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I've been trying to set the password on my Seagate drive:

sudo hdparm --user-master m --security-set-pass pwd /dev/sda

I get

Issuing SECURITY_SET_Pass command, password="pwd", user=master, mode=high SECURITY_SET_PASS: Input/output error

Why do I keep getting that error?

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For some BIOS you need first convert "pwd" to a scancode sequence. See:thaeial.blogspot.de/2013/01/… –  student Oct 26 '13 at 19:44
I get the same error on a Samsung SSD 840 Pro in a Dell Latitude 6400 ATG laptop (Bios Version: A34), german keyboard; even if I try to translate the ascii code to scan codes: sudo hdparm --user-master m --security-set-pass "$( printf 'testmasterpassword' | tr '1234567890qwertzuiopasdfghjklyxcvbnm' '\2-\11\20\21\26\27\30\31\40-\45\60-\70\104-\107\110\111\120')" /dev/sda security_password=" 1 P01 %011$2" /dev/sda: Issuing SECURITY_SET_PASS command, password=" 1 P01 %011$2", user=master, mode=high SECURITY_SET_PASS: Input/output error –  student Oct 27 '13 at 10:25
why can't you do this from within the BIOS? –  MariusMatutiae Oct 28 '13 at 9:30
I didn't find an option to do this in the BIOS, there you can only set the user hdd password and you can set the option that typing in the master password invokes a secure erase instead of unlocking the ssd. However I don't know the master password which DELL has set up so I cannot test if this works. Thus I just want to overwrite the master password. –  student Oct 28 '13 at 11:31
@Glad: Did you check if the drive was frozen? I figured out from the ata specs that it should not be frozen. There are some tricks to get it to a unfrozen state such doing a suspend to RAM and waking it up. Then my I/O error dissappeared but the master password didn't work... –  student Oct 30 '13 at 19:59

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