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Partition Size (Incorrect)

Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:52 am
by Kron
Morning folks.

I have had a look round the site to see if I can find the answer before posting, but couldn't seem to find anything that resembled my problem, so hopefully this won’t be a duplicate post.

I have a Seagate 500gb hard drive, which I had successfully partitioned (using GParted, I think) and had been using for a while before a crash.

After the crash the HD would no longer see the Data partition, and the OS partition had been corrupted. I have no idea what caused the crash.

Anyway I have resigned myself to the fact I have lost the data and thought I would resolve the problem, however the tools I have used only report a 80gb partition and can’t see the remaining HD size. I am assuming it must be an option to somehow restore the hard drive to its "factory size" maybe by editing the MBR, but I am way beyond my skill and knowledge level here; so I am hoping that someone can advise on the right tools (hopefully on UBCD) to play with or point me in the direction of some useful guide.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.


Re: Partition Size (Incorrect)

Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:00 am
by Icecube
You can try TestDisk to search for lost partitions.

Re: Partition Size (Incorrect)

Posted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:39 am
by ady
I'm not sure what you meant with "crash", and with "the data partition is not seen anymore".

If the HDD is mechanically working, then you can test:

1_ If the BIOS sees the HDD with the correct info (brand, model, mode, connection type, SIZE). For example, if the size detected by the BIOS is incorrect, then maybe you need to correct something in the HDD itself (meaning, TESTDISK is not going to solve this issue).

2_ You can use the manufacturer's diagnostics tool (most of them already included in UBCD). You did not mention the specific brand and model of your HDD, so I can't point you to the specific tool.

There are additional tools to check this problem, depending on the specific HDD EXACT model.

Re: Partition Size (Incorrect)

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:27 am
by Kron
Cheers Ady / Icecube

Thanks for the pointers, had a play with 'TestDisk' (in fact pretty much all the tools on UCBD), I cant get anything to see more than 73GB of the 500GB disk.

I think I am realising I am going to have to purchase a new disk, but that's not the point, I don't want to let this one beat me on principal. It cant be that much of an uncommon occurrence :)

Will have a look at whatever Seagate tools are available and see if there is anything there that can nuke the disk back to 500GB.

The HDD is a 500GB Momentus 7200.4 2.5" SATA-300 7200rpm 16MB (ST9500420AS)


Re: Partition Size (Incorrect)

Posted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:52 am
by ady
People tend to think that any type of HDD is almost the same, so they also tend to assume that any kind of free tool for general HDDs is suitable.

Laptops' HDDs are usually different from desktops' HDDs. For Laptops, there are "extra" characteristics, like for example encryption. Although the specific model ST9500420AS doesn't seem to have encryption included, the Laptop itself might have some type of encryption method.

In addition, the ST9500420AS, as other "Seagate Momentus" HDDs, are using "SmartAlign", which is Seagate's method to adapt to the new "Advanced Format" industry standard (sector size is 4096 bytes, instead of the traditional 512 bytes per sector).

If you suspect that your HDD is "dying", get a backup/clone. Once again, I repeat, check how your BIOS is detecting the HDD, specially its size.

After the BIOS' check, the best suggestion for your specific case would be to look for support at Look for datasheets, manuals, faqs, downloads... for your specific model. Learn about "Advanced Format" or "SmartAlign". Double check any HDD's "jumpers" position (see its updated manual and faqs for possible errata).

You could try changing the HDD to another SATA connection, if you have such, and recheck how the BIOS recognizes it (it's a long shot for your case, but who knows).

If nothing of that helps, and you still want to evaluate your HDD, then follow the instructions to download the most up-to-date diagnostics tools from Seagate for your specific model.

Write down any messages, codes or errors that the diagnostic tool reports, and post that info with the specific hardware configuration at Seagate's forum.

If, after all, you find out that the HDD is mechanically fine and that the BIOS is recognizing the correct size (and all the other characteristics including “translation method”) of your HDD, then you might want to give here at UBCD's forum specific feedback so to find which tool can give you a solution to recover/backup your data.

In any case, it could be useful for other users to come back and report your results.

Re: Partition Size (Incorrect)

Posted: Mon May 23, 2011 2:38 pm
by Kron
Better late than never, I thought I should close of this topic.

Seagate were very helpful, but no definitive answer was reached, which is what I was really looking for.

Seagate recommended using some BIOS settings to facilitate a reset of the drive sizing, but after trying 4 laptops and 3 desk top systems from separate vendors, I was unable to find a BIOS that had the recommended settings; after this Seagate recommended that I return the drive under warranty.

This I duly did, I think the drive is about 16 (or more) old so it may be a 2 yr warranty, the returns were processed without issue or cost, not even post and packaging, so within 7 working days I have received my replacement drive.

I was hoping they would have issued an advice note to say what the problem had been, but unfortunately they haven't. So hopefully this week I should be able to try out the new hard drive when I have a chance.

I just wanted to say many thanks for the help that has been put in on the forum and this question, it might go un-noted but never unnoticed.

Thank you