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HDDerase - Secure Erase - HPA/DCO Set Max Address

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:51 pm
by NiGhtMarEs0nWax
Hi, i am using ubcd 4.1 and a tool im sure you are familiar with called HDDerase. the problem is when im coming to erase the HPA/DCO.

i get the following message.

"Only one Set Max address command per power-on or hardware reset
Please power off your drive and re-run HDDerase.exe to finish resetting the HPA"

i reboot by physically switching the machine off, then go through all the options again, only to find that the special diagnostic sectors still exist, and asking me again if i would like to reset it, so i do, and the same thing happens.

am i missing something? will the HPA or DCO be enforced within the cmos? if so what should i be looking for to switch it off?

that is my main question, i do have another with selecting memory management, there are several options.

0. Boot Clean

1. Boot UMBPCI (optimal)
2. Boot UMBPCI (semi-defensive)

3. Boot EMM386 (optimal)
4. Boot EMM386 (semi-defensive)

5. Boot no UMB (defensive)
6. Boot no UMB (ultra-defensive)

Singlestepping: OFF.

which one should i pick? can someone explain what they mean? and what Singlestepping means?

also, is there a way to recover the sectors allocated to HPA or DCO for normal use? does this tool reset the max address to the actual physical size permanantly?

Thanks in advance :)

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:40 pm
by NiGhtMarEs0nWax
ok, ive updated UBCD to 5.0b12 which has HDDerase 4.0, it appears that my drive was "locked," however HDDerase appears to have reset the password to "idrive" successfully. can anyone explain what this password feature was all about?

also, i noticed there was no prompt to overwrite the HPA or DCO this time, will HDDerase still wipe those locations? is there a way to check?

also, could someone explain the except below from Source:

"If selected drive is locked with a non-HDDerase password the user is given the option to:

1) unlock with user password,
2) unlock with master password (if high security),
3) secure erase with user password,
4) secure erase with master password,
5) enhanced secure erase with user password (if supported),
6) enhanced secure erase with master password (if supported).

If option 3, 4, 5 or 6 is selected any possible HPA and/or DCO areas will not be reset."

im not sure what passwords i used, if i used any, it was just reset and the standard "idrive" password was issued. im just concerned because the prompt for overwriting the HPA & DCO did not appear.

Edit: after running 4.0 and erasing the drive, i reran v3.1, only for the same message to appear again, HPA and/or DCO exists on the drive. same problem,

"only one set max address comman per power-on or hardware reset, please power off your drive and re-run HDDerase.exe to finish resetting the HPA"

i tried booting the drive with the molex disconnected, no luck. anyone know why this is happening? or a way round it? is there another utility that will securely erase the HPA and DCO?

Thanks :)

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:30 am
by NiGhtMarEs0nWax
** FIXED **

Ok it turns out that there are some serious problems with 3.1, after running the HDAT2 utility, it reported 78,165,359 both native and user sectors, since i was getting the ...
Only one Set Max address command per power-on
...message i decided to disable the the HPA and run 3.1 to see what results i would get.

after booting it up HDDerase reported 78,165,360 sectors, with a 1 sector discrepancy compared to HDAT2.
when i selected the option to erase the special diagnostic sectors in HDDerase i got the message.
Unable to reset the maximum LBA. continuing...
im not really concerned with one 512byte block/sector, personally i think its a bug within HDDerase 3.1 and explains why v4.0 didnt find any diagnostic sectors.

in conclusion, this tool is problematic at best, i would advise people to use it in conjunction with other tools and not to use anything lower than v4.0, that is included with UBCD v5.0b12. it also disables the security feature set which there was no warning to.

Thanks for all the wonderful input, this thread can be locked. :wink: