My Lenovo S10-2 laptop died. I'd like to get the data off the hard drive. The problem is that there is a hard drive password applied to the drive. Of course I know the password, but I have no way of entering it. When I connect the hard drive to another computer using a SATA-USB adapter cable, the data is not accessible and I get no opportunity to enter the password.

How can I access the data on the hard drive?

(Some background on the laptop: When I press the power button, the button lights up, but nothing appears on screen, and after about 10 seconds, the light in the power button goes out again. In its last days, the laptop wasn't keeping time, so I thought it just needed a new CMOS battery, but when I opened up the laptop and measured the voltage of the existing CMOS battery, it matched what the manual said it should be, so now I suppose the problem is something to do with the motherboard.)

I've tried to do some searching on my options, and the only thing I can find really is to find another working Lenovo S10-2, insert my hard drive into it, and remove the password through the working laptop's BIOS.

Are there any other options? Is there perhaps some freeware Windows program that would allow me to do something along the lines of sending the appropriate unlock command and password to the drive over a SATA-USB adapter cable?

  • most modern laptops store the hd password on a chip on the motherboard, so putting it in another laptop does not always work, do some googling for unlocking your model of hard drive. – Moab Jan 2 '16 at 1:00
  • If it's fully on-drive encryption, the password should be on the drive too, just need a compatible BIOS to access it. And @Xavierjazz where is the "no programs" rule mentioned? I thought opinions like "what's the best program for ..." are disallowed, but saying what program(s) can solve the problem are A-OK – Xen2050 Jan 2 '16 at 2:34

Maybe just any other IdeaPad laptop will do, not only exactly S10-2. Protection mechanisms are same/similar across IdeaPads as they are across ThinkPads.

If you badly need the data, your can still reach Lenovo service centre. Usually, this is no problem for them, when you have machine/hard drive password.

At least, you can contact them to get price quotes for:

  • removal of the hard-drive password (If possible. But I think this should be possible because in Lenovo computers, you can simply remove the password without losing the data. If not possible, then you can ask for price of copying the data to another drive you supply them.)
  • new motherboard

Sometimes, the above options could be even cheaper than getting another IdeaPad device.

  • Thanks for the suggestions. On the point of using a different IdeaPad model, I actually did manage to find someone with a Lenovo S-10 (as opposed to S10-2) who let me try with my hard drive in his computer, but when I entered the correct password through the other computer's BIOS, it reported that the password was incorrect. That led me to believe that it might be critical that I do this using the exact same computer model (and BIOS version). – osullic Jan 2 '16 at 10:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.