I am experiencing an unusual issue, which has me a little stumped. I am struggling to pinpoint which hardware part is at fault.
I have an Asus laptop with two hard drives; primary drive is an M.2 128GB ssd for operating system only, and the secondary drive is a standard 2.5 inch 1TB HDD.
I have an HDD password set in the Bios, but not a Bios/power on password.
The laptop suddenly froze and became unresponsive yesterday, and I was forced to power it off and on again.
However, on powering on, it prompted the HDD password as usual, but it kept saying the password was incorrect.
I have not entered the bios for months, and have not changed the password, so this was very strange. My initial thought therefore was some kind of virus had changed it somehow maybe.
I opened the back and removed the HDD, and powered on without it, and there was no password prompt anymore. However, it did not boot from the SSD as I would expect it to. Instead it just went to bios settings.
In the settings, the SSD is visible under SATA settings, but it will not boot from it or anything.
I booted from a USB stick with Windows 10 installation media on it, and went into a command prompt, but cannot see the SSD at all.
When I put the HDD back in, the password prompt was back, and still will not accept the correct PW.
I tried it the other way round. Removing the SSD but leaving HDD in. Same problem. password prompt comes up.
I have put the HDD into a caddy and connected to another PC. It will not assign a drive letter, as expected, but the drive is visible in Computer Management (though it says it needs to be initialised and formatted).
I fitted the HDD into another laptop as primary and powered it on. It did not ask for password, but just halted. I went into bios, and the drive recognises, but cannot be accessed (as expected).
I put another HDD into the problem laptop then booted from USB, and was able to install Windows 10 on it and boot from it, so it doesn't seem to be a controller/system board issue.
What I cannot work out is;
If the faulty part is the SSD drive, which seems to be the case, then why does the HDD password not still work on the HDD? Is it possible that when you set an HDD password, both drives are locked, and one won't open without the other?
If that is the case, if I replaced the SSD and set the same HDD password on it, would both suddenly become accessible again?
If the problem, however, is the HDD, then why does the SSD no longer boot or show up?
It's all a bit confusing.
I don't really need access to the locked HDD, but I'm reluctant to buy a new HDD and/or SSD until I can figure out what part is actually faulty and why it has affected the other.
Having said that...if the HDD is not the faulty item, then given that I do know the correct password (and am not trying to crack it or anything), how can I possible regain access to it using a USB caddy?
I wondered if anyone had any higher knowledge of the way bios(uefi) set HDD passwords work with multiple drives and if it is indeed possible for one faulty drive to take the other one with it.
Any insight or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.