Dell laptop BIOS tools for 2009 and newer?

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by Galane, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. Galane

    Galane MDL Novice

    Feb 11, 2013
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    Trying to get a landfill rescue Dell Studio 1737 working. Local landfill transfer station has a spot for people to drop off electronic stuff. First come first gets it for free.

    Supervisor and User passwords are Locked. HDD password is Set. Can only boot to the HDD password prompt when the hard drive is connected. It ignores all other boot devices, despite the HDD being in last place in the boot order. With the HDD connected, pressing F12 for the boot menu causes it to freeze.

    Also, with the HDD disconnected, Supervisor password says Clear. I set a blank password there but when the HDD is reconnected it goes back to Locked.

    Apparently on this one the Supervisor password is written to the hard drive somehow.

    The Set User password and Set Supervisor password, Diskette access and Password on boot fields are all greyed out and inaccessible. Set passwords are [Locked]. Diskette access is [Supervisor]. Password on boot is [Disabled].

    The only change to the Security tab with the HDD unplugged is Set Supervisor password can be used to set (haha, not really!) a new Supervisor password.

    I don't want to try installing a different hard drive. The bleeping thing would probably lock it.

    The Dell BIOS reset CD version A25 doesn't work. It's from 2005. The Studio 1700 series is from 2009. I've tried the utilities on the latest Hiren's. They can't touch it, they're all from before 2009. bios-pw site, none of the codes it generates work to unlock the HDD. I've found mention of an A34 version of the Dell BIOS tools CD, one link (posted some time back on this forum) showed it to be a double digit megabyte download, but of course the link to the file is dead. All hits on that filename I could find are either dead or fakes with malware. "Download this downloader.exe to download the ISO." Yeah, sure that's what I'd get.

    I don't find anywhere to *enter* a Supervisor or User Password to be able to get access to do whatever things can only be done by a person who knows the Supervisor or User Password. 100% of all the stuff that's changeable everywhere else in the BIOS setup is unlocked and the changes stay when saved. What's the point of having those passwords there and *locked* if they aren't doing anything to keep a person from changing any other BIOS settings, aside from not being able to enable access to a floppy drive it doesn't have? I have a USB floppy drive. Plug it in, access to it still says [Supervisor]. Y-E Data USB-FDU shows up in Boot tab as removable device.

    The BIOS version on it is A05. Latest available is A09. I've tried to find out how to do a BIOS recovery as would be used in case of a failed BIOS update but no luck on that front.

    Do you think connecting the hard drive to a desktop and using ATAPWD on it would work to trigger the secure erase? If that would make it usable, I wouldn't care about the Supervisor and User passwords that don't seem to be doing anything.
     
  2. MS_User

    MS_User MDL Guru

    Nov 30, 2014
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    have u tried removing the mobo battery for like 30 minutes and see if it clears bios setting....also it sounds like maybe their 3 party security software protecting the HD.
     
  3. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
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  4. Galane

    Galane MDL Novice

    Feb 11, 2013
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    It's a Samsung drive. I'll have to put the drive in another computer since the Dell locks out booting from anything else when it has a HDD password. Will ZU just unlock it or get the password without wiping the drive? It's OK if it does wipe it since it has Vista installed.
     
  5. Galane

    Galane MDL Novice

    Feb 11, 2013
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    That doesn't work on laptop passwords. Two other people suggested that and either they or a mod deleted those replies.
     
  6. Joe C

    Joe C MDL Guru

    Jan 12, 2012
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    If you can access the bios with the hard drive removed, then your bios is not locked, the hard drive is. It is locked to be secured. Why don't you just pop in another hard drive and install windows onto that. You can find laptop hard drives really cheap on craigslist or ebay
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  7. MS_User

    MS_User MDL Guru

    Nov 30, 2014
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    im thinking the same.....the HD is encrypted it could even be damaged....swap it out for another.
     
  8. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

    Feb 27, 2011
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    its the hdd password.. on samung uhh hddguru.com if you get lucky.

    replace hdd with ssd like cheapo pny cs1311
     
  9. Galane

    Galane MDL Novice

    Feb 11, 2013
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    I just tried the drive in a Core2 Quad HP Pavilion. Blocks it from booting, I can poke the keys for going to setup or boot menu and it says it's entering that but then just sits there like how attempting to go to boot menu on the laptop makes it freeze.

    Tried it in a Dell Optiplex GX520. Pretty much same behavior as in the laptop. Can get into BIOS setup, set the boot order to boot from a FreeDOS USB stick with ZU but it ignores that and goes straight to asking for the drive password.

    I get
    Hard Disk #MJD0S521369-595B is protected by a password

    Third, an old MPC Clientpro 385. Has a generic Intel motherboard with the latest BIOS from Intel, which is newer than the last released by MPC. Took a long time but it finally booted to the USB and gave me a C: prompt. Now to see what ZU can do.
     
  10. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

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    #10 LatinMcG, Feb 21, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
    set to ATA or legacy the ahci.
    start boot to dos and plug in hdd as soon as dos starts or prior.. but already in boot menu before u plug in.
    try different sata ports on mobo.. sometimes 2nd or 3rd work better than 0

    not sure if it works on samsungs..

    try bios-pw.org for that code
    MJD0S521369-595B
    hdd pwd (in the dell pc the hdd...)

    d8nu1o55

    press and hold CTRL and press enter
     
  11. Galane

    Galane MDL Novice

    Feb 11, 2013
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    Tried d8nu1o55 with the GX520. Doesn't work. :( Tried holding left CTRL and right CTRL after entering it then hitting Enter while holding CTRL. ZU's timer went for over 2 hours so I gave up and shut that down.

    I'll try ZU again with the MPC, have to go to setup without the drive connected to set the SATA to non-AHCI and see if that makes a difference.
     
  12. Galane

    Galane MDL Novice

    Feb 11, 2013
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    I set it to Legacy mode. ZU saw the drive and failed to unlock it. I tried the 32 t's with ATAPWD and got command rejected by drive. I found the HDDERASE utility that's supposed to trigger the secure erase by using the 'back door' to remove a password. No luck there either. After hitting Y to repeatedly insist I really do want to erase the drive, is lists the drives

    P0 is ATA device SAMSUNG HM500JI
    P1 is NONE_

    Stops dead there with the cursor blinking instead of listing the rest of the drives and waiting for user input to select the drive.

    I've been doing more searching and have found other people with this HM500JI model, with no reports of any success at removing an ATA password from one, with or without saving the data.
     
  13. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

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  14. Galane

    Galane MDL Novice

    Feb 11, 2013
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    Would be nice if someone would share a copy of the unlocked B2 module for that drive model, and what, if any, free software there is that's capable of writing it to the drive.

    I tried Parted Magic to force a secure erase and it wouldn't do it so I doubt hdparm would either. Parted Magic is a Linux boot CD, i bet its hard drive functions are mostly just a front end for hdparm. Looks like newer SATA drives just don't have that function anymore where they allow forcibly removing the password while triggering an unstoppable wipe of the data.

    There's one more thing I'm going to try. The Dell Client Configuration Toolkit. There's a video on youtube (posted by Dell) on how it can be used to remove HDD passwords on Dell business computers.

    I have an Optiplex GX250. Plug the laptop drive in and I get a password prompt. If it will boot off another drive with the password one as secondary I may be able to get the DCCT version that will run on the GX250 and fix it that way. 2.2.1 was the last DCCT, Dell has that and several older versions to download.
     
  15. LatinMcG

    LatinMcG Bios Borker

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  16. Galane

    Galane MDL Novice

    Feb 11, 2013
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    The only thing that might allow the drive to be worked on in its original computer is that the Studio 17 has a spot for a 2nd internal hard drive. That would mean buying a bracket for the 2nd drive location and... another hard drive... to install in the #1 location. If there's no freeware that can copy off and write back the edited B2 module I may as well use this 500 gig for hammer practice. Spending a ton of money just to salvage one drive doesn't make economic sense. :p

    One odd thing when connected to the Optiplex GX520, at the boot prompt it appears to allow unlimited password tries. Got (IIRC) 5 in BIOS setup, but no error code/message.

    Registered on hddoracle, will see what can be found out there.