Here's more info
Comment from scrawner
Date: 03/06/2003 08:36AM PST
Ok, the best thread i've found on this topic is at:http://www.geek.com/news/geeknews/q22000/g...00918002375.htm
It has about 2 years worth of discussion, including some comments from a guy who actually knows how to fix it:
As you will probably understand it is not possible for me to give the 'official' method of cracking the HDD password and this in any case requires a small amount of hardware.
However I can tell you that the drive controller checks for the password protection only once at startup. Also that the data on a 'locked' drive is not encrypted.
Therefore after successful calibration on an unlocked drive, the drive controller is in a condition where it can read data from the disk platters and no subsequent check for password is made until the drive is powered down or is put into sleep mode (using the appropriate ATA command).
So you will probably have guessed what you could try should you have a second unlocked 'donor' drive of the same model & firmware revision.
This method if done properly will allow one to bypass the password lock to gain access to data but will not reveal what the original password was. To do that you must use the 'official' method, which on a drive from a DELL or IBM Thinkpad machine reveals what the original password was, in plain text (or in encrypted form if from another type of laptop).
Please note that the two controllers must have an IDENTICAL firmware level otherwise corruption of the data (due to sector mapping errors) may occur. The firmware level is available as an ASCII field in the IDENTIFY information returned by issuing the IDENTIFY DEVICE ATA command (0xEC). This will work on a locked or unlocked drive. Also please note that the above 'bypass' procedure could damage one or both controllers if not performed properly - you have been warned!
Another suggestion was from a guy who indicated hooking it up to his Macintosh G4 using firewire enabled him to format the drive, though I'm skeptical about it..depends on what part of the drive controller is enforcing the block...