Massive HPA on used SSD, how do I remove it?

Discussion in 'hardware' started by joeblow777, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. joeblow777

    joeblow777 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Posts:
    4
    Hi all,

    So I just bought a refurbished laptop with no OS installed, with an Intel 160gb SSD. I discovered that it showed up as only 8gb in size upon trying to install Windows 7.

    I booted from a Linux live DVD, and Disk Utility confirmed that it's 8gb and not just a Windows glitch. I checked for an HPA using hdparm, and bingo, it shows

    Google told me that I can use hdparm to get rid of the HPA using

    But no dice, it tells me "Input/Output error"

    So, I'm kinda stuck. Does anybody know how to get rid of the HPA (for free) so I can actually use the SSD?
     
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Posts:
    8,634
    Location:
    NSW, Australia
    joeblow777,

    I wonder who put the HPA on the SSD?

    These are from my notes regarding HPAs on a HD...

    There are several tools that can be used to unhide the HPA and return a hard disk to its full capacity. These include Hitachi Feature Tool, Seagate SeaTools, Magic Boot Disk (MHDD), and HDAT2, among others.

    SeaTools for DOS is the easiest to use.
    http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads/seatools/

    boot from CD
    select your HD
    Advanced features
    Set Capacity to Max Native
    Exit

    I've no idea if this works on a SSD.
     
  3. joeblow777

    joeblow777 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Posts:
    4
    Well it was a used Thinkpad, so it probably originated from a bank, corporation or government office. I would think that the disk held sensitive information that needed to be secured. I think an HPA is stupid solution for that, since I probably could recover that data in some way if it's cleartext (not that I particularly care to), but I guess it'll keep most people out.

    I tried SeaTools for DOS, I got "No Hard Drives Found." Maybe it only works on Seagate drives, or HDDs in general.
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Posts:
    8,634
    Location:
    NSW, Australia
    HDAT2 instructions...

    Boot from the HDAT2 CD, select Choice 1 and press Enter

    Boot into HDAT2 by typing HDAT2 at the X:\> prompt
    select your HD (note its Capacity) and press Enter
    select SET MAX (HPA) Menu and press Enter
    select Set Max Address and press Enter
    in the LBA address field you probably have 48-bits. Change this to 28-bits by pressing the L key
    press the S key to Set Max Address, press Y for yes
    press any key
    press the power button to shutdown

    Power on and boot into HDAT2 again
    select your HD (note its Capacity. It may be 128 GB) and press Enter
    select SET MAX (HPA) Menu and press Enter
    select Set Max Address and press Enter
    if you have 28-bits in the LBA address field, change it to 48-bits by pressing the L key
    press the S key to Set Max Address, press Y for yes
    press any key
    press the power button to shutdown

    Power on and boot into HDAT2 again
    select your HD. Its Capacity should be the expected full size of your HD
    remove the CD and press the power button to shutdown

    Addendum.. the S key doesn't do anything if there is no HPA

    Addendum.. the "Current hidden" field is the HPA. You want this to be "0.00 KB <- OK nothing to restore"
     
  5. joeblow777

    joeblow777 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Posts:
    4
    It seems as if HDAT2 didn't recognize the presence of the drive at all so I couldn't get past step 1.....
     
  6. joeblow777

    joeblow777 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    Posts:
    4
    Figured this out- running secure erase from Parted Magic solved it.
     
  7. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Posts:
    8,634
    Location:
    NSW, Australia
    Thanks for the feedback.
     
Loading...