Take a look at our
ThinkPads.com HOME PAGE
For those who might want to contribute to the blog, start here: Editors Alley Topic
Then contact Bill with a Private Message

T41 (2373-TG5) with password protected 2.5" IDE disk

T4x series specific matters only
Post Reply
Message
Author
Hippogriff
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:36 am
Location: Barnsley, UK

T41 (2373-TG5) with password protected 2.5" IDE disk

#1 Post by Hippogriff » Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:39 am

Please bear with me on the subject... :)

My T41 appears to have kicked the bucket, in a video sense... all I get on the display (external or LCD) is garbled stuff. Can't seem to get it back, no matter how firmly I press certain places on the chassis, or hit it (gently). Otherwise, in all other respects, it still works.

My HDD has one of those passwords set, you get prompted when you first power it on... the disk is a 40GB ATA / IDE 2.5" (Hitachi Travelstar, 5400RPM)... I know the password and I can enter it when prompted, hit ENTER and eventually it boots into Windows (can hear it) but I can't do anything useful, obviously. I back up my data quite regularly / ad hoc - last time was about a month ago, so it's not the end of the world, but I'd really like to get the delta between yesterday and a month ago if I can.

I took the HDD out of the T41 and put it into a IDE to USB converter... I tested this on a 3.5" HDD I had hanging around, and it works on my Windows 10 PC... but even though the 2.5" IDE disk "bings" its arrival, it isn't assigned a driver letter and it appears in Disk Management as "uninitialised"... this is not unexpected... the password contained within the HDD is stopping it working. I totally get that.

I'm curious if anyone has an idea of how I might be able to get access to this disk again? I guess the preferred option would be to repair my T41's display / graphics adapter, but I'm kinda unsure how I might go about that, with it being so old, or borrow one from someone if I knew someone... another option might be to find another T41 (or even a T40 or T42?) on eBay and plug that disk in to see if it prompts me for a password and might even boot up (good chance, right?)... but I wanted to know whether it was possible to connect this 2.5" IDE HDD to another PC via my adapter (which basically morphs it into an external USB disk, I think) and then use a utility to "unlock" the HDD, as I know the password, so I don't want to crack it. Nothing nefarious here, just stupidity... and belief my T41 would never fail! :o

I tried Victoria HDD, and it sees the disk when attached via the adapter, but the Service > Security Operations menu is greyed-out so I cannot do what the functionality implies - enter the correct password and unlock it. Another option is the Linux utility hdparm (also available on Windows in some form) that has switches like --security-unlock <password> and --security-disable <password>. I haven't got to trying this yet, there's also the option of using removable media to boot to a Linux recovery image... I'm weighing-up what my best course of action is.

So, therefore, I'm looking for thoughts from others... I understand the strictness of the HDD password (and also, now / more, why it's not such a great idea) and why I can't see my data when I plug it into another computer... but I know the password, I want to get at my data... but am I tied to using this T41 (or another, or a similar machine) to be able to?

As always, grateful for any thoughts and any experience anyone might have to share...

RealBlackStuff
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 20765
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Dublin, Éire
Contact:

Re: T41 (2373-TG5) with password protected 2.5" IDE disk

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:18 am

Leave the HDD back in, cold-start and press F1 to go into BIOS.
Select Security/Password/Harddisk Password and then Disable
If that works, you should be able to put the HDD in an external caddy or another IDE laptop.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And pigs CAN fly!
Check out The Boardroom for Parts, Mods and Other Services.

"Computers don't lie, but liars can compute." (Terry Hayes)

Hippogriff
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:36 am
Location: Barnsley, UK

Re: T41 (2373-TG5) with password protected 2.5" IDE disk

#3 Post by Hippogriff » Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:32 am

I cannot discern what is on the screen to understand what it is that I am doing... if I could then I would have done that already, I can assure you. :D

JPOESQ
**SENIOR** Member
**SENIOR** Member
Posts: 226
Joined: Sun May 16, 2004 2:26 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA
Contact:

Re: T41 (2373-TG5) with password protected 2.5" IDE disk

#4 Post by JPOESQ » Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:41 am

Unfortunately if you set the HDD password in the bios the drive is married to the TPM in that computer. You will not be able to see or access the drive in another computer. If you want the data back then you will need to get your video working again. Then remove the password just in case your computer fails again or run more frequent backups.
John P. O'Banion, JD, PE, BSEE
Registered Patent Attorney
http://www.intellectual.com

600, X220 (McDonnell bios, Linux), X230, T530 (1vyrain bios), X1 Carbon 5th Signature Edition

Hippogriff
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:36 am
Location: Barnsley, UK

Re: T41 (2373-TG5) with password protected 2.5" IDE disk

#5 Post by Hippogriff » Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:28 am

Aahhh, this is very helpful... so even swapping to a 'new' T41 won't be helpful. I was terribly afraid of that being the eventual outcome. I thought the password was saved in the firmware of the HDD and did not realise (or I hoped there wasn't) a linkage between the HDD and the machine itself.

I will remove the password if I get beyond this. I probably should have done a long time ago... but I usually go into suspend, so it's not often that I am actually prompted for the password, really.

JPOESQ
**SENIOR** Member
**SENIOR** Member
Posts: 226
Joined: Sun May 16, 2004 2:26 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA
Contact:

Re: T41 (2373-TG5) with password protected 2.5" IDE disk

#6 Post by JPOESQ » Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:10 am

The idea behind the HDD password is that by marrying the drive to the TPM then someone can't use another computer to access your drive. It's not like "bitlocker to go" where you can access your drive from any computer running bitlocker. In your setup the keys are in the TPM of your computer and without your computer you can't access the drive. Also, you would never want to reinitialize your TPM without first removing the HDD password or you will be hosed.
John P. O'Banion, JD, PE, BSEE
Registered Patent Attorney
http://www.intellectual.com

600, X220 (McDonnell bios, Linux), X230, T530 (1vyrain bios), X1 Carbon 5th Signature Edition

RealBlackStuff
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 20765
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Dublin, Éire
Contact:

Re: T41 (2373-TG5) with password protected 2.5" IDE disk

#7 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:14 am

Actually, find any other T40/T41/T42 and possibly R50/R51 and put that HDD in there.
You should now be able to remove the password, assuming the drive is still OK.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And pigs CAN fly!
Check out The Boardroom for Parts, Mods and Other Services.

"Computers don't lie, but liars can compute." (Terry Hayes)

Hippogriff
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:36 am
Location: Barnsley, UK

Re: T41 (2373-TG5) with password protected 2.5" IDE disk

#8 Post by Hippogriff » Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:26 am

JPOESQ wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:10 am
Also, you would never want to reinitialize your TPM without first removing the HDD password or you will be hosed.
Absolutely understood, 100%. Thanks.

Hippogriff
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:36 am
Location: Barnsley, UK

Re: T41 (2373-TG5) with password protected 2.5" IDE disk

#9 Post by Hippogriff » Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:28 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:14 am
Actually, find any other T40/T41/T42 and possibly R50/R51 and put that HDD in there.
You should now be able to remove the password, assuming the drive is still OK.
This, right here, is what I had been hoping... I think I have a T40 I can get hold of tonight. I will still get it, despite me now thinking it won't be useful... I'll report back on what happens. I am thinking that if I plug the HDD into a T40 then I might not get anywhere... but doing that in itself shouldn't make my HDD unusable... at the very least it will refuse to play nicely, right?

I mean, I've already plugged the HDD into an adapter and into 2 other computers... so if it's trashed, it'll be that that did it, not what I plan to try tonight.

JPOESQ
**SENIOR** Member
**SENIOR** Member
Posts: 226
Joined: Sun May 16, 2004 2:26 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA
Contact:

Re: T41 (2373-TG5) with password protected 2.5" IDE disk

#10 Post by JPOESQ » Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:02 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:14 am
Actually, find any other T40/T41/T42 and possibly R50/R51 and put that HDD in there.
You should now be able to remove the password, assuming the drive is still OK.
If that’s correct then I gave him misinformation. I was relating my experience with a T41p password protected HDD.
John P. O'Banion, JD, PE, BSEE
Registered Patent Attorney
http://www.intellectual.com

600, X220 (McDonnell bios, Linux), X230, T530 (1vyrain bios), X1 Carbon 5th Signature Edition

Hippogriff
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:36 am
Location: Barnsley, UK

Re: T41 (2373-TG5) with password protected 2.5" IDE disk

#11 Post by Hippogriff » Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:04 am

We are all gonna find out... soon enough.

I'm going to collect the T40 (40 miles away). :D

Then I'm going for a curry. 8)

Then I'll give it a go... and report back.

I believe the T40, T41 and T41p all have the same Atmel 97SC3201 TPM, so my hopes aren't at their highest, nor are they dashed.

RealBlackStuff
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 20765
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Dublin, Éire
Contact:

Re: T41 (2373-TG5) with password protected 2.5" IDE disk

#12 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Jan 21, 2020 11:18 am

Why not take the HDD (plus your T41 and charger) with you and try it there?
Saves you hving to return the laptop afterwards...

Hippogriff
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:36 am
Location: Barnsley, UK

Re: T41 (2373-TG5) with password protected 2.5" IDE disk

#13 Post by Hippogriff » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:12 am

Because it's actually mine... :D

He's just had it since 2013... anyway, I have it in my possession now... I've just got around to looking at it. I checked the existing settings - this one has a HDD password too (thankfully I know it)... the Security section of the T40 looks like this:

Supervisor Password - disabled
Lock BIOS Settings - disabled
Set Minimum Length - disabled
Power-On Password - disabled
Hard Disk1 Password - User
Require password after hibernate - disabled

In the next section... IBM Security Chip... IBM Security Chip - disabled.

So, I am thinking... disable the HDD password of this T40 HDD first... then try it out in my USB adapter - and at least confirm I can get to see the contents of a 2.5" IDE HDD on a different PC.

Update - disabled that by entering my current password, then an empty password and Hard Disk1 Password now shows - disabled.

Hippogriff
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:36 am
Location: Barnsley, UK

Re: T41 (2373-TG5) with password protected 2.5" IDE disk

#14 Post by Hippogriff » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:23 am

First test - passed.

I removed the IDE HDD from the T40 after disabling the User password. I plugged it into my UGreen adapter and that into a Windows 10 machine - bing-bong - and drive letter E:\ assigned - it all opens up and I'm looking at files I've not seen for several years. :D

So, at least I know the UGreen adapter works and I'm now back to my main problem, just as before... important validation step, though, I think. I'll now try to insert the T41 HDD into the T40.

RealBlackStuff
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 20765
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Dublin, Éire
Contact:

Re: T41 (2373-TG5) with password protected 2.5" IDE disk

#15 Post by RealBlackStuff » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:24 am

Great, now try the T41 disk in there.

Hippogriff
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:36 am
Location: Barnsley, UK

Re: T41 (2373-TG5) with password protected 2.5" IDE disk

#16 Post by Hippogriff » Wed Jan 22, 2020 4:40 am

SUCCESS!
  • I turned off HDD password protection for the HDD originally in the T40
  • I removed that HDD and checked it was accessible via the adapter on Windows 10
  • I put the T41 password protected HDD into the T40
  • On power on the T40 immediately asked me for a password - which I knew and entered
  • In the T40 BIOS Hard Disk1 Password had been reset to User
  • Just as before, with the T40 HDD I changed that to be a blank password and saved
  • I removed the T41 HDD from the T40, put it into the adapter, connected to Windows 10 and I'm looking at my files again!
Of course, I did an almost 90 mile round trip to get here and bought an adapter for £25... but that's all water under the bridge now! Plus... free T40! :thumbs-UP: (mine anyway)

Hopefully if anyone else runs into this problem (why would they, others aren't stupid, like me) there'll be clarity that this can be done and the HDD password facility does not marry the PC and the HDD as tightly as we possibly thought.

JPOESQ
**SENIOR** Member
**SENIOR** Member
Posts: 226
Joined: Sun May 16, 2004 2:26 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA
Contact:

Re: T41 (2373-TG5) with password protected 2.5" IDE disk

#17 Post by JPOESQ » Wed Jan 22, 2020 10:08 am

Brilliant! Congratulations on your success!
John P. O'Banion, JD, PE, BSEE
Registered Patent Attorney
http://www.intellectual.com

600, X220 (McDonnell bios, Linux), X230, T530 (1vyrain bios), X1 Carbon 5th Signature Edition

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “ThinkPad T4x Series”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests