I have a 500gb western digital hard drive and I accidentally set an ata password on the hard drive. I tried master passwords, those did not work, I read about hdd unlock wizard, but when i go to there website it says, it was discontinued on July 2017. I have been trying to get it unlocked for 2 months now, and have gotten nowhere. If you guys could either help me out or tell me of alternatives like hdd unlock wizard that would be great.


It depends on your goal.

  • If you want your data back, you're almost certainly out of luck. The ATA Secure Erase system is designed to make starting the erasure process irrevocable without the password. And since the locking is implemented at the controller level, it's harder to bruteforce or otherwise attack in bulk at any reasonable speed using public tools.

  • If you don't need the data and just want to get the drive back, see my answer here. In a nutshell, you ignore the old password and simply initiate a new erasure with a new password. This will work, because the underlying mechanism is simply designed to ensure that the drive must be wiped before it can ever be accessed again.

  • When I enter the command you provided it says: /dev/sda: Issuing SECURITY_SET_PASS command, password='12345', user=master, mode=high SG_IO: bad/missing sense data, sb[]: 70 00 05 00 00 00 00 0a 04 51 40 01 21 04 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00. What does this mean? – Kevin Greaves Apr 18 '18 at 1:18
  • If hdparm -I shows that the drive is in a frozen state, you might need to unfreeze it - try telling the OS to put the system to sleep, and then wake it up again, check to see if it's still frozen, and try again. See superuser.com/questions/1213715/… – Royce Williams Apr 18 '18 at 2:27
  • It says the drive is not frozen and not expired, am I doing something wrong? – Kevin Greaves Apr 18 '18 at 19:11
  • Would replacing the motherboard on the hard drive get rid of the password? – Kevin Greaves May 1 '18 at 22:03

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