Hard Drive type ST1600021A (Seagate) - Getting Rid OF RESTORE VOLUME for XP from my newly purchased system

I just purchased a brand new HP Pavilion system (Model a620n) which has 160 GB Hard Drive. I want to completely erase the drive - possiblly low-level format and build my own partitions with multiiple OS's.

It came with XP Home Edition plus Software on RECOVERY VOLUME. During boot-up it will give you an option to press F10 for System Recovery - This is one of the features offered by XP. Although, I have no intentions of using it.

I was able to delete the XP partition through DOS as NON-DOS partition.

When I satrted installing Win2K the partition size remaining shows approx. 125GB. Where did loose all those extra 35GB -  Of course I used up 2 GB for my DOS.

Is there any low-level formatter for this particular drive model that I can use to clean the drive bit-by-bit and rebuild the system.
I seeked HP site, there was nothing there that would point me low-level-formatter.

Who is Participating?
The Disk Wizard Starter Edition will do the job of zero filling your drive. Its safe to do so. You might upset the HP warranty by doing it, since they have quite a few other programs installed but the can be retrieved from their site individually and also from their Util disks. If you are making a multiboot system, say with two (2) Main partitions and one (1) Data partition and the largest Partition is under the  approx Magic 120 Gbyte size then you dont have to worry. If you are using Win98/98SE as one OS don't forget that it has to be formated as a FAT32 and W2k should be NTFS then the shared data has to be a FAT32 so that 98xx can use the data unless you want to buy a program that allowes 98 to use a NTFS Data partition
Lots of choices here, plan carefully how you want your system to work
The Disk Wizard Starter Edition on floppy requires two (2) disks to create and it has the tools to partition your drive as you please in as many ways as you want it and format them quickly in FAT32 or NTFS. I Have used the program many many times and have had no problem.
If you don't have a floppy, download the ISO version and burn it to CDROM the start it from the CD.

Regards Have a nice day
Hello westclox;
First of all, low level format is a physical treatment to your drive and it is not recommended, it may be dangerous and it void your warranty, lowers the disk's life.
Second; Windows 2000 does not provide support for 48-bit LBA hard-drives. (larger than 137GB drives)After you install Windows 2000 you should install service pack 4 to enable 48-bit LBA then you'll see the rest of your drive.

westcloxAuthor Commented:
I was just able to go through Seagate's Knowledge Base Q&A and it directed me to DiscWizard Starter Edition to Zero-Fill ATA Hard Drives. That is the only way to clear these types of hard drives.

I do appreciate your second answer, which I may not have been aware of at that instant. I'm not sure if this was worth 500 points, since I fell  there are nom better answers then this.

Let us wait.......for more comments.

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westcloxAuthor Commented:
Hi! Stabbensgrabb,

I downloaded DiskWizard Starter Edition from Seagate's site as they recommnded. I downloaded both Floppy and CD .iso image version. I cut the CD and used to boot my HP system. The Seagate site mentions that I will see a hard drive menu, well I did not. There was absolutely nothing on that CD - I mean any executable (.EXE / .COM / .BAT) - thet would allow me to zero out my hard drive or even see the hard drive. So, I just gave up after second attempt of download and wasted another CD.

I still have my dillema. I have created DOS 2GB partition as C: drive and created 20GB XP Profesional as the next partition. The system is fully built and I still only see total of 130MB including C (2GB) + J (19.53GB) + Free Space(106.4GB)

What happened to the rest of the 160GB hard drive space?

I opened up Disk mansget to see the illustrated view. There are only three partitions on this hard drive. It bothers me to loose 30GB of drive space.

The BIOS settings plus "AIDA32" application (A sysinfo Tool) shows Disk Drive as ST3160021A (160GB, 7200RPM, Ultra-ATA/100)

Noiw I really need help.
westcloxAuthor Commented:
I just found my lost space, (21.06GB)  as unallocated in a partition by itself.  I'm not sure why it is hanging loose at the end of the drive.  It will only let me create a primary partition. Somehow I have to figure out how to make it contguous with the rest of the drive.

I am wondering if I rebuild my system with XP at the start of the partition and eliminate DOS would solve my issue for not being able to see the full drive capacity.

It seems I almost need a Windows version Partition Magic / alike to create one full contiguous drive and partition as required.

I am also wondering if HP have modified controller BIOS to spare this partition for something else.
This is becoming a science project now.

Ok if you can't burn an ISO image and use it then use the floppies to Start. They have to start in "DOS" Mode You cant run them from windows and they must start from their program.
The Learn More tab In DW is very useful

If you have not zero filled the drive and then used the DW to create Partitions you cannot sometimes get back what you lost.
Also DOS Based Fdisk cannot handle more than a cetain amount and will always loose the last bits of space.
Have you got a floppy ?

What CD Burning program are you using ? Windows XP and W2k (Pro) can't burn ISO Files direct. You have to use Nero 5.5 or higher or Roxio 5.1 (5.3) to do it with.

When you start DW ( Disk Manager ) if you delete the last partition and then try and set up the partion in DW (DM) what happens ?

If Fdisk was used from W98SE OR ME you cannot co higher than about a 100GByte in a Partion and it really doesnt like anything bigger than about 80 GB and then it is still weird to use because you cannot use the funtion of setting the size in MByte. You have to use the % of drive function.

If you Zero fill your drive from DW starting on floppy (Quick fill will do) and then use DWs' features to set your partitions you should be OK. I have done it with 240GByte drives

Come back to me with a bit more info

We'll chat again

Cheers since it is my birthday today
westcloxAuthor Commented:

********* Happy Birthday ************ and stay sober.

I won't bother you tonight and it is alreday 1:15 hour past midnight EST. I'm getting frustrated by this stupid issue. I tried to re-intall XP Pro. straight from CD. Yes I was able to get rid of that 21.06GB partition and deleted all other partitions.

It still only detects Maximum 139GB out of 160GB. I am wondering if it is the limitation of OS or something really wrong with the hard drive MBR. I ahve not done anything to cause this. Just deleted the partitions, that's it.

I did NOT have any problem with creating CD Image. I have another system with WIN2K3 server and have Roxio software installed. I am able to create the CD from the .iso  image. What I meant is ther is no DW application for me to zero fill the drive nor can I view my hard drive. I am not sure if the image they have on their site is a skeleton version with missing files. There are a couple of executables but not helpful to my needs. I can boiot my PC using this CD, and that's about it. There is nothing much more I can execute or do with it.

I am beginning to think that even if I was able to zero-fill the drive , it will be useless. I need to find a mechanism - probably buy PartitionMagic to show me that I do have 160GB drive space and not 139GB. Once I can see the full drive space, then may be we can think of Zeroing out or whatever.

My first priority is to be able to detect a full drive space as 160GB freesapce. I am having challenges finding anything that I can run in DOS mode. I have nothing on my drive now as I deleted all the partition when installing XP Pro from CD. Although, I do have DOS diskettes that I can boot from.

I Googled around the groups to check out threads for this particular model of drive. Interestingly, my findings were surprising. There are a large number of retailers in US who wants to sell this drive to US market but the only uers are in Russia, Greeceland, or Far East. I did not see any one US user participating in discussions for this drive. Almost all articles are written either in French, Greek or Russian.

What a bummer!

westcloxAuthor Commented:
Guess what!

I am going to read this article - I Google around again with a string "Check Hard Drive Partitions" and found this link. Surprisingly my exact frustration.

westcloxAuthor Commented:

I am now closing this thread, as the entire answer is in the above link.

Since I subscribe to Microsft's S/W - I did receive XP Pro w/SP1 CD.
I will use that tommorow to rebuild my system all over again.

This was an interesting exercise. Thanks to both of you taking time on Saturady evening to assist.

Much appreciate it,
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