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Old 05-13-2015, 11:28 AM   #1
mralk3
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Encrypted and write protected drive, cannot format


I obtained an external hard drive from my grandfather recently. It was encrypted and write protected using the included Windows software. I do not have Windows and the password for this encrypted hard drive was lost a few years ago. I would like to wipe this hard drive and purpose it as my back up drive.

I have not ran into this problem before so I am at a loss as to which software to use to wipe this drive. Gparted, fdisk, cfdisk all give read/write errors and I am unable to mount it. I understand why I cannot access the drive.

Could someone please direct me to some software that runs on Linux that will allow me to do a low level format of this hard drive to bypass the encryption and write protection?

Edit:

I realize that the drive is an ATA and I can use hdparm to erase it, but I do not know the password. How to I erase the disk without the password?

The hard drive is a Western Digital My Book Essential 2TB

Last edited by mralk3; 05-19-2015 at 03:19 AM.
 
Old 05-13-2015, 12:09 PM   #2
veerain
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You should contact manufacturer for password bypass/removal.
 
Old 05-13-2015, 01:18 PM   #3
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I think the above really means that the drive will not work unless you pay to have it unlocked somehow.
However, if you can find a command which just wipes the drive and does not disable it you might be able to use it again.
As I understand it some drives wipe themselves on intrusion and others wipe and brick themselves.
 
Old 05-13-2015, 03:55 PM   #4
jefro
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Don't format it. Delete partitions and make new one(s).
 
Old 05-13-2015, 04:22 PM   #5
AlexBB
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Try this. Or a similar model. Should wipe out all encryption forever. Tell if it worked.

Last edited by AlexBB; 05-13-2015 at 04:25 PM.
 
Old 05-13-2015, 04:34 PM   #6
michaelk
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I believe the drive uses hardware encryption so it isn't as easy as just wiping the drive. According to this thread you need a windows computer. I did read in another thread where the drive was removed from the case and was readable on linux but no indication if it could write.

http://community.wd.com/t5/WD-Softwa...ver/td-p/29520

The manual also has the instructions:
http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/librar...779-705053.pdf

Last edited by michaelk; 05-13-2015 at 04:46 PM.
 
Old 05-13-2015, 04:46 PM   #7
purevw
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This is from the Western Digital My Book troubleshooting page. I removed all but what pertains to your situation. The actual page is located at:

http://wdc.custhelp.com/app/answers/...91KmZtbQ%3D%3D

Please note that you may be required to use a Windows computer with the WD software to be able to format. The drive uses hardware encryption, which likely means that only the correct Western Digital software can access the firmware to approve the re-format. The web page associated with the above link shows WD software being used.
Quote:
If you canít remember your password then you will not be able to access the drive. However, you can reuse the drive after it has been formatted. Reformatting the drive will erase all the data on the unit, as well as remove the password from the drive. If you want to start over, check the I understand that reformatting my drive will delete all of my data and click Format. The drive will be reformatted and unlocked to start over again.
 
Old 05-13-2015, 06:36 PM   #8
mralk3
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Encrypted and write protected drive, cannot format

I appreciate the quick responses.

I am probably just going to leave this drive sit until the day comes when I install Windows again, which very well might be never. I got the drive for free and was hoping to salvage it but it seems to be a bit more involved than I had hoped it would be.

Thanks all for the information!
 
Old 05-15-2015, 10:09 AM   #9
colinetsegers
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Did you try to mount the drive as main HD of your computer? That's what I do in similar situations, whether the drives were encrypted or not, and a not working one going straight to the bin.
Stil worth a try to just acting as if you were installing a new system on a new drive. In a worst case scenario this will not work ;o)
Best wishes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mralk3 View Post
I appreciate the quick responses.

I am probably just going to leave this drive sit until the day comes when I install Windows again, which very well might be never. I got the drive for free and was hoping to salvage it but it seems to be a bit more involved than I had hoped it would be.
 
Old 05-15-2015, 03:14 PM   #10
jefro
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The manual almost seems to suggest that one can remove the drive and reuse it or use the windows application to access a means to format.

Guess it may be possible to run this app in wine.
 
Old 05-16-2015, 07:26 AM   #11
orhank
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Would dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/your/hard/drive bs=512 count=1 work? It will effectively wipe out the MBR leaving you with a virgin harddisk.
 
2 members found this post helpful.
Old 05-16-2015, 01:35 PM   #12
EDDY1
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Is it bitlocker or is it a hdd password.
I just had to repair a computer that was bitlocker encrypted, which is avaable in wins professional.
The wins disk wiuld repair or delete the partition. What worked for me was to erase with gnome-disk-utility & reinstall OS.
If it's hdd password you maybe able to use hiren's-bootcd.
 
Old 05-16-2015, 06:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orhank View Post
Would dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/your/hard/drive bs=512 count=1 work? It will effectively wipe out the MBR leaving you with a virgin harddisk.
I was a little sceptical about this in this particular situation as I was working on the idea that the drive may have some encryption built into the firmware which this would not be a workaround for.
However, having just spent a while messing about in both Windows* with the "hard drive manager" thing (whatever the hell they call that rubbish) and with gparted to no effect I ran "dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/mmcblk0 bs=1024 count=10" on an SD card I was having problems formatting and, of course, I can now format it fine using gparted. So, yes, good call and sorry for earlier scepticism.


*I was trying to fill it with WMA files to help a friend test something -- unless I was formatting with NTFS I'd use Linux for disk operations as the Windows tool frustrates me.
 
Old 05-17-2015, 06:41 PM   #14
mralk3
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It has a built in hardware chip with firmware that handles the locking and freezing of the drive. I haven't tried dd on the drive yet but I will look into that soon enough. I don't want 2TB of disk space to go to waste, even if I got it for free.
 
Old 05-17-2015, 08:01 PM   #15
EDDY1
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What OS are you using does it have "Disk Utility" or "Disks" is gnome your DE?
 
  


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