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With Repair Station you can remove unknown ATA-passwords; both security levels (High and Maximum) are supported.
ATA Passwords
Almost all laptops and some modern desktop computers have the ability to lock a hard disk drive with an ATA password so that hard drive remains inaccessible until the correct password is entered. Manufacturers can call this technology fancy names (for example, HP calls it DriveLock), but the name does not really matter – it is still the same algorithm described in the ATA/ATAPI standard.
Once set, the password is stored inside of the hard drive's Firmware Area (which is located on the platters), and therefore it cannot be removed by swapping the circuit board. And, since the Firmware Area cannot be read with any widely available software, the password cannot be easily read or removed.
Repair Station has the ability to access the Firmware Area and reset the password, thus making your hard drive unlocked. Unlocking process is done automatically and takes just a few minutes.
Since Repair Station does not alter partitions or file systems, it is absolutely safe to your data.
What is Firmware Area
Firmware Area (or System Area) is a reserved space dedicated to hard drive's own needs such as: SMART logs, defect reallocation tables, program code (overlays) and so on. Flash EEPROM chip located on the circuit board contains a minor part of the Firmware; its primary role is to spin up the spindle and unpark heads so that the drive can read the rest of the firmware from the surface.
Firmware Area is not accessible with standard ATA commands; it cannot be read or written with any software because the protocol is vendor-unique, and hard drive vendors do not disclose any information about their hard drive Firmware area structure or even how to access it. We've spent many years researching hard drives' firmware, and we've developed algorithms that allowed us to access the Firmware area and, specifically, the password stored in it.
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