>From: [email protected]
>[mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of
>Sent: Thursday, August 04, 2005 5:11 AM
>To: [email protected]
>Subject: Re: IDE disk and HPA
>> > > My question is now: why is an HPA disabled i.e. disprotected when
>> > > detected? Why not let the HPA alone, because a certain
>set of disk
>> > > sectors shall not be accessible by the OS?
>> > Because the HPA is most commonly used to hide all but a
>fraction of a
>> > disk to work with older BIOSes.
>> But as to my knowledge, the HPA was had been introduced to allow HW
>> vendors to store things like diagnostic programs in a part of the
>> disk protected from partitioning and filesystems.
>> The point is, IF there is an HPA, there MIGHT be a partitioning
>> scheme and some filesystems on the disk which rely on the size of
>> disk being the native size MINUS the HPA.
> If those HW vendors want to store software in the HPA of the IDE
> hard disk, and they employ people able to read the IDE specifications,
> they know that this HPA can be protected by password and so Linux
> just display a failure when trying to restore the capacity of the
> Hard Disk - because it lacks the unlocking password.
Yep, you are right. When used by BIOS/firmware, it is usually
protected by password. And interesting enough, as in this particular
case, they employ people to not only read them, but to write them as
However, if not protected by the password, it is probably Ok
to make it visible (as things currently are).
> Note that this HPA is a good place to store a bootloader too, in fact
> I like to think of it as the big floppy drive of the PC which no more
> have any floppy drive: create a FAT filesystem of 64 Mbytes there and
> copy all the floppy you used to have there. Your bootloader, if it
> is good enough, will be able to run software from this area.
If your bootloader if the first thing to run in the system, you can
use & protect portion of your hardrive for yourself - just make sure you
lock with set max with password when passing control to 'normal'
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