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unlock utility for linux



Dear fellow Fedora users,

Does there exist a utility within linux, be it fedora or other that can unlock a locked hard drive.  A friend of mine gave me a disk and he told me that it was mine to keep, the problem was that the hard drive was locked and if I could unlock it I can keep it.  I tried the Gparted Live CD, Slax Live CD and the device exists, but it gives errors like 

/dev/sda input output error

or something like that.  I read something about dd doing powerful things like cleaning up disks or wiping them clean, how can one use a utility like that with a hard drive that was locked.  Someone locked it up and the warranty on the disk is gone, so I could get to keep the disk, but the catch is to reset it/unlock it.

Thank you in advance for suggestions/advice/comments.

Antonio 


      


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