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Dell not booting into BIOS after ATA secure erase


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#1 fish123

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:38 AM

I have a Dell Inspiron 660 that I'm looking to sell soon. So I wanted to remove my private data first, and I decided to go with the ata secure erase because I'd read that it's faster and more secure than just overwriting the disk with dban. My hard drive is 2 TB and the secure erase only took about 3.5 hours. I used hdparm on a live ubuntu USB to initiate the erase.
I followed the instructions I found at https://ata.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/ATA_Secure_Erase

Once I tried to reboot the computer, it just hangs on the dell logo splash screen. I can't enter the bios or even use F12 to boot from a USB.
I think I bit off a bit more than I could chew here and messed with stuff I don't understand very well. Could anyone tell me what might have happened that I can't boot? I could see how hdparm might damage the hd I was messing with, but how could it make the computer unbootable?

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#2 James Litten

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 10:54 AM

Hi Fish123

Have you confirmed that the hard drive is causing the problem by disconnecting it and then successfully entering the BIOS settings screens?

When you did the secure erase, did it finish normally and show that the password had been removed?

James

#3 fish123

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:49 AM

Thanks for the reply. I disconnected the harddrive, and now I can boot into the BIOS settings, so I guess the drive was damaged somehow. Is it normal for a bad harddrive to render a computer completely unbootable? I'm not that savy about computer hardware, sorry.

I did use "hdparm -I /dev/sda" to verify that the drive was unlocked after the secure erase, so I'm not sure what went wrong. I'm glad it's only the drive, since that can be easily replaced. Is there anything I can try to fix it though?

Thanks for the reply. I disconnected the harddrive, and now I can boot into the BIOS settings, so I guess the drive was damaged somehow. Is it normal for a bad harddrive to render a computer completely unbootable? I'm not that savy about computer hardware, sorry.

I did use "hdparm -I /dev/sda" to verify that the drive was unlocked after the secure erase, so I'm not sure what went wrong. I'm glad it's only the drive, since that can be easily replaced. Is there anything I can try to fix it though?

#4 James Litten

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:11 PM

Hi

The safest and easiest way to test it is to get a SATA to USB bridge so that you can connect it externally to USB. They are pretty cheap.

James




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