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Context. the Samsung SSD Pro series ships with a hardware-based encryption feature which protects the disk content. As highlighted by many other questions and guides online, this feature can be "enabled" (simplifying a bit), by setting the HDD Password in the BIOS.

However, one aspect that it doesn't seem to be covered well enough, perhaps either because I can't find the proper search keywords or because there is a very simple answer, is the portability of an encryption-enabled ssd.


Question. What do I mean by portability: is it possible to detach the SSD from one computer and plug it into another and still mount its contents correctly, provided that the hdd password is known?

The ideal scenario is that the new pc detects the device during boot, prompts for the hdd password and mounts it flawlessly, thus giving access to the stored data.

However, this might not be the case if the automatic encryption of the Samsung SSD does not depend on the hdd password only, but also on some system-specific salt or "secret" that is tied to the original machine on which encryption was enabled. Another issue could be the new machine's ability to recognise that the ssd needs a password to properly work, e.g. in the case in which in the new pc the master/user hdd passwords were never set.

Would anyone know any trusted documentation on the topic?


test 1: plugged a samsung ssd on a different pc, on which no password was previously set, and I was not prompted for the hdd password to unlock the device. Would setting the same hdd password on the new pc allow for mounting the ssd? I wonder.

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How did you enable the encryption?

I tried that with a Samsung evo 840 using encryption enabled via the bios. The hard drive was detected but without the password you couldn't do anything to it (read/write/wipe/...). With the password everything worked fine. Note that support for setting/changing/using the pw via bios is not available on many desktop boards (or doesn't do what you would like) while laptop boards can do it just fine.

In your case, the password you set probably didn't actually get forwarded to the ssd but was just used by your mother board to determine who to let use the drive.

  • At what stage were you asked for the disk password? Did you try setting a different disk password on the new pc before plugging the password-protected SSD, and see whether it would have caused problems? What about resetting the SSD password on the new pc? – Patrick Trentin Nov 24 '16 at 8:52

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