Pin Me

What to Do if a PC is Protected by a Password Authentication System

written by: Donna Buenaventura•edited by: Bill Fulks•updated: 10/17/2010

Purchasing a locked computer will display a message that "this computer system is protected by a password authentication system" when you turn on the computer. This message is what you get if the hard disk is protected by a password.

  • slide 1 of 3

    Computer Protected With Password Authentication System

    This computer system is protected by a password authentication system Anyone trying to use a computer that is protected by a password authentication will find that there is a block on the operating system unless the correct password is entered. A message stating "This computer system is protected by a password authentication system" means the hard disk on the PC is in a locked state. Only the registered owner or the PC manufacturer like Dell can unlock the PC.

    If you took advantage of the hard disk security option by creating a password but you forgot the password, or if you purchased a second-hand computer from eBay or another person but the transfer of ownership was not made and/or the previous owner has locked the hard-disk, the computer may become locked until you contact the manufacturer or owner for the password. Find out below on what are the steps for removing the password authentication system.

  • slide 2 of 3

    The Password Authentication System in a Hard disk

    Hard-disk #***********-****, the system Primary HDD, is protected by a password authentication system. You cannot access data on this hard drive without the correct password. Please type in the hard disk drive password and press <Enter>.

    The above is an example hard disk password authentication system message that you might encounter if the computer's hard disk is protected by a password. The only way to solve the problem is to try a few different things:

    Method I - Try 'Password' and 'Administrator' as Passwords

    Often, the default password entered by a manufacturer is password or administrator or admin. You should try these passwords if you recently bought a computer that is protected by a password.

    Method II - Contact the Owner or Seller

    If the first method fails to logon using the known default passwords in many systems or platforms, the next method to use is by contacting the seller or previous owner. Request the password and demand a transfer of ownership. When you are the rightful owner of the device, you can call for technical support at any time, as long as the warranty is valid. However, if the warranty is no longer valid or has expired, the new owner will be charged a fee to activate the warranty, but under the new owner's name.

    Method III - Proof of Purchase of a Second Hand Computer

    In some cases, the buyer of a second hand computer won't be able to get the hard disk and/or system passwords from the owner, if the owner is not known to the seller e.g. you purchased from third-party instead of direct buying from the previous owner of the PC.

    If you have proof of purchase (also known as receipt), you can show it to the PC manufacturer support via fax or email. In some cases, providing the receipt is not required other than providing the serial number or service tag of the PC along with the Express service code to help verify the computer. This information is on the sticker that is on top or behind the computer desktop or underneath the laptop. The manufacturer's support team should be able to identify the serial tag and check the previous owner's details. If the computer is confirmed sold or they have it on their database, you have a good chance to unlock the computer with the help of the PC vendor's support.

  • slide 3 of 3

    Final Words

    Purchasing any device via third-party (whether it is new or second hand) instead of directly buying from the manufacturer can be troublesome or risky. However, most computer manufacturers understand that some of their customers are selling the old PC which means they have extended their support by helping the new owner.

    Things to remember when purchasing any computer:

    • Remember to keep the proof of purchase.
    • Note the name, phone, email or postal address of the seller or shipper.
    • Keep any email or letters that can prove the purchase or transaction.
    • Note the service tag and express service code.
    • Immediately turn on the device upon receipt to ensure that you can use it.
    • Check the warranty if the PC is sold as new, but if it's an old device and inaccessible, immediately contact the manufacturer for help. Return to the seller and demand the money back if the manufacturer failed to solve or help in accessing the computer.
    • Buy from trusted sources.
    • If you will buy online, check with other members on the reputation of a seller.

    Image credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Password.svg



Popular Pages



More Info