[LinuxBIOS] Adding Support for ATA Freeze Command.

Peter Stuge stuge-linuxbios at cdy.org
Sat May 21 15:07:28 CEST 2005

On Sat, May 21, 2005 at 10:43:42AM +0100, Ralph Corderoy wrote:
> Are people generally aware of the ATA security commands?

No, probably not. Certainly not if people means everyone with a
ATA drive.

> Once a drive's locked with an unknown user password then it's a
> dead drive unless the manufacturer can be persuade to give you the
> higher level password that allows a security format of the device
> to be done. This normally requires a paper-chase to prove you're
> the rightful owner.

I can see at least two other ways to recover the drive;

1. Find that higher level password from someone other than the

2. Build custom hardware or just a custom BIOS to do a brute force
search for the password in the drive.

> It LinuxBIOS were to add support for Freeze drives it would be
> another advantage over other BIOSes.  Am I right in thinking that
> LinuxBIOS itself knows nothing about ATA and that's left to FILO?

LinuxBIOS initializes the chipset and the payload may use the chipset
to speak to a disk.

> Is that the only payload that deals with ATA?

No, I know of a few other; Etherboot, Linux, ADLO and the FreeBSD
kernel if we got that booted, I don't remember.

I'm not sure this functionality really belongs in the init part of
LinuxBIOS, but perhaps you could have it added to Linux if it isn't
already available there through ioctl() calls.

There's a problem with the interaction required, LinuxBIOS has always
been designed to not require any configuration or options to be
handled interactively, which I think is good. Others will of course
disagree. :)


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