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Recover data from unbootable laptop

hdd spill laptop lenovo

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#1
prishur

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So there's this 2011 make Lenovo Z570 laptop that had a water spill about a month ago, after which it would not boot. I could turn it on by pressing the power button, but the boot screen won't show up. In an attempt to recover the data, I unscrewed the laptop, took the hard disk drive out and put it in an external enclosure, hoping to boot it from another system. The OS (I tried Windows and Linux) on the new system shows the external hard disk as unallocated space. It can not read any data on the drive.

 

The hard disk within the original laptop had an HDD password set through the bios menu. My guess is that the drive could be unreadable in the new system because of the password.

However, I do not know how to try unlocking the drive. Any suggestions on how to recover the data are welcome.

 

For the record, my hard disk had Windows 7 and Ubuntu 14.04 installed on it. 


Edited by prishur, 12 December 2015 - 10:17 PM.

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#2
paws

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Hi prishur and welcome to our forum

:welcome:

Sorry to hear about the damage to your hard drive.

By far and away the quickest method of dealing with this would be just to use your back up of all the important stuff and copy it across to your new working location.

 

There are other steps you could could consider taking, but just using your back up copies should be the first step.

 

Post back if you need any further information on this.

regards

paws


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#3
SleepyDude

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Hi,

 

The hard disk within the original laptop had an HDD password set through the bios menu. My guess is that the drive could be unreadable in the new system because of the password.

 

Did you have to type a password during boot on the original machine before selecting the Operating System to boot from?

 

If that is the case the you are right the data cannot be read from the HDD because it's encrypted by the Hard Disk Controller! Depending on the HDD brand and model I only found on the Net some ways to clean the drive and start over and even this isn't possible in all HDD's/models.

 

This type of security is considered Strong security.


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#4
prishur

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@SleepyDude yes my original machine had a boot time password after entering which I could access the grub menu which had the options for booting ubuntu or windows. The hard drive is Toshiba make and the serial number is MK6465GSX. Could you please point me to the website where you read about breaking the controller encryption. Thanks.

 

@paws.. Most of the data that I have on the drive has no backup. But there is nothing extremely critical in the data. 


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#5
SleepyDude

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Hi,

 

I didn't find nothing about breaking the encryption. Probably only the CSI or NSA guys can do it... :smashcomp:

 

What I found is that in some brands and models it's possible to reset the HDD but this erases all the data.


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#6
prishur

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@SleepyDude .. I see. Even then it would be useful for me to know about that. If all else fails i might end up trying to clean it up. It would be great if you could point me to the link where you found about the particular brands and models.


Edited by prishur, 13 December 2015 - 04:34 PM.

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#7
SleepyDude

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Found this **** maybe it works for you because you know the password

 

When I tried something like that I didn't have the password because some unknown jerk enabled the password at my work, we had to replace the hdd.


Edited by iammykyl, 13 December 2015 - 05:45 PM.
Removed link.

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#8
iammykyl

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Found this **** maybe it works for you because you know the password

 

When I tried something like that I didn't have the password because some unknown jerk enabled the password at my work, we had to replace the hdd.

Unfortunately, as per the TOU, members are not permitted to help in recoving/removing/bypassing any passwords.   Even though most members are genuine with their reason with regards to passwords, we cannot verify that the poster is the actual owner of the equipment.   The site has this policy to protect it from any possible legal ramifications.

 

Thank you for understanding. 


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#9
SleepyDude

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Found this **** maybe it works for you because you know the password

 

When I tried something like that I didn't have the password because some unknown jerk enabled the password at my work, we had to replace the hdd.

Unfortunately, as per the TOU, members are not permitted to help in recoving/removing/bypassing any passwords.   Even though most members are genuine with their reason with regards to passwords, we cannot verify that the poster is the actual owner of the equipment.   The site has this policy to protect it from any possible legal ramifications.

 

Thank you for understanding. 

 

 

I understand but the page include instructions to eventually unlock the hdd if the password is know if not all those default passwords on the page that are all over the internet don't work on recent Hard Drives.


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#10
prishur

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@iammykyl In my case, I don't need any password recovering or bypassing. Like SleepyDude says, I know the password and need help in recovering data from the drive. I don't think the mentioned link includes any ideas on how to crack a password. Further SleepyDude is just pointing to a link that already exists on the web, I don't understand how this is against the TOU. Seems unfair to me!


Edited by prishur, 13 December 2015 - 07:10 PM.

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#11
iammykyl

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Sorry, it does seem unfair, but the site specifically gives instructions, " How to remove password from your HDD"

If you are trying to boot into the laptop HDD from another computer, (even if it is seen) will not work as the laptop HDD has a different set of drivers installed in Device Manager.

I have been looking for a way to access the drive using Linux etc, came across this, may work as you do know the original password and if TrueCrypt was usedhttps://packetfactor...ncrypted-drive/

If Bit-locker was used, may have to find if a live Linux CD/USB can mount the drive, but still don't know if you would be able to enter the password. 

 

Did you try accessing the laptop drive from within the host OS?   Have a read of this help post,  and let us know what you think, 

http://iboyd.net/ind...ker-hard-drive/


Edited by iammykyl, 13 December 2015 - 10:40 PM.
Add further link

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#12
prishur

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The problem is that the drive is detected as unallocated by Windows and not detected at all by Ubuntu. Neither am i able to boot it as an external device. 

Anyway i will give the ideas mentioned above a shot and update in a couple of days.


Edited by prishur, 14 December 2015 - 06:38 AM.

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#13
iammykyl

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:thumbsup: 

Can you install in a spare bay, connect power first, boot computer, open disk management, note the used space of C. plug in the laptop drive.   If you are able to perform any tasks, make double sure you are working on the correct drive.

Good luck. 


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#14
iammykyl

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Gday.

\Were you able to get into that drive?


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#15
prishur

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No luck so far! I have not been actively trying lately. It seems like contacting the manufacturer is the only reasonable option now. Still, any other advice is appreciated.


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