Hard Drive "Frozen"

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by vodkasoda, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. vodkasoda

    vodkasoda MDL Novice

    Mar 17, 2011
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    I have an Acer Aspire 5100 which was running Windows Vista. It froze the other day and on rebooting I was just getting a blank screen & a flashing cursor. According to the BIOS everything looked normal.

    I decided this was a good time to re-install Vista, so I booted from the CD and installed it to the Acer partition of 70Gb. However, on the reboot, I got the same original problem & I noticed in the BIOS that it says "HDD PASSWORD FROZEN". I have never had a password on this machine, so I am NOT asking for help getting past a password, let me please make that quite clear !!!

    If I remove the HDD & put it back in, the HDD Password option returns to "CLEAR" and I am able to Set a password and unset it again, but as soon as I then try to re-install Windows it just gives me the blank screen and if I reboot & check the BIOS, I once again have the "HDD PASSWORD FROZEN" setting.

    I was able to take the HDD out and check it on this PC and I could see that the installation had worked, so I decided I would do an upgrade to Windows 7 & I reformatted the HDD & put it back into the Laptop where I again, successfully installed Windows to it ... but on the reboot it once again gives me the original problem and resets the HDD Password setting to "FROZEN" rather than "CLEAR" !!!

    I have removed it and checked it again on this PC and I can see the Windows 7 files on the ACER Partition, but back in the laptop it will not boot, this is so frustrating !!!

    Something seems to have changed, either on the HDD itself or in the BIOS that is preventing it from booting from the HDD & it keeps setting this HDD Password value to "FROZEN" ... the disk checks out fine when I check it for errors and it Formats fine (though it takes forever, so I don't want to do that again unless absolutely necessary !!!) ... any ideas anybody ?!?!?

    BTW, there are 3 partitions on this HDD, a small one of 7.81Gb that is showing up as "Healthy (EISA Configuration)", a large one (relatively speaking) of 70.77GB that is called ACER and is showing up as "Healthy (Active Primary Partition)", this is where the Windows files are, and a third partition, named DATA, of 70.47GB that shows up as "Healthy (Primary Partition)" ...
     
  2. carfal

    carfal MDL Junior Member

    Sep 24, 2009
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    Sorry, I cant offer any solutions except for did you try calling Acer for help?

    This may be your only option if its asking for a password.
     
  3. urie

    urie Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 21, 2007
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    #3 urie, Mar 17, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
    Have you tried using (shift +f11) during the start up of the machine (under dos) for Acer factory recovery rather than installation dvd.
     
  4. BobSheep

    BobSheep Moderator
    Staff Member

    Apr 19, 2010
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    Try resetting the HDD password to CLEAR as you previously described. Then if you access the BIOS do so from a COLD BOOT do not use Windows Restart and then access the BIOS. I've Googled and found that this can set the password to FROZEN.

    I hope it helps you.
     
  5. Melvarius

    Melvarius MDL Novice

    Sep 21, 2009
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    I've not had any dealings with acer machines so can't suggest anything other than to check the acer website for a bios update. I had a look on their site and the last/latest version they have is v3.13. (03/31/2009)

    If you have that version on your machine you could try clearing the cmos settings just in case they've been corrupted at some point down the line.
     
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  6. vodkasoda

    vodkasoda MDL Novice

    Mar 17, 2011
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    Thanks to the replies above, I'll have a look at each option and see if it helps, plus, of course, will get back to let you know how I get on in case it helps anybody else in future ...
     
  7. AnarethoS

    AnarethoS MDL Expert

    Jul 31, 2009
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    You can only set/remove/change the HDD password from a COLD boot (the computer was OFF).

    As soon as you access the HDD (booting the OS, warm reboot, etc.) the HDD will go to FROZEN mode and will not let you change your password until the computer is switched OFF.
     
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  8. vodkasoda

    vodkasoda MDL Novice

    Mar 17, 2011
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    AnarethoS, could you please elucidate on that ?!?

    Firstly, the battery died as the kids had taken the laptop without the charger, and the problems started just after this, could that have caused the original problem ?

    Secondly, there never was a password on this drive or PC, none at all, so why is it "freezing" & is it the fact that it is "frozen" that is preventing anything (even "ultimate boot" & Linux disks) from seeing it ?

    Finally, I am shutting the PC down MOST times that I try to do an install and/or reboot, can you explain how I can get this working again step-by-step ?!?

    I am a bit frustrated at this moment in time !!!!
     
  9. vodkasoda

    vodkasoda MDL Novice

    Mar 17, 2011
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    Actually, I was thinking about this last night ... what is causing the HDD PASSWORD FROZEN status ? Is it the Hard Drive, is it the BIOS or is it something else ?!?!?
     
  10. vodkasoda

    vodkasoda MDL Novice

    Mar 17, 2011
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    I tried the obvious and the suggestions above, I couldn't do a factory restore, there is no Password issue as such, there is no password set up, it just keeps saying the HDD Password is Frozen.

    I haven't updated the BIOS either, as I appear to have the latest version.

    I can connect the Hard Drive to this PC and read and write to it at will. I copied off of it all of the data that I wanted and reformatted it with KillDisk so it is, in effect, a new drive going into the laptop, but as soon as I try to access it, the same thing is happening !!!

    I can boot the PC up using a Linux Mint CD, but it says there is no Hard Drive in the machine (remember, it is unformatted, so that may be relevant, though I don't think it is).

    I am baffled and frustrated, I repair people's computers on a local & part-time basis & I can't even fix my own laptop :eek: !!!!!
     
  11. vodkasoda

    vodkasoda MDL Novice

    Mar 17, 2011
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    I will give all this a try tomorrow, thank you ...
     
  12. carfal

    carfal MDL Junior Member

    Sep 24, 2009
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    vodkasoda, making sure that you tried BobSheep's and AnarethoS's advice (which happens to be the same by the way....they could be on to something. )

    See below

     
  13. vodkasoda

    vodkasoda MDL Novice

    Mar 17, 2011
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    Apologies to all, I appreciate your help but haven't had a chance to get to the laptop for a few days ... it's amazing how quickly you can adapt to life without it !!!

    I *will* report back and let you know the results of my next attempt ...
     
  14. emb_solutions

    emb_solutions MDL Novice

    Sep 1, 2011
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    Check boot device menu in bios

    Check the boot device menu in the BIOS.

    1. Expand hard drive (if needed)
    2. Check if hard drive has an exclamation mark (!)
    3. If it does, select it and hit shift + 1 to remove the exclamation mark
    4. Make sure all passwords are cleared (i.e. supervisor, etc.)
     
  15. Stannieman

    Stannieman MDL Guru

    Sep 4, 2009
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    I wonder if the password issue is actually related to the crash.
    If AnarethoS is right then the frozen status just means that you can't change it, it doesn't necessarily mean that a password is set up.
    Anyway, the password is always in the bios as hdd's can't have a password as far as I know. If a pw is set then the bios just refuses to read the disk, it doesn't mean the disc itself is unreadable (you need to use encryption for this).

    You can try to load factory defaults in bios, and if you can (but you probably can't because it's a notebook) try removing the cmos battery for a minute.
    And are you sure that all other hardware is ok?
     
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  16. IndyDog

    IndyDog MDL Novice

    Dec 10, 2011
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    Similar Password Issue

    A lady friend bought a new Dell laptop, used it a day or two and boom = password required on startup. She said she didn't set a password, and I tried everything and couldn't fix it. A Dell tech came by the house and replaced the harddrive, it was working when he left. Next day, on startup = password required. I think she eventually gave up on it, as I had too, and she bought another laptop. This is the first time I've run across a discussion remotely similar. I'd love to know what caused this (I had put it out of mind). I never thought to flash the bios, if she still has it I might try that.
     
  17. Rock Hunter

    Rock Hunter MDL Senior Member

    Dec 6, 2011
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    What happens if you do set a password for the HD? How does that affect anything? Makes me wonder what the purpose of an HD password might be.
     
  18. Carlos Detweiller

    Carlos Detweiller MDL Spinning Tortoise

    Dec 21, 2012
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    Some virii/malware is known to set HDD password protection. This renders the HDD useless and is the reason why so many PCs have the status always as *Frozen* now.
     
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