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PhilGURU

Revealing Hidden Partitions

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Article at theinquirer.net

I would have guessed in some varience in manufacturing but this much?

"Interesting results to date:

Western Digital 200GB SATA

Yield after recovery: 510GB of space

IBM Deskstar 80GB EIDE

Yield after recovery: 150GB of space

Maxtor 40GB EIDE

Yield after recovery: 80GB

Seagate 20GB EIDE

Yield after recovery: 30GB

Unknown laptop 80GB HDD

Yield: 120GB"

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That means the manufacturers (WD) deliberately

sells a 500GiBY HDD as a 200GiBy ; )

Sounds too good to be true...

/casa

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Hmpf. Is it April already?

-- Rick

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Sounds like they manage to get the computer to think it has two partitions the same size as the whole drive. Maybe it will work... for a while until you actually try use it... ;)

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have u got this if yes can u actually store 30 gb on the 20 gb hdd etc (as in actually 30 GB of files not what windows tells u )

and when u copy them off that recovered hdd do they still work

JEREMY

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have u got this if yes can u actually store 30 gb on the 20 gb hdd etc (as in actually 30 GB of files not what windows tells u )

and when u copy them off that recovered hdd do they still work

JEREMY

You go try it and report back!

-- Rick

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I will try and track down Ghost 2003 Build 2003.775 (if it exists) and give it a try. I know my laptop drive has all recovery software on a hidden partition but 2X increase is well, I think, optimistic.

"* UPDATE Does this work? We're not going to try it on our own machine thank you very much. Instead, we're waiting for a call from a hard drive company so we can get its take on these claims."

-Philip

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Think about it. Did areal density double last night? Are they really putting 200GB on a platter today? No. Physical impossibility.

So either the whole thing is a hoax, or, more likely, the OS is looking at a damaged drive (damaged partition table, at least) and seeing the same partition in multiple ways. Try to write on that shiny new partition and you'll be overwriting data on the old one. Guaranteed.

-- Rick

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I can't possibly see how this would work. They're reporting a (more than?) 2x size increase on the largest harddrive they alledgedly did this trick on.

If it works at all, all it really accomplishes is trick windows into thinking the partition really is bigger than it is. There's NO WAY it could get any bigger in reality, since drive capacity is based on the number of sectors the drive reports to the computer, and that is a fixed, hard-coded number that can't be changed by Norton Ghost or any other utility. If you try to address sector maxcapacity+1, you'll just get an error message back from the drive, it won't actually do anything.

This is just a case of someone making sh** up in order to appear on the front page of hardware websites... A bit like participating in a 'reality show' on TV. ;)

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mrybczyn,

I hear that by using the "Format" or "mkfs" command, one can get up to 300GB of free space on one's disk!

You're joking right?

On the subject of the Inquirer article.

The 200JB, or BB or whatever is clearly impossible. There is no hidden space on them to recover at all, let alone 310GB! I can't imagine what kind of idiocy provoked someone to believe that was even possible. Western Digital doesn't make drives with more than 3 platters! The 200GB Western Digitals are only available with 80GB/platters. They only have 5 heads. It's therfore impossible to recover any capacity from them at all (5*40GB=200GB).

Some of the other drives are known to short stroke their platters. This raises the more serious problem of this idiocy... The problem is modern drives store important information on those hidden inner areas of their platters (firmware, disk information, reallocated bad sectors), who knows what you could be overwriting whenever you use that space. Put something down in the wrong place and the drive will never start again or corrupt data at certain sectors. It's a lottery ticket everytime you write data in that partition. That's not what I call useable capacity.

Do well.

Jonathan Guilbault.

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Also, if this was working properly, the 80GB deskstar would yield:

either 90GB (+10GB) if it was a 180GXP (three heads on 60GB platters)

or 80GB (+0GB) if it was a 7K250 (2 heads on 80GB platters)

Anyone with most basic knowledge of hard drives should know that most of the numbers up there are simply impossible, not to mention simply ridiculous.

It's not that there aren't hard drives which are short stroked and sold at a capacity below that available for access in theory, but that something is clearly wrong with this method in that it is simply inventing space that physically can't be there. Perhaps hard drive manufacturers are shortstroking disks to the point that they are formatted with the capacity of drives with fewer platters or heads, but this could never justify the failure of this method on the 200GB Western Digital drive. This drive is a known quantity. No matter what, even if they got a disk that was a shortstroked 6 head drive (which would make no sense), the maximum capacity is 250GB, not 510GB. You would need 7 platters to get that capacity with todays technology!

Do well.

Jonathan Guilbault.

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From site "** UPDATE II A representative for large hard drive distributor Bell Micro said: "This is NOT undocumented and we have done this in the past to load an image of the original installation of the software. When the client corrupted the o/s we had a boot floppy thatopened the unseen partition and copied it to the active or seen partition. It is a not a new feature or discovery. We use it ourselves without any qualms"."

Ok there is an extra 10GB max maybe.

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yes, but there is a major difference between that statement and what the authors of the article are claiming.

many OEMs put recovery partitions on HDDs.. these partitions are plainly visible from fdisk or disk management.

what the article is claiming is that the HDDS come with some sort of partition on them... FALSE. New hdds are usually unpartitioned in my experience.

It is also claiming that not only is the drive partitioned, but there are hidden partitions on the drive that can only be unlocked with a specific version of ghost. AGAIN FALSE. see reasons above

Another important factor is that they claim the ability to double your disk size... FALSE. Their claims go beyond what is possible. You can't fit 1 gallon of watter in a 1 quart container.

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I think I know what's happening. You can take a 3GB disk, and create the following parts with a disk editor:

  • 3GB starting at 0GB
  • 2GB starting at 1GB
  • 1GB starting at 2GB

You will appear to have 6GB total. You can format these, and put up to 1GB files on each without data running into the next partition. After that, you trash the next part.

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Yep, you can basicly make partition tables say anything you want. Partitioning utilites check the numbers during partitioning to make sure they are in fact same. I've seen some wacky partition tables on corrupted disks, and I imagine if you had the guts to muck about with the partition table yourself you could create even crazier ones.

On a semi-related note, I also remember back in the Stacker days you could set a "estimated compression ratio" for a compressed volume. If you set it to something crazy and completely unrealisic, you could get it to report that your 100MB drive was in fact 2.1GB :-) Of course, as items were added and the disk filled, it would ajust the estimated remaining disk space accordingly until by the time was full you'd be getting something around 1.7:1.

-Chris

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I don't normally post on SR, but I tried it and it appears to work.

Read more here.

I haven't found a way to verify anything yet.

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I don't normally post on SR, but I tried it and it appears to work.

i don't normally go to mcdonald's, but make sure to go there this weekend! i'll be selling my own food in the parking lot.

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*Last two posts

:lol:

Nice board you guys have... Like the atmosphere, and you've been real helpful on a problem I had. The comedic value at times is just a bonus. ;)

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I have a feeling that some sort of compressing is used, it would be interesting to see a full compressed disk being cloned by ghost to a new target . ;)

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Yep, you can basicly make partition tables say anything you want.

This is a post on Slashdot from a person claiming to be a Ghost developer:

I'm a Ghost developer.

This is just a method of corrupting your partition table so the same disk sectors appear more than once. If you try this, don't ask Symantec for help afterwards.

By the way rfarris, apparently I used your example in a post on that same sight. I hadn't even read this thread until the /. article reminded me of this topic, but you posted it first, so you can keep the copyright. :)

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