Let me help you with this.
It is important to say that the drive does encrypt its AES keys with the ATA password and ATA password is stored as non-reversible hash.
In regards your third question, we are unable to suggest specific or third party software but you will also notice that there are no Intel® drives listed in the “Supported Drives” section for this particular product.
Thanks for the response; this clarification is important to me, because I have been trying to determine if setting the ATA password is an adequate security measure to defend against theft etc.
For example, if the drive does indeed encrypt its AES keys with the ATA user password, it is my understanding that it will not be possible for an attacker to decrypt the data on the drive, unless they know the ATA password (because this password is needed to decrypt the AES key, which is needed to decrypt the data).