of Dell Restore disks?

    Ahh, the joys of Ebay purchases. If I buy used it is from friends or co-workers.
     
  5. Punkrulz

    Punkrulz Somewhat eXPerienced

    Messages:
    790
    Location:
    Woodbury, NJ
    Yeah tell me about it LeeJend. The strange thing though is that he's had this for quite a few months. The laptop has definitely been turned off since then and has not been in Windows this entire time... so why would the password just mysteriously activate himself? I don't think Windows or a virus could activate it, but then again there are stranger things out there. He is going to attempt to contact the seller though I do believe that will not result in any promising options.

    I'll also ask him about the CD's. I don't recall if it even allows him to view BIOS at all, since it goes almost immediately to the secured hard drive screen.
     
  6. Electronic Punk

    Electronic Punk Administrator Staff Member Political User Folding Team

    Messages:
    18,590
    Location:
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    I guess trying another HDD is a possibiltiy, if you can find one as the D600 used the old IDE whereas Sata is all over the place. It uses a easy to deconstruct caddy so you will soon find out if the disk is what is protected.