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Disk drive password

T60/T61 series specific matters only
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JBUK
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Disk drive password

#1 Post by JBUK » Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:46 pm

Anyone else noticed this ? I have a Samsung SSD that has a password set and it works fine for security in whichever T61 I fit it into. It is a drive that I swap between Thinkpads but there are two strange things with this.
1. It will not work in T60s because the correct password is not recognised.
2. The password can be switched on and off only in the T61 it was created in.

I am a bit puzzled by this because if the T61 dies on me I have no way of switching off the password.

I have a couple of passworded HDDs here and they work and the passwords can be changed in any T61 and also work in T60s. I am not sure if the password can be changed in a T60 when set on a T61 but I think this does work.

Thoughts ? Confirmation anyone?
Where to begin......
390X,700mhz
2 x T20
2 X T23 + 6 breaking for parts
1 X T23 with Samsung 840 SSD and XP Great combination !
4 X T60
5 X T61
2 X T601 15"

dr_st
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Re: Disk drive password

#2 Post by dr_st » Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:49 pm

I remember a similar discussion before - certain Thinkpads hash the password in a non-standard way, so it can only be used/removed on the same model it was set.
Something like this:
https://github.com/jethrogb/lenovo-password

I had no idea that the algorithm varies between models. However. what you say is even more peculiar - you have only a specific T61 where it fully works, although it partially works (can be unlocked but not unset) in other T61s?

Have you tried clearing the password in that T61, setting a password somewhere else, and then seeing if that "problematic" T61 can unlock it?
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG, X61 7673-V2V
T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

JBUK
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Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2004 5:29 am
Location: Oxford UK

Re: Disk drive password

#3 Post by JBUK » Fri Dec 07, 2018 4:42 pm

Thanks for the github link. Maybe that will be of some use if the worst happens. But generally the bios will not even recognise a passworded disk without the correct password so I suppose there must be another way of getting to the disk.
But no, this SSD will only allow its password to be unset on the originating Tpad. I have two T61s here that I have tried it on, same on both. It can be used i.e. booted from on any T61.
My understanding is that the Bios writes the password to the disk firmware so maybe the Samsung firmware is overly locked down in the interests of security ??
Where to begin......
390X,700mhz
2 x T20
2 X T23 + 6 breaking for parts
1 X T23 with Samsung 840 SSD and XP Great combination !
4 X T60
5 X T61
2 X T601 15"

dr_st
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Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:20 am

Re: Disk drive password

#4 Post by dr_st » Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:31 am

It may be that the SSD firmware implements another protection level that attempts to tie the drive to the machine. I could conceivably see it as another level of data protection, but of course it has grim results if the machine itself dies.

Which SSD model is it exactly?

What exactly happens when you try to unset the password? Does it say that the password is wrong or gives some other error?
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG, X61 7673-V2V
T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

JBUK
Sophomore Member
Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2004 5:29 am
Location: Oxford UK

Re: Disk drive password

#5 Post by JBUK » Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:03 pm

dr_st wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 1:31 am

Which SSD model is it exactly?

What exactly happens when you try to unset the password? Does it say that the password is wrong or gives some other error?
Its a Samsung Evo 850 500gb. There is no error. The option in the Bios to change the User password is greyed out.

I am wondering if this is specific to my SSD or to all SSDs of whatever make. But I only have this one Samsung at the moment so I cannot do any further investigating.
Where to begin......
390X,700mhz
2 x T20
2 X T23 + 6 breaking for parts
1 X T23 with Samsung 840 SSD and XP Great combination !
4 X T60
5 X T61
2 X T601 15"

RealBlackStuff
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Re: Disk drive password

#6 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat Dec 08, 2018 12:11 pm

Remove the password, that way you'll be 'future-proof'.
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