I've successfullt entered an ATA Password (called HP DriveLock in my HP laptop) for my Intel 320 SSD using BIOS settings. As a result, my laptop wants me to enter the ATA Password every time I start it up. By design, the password is stored in the SSD and not in the computer's BIOS.
Suppose I want remove my SSD and connect it to another computer using an eSATA cable or cabinet. If the existing boot disk in this computer have a different ATA password set or no password set at all, I would of course like to enter the password at a later stage (from within Windows) to make the disk accessible.
According to the help system of Rapid Storage Technology Application (RST), I should be able to enter the ATA password by selecting the appropriate disk and then click Unlock.
However, the Unlock button or link isn't visible in RST. According to chapter 16.2 in the Intel RST OEM Technical Guide (http://www.station-drivers.com/telechargement/intel/sata/OEM_Technical_Guide_10_5_rev1_01.pdf http://www.station-drivers.com/telechargement/intel/sata/OEM_Technical_Guide_10_5_rev1_01.pdf), the unlock button or link is hidden by default but can be enabled by setting bit6 "HDD Unlock (HDDLK)" of the 'Intel RST Feature Capabilities' register in the SATA controller MMIO space (http://pdf.directindustry.com/pdf/intel/intel-6-series-chipset-and-intel-c200-series-chipset-datashe... http://pdf.directindustry.com/pdf/intel/intel-6-series-chipset-and-intel-c200-series-chipset-datashe...).
Can I make the required changes myself somehow, or is this setting only available to the manufacturer? Does anyone know?
HP DriveLock, according to the HP User Guides or Maintenance and Service Guides I've read, will present a single password-protected drive for unlocking during the BIOS post. If the boot drive is not password-protected but a data drive is, then it will request the user password for the data drive. I haven't seen any reference as to whether this process treats an eSATA data drive differently. If the password for the data drive isn't entered correctly then the BIOS proceeds to boot without unlocking it.
After the BIOS post, HP DriveLock won't offer to unlock a drive.
It's an interesting reference you've found regarding the Intel RST feature for unlocking a drive. However, I suspect the bit6 HDDLK register is part of the BIOS programming, and can only be modified by modifying the BIOS itself. Someone with knowledge about BIOS programming (Pit, perhaps?) should be able to tell you more.
I've actually tried using a password disabled internally mounted boot disk together with a password enabled data disk connected to the eSATA port. My HP EliteBook 8460p doesn't ask for the data disk's password at boot, and Intel's RST Application marks the drive as locked in Windows.
I've also tried the same configuration as above but with both disks password enabled using the same password. The data disk is unfortunately still locked according to Intel's RST Application.