cannot delete HPA partition

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by Androidio, May 1, 2015.

  1. Androidio

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 22, 2015
    7
    0
    Hey guys.
    I have an old Dell XPS m140 laptop that I just formatted the HDD and performed a clean install of win 7.
    It originally had Windows XP Media Center 2005 but got malware so I had to wipe.
    The problem is, as some of you know, Dell has a utility called MediaDirect that can boot directly without windows for playing DVDs and multimedia. This application/ operating system is stored on a host protected sector of the hard drive and is hidden from any bootloader. I tried to delete it with OSForensics but when I tell it to delete HPA it says error: HPA is locked.

    On top of that, the computer has a 60 GB HDD, but Windows sees 54 GB. I already deleted the XP recovery partition when I installed 7 but there's no other partitions seen. Aside from the hidden HPA partition, what else could be taking space? I have 5-6 GB missing here?
    How can I unlock and delete the HPA and find out where the rest of my hard drive is?
     
  2. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
    3,392
    497
    The missing 6 GB is quiet normal. I have 160 GB hd and windows is reporting 149 GB. Basically the bigger the hd, the bigger the loss. You have 60 GB, you lost 5-6 GB. I have 160 GB, I lost 11 GB.

    To delete hidden partition I would do following:
    1) create Linux Live CD/USB stick.
    2) Boot Linux OS.
    3) Use Gparted to deal with partitions.

    The tricky part is doing Linux Live USB stick. Some sticks don't work for it (yes Sandisk Ultra Fit I am looking at you.). So far what worked for me is to use Live CD, and I also used CF card inserted into CF card reader and the CF card reader plugged into USB port so comp thinks I am booting from external USB device.
     
  3. Ramussons

    Active Member

    May 3, 2013
    557
    92
    I don't think the hidden partition created by MediaDirect should be blindly deleted. The right option would be un-install MediaDirect. then the hidden partition can be removed - if it's still left as an orphan.
     
  4. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
    3,392
    497
    I think I know what you mean. But... OP is already done fresh windows install. So just remove all the partitions, create one partition that occupies the whole hd, install windows.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
  5. Androidio

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 22, 2015
    7
    0
    I noticed hitting the media direct button will power on the computer.
    Instead of showing the Dell logo it says Dell MediaDirect and the Intel Centrino logo and then boots to windows.
    I'm guessing hitting that button would have originally launched the MD boot loader but it does nothing now, short of a new BIOS splash screen .
     
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