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hard drive factory crippled

I was offered a hard drive from a friend whose company replaces their PCs regulary. The old stuff is thrown out. This drive is a 40gig drive, enough for me. One hitch, it was crippled by the manufacturer.
Here's why. This company needed to replace a 6gig drive a while back. When they contacted the manufacturer, they didn't have any 6gigs drives for rush deliver. The hard drive manufacturer sent a 40gig but crippled it to 6gig. This was a warranty replacement and the manufacturer did in fact replace a 6gig drive with a 6gig capcity drive. The drive itself has a label on it stating 40gig. A phone call to the manufactory verified this condition when a customer service person stated "they take the drive in the back and [cripple it].
Is there a way to regain the full capacity of this drive? Was it a firmware flash that was performed on this drive?
thanks
Greg
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topperee
Asked:
topperee
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1 Solution
 
kiranghagCommented:
which drive??
seagate has a utility that allows the drive to report less number of lba sectors to the bios for compatibility resons...
do u have seagate...

or is this 6gb limit coming thru bios (not sure abt this. bios usually puts limit of 8gb, but still to check)
have u tried this in a different machine?
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toppereeAuthor Commented:
I have yet to get this drive. It may take a few days. I do know this, it was original HD in a Compaq. I will get the machine model etc. I did ask what brand, but Seagate does not come to mind. Possibly a Quantum but will find out.  Don't forget, this was a Compaq or reseller fix, performed on the drive. Intentionally crippled. By the way, I'm recalling the drives size from memory. I'll get all the details.
thanks
Greg
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pratiganCommented:
Interesting..... I would try reformatting the harddrive setting the BIOS to Auto and see what comes up.  There are also software packages like partition magic that you could try.  I would check out the no cost possibilities first.
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pbarretteCommented:
Hi topperee,

It is likely that this disk has had it's "Maximum Addressable Sector" adjusted. Check out this link for details:
http://sandersonforensics.co.uk/manual.htm

pb
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toppereeAuthor Commented:
I have additional info regarding this drive. I mis-spoke. The drive is a 20gig crippled to a 6gig. In this story there is another drive which is a 60gig that was also crippled to a 20gig.  Both were adjusted to a smaller capacity by the vedor/manufacturer when they replaced defective drives that were under warranty.
I do know this, the crippled 60gig drive replaced a 20gig that was in a Compaq Deskpro EP. This drive is a Western Digital Cavier. The other is the one I mention in my original post is a 20gig crippled to a 6gig. It was in a Compaq DeskPro EN. I don't know what brand drive. Each drive states the larger capacity on a tag that is on the drive itself.
Pbarrette-I will follow your url lead now, but just wanted to provide the above info before i do.
thanks
greg
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pratiganCommented:
How are you determining that the drive was crippled, per say.  There are limitations on harddrive sizes that are determined by BIOS and motherboards.  Therefore I'm wondering if the drive is just showing a lower volume based upon a BIOS or motherboard restriction. Also, what is the serial number of the drive in question.
Also, the operating system can also limit the size of the drive.  What operating system are you using ??
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toppereeAuthor Commented:
The vendor who replaced the two drives in question told the buyer of the two PCs mentioned, that they had in fact made this capacity limitation before sending out the drive replacements. I mentioned the two original PCs above. They have atleast win98 installed.
I don't have the drive's serial number.  I'm not in possesion of either one yet.
Why would the vendor purposely limit the drives if they felt the bios would limited the drives by default.
Greg
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pratiganCommented:
Well... I'm not sure that the drives are actually limited.  I'm thinking there showing limited only by the PCs there in.  One thing some manufacturers do is they create a hidden partition with a size limit.  However, if you fdisk the drive and use fat32 you can delete that partition.
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toppereeAuthor Commented:
I understand that providing as much observable detail as possible to solve the HD limitation is important.  There's not much more that I can. F-disk was performed and showed the capacity less than what was written on the drive itself. The vendor providing these replacement drives said they performed some type of "surgery" on them, saying, "we take them in the back and (limit) them." This info is provided to me by the one who maintained these machines. His company later discarded them for newer ones. The drives are now used "as is" after they were discarded.
Pbarrette's link provided above may explain things. This link is very technical, beyond my scope, but if u go there and use your browser's 'Find on this page' and look for "Maximum Addressable," you will find, "Maximum addressable sector adjusted."  Looks like this software or something like it was used to limit these drives.  I really don't have much to add.  
I will give it thru the weekend to get more info and will have to save us all the much appreciated time and effort so far and close this question if the comming days do not produce any further details. I had hoped there was a magic bullet so to speak, to solve this.
thanks
Greg
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pbarretteCommented:
Hi topperee,

If you are familliar with Linux, there is source-code here for a program which will allow you to set the "Native Max Address" on the drive:
http://www.ussg.iu.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/0012.1/0249.html

It is intended for IBM drives, but since the ATA specs are all the same, it should work for all drives.

pb
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pbarretteCommented:
Hi again,

Just found this software to remove the Host Protected Areas of drives:
ftp://dmares.com/pub/hpa.exe

pb
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toppereeAuthor Commented:
I was hit by a virus. W95/Weird. Presenty using a diferent HD. I've yet to fix the above. That drive is inaccessable.

I have to give the credit to pbarrette. For your research and efforts. But I'm leary to d/l an executable now, but a little research on the hpa.exe file tells me it is Hardware Profile Autostart or HP Autostater. My search led to a German site described only in German language. A Web page translator tell me this about the program -

"Description HPAutostarter recognizes started became and becomes which hardware profile in Aktivierung, depending, which programs you registered, start this.  If one has an internet-hardware-profile and claims to have started all internet programs only in this profile.  Restriction the program names become named stored unfortunately yet in according to hardware profile files in the index of HPA.  Soon is removed become.  No aid"

Does this make any sense?

Lastly, the owner of these crippled drives has since accepted these limitations and has been using them as slaves on his system to store data, and in spite of his offer to give me one of them, may have spoken too soon.
But always swapping drives in and out of his mix-and-match systems, these drives soon may be removed in favor for something better.

Greg




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toppereeAuthor Commented:
Wow! I feel foolish. HPA.exe is Host Protected Area and not Hardware Profile Autostart. Hey, it's early in the morning, giv me a break. I did a search for hpa.exe and the only thing I found was Hardware Profile Autostart. I opened hpa.exe as per pbarrette and it is what he said it is. Like I said its early and I'm a little burnt from dealing with my old HD that was exhibiting erratic behavoir for some time before it finally checked out on me.
Greg
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pbarretteCommented:
Hi topperee,

Glad to hear you've got it under control. Let us know what happens so this question doesn't become abandoned.

pb
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toppereeAuthor Commented:
I selected pbarrette's answer some time back but not sure if credit was assigned to him.
Since I'm in repetition mode, I was hit by a virus(s). I got a lesson in anti-virus pgms. In a panic, I tried them all in order to salvage my infected files. Hit by W32Weird, and a few others, (it must of been feeding time) which infected about one thousand "exe" files, one antivirus pgm prompted to quarantine the infected files.  When I did, I discovered that I exceded the quarantine's folder size and almost all of the infected files were deleted leaving only a few in the quarantine folder. The program did not notify me that it was deleting these infected files! I had hoped to later access these thousand files and cure them.
And then there is Norton which uses "8" rescue disks!!!!
Get one bad disk and you're out of luck. I encountered  getting stuck in a loop using these rescue disks.  I had to create a new set of 8 disks.
One program did not have the words "cure" "fix" "disinfect" in its help search directory.
I tried three major antivirus pgms. None of them listed the viruses it detected in a window big enough, width wise, that was easy to see the path of each virus infected file.  I had to scroll left-to-right for each infected file to view its path.
And on and on and on....
Something called, milkit.exe was also on my system. I think it was a spy like file that provided access to my PC to an intruder.
Search the net and find zero info on milkit.exe?








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pluisjeCommented:
Hi,

I have the same problem.
My HDD from COMPAQ are 20GB. In my computer the disk 10GB.
Compaq have the disk limited to 10GB
The program HPA.EXE can't help. The disk does not support HPA
Who can help me to break the limit of 10GB?
I have this disk:

Maxtor Fireball 3  ATA/133 20GB HDD

Thanks
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kiranghagCommented:
download maxblast from maxtor.com. that should allow you to access the complete size.
you may be required to format the drive, so make sure you have backups.
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pluisjeCommented:
When I download maxblast of powermax, I can't change the disk size.
When I the disk formatted low level, the disk size 10GB not changed to 20GB.

I w'll change the disk size. maxblast said:
this drive does not support the set disk size feature


Do you have an order option?
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