On my HP ProBook laptop, by going in the BIOS options, I protected the Hard Drive by using HP's DriveLock technology. Every time that I turn on my laptop, a password is requested. If I move this hard drive (protected by DriveLock) to another computer of another brand (Asus), there is no prompt to enter a password and so I cannot access the content of the hard drive.

Is this due to the fact that the hard drive protected by DriveLock is unlockable only on my laptop? What if I will insert this hard drive on another HP laptop which supports DriveLock technology? Will it recognize the fact that there is this protection enabled on the HDD and will it ask for the password to unlock it?

To summarize: Is an HDD protected by HP's DriveLock only unlockable on HP computers which support this technology or only on the computer where DriveLock has been enabled?


You need to have a computer with HP DriveLock in order to unlock the password, but it does not need to be the original computer.

According to the HP website:

DriveLock is an industry standard security feature that helps prevent unauthorized access to the data on specific hard drives. DriveLock has been implemented as an extension to Computer Setup. It is only available on certain systems and only when DriveLock capable hard drives are detected.

According to an HP whitepaper:

A hard drive protected with a DriveLock password stays protected, even if the drive is removed from one system and inserted into another. At power-on, the system prompts the user for the DriveLock password. If an incorrect password is entered, the information on the hard drive is inaccessible.

The DriveLock password is stored inside the hard drive itself and cannot be read; it can only be authenticated against. Therefore, an unauthorized user cannot obtain the DriveLock password from the hard drive itself.

  • 1
    Their marketing sounds to me like it's actually just a firmware interface to the ATA security commands, in which case it may be possible to unlock the drive on other systems too, though not necessarily from the firmware. – Austin Hemmelgarn Oct 5 '18 at 18:44
  • @AustinHemmelgarn That's possible. They do state that that's what they use for their Secure Erase feature, but I can't find any confirmation if that's true for DriveLock. The OP's mention that it doesn't work on ASUS made me doubt it, but I'm not as familiar with ASUS. – Worthwelle Oct 5 '18 at 18:49
  • It may be a case of DriveLock doing some complex key derivation from the password you give it and that in turn is what gets used as the drive password, in which case it wouldn't work on any other systems even if it is just using the ATA security commands. – Austin Hemmelgarn Oct 5 '18 at 19:12
  • So, since "You need to have a computer with HP DriveLock", I have to attach such HDD on another HP computer with the DriveLock technology, since on my Asus at least, the DriveLock protection is not recognized at all. – Dave Diamond Oct 5 '18 at 19:15

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