DriveLock Hard Drive Protection
By Stephen Bucaro
DriveLock is a hard disk specification that prevents unauthorized access to the
contents of a hard drive. DriveLock must be configured in the computer's BIOS
setup, in the Security menu, by selecting DriveLock passwords. When DriveLock is
configured, two passwords are set, the master password and a user password.
If DriveLock is enabled, at power-on the user will be prompted for a DriveLock
password. If a regular BIOS password is configured, and the DriveLock password
is the same as the BIOS password, the system will request only one password.
After powering on the system, the BIOS requests the user password. If the wrong
user password is entered three times, the BIOS requests the master password.
If the wrong master password is entered three times, the BIOS displays the
message "drive not available".
The DriveLock passwords are stored in EEPROM in the hard drive itself. This
means you can't gain access to the hard drive by moving it to another computer.
If the DriveLock user password and master passwords are both unknown, you'll
need the services of a good data recovery company to unlock the drive. There is
an ATA command to unlock the drive. However if the drive is locked in a special
Maximum Security mode, then the data recovery service must open the drive and
replace its controller board with an identical controller model which is not locked.
Because of the high cost of data recovery service, if both the DriveLock user
password and master passwords are unknown, most people just replace the hard drive.
Note; there is a software utility called Easy Drive Lock which allows you to lock
the contents of your hard drive that is not related to DriveLock.