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HDD label

Posted on 1998-09-18
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
O.K. here's an amusing little problem:
I have an older (2-4 yrs 540mb) HDD that has been labled "Ao". I am unable to delete the active partition because FDISK requires that the HDD lable be entered to confirm the partition delete and nothing I have found will allow me to enter a "o" ( as opposed to "O" or "0"). I have tried using ascii characters with no luck. DOS 6.22 "LABLE" command won't work. As of yet, I have not tried anything in Windows, but I suspect that that environment won't work, either.
I know there are ways (usually in DOS) to name items that make them difficult to open in DOS and nearly impossible in Windows, but nothing I am familiar with works here.
This HDD works fine... the only thing I can't do is delete the partition.
Got any ideas how this was done? or how to change it?
Thin que  !
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Question by:jimat
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Expert Comment

by:theh95
ID: 1010633
Try this in fdisk command, when the OS ask you enter the label name, type Ao(The small o you have hold down the ALT key, then at the key pad type 111 that is from the ASCI chart.) it may works.

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by:jimat
ID: 1010634
Sorry.
Per my question I have tried the ascii characters and they don't work. I still get a "lable doesn't match" message.
Thanks, tho.
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Expert Comment

by:bushhead
ID: 1010635
actually trying it in windows could be good, because windows does not ask you to put in the old label before it changes it.

boot up into windows (assuming that you either load the disk as secondary or have windows on it), then right click, go to properties and then change the label there.

hope this helps

bush
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Author Comment

by:jimat
ID: 1010636
Thanks, bush
I'll give it a try on Monday. It's at work.


jimat
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Accepted Solution

by:
felonius earned 50 total points
ID: 1010637
If I where you I would use a Disk Editor (Supplied with Norton Utilities for DOS, for instance) search for "Ao" and then change the data located there to something legal. After that you should be able to fdisk your partition. If you don't have a disk editor, I think that there must be several lying around on the web for free. A quick search told me that they could be found at: http://www.diskwarez.com/home.htm. Have fun. Oh, by the way - do NOT change anything else than the label. It may not be more than 8 characters long and only upper case english letter and underscore.
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Expert Comment

by:gward28
ID: 1010638
can't you reformat it and label it.
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Expert Comment

by:bushhead
ID: 1010639
probably cos he wants the information on the drive. of cos he could probably duplicate the disk with ghost, or just straight hdd-to-hdd copy.

anyways, this is interesting to solve isn't it? :)

bush
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Expert Comment

by:gward28
ID: 1010640
then try it in windows as you stated above.
just one more thing if he wants the info on the hd then why fdisk
and indanger it?
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Author Comment

by:jimat
ID: 1010641
Actually, I tried to re-label it after a re-format two different times (I had higher priorities so twice was all it got). Everything seemed OK, but the lable remained "Ao".
I just got a call from someone at work and, after formatting the HDD they sys'd it and tried to boot it and weren't able to. They didn't remember the error message so I'm at a loss.
All this was in DOS 6.22
Just how would you go about getting a lower case alpha on a lable, anyway?
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Expert Comment

by:bushhead
ID: 1010642
i have no idea how you would get a lower case alpha onto a lable. that's why it's so weird!

hmm.. why would you want to boot it anyways? can't u just put it as a slave or something and then use windows to change the label?

bush
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by:gward28
ID: 1010643
I agree with bush.

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by:jimat
ID: 1010644
Wow!  I thought this would be a good one, but this is getting better. Is there any way I can split the points?
I'd like to find out how as well as what to do. I'm more than willing to boost the points to 100 (or 150) but my orig. question got more comments about how to fix it.
I'm a newbie. I want maximum feedback.
Some of you pro's help me on this. I want to give credit for a possible answer, but I want to see what I can find about     "HOW"  
This is great!
Help me through this while keeping the inherent dignity of the EXPERT  system.



possibly a repeat but:


sure you can fly like an eagle, but a weasel never gets sucked into a jet engine !!      :-)

jimat
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by:felonius
ID: 1010645
Jimat, would you like if I guided you step by step through a partition/disk editing program? I can do that if you want to. I will not make such a list if I do not have to. It takes time - so that is why it is not included in this comment.

felonius
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by:gward28
ID: 1010646
you can run a low level (mid level)format it will get rid of it
partitions, info ,and label ,so you can start over and with your
hd being so small it's freeware.What type of drive is it.
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by:felonius
ID: 1010647
A low level format will kill the information on the whole drive, not only a single partition. Jimat should only do this if he are willing to sacrifice all of it. If you want to keep the info, stick with the diskedit solution.

A low level format is made made from within the BIOS of your computer. If the BIOS does not have such an option you could remove the disk from the computer and bring it close to a powerful magnet. That will for sure remove the label. I have never tried this last solution, but I do not think that the Harddisk will be damaged by it - it will just erase all information on it.

felonius
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Expert Comment

by:gward28
ID: 1010648
Felonius there are many programs that can do this out side of the bios .But you are correct all INFO will be gone .have spent
last 4 days researching this option worked great started with
2.5gig unuseable drive now it works great so I have started going through the bad hard drives all work great now .9 bad drives that were garbage now are ready to be used again.
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Expert Comment

by:public
ID: 1010649
Do NOT ever use a strong maget near a hd. It will erase servo tracks, and the drive will be shot.
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Expert Comment

by:felonius
ID: 1010650
I just checked public's information about servo tracks, and I think he is right. Thanks for the information.

And for newbies: Servo tracks are special tracks (magnetic information) on the hard disk prerecorded from the factory with a special STW (Servo Track Writer). The hard disk uses servo tracks for precise positioning of the read/write head(s).

I far as I know it is a fairly new invention. Winchester Hard disks did not have servo tracks 7-8 years ago (the good old amiga times).

Can't we get some feed back from Jimat? Has his problem been solved?

felonius
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by:jimat
ID: 1010651
felonius
as I told bushhead the HDD is at work and I would check things on Monday.
Anyway, Sunday I discovered there were many options to sitting at my 'puter.
Outside! Sunshine! Texas Motor Speedway with access to the pits! Pretty women! :-)
I'll have a chance to check out the HDD later today.
Later
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Expert Comment

by:mark2150
ID: 1010652
You'll need a low level disk editor for this one. The reason that "Ao" doesn't work is most likely that there is some other non-printable character in the disk label area. A typical trick is to put a Backspace or a Nul in the name. You can't see it from DOS or with any utility, but it's bound to be there.

Get hold a copy of Norton and have it look at the volume label entry. Someone may have gotten *really cute* and marked the label Read/Only (you *can* do that, the volume label entry in the directory is essentially a "normal" directory slot, just with the "label" bit set. No reason that the Hidden/System/RO bits can't be set too!)

Unmark the label's R/O bit *first*, then try to look at the contents of the label.

If the disk is WIN95 bootable (although I doubt it since you said DOS 6.22) you should prevent it from loading Windows so you can work on the disk without windows getting in th e way. Use ATTRIB -S -R -H on MSDOS.SYS and change the BOOTGUI line to read BOOTGUI=0. This will prevent windows from firing at boot time. You may also need to run LOCK to convince windows that you know what you're doing.

Once you've got it up, you need to diddle with the disk editor. Make the change and then reread the sector to make sure it took.

M
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by:jimat
ID: 1010653
Boy! I hate to show my face here.....
Apparently the HDD in question was dropped this weekend (nice dent in one corner) and, now won't respond to anything. In "dead as a..."
Help me out here, everybody.
I don't care about the points but what do I do? With all of the hard work that's gone into these replies I don't want to withdraw the question, but I don't know how to handle this.
Talk to me. Should I go ahead and accept felonius' question (and at what grade) or what?
I probably won't be back on the wire today. It took me 15 minutes to get a line to my ISP just now and when "prime time" rolls around (in a couple of hours) I doubt I'll be able to squeeze in at all....thanx to our wonderful leaders.
Oh, yeah. Something else about the label: The HDD was originally formatted with a French version of DOS (we believe). Could this account for that damned little "o" ?
Mark2150: Yep, I'm familiar with the naming tricks you mentioned (except for the attrib. concept) and tried all sorts of combo's w/ no luck, but that doesn't mean I might have missed something.
Thanx.
I'll be back.
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Expert Comment

by:bushhead
ID: 1010654
wot u can do since no one came up with the right answer, is just to ask a question in experts-exchange channel, from the main homepage, and then ask linda to remove your question because it isn't needed anymore.

might make sense to reject felonius's question. however if u wanna give marks to anyone.. go ahead.

bush
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by:jimat
ID: 1010655
Well, I did get back on.
thanx, bush, but I would prefer to wait for some more responses before I decide what to do.
I think I will wait until the 23rd to give all a chance feed back to me on this. I'm a newbie here an' don't want to violate the protocol (especially since I withdrew a question after a posted answer a week or two ago) so bare (bear?) with me while I get some help.
Anyway, the Cowboys are doing better than I hoped since they got rid of the Puppet (good ole Barry) and , not that I follow too much, but I think I'll lose myself in some company and a taste of one of the world's finest tequilas: Hussong's. Their cantina is Ensinada is 105 years old.
Shoot me some feedback so I can play fair.
Salud.
jimat
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Expert Comment

by:felonius
ID: 1010656
It would be unfair if I got alle the points, of course. It is your decision whether you want to give any points. I am new here also, but I think that a way to do it is to reject my answer and make a number of new questions (with lower point score) - one for those participating in answering this question and then only accept only specific persons for answers on each one.

Does anybody know if that would violate this places protocol?

felonius
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by:bushhead
ID: 1010657
nah.. that would be fine. but the thing is jimat, you answered your own question yourself, "the hdd was crapped up". therefore in theory, there doesn't need to be a distribution of points. but if you feel that you've gained some knowledge because of what we have said here, then give points like felonius said to whoever u think deserves it.

bush
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by:jimat
ID: 1010658
OK here's to felonius.
If it were more than 50 pt I might spend the time to try to spread them, but I've had a hard day at the saltmines (poor boy) and I'm ragged, and my brain hurts, and I wanna shower.
Thanks everyone for the great info !!!
This is a great site. Maybe someday I'll get to answer a question.
Later
jimat
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by:kcneoh
ID: 1010659
try different older version of fdisk.
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