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Thread: Free extra space? check this!!!

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    DR
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    Free extra space? check this!!!

    READER WILEY SILER has sent us a method which he said was discovered by Scott Komblue and documented by himself which they claim can recover unused areas of the hard drive in the form of hidden partitions.
    We haven't tried this here at the INQUIRER, and would caution readers that messing with your hard drive is done at your own peril and very likely breaches your warranty. Here is what Wiley and Scott did. µ

    Required items
    Ghost 2003 Build 2003.775 (Be sure not to allow patching of this software) 2 X Hard Drives (OS must be installed on both.) For sake of clarity we will call the drive we are trying to expand (T) in this document (means Target for partition recover). The drive you use every day, I assume you have one that you want to keep as mater with your current OS and data, will be the last dive we install in this process and will be called (X) as it is your original drive.

    1. Install the HDD you wish to recover the hidden partitions (hard drive T) on as the master drive in your system with a second drive as a slave (you can use Hard Drive X if you want to). Any drive will do as a slave since we will not be writing data to it. However, Ghost must see a second drive in order to complete the following steps. Also, be sure hard drive T has an OS installed on it You must ensure that the file system type is the same on both drive (NTFS to NTFS or FAT32 to FAT32, etc)

    2. Install Ghost 2003 build 2003.775 to hard drive T with standard settings. Reboot if required.

    3. Open Ghost and select Ghost Basic. Select Backup from the shown list of options. Select C:\ (this is the drive we want to free partition on on hard drive T) as our source for the backup. Select our second drive as the target. (no data will be written so worry not). Use any name when requested as it will not matter. Press OK, Continue, or Next until you are asked to reboot.

    Critical step
    4. Once reboot begins, you must shutdown the PC prior to the loading of DOS or any drivers. The best method is to power down the PC manually the moment you see the BIOS load and your HDDs show as detected.

    5. Now that you have shutdown prior to allowing Ghost to do its backup, you must remove the HDD we are attempting to expand (hard drive T which we had installed as master) and replace it with a drive that has an OS installed on it. (This is where having hard drive X is useful. You can use your old hard drive to complete the process.) Place hard drive T as a secondary drive in the system. Hard drive X should now be the master and you should be able to boot into the OS on it. The best method for this assuming you need to keep data from and old drive is:

    Once you boot into the OS, you will see that the second drive in the system is the one we are attempting to expand (hard drive T). Go to Computer Management -> Disk Management

    You should see an 8 meg partition labeled VPSGHBOOT or similar on the slave HDD (hard drive T) along with a large section of unallocated space that did not show before. DO NOT DELETE VPSGHBOOT yet.

    6. Select the unallocated space on our drive T and create a new primary or extended partition. Select the file system type you prefer and format with quick format (if available). Once formatting completes, you can delete the VPSGHBOOT partition from the drive.

    7. Here is what you should now see on your T drive.

    a. Original partition from when the drive still had hidden partitions
    b. New partition of space we just recovered.
    c. 8 meg unallocated partitions.

    8. Do you want to place drive T back in a PC and run it as the primary HDD? Go to Disk Management and set the original partition on T (not the new one we just formatted) to and Active Partition. It should be bootable again if no data corruption has occurred.

    Caution
    Do not try to delete both partitions on the drive so you can create one large partition. This will not work. You have to leave the two partitions separate in order to use them. Windows disk management will have erroneous data in that it will say drive size = manus stated drive size and then available size will equal ALL the available space with recovered partitions included.

    This process can cause a loss of data on the drive that is having its partitions recovered so it is best to make sure the HDD you use is not your current working HDD that has important data. If you do this on your everyday drive and not a new drive with just junk on it, you do so at your own risk. It has worked completely fine with no loss before and it has also lost the data on the drive before. Since the idea is to yield a huge storage drive, it should not matter.

    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


  2. #2
    cat /dev/null streetster's Avatar
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    .. does that basically mean harddrive manufacturers are sending out the same drives, just with space missing (ie a 40/60gb drive could just be a 80gb in disguise) ?

    sounds a bit complicated, and how safe are the 'recovered' partitions - is the harddrive likely to die?

    gonna get reading

    mark

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    DR
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    Yes, I had a 40GB drive I RMA'd they sent me a compaq spare back which said 40 on it but was limited to 10 - clearly what is happening here...

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    Senior Member Stubzz's Avatar
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    Wonder if this is going to do anything to your warranty.

    I'm game for trying regardless, just need a copy of ghost :/

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    cat /dev/null streetster's Avatar
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    i dont understand why you have to have an OS installed when it claims you can lose all the data on the [old] partition, cant you just have 2 new (formatted to ntfs say) drives and gain the extra space then install windows...

    mark

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    HEXUS.social member Allen's Avatar
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    You need to install Norton Ghost onto the HDD you want to get the extra space from, so you need windows on it...

    Just use a spare drive (if you have one) as the one you want to gain the space from and then you won't overwrite anything on your main drive.

    I might give this a try...

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    HEXUS webmaster Steve's Avatar
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    I once had a Fujitsu 10krpm SCSI die on me (no suprise then... it was Fujitsu.)

    I took the thing apart. It was the 9GB version, and its big brother held 18GB. I discovered it had all the platters, but with the half of the read/write heads missing.

    I have a half-nackered Seagate 13GB. I might see if I can extract some more space out of it as there's no harm in messing with it. I think I'll go the hardcore route and check out the firmware, lol.

    edit: I'm unable to check the build of ghost.exe, but I do have build 775 of ghost explorer, so fingers crossed the builds are synched.

    I'll be skeptical of this until I see it work.
    Last edited by Steve; 09-03-2004 at 05:23 PM.
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    HEXUS.social member Agent's Avatar
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    But is all that extra space usable, and works without no errors ?

    My drive is up for a format when my new g.card arrives. If i can find a copy of ghost cheaply, ill try it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    HEXUS webmaster Steve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent
    But is all that extra space usable, and works without no errors ?

    My drive is up for a format when my new g.card arrives. If i can find a copy of ghost cheaply, ill try it.
    I reckon that as long as the firmware doesn't cause problems, the space should be usable.

    If I can get it to work at all I'll fill the drives right up and verify the data on them.
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    HEXUS.social member Agent's Avatar
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    I wish HD's have flashable BIOS's, for more than one reason. :\
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

  11. #11
    cat /dev/null streetster's Avatar
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    You need to install Norton Ghost onto the HDD you want to get the extra space from, so you need windows on it...
    mm i thought there was a DOS version aswell? heh i dont know too much effort all this ghosting business

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    HEXUS.social member Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by streetster
    mm i thought there was a DOS version aswell? heh i dont know too much effort all this ghosting business
    Well, I don't know for sure but he says you need build 2003.775. Would there be a DOS version of that build? I dunno...

    Worth a muck about though if you have a spare drive.

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    HEXUS webmaster Steve's Avatar
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    Guys, you've missed the concept of how ghost works.

    It runs from DOS all the time. When you install it on windows, all you do is install configuration utilities. To perform the actions it creates a partition on the hard disk and restarts, booting from it. It is THIS that is being exploited to allow this apparant space increase.

    The partitioning program in the version of ghost I have does appear to be the stated build, so hopefully I'm on a winner.
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    cat /dev/null streetster's Avatar
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    mm thought so hence my wondering why you need an OS installed on it - unless its simple to format it with the drive management thingy?

    i've got ghost on a cd somewhere, got it free with a mobo... the motherboard box made a big thing and all it was was one file on the cd by itself ! useful i thought...

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    HEXUS webmaster Steve's Avatar
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    You have to have an OS on it so you can install ghost to that drive. You boot from that drive, and ghost will see that is the drive windows boots from and will create the required partition and make it active.
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    Vive le pants! directhex's Avatar
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    I'm not happy with the numbers given. modern drives are 2-4 platter, 60-120gb per platter. i'm nt sure how a 200gb drive would turn into 510gb - but an 80gb 75gxp turning into 150gb is more than likely.

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