Hard drives locked with ATA passwords can pose a big problem for forensic experts. When a hard drive is locked with an ATA password, there is no way to gain access to the drive without entering the correct password. Neither can you crack the password using "brute force" style methods. Atola Insight's automatic password removal function extracts the original password from the hard drive's firmware area. It automatically unlocks the password in under 2 minutes with just a few mouse clicks.
Please note that unlocking a hard drive does not affect its hash value because the password is stored in the hard drive's firmware area (which is never included in hash calculation).
ATA password removal module works with various Seagate, WD, Toshiba, Hitachi, Samsung, Fujitsu, Maxtor SATA and IDE drives. For more information, see the complete list of supported drives.
Before you even start imaging, Atola Insight Forensic automatically checks the hard drive's security status when the drive is initialized. The security status is displayed on the main screen for your convenience. You can also double-check the status with one click of a button.
If a drive is locked with an ATA password, you can choose to unlock the drive. Alternatively, just extract and view the password without unlocking the drive. This entire process takes under 2 minutes and works for both High and Max security levels.
The extracted password is displayed in both HEX and alphabetical form.
Extracting the password and unlocking the hard drive has no impact on MD5 or SHA hash values because passwords are stored in a drive's firmware.
Like all Atola Insight functions, this entire process is automatically logged in the Case Management system.