HDD Password Required on Boot?

In my Dell Lat D610 I have a WD 121 gb hd.  During use the blue screen with the memory dump warning appeared.  I shut down the machine, reseated the drive and attempted to reboot (per instructions) and was presented for the first time with a Dell page requiring the entry of a Hard Drive password – which was never configured, so far as I know, and I installed this drive 5 years ago.  Hitting “enter” wouldn’t suffice.

I shut the machine down, again reseated the drive, and was finally able to get a laboriously slow but apparently otherwise normal boot.

My concern is that I will need to know how to circumvent this request for a password should I see it again, and it persists.  Better yet, how to avoid it altogether.

This is my drive: WDC WD1200BEVE-00WZT0

I doubt your drive is at fault. It sounds more like some buggy BIOS or something. Since it fixed itself, I wouldn’t do anything, but when it reoccurs, try updating the bios. maybe that fixes it permanently!