Unlocking HDD ATA password

Polytropon freebsd at edvax.de
Mon Oct 8 21:29:37 UTC 2012

I have a question regarding the use (or the "make usable again")
of hard disks locked with ATA password: I have a Samsung disk
(2.5" with PATA interface) and approx. 160 GB capacity which
is locked by some ATA password which nobody knows.

What tool is to be used in FreeBSD to transmit the password to
the unit in order to "wake it up"?

The disk is recognized by the system properly, but no "da" device
will be created, instead error messages are printed (as it is to
be expected for a locked drive). With some fiddling (didn't document
it, sorry) I finally got a /dev/da0 device, but could not obtain
any further information (like via "fdisk da0").

On Linux, there's hdparm (with options like --security-unlock),
but what is the FreeBSD for that?

For comparison: http://linux.die.net/man/8/hdparm

Basically, I don't want to read what's on the disk, I'm just not
accepting to throw precious 160 GB away for nothing. So if there
is a tool to simply remove the password and maybe destroy all data
on the disk, it will be fine.

And: Yes, I've already read about "cracking" the password by using
respective "evil" tools, like, dealing with error codes, password
hashes, hex dumps of specific "hardware sectors", but it looks like
too much work to just get those 160 GB. But I did learn a lot. :-)

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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