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Old 03-26-2004, 03:40 PM   #1
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Angry accessing a password protected external hard disk drive

I had a compaq laptop, and the motherboard died, so i whipped out the HDD and put it in some casing. However, the OS has various log in names and passwords, which i wasnt able to remove as the motherboard died too quickly, and now i cant access all my documents. My new laptop although lovely wont let me boot from a USB device in the bios, and the hard drive pins arent the right shape/size to fit my new hard drives dock. Im not really too computer literate but with a few instruction i should manage it the external HDD has XP Home installed and the new laptop's hard drive has XP Pro. Any help would be much appreciated, thanks
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Old 03-26-2004, 04:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: accessing a password protected external hard disk drive

There is not much you can do. You may have to re-install XP which would leave your files in tact.
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Old 03-26-2004, 04:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: accessing a password protected external hard disk drive

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Originally Posted by David Lindon
There is not much you can do. You may have to re-install XP which would leave your files in tact.
Couldn't he try a Windows Recovery, isntead of a re-install


Its worth a shot atleast
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Old 03-26-2004, 05:01 PM   #4
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Nah, sounds like a good idea if it would work but I doubt it - you'll probably just have to reinstall Windows.

Word of advice though; do not rely on Windows to keep your passwords, always remember every single one of them. It is much better. If you get too forgetful of your passwords and Windows does something wrong then you're screwed.
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Old 03-26-2004, 05:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: accessing a password protected external hard disk drive

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Originally Posted by TheSickness
Couldn't he try a Windows Recovery, isntead of a re-install


Its worth a shot atleast
He has nothing to boot from.
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Old 03-27-2004, 07:04 AM   #6
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GAH! For one Im a girl , for another i know every single password for every single password protected thing I have. Reinstalling windows will do nothing. The windows on my new laptop works perfectly well, as did the OS on the now external hard disk drive, but nothing will allow me to boot from the external drive. The reason the old HDD is still password protected is that the old laptop's motherboard crashed and burned before i had time to take off passwords or do anything. If i could boot from the external HDD as the primary HDD i could put in my passwords (which i remember, thank you), then get into to settings and take off all the passwords and my ultimate aim would be to take off important and sentimental documents, reformat it and use it as a USB mass storage device for MP3s or whatever. I suppose basically my only option is to try and hack my own hard disk drive to get through the password problem (because i cant enter a password on startup on that hard disk drive, it just tells me access to my documents is denied)
i clearly didnt make a huge amount of sense in my first post, blame it on the fact that im a girl with no computer knowledge. I cant even reinstall windows on the external as i'd need to boot from it. Oh well. I can keep hoping i suppose

Thanks for your help so far. I think it might be a reformat and lose all documents job at this rate Unless i can find someone whose BIOS allows them to boot primarily from a USB device. Mine wont, even though it can boot from the floppy disk drive, when it doesnt even have a floppy disk drive. Typical.

Loz
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Old 03-27-2004, 07:10 AM   #7
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Default Re: accessing a password protected external hard disk drive

Can'y you take in to a computer store and get them to boot from it and remove passwords etc or take it round a friends house.
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Old 03-27-2004, 08:03 AM   #8
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Default Re: accessing a password protected external hard disk drive

So far Ive found nobody with the capabilities. The computer shop in my town is useless, they like to send everything away and charge you insane amounts of money for doing nothing at all. Will keep trying though, apparently you need a fairly recent motherboard to boot from an external hdd, and my friends all have fairly old motherboards. Thanks for your help.
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Old 03-27-2004, 10:18 AM   #9
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Default Re: accessing a password protected external hard disk drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lozling
GAH! For one Im a girl , for another i know every single password for every single password protected thing I have. Reinstalling windows will do nothing. The windows on my new laptop works perfectly well, as did the OS on the now external hard disk drive, but nothing will allow me to boot from the external drive. The reason the old HDD is still password protected is that the old laptop's motherboard crashed and burned before i had time to take off passwords or do anything. If i could boot from the external HDD as the primary HDD i could put in my passwords (which i remember, thank you), then get into to settings and take off all the passwords and my ultimate aim would be to take off important and sentimental documents, reformat it and use it as a USB mass storage device for MP3s or whatever. I suppose basically my only option is to try and hack my own hard disk drive to get through the password problem (because i cant enter a password on startup on that hard disk drive, it just tells me access to my documents is denied)
i clearly didnt make a huge amount of sense in my first post, blame it on the fact that im a girl with no computer knowledge. I cant even reinstall windows on the external as i'd need to boot from it. Oh well. I can keep hoping i suppose

Thanks for your help so far. I think it might be a reformat and lose all documents job at this rate Unless i can find someone whose BIOS allows them to boot primarily from a USB device. Mine wont, even though it can boot from the floppy disk drive, when it doesnt even have a floppy disk drive. Typical.

Loz
First I apologise for thinking you were a man. Secondly, you can't boot from an External Drive as far as I know on any computer. And if loosing your data is a problem then what I would recommend is to find a Computer shop where they will be able to take your Hard Drive out of your Laptop and take that Data out - putting it on a CD for you to use later (If you're not too sure about them then tell them exactly what you want done and if they look confused for a couple of seconds don't do it!). Don't get them to reinstall windows because they'll make you pay too much! I would! Then all you need to do is install Windows.

If you're basically ok with loosing your data or can't find a competent computer shop then just reinstall windows; but when it comes up on the screen and if it has the choice to just remaster the current Windows then that would keep all of your information safe. You wuld only have to reinstall the games.

Couple of choices, hope they're helpful.
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Old 03-27-2004, 04:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: accessing a password protected external hard disk drive

I dont need windows on the hard drive at all. I want to use it as a blank store, in the end. The data isnt important but its sentimental stuff, piccies of me and my boyfriend, friends, and big files like movies and lots of MP3s. Im not sure they'd get them on CDs, dvds maybe, but in my sh*tty little town it'd cost too much. I basically need to do it myself or just reformat the drive and lose three years of, hmm, a record of my life i guess. Ah well. Thanks for all you help anyway
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Old 03-27-2004, 07:32 PM   #11
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Well, you probably won't have to loose your data - just put the Windows Install CD in there and you will be able to fix the install without formatting it - I have done it before and it has worked. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't. It probably will.
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Old 03-28-2004, 09:07 AM   #12
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For one i dont have the windows CD, for another, i cannot install anything on the drive, as it is EXTERNAL, recognised only as a USB mass storage device, not the primary hard disk drive. Messing around with installing thingd would only affect my INTERNAL, primary hard disk drive, which has nothing wrong with it whatsoever, is only a few days old and does not need a reinstall. To be honest, neither does the external wrong. I must repeat again, there is nothing wrong with the external hard disk drive, or the OS on it, or the files or the components or anything. The only problem i have is i need to be able to log into that hard drive at startup, which i cant do as i cant boot with it as primary. I know my passwords, and all my log in names, but because i cant boot with it i cant put them in at start up. Even if i could install im not sure it would do any good whatsoever, as i would still need to run it once as primary.
my only option is hacking my own hard disk drive, which i know nothing about but as is NTFS ive heard its incredibly difficult, or find someone with a computer with a new motherboard who can boot from USB. Ive heard from many UK sources that on new motherboards its possible although at times unstable. I dont want an OS on the hard drive anyway, once i can get the passwords off i intend to save the documents i want and reformat it as an empty store.
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Old 03-28-2004, 10:50 AM   #13
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Default Re: accessing a password protected external hard disk drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lozling
For one i dont have the windows CD, for another, i cannot install anything on the drive, as it is EXTERNAL, recognised only as a USB mass storage device, not the primary hard disk drive. Messing around with installing thingd would only affect my INTERNAL, primary hard disk drive, which has nothing wrong with it whatsoever, is only a few days old and does not need a reinstall. To be honest, neither does the external wrong. I must repeat again, there is nothing wrong with the external hard disk drive, or the OS on it, or the files or the components or anything. The only problem i have is i need to be able to log into that hard drive at startup, which i cant do as i cant boot with it as primary. I know my passwords, and all my log in names, but because i cant boot with it i cant put them in at start up. Even if i could install im not sure it would do any good whatsoever, as i would still need to run it once as primary.
my only option is hacking my own hard disk drive, which i know nothing about but as is NTFS ive heard its incredibly difficult, or find someone with a computer with a new motherboard who can boot from USB. Ive heard from many UK sources that on new motherboards its possible although at times unstable. I dont want an OS on the hard drive anyway, once i can get the passwords off i intend to save the documents i want and reformat it as an empty store.
Ok, you could try this. Connect the HD (the one you are talking about) to another computer.

Boot up and go into windows normally. Go into My Computer and there should be a new HD icon there. Go into it and you should be able to get anything you need for it. Then (if you are using XP) go back into My Computer, right click and format it.

Im not saying this will work but as i actually read the whole thread this time, i understood what the problem was, and this is what i done when i kinda had a problem like this with an external HD

Hope this helps
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Old 03-28-2004, 12:04 PM   #14
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Default Re: accessing a password protected external hard disk drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lozling
For one i dont have the windows CD, for another, i cannot install anything on the drive, as it is EXTERNAL, recognised only as a USB mass storage device, not the primary hard disk drive. Messing around with installing thingd would only affect my INTERNAL, primary hard disk drive, which has nothing wrong with it whatsoever, is only a few days old and does not need a reinstall. To be honest, neither does the external wrong. I must repeat again, there is nothing wrong with the external hard disk drive, or the OS on it, or the files or the components or anything. The only problem i have is i need to be able to log into that hard drive at startup, which i cant do as i cant boot with it as primary. I know my passwords, and all my log in names, but because i cant boot with it i cant put them in at start up. Even if i could install im not sure it would do any good whatsoever, as i would still need to run it once as primary.
my only option is hacking my own hard disk drive, which i know nothing about but as is NTFS ive heard its incredibly difficult, or find someone with a computer with a new motherboard who can boot from USB. Ive heard from many UK sources that on new motherboards its possible although at times unstable. I dont want an OS on the hard drive anyway, once i can get the passwords off i intend to save the documents i want and reformat it as an empty store.
So, I'm not entirely sure what you want help on now?!

You can't boot from the External Drive - we've already worked that out as it is impossible. So if everything is working ok, there is nothing wrong. Your original question was vague - you simply asked for help.

What is it exactly that you want to do?
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Old 03-28-2004, 03:03 PM   #15
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Default Re: accessing a password protected external hard disk drive

The problem was the hard drive wanted a password put into it on startup, which i couldnt do as i couldnt boot. FYI, ive since discovered its perfectly possible to boot externally, you can even boot form a key drive, and my mobo would let me boot from a floppy drive. What i wanted was a way to get round that fact that originally, the hard drive was a primary drive, with an OS with log ins and passwords. Because i could no longer log into my account through startup, my files were inaccessible with the drive connected externally. However, finally someone understood what i meant, and it was sorted, no reinstalls, no connecting it externally to other computers, as none of that would have worked. Thanks for all your help anyway.
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Old 03-28-2004, 04:56 PM   #16
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Default Re: accessing a password protected external hard disk drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lozling
The problem was the hard drive wanted a password put into it on startup, which i couldnt do as i couldnt boot. FYI, ive since discovered its perfectly possible to boot externally, you can even boot form a key drive, and my mobo would let me boot from a floppy drive. What i wanted was a way to get round that fact that originally, the hard drive was a primary drive, with an OS with log ins and passwords. Because i could no longer log into my account through startup, my files were inaccessible with the drive connected externally. However, finally someone understood what i meant, and it was sorted, no reinstalls, no connecting it externally to other computers, as none of that would have worked. Thanks for all your help anyway.
Ah, well you've got me there!

What I think you may need to do if set the Hard Drive which is in the Computer to Secondary. But I have no idea about External Drives at all - never had one because they're so expensive compared to internal ones and they are not as fast. I hope someone else here knows how though; I don't like to see someone not get an answer!
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Old 03-29-2004, 08:03 AM   #17
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Default Re: accessing a password protected external hard disk drive

Youre ok, Ive got myself all sorted now. I had almost got the the answer myself but a bit of an extra nudge from someone with know how meant i could claim ownership of the entire hard drive, thus disabling the previous user accounts on the hard drive. Yeah i would rather nice internal hard drives i have to say, but having a laptop makes that hard, however i have a nice new 60GB internal hard drive and this is a 20GB external MP3 and movie store. They are slower but USB 2 makes them bearable.
Actually i do have another totally unrelated question, how do i tell if my dvd writer is + or - or both? I cant see anything on the drive and so far poking about in the hardware settings has proved futile. Also a wee explanation of what the difference is would be nice, probably all very obvious stuff but im a girl with a laptop, nuff said
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Old 03-29-2004, 11:06 AM   #18
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I don't think it says it anywhere; I can't find it one mine. When did you buy it? Maybe that would help somebody else work it out - the rise of new DVD Writers so quickly from the point where just the idea was amazing to me last June. Is it a DVD-RAM? That would mean its both - but thats all I know.
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Old 03-29-2004, 11:21 AM   #19
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Default Re: accessing a password protected external hard disk drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lozling
Youre ok, Ive got myself all sorted now. I had almost got the the answer myself but a bit of an extra nudge from someone with know how meant i could claim ownership of the entire hard drive, thus disabling the previous user accounts on the hard drive. Yeah i would rather nice internal hard drives i have to say, but having a laptop makes that hard, however i have a nice new 60GB internal hard drive and this is a 20GB external MP3 and movie store. They are slower but USB 2 makes them bearable.
Actually i do have another totally unrelated question, how do i tell if my dvd writer is + or - or both? I cant see anything on the drive and so far poking about in the hardware settings has proved futile. Also a wee explanation of what the difference is would be nice, probably all very obvious stuff but im a girl with a laptop, nuff said
Don't really know. I expect it would say on the box if you still have it
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Old 03-29-2004, 11:59 AM   #20
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Default Re: accessing a password protected external hard disk drive

it came from a lesser known internet based company (though the machine is a beast) so the box is totally unbranded. Its a few weeks old only so i suspect it'll be +-
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