General Question

ETpro's avatar

How do I erase password protection on an external hard drive?

Asked by ETpro (34511points) October 3rd, 2012

Dear fellow nerds. I inherited a ½ Gig Lacie external hard drive which I’d like to use as the backup drive for Norton auto backups. Problem is it’s nearly full of my son’s data, and he’s forgotten the password. The Mac Address is printed on a label on the back of it along with a serial number. I see nothing remotely like a model number. It has a USB port and a CAT5 connection for networking it.

I know there is a way to externally wipe out the password and data and reformat the drive from a connected computer. How is it done?

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8 Answers

jerv's avatar

I will have to double-check how Lacie does things, but I know that there are certain security things that Linux ignores, especially if you use a distro that is geared specifically for intrusion testing.

wds2's avatar

I think that reformatting the drive should do it. I did this to 2 terrabyte drive to delete the previous users password and data. Have you tried right clicking the drive in explorer and pressing format? That is how I would do it.

ETpro's avatar

@jerv Just one more reason to transition to Linux. Thanks.

@wds2 Have not tried, but I will. Thanks.

dabbler's avatar

Can you get at the admin screen? Can you even tell at what IP it might be present on your LAN? Does your son recall any admin experiences?
If you’re locked out, there might be a ‘reset’ button that restores original settings. There could be data loss if you do that, but you want to do that anyway.

ETpro's avatar

@dabbler I’ll have to check network access. Just got my new cable modem installed in our new place yesterday, and I have to run a bunch of coax through the basement or else go wireless. On the reset button, that’s a no. Nothing either physical or any apparent digital reset when I use the USB connection to the drive.

dabbler's avatar

[ coax? you’re not running cat5 or 6? ]
If your network drive is anything like my old buffalo the USB is only a way to hang an additional drive off the box for network access.
Maybe you have to disassemble it a bit to get ahold of a model number, and head for the docs.

ETpro's avatar

I have a 35 Meg cable line in. That’s what’s on coax. I want my TV in the living room and need my Internet in my office. The coax wiring is for that. The network will all be either Cat5 or wireless.

There is a stand-up base one it. I think you might be on to something about disassemble. The model number may well be under that foot.

dabbler's avatar

Ah, makes total sense. Good luck with both tasks!

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