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General Hard Drive and BIOS Password Information

Summary: Information about hard drive (HDD) and BIOS password issues.

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Symptoms

No symptom information.

Cause

No cause information.

Resolution

Table of Contents:

  1. Computers with Hard Drive or BIOS Password Protection
  2. Set up Hard Drive Password on M.2 SATA Drives
  3. Configure Fast Boot Settings
  4. Dell Client Configuration Toolkit (CCTK)
  5. Hard Drive Password using Dell Command Configure
  6. Bluescreen with Hard Drive Password Set in BIOS

1. Computers with Hard Drive or BIOS Password Protection

The following are BIOS and hard drive password release options if the password has been misplaced or forgotten.

 

Onscreen Password Prompt

If your computer is already powered off, follow the instructions below to return to the password prompt:

  • Restart the computer and tap the F2 key during POST to enter the System Setup (BIOS). This should prompt for the Hard Drive or BIOS password.

Your computer might display the message in several different methods depending on the computer and BIOS type that you have.

Explore the tabs below to find the corresponding method for your computer type:

Method 1

You see that three-gray bars on a white background are displayed. The second gray bar displays a message similar to (Figure 1).
Hard Drive Password Prompt
Figure 1: Hard Drive Password Prompt

  1. When you are prompted for the password (Figure 1), type the Hard Drive or BIOS password that you might have set on your computer.
  2. When unsuccessful, you are prompted with an error message again.
  3. Contact Dell for Password Release Code.
Note: Repeated attempts of entering incorrect password might cause your computer to either shutdown or restart automatically.

 

Method 2

You see the message "Enter HDD Password" on a blue box with a black background similar to (Figure 2).
Enter HDD Password
Figure 2: Enter HDD Password

  1. When you are prompted for the password (Figure 2), type the Hard Drive or BIOS password that you might have set on your computer.
  2. When unsuccessful, you are prompted with the message "HDD Password Invalidate. Press Any Key" (Figure 3).

HDD Password Invalidate
Figure 3: HDD Password Invalidate

  1. Press Any Key and repeat steps 1-3 until you see a message similar to (Figure 4).

Password Error Code
Figure 4: Password Error Code

  1. Contact Dell for Password Release Code.

 

Method 3

You see a message "Harddisk Security SATA Port 0 Lock" similar to (Figure 5).

Harddisk Security
Figure 5: Harddisk Security

  1. Press Enter key to go to the password prompt (Figure 6).

Input Password
Figure 6:Input Password

  1. Type the password that you might have set on your computer and press the Enter key once.
  2. When unsuccessful, you are prompted with the "Harddisk Security SATA Port 0 Lock" similar to Figure 5 again. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you see a message that is titled "System Disable" (Figure 7).

System Disable
Figure 7: System Disable

  1. Make a note of the unique ID under System Disable and your computer Service Tag.
  2. Contact Dell for Password Release Code.

 

Method 4

You see a message "Enter System Password" similar to (Figure 8).

Enter System Password
Figure 8: Enter System Password

  1. Type the password that you might have set on your computer and press Enter key once.
  2. If unsuccessful, you are prompted with the message "Invalid Password." Press Enter key to try again.
  3. On three unsuccessful attempts, you are prompted with the message "Invalid Password. HDD is Locked."
  4. Make a note of the Service Tag and the Hard-drive S/N mentioned on top of the screen.
  5. Contact Dell for Password Release Code.

 

Contact Dell for Password Release Code

Note: Dell Tech Support may require the following details:
  1. The PPID is a serial number that is mentioned on the hard drive starting with CN, KR, or JP.
  2. For BIOS Passwords: Share the complete error message along with your computer Service Tag information as this is required to create the release code.
  3. For HDD Passwords: Share the Service Tag and the hard drive serial number that is mentioned at the top of the screen.

When contacting Dell Technical Support, you are asked to confirm the information below for security reasons:

Note: If your warranty has expired, you may be charged for technical support assistance.
  • Ownership of the computer.
  • Whether you are authorized to clear the password on the computer.
  • Contact information.

Have the full error message along with your computer Service Tag information as this is required to create the release code.

Note: You may be prompted to email or fax the information above to the Support Team department along with a company signature or equivalent proof of ownership.

Browse to the Dell Support contact website.

If you require further assistance or want to give us feedback, engage our technical team on Twitter.

 

Clearing the Password

Note: The BIOS reset password has no expiration time, and the same password will work if the same Service Tag - ID prompt is given in the future.

The hard drive reset password is tied to the hard drive-serial number and not the computer Service Tag.

Once Dell Support has provided the reset password, you enter this when prompted and then press Ctrl + Enter to complete the process. The reset hard drive password will automatically clear the hard drive password.

Note: The reset password is case-sensitive so check that Caps Lock is not enabled.

If the computer responds with the message Invalid Password, press the Enter key and continue to enter the same password three more times. After the fourth attempt the BIOS should accept the reset password, clear the password, and allow access to the hard drive.

Note: If the password still does not work, check that the Num and Caps Lock are not engaged on the keyboard. Swap with a known-good keyboard if available.

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2. Set up Hard Drive Password on M.2 SATA Drives

Hard Drive Password

Computers with M.2 SATA drives support hard drive passwords with the SATA Operation BIOS setting Enabled. Should the SATA Operation BIOS setting be disabled (Figure 9), the computer will no longer have hard drive password support. This is working by design as the function is only supported with the SATA Operation Enabled.

Computers with M.2 NVMe drives do NOT support hard drive passwords in general.

Note: NVME drives should still be usable with SATA operation disable, but there will be no BIOS password support in this mode.
NVME drives on PCIe Do Not support BIOS level hard drive passwords.

Precision 7710 BIOS
Figure 9: Precision 7710 BIOS

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3. Configure Fast Boot Settings

External USB Keyboards Unable to Enter a Hard Drive Password at Boot on Latitude Laptops

When a hard drive password is configured within the Security section of the Latitude BIOS. An external USB keyboard may not be recognized at the password prompt when the laptop is booting. This issue has been reported when the laptop is either docked or when the keyboard is plugged into the external USB port on the Latitude E5440 and E7270. This may occur on other Latitude laptop models.

Configure the Fastboot Setting in the Laptop BIOS to Resolve the Issue

To resolve the issue, configure the Fastboot setting in the laptop BIOS to Thorough by following the steps below:

  1. Download and install the latest BIOS update from Dell's Support Website / Drivers & Downloads. Select BIOS from drop-down Category menu and download and install the latest available BIOS from the list.
  2. Tap F2 at the splash screen to enter BIOS configuration.
  3. Press the down arrow key and select POST Behavior, and press Enter.
  4. Scroll down to select the Fastboot section and ensure that the setting is configured to Thorough (Figure 10):
    Configure Fastboot setting to Thorough in BIOS
    Figure 10: Configure Fastboot setting to Thorough in BIOS
  5. Exit the system BIOS and save the changes made. The USB keyboard is enabled when prompted to enter the hard drive password when the computer boots.
Note: Changing the Fastboot option from Minimal to Thorough extends the Power on Self-Test process by several seconds and extend the laptop boot time.

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4. Dell Client Configuration Toolkit (CCTK)

 

Modify or Remove Password

When clearing a hard drive password with Dell's Client Configuration Toolkit (CCTK). The computer prompts the user to confirm the change by selecting either "Modify" or "Ignore" (Figure 11):
CCTK HDD Password Removal Prompt
Figure 11: CCTK HDD Password Removal Prompt

  • If you "Modify," the password is removed.
  • If you select "Ignore," the removal is canceled and the password will remain on the drive.

This physical presence requirement cannot be bypassed or automated. It is a security function and working as designed.

 

Check if a Hard Drive Password is Present

Customers have requested information about how you can tell if your computer has an HDD password present.

The guide below will take you through how to do this using the Dell Command Software installed on your Dell computer.

How to Open a Command Prompt:
Press the <Windows + X> keys together to open the Power User menu. Select Command Prompt with Admin from the list of options.

  • Dell Command | PowerShell Provider:
    PS C:\temp> (dir dellsmbios:\security\hddinfo | select -ExpandProperty currentvalue).PwdProtected
    No


    PS C:\temp>

  • Dell Command | Configure (CCTK) #1:
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Dell\Command Configure\X86_64>cctk --hddinfo
    HDD Information in the current system.
    --------------------------------------------
    Index: 0
    HDD Name: Internal- SN: W3N0FRH7
    Present: Yes
    Pwd-Protected: No
    Pending-Restart: No
    Admin-only-change: No
    -------------------------------------------

  • Dell Command | Configure (CCTK) #2:
    (HDD Password is present)

    C:\dell\DCC\X86_64>cctk --hddpwd=
    The HDD 0 is password protected. Provide the password.


    C:\dell\DCC\X86_64>


    (No HDD Password is present)

    C:\dell\DCC\x86_64>cctk --hddpwd=
    HDD password cannot be cleared as the HDD is not password protected.


    C:\dell\DCC\X86_64>

When checking across your install base, you can include the response from these tools into scripts to check for the presence of an HDD password.

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5. Hard Drive Password using Dell Command Configure

Unable to Set Hard Drive Password

Dell Command | Configure fails to set a hard drive password on a Latitude laptop and receives the following error: "The option-related BIOS information is not available in this machine." The hard drive password can be set manually in the system BIOS settings of the laptop.

Download and update the latest version of the laptop BIOS from Dell Support / Drivers & Downloads. Select your Latitude laptop, then select BIOS from the Category drop-down menu.

 

Unable to Modify Hard Drive Password

A problem has been identified in Dell Command Configure 3.0 where the hard drive password is unable to be set or modified in the user interface. The Dell Command Configure 3.0 command-line interface can still be used to complete this function.

The update for the user interface password function requires an updated version of Dell Command Configure. Download the latest version of Dell Command Configure from the Dell Support Website for your computer, Drivers, and downloads, Systems management section.

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6. Bluescreen with Hard Drive Password Set in BIOS

Latitude laptops may experience Bluescreen errors when a Hard Drive Password is set within the BIOS.

Systems specific to Issue:

  • Latitude E7470

The best solution for this issue is to update the Latitude laptop BIOS to the most recent version from the Dell Support Website.

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Additional Information

Out of Warranty support Out of warranty? No problem. Browse to the Dell.com/support website and enter your Dell Service Tag and view our offers.

NOTE: Offers are only available for US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, and China personal computer customers. Server and Storage not applicable.

Article Properties


Affected Product

Desktops & All-in-Ones, Laptops

Last Published Date

06 Dec 2021

Version

8

Article Type

Solution