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Data Storage Upgrades Hardware

Recovering Secret HD Space 849

Posted by timothy
from the not-going-first-thanks dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Just browsing hardocp.com and noticed a link to this article. 'The Inquirer has posted a method of getting massive amounts of hard drive space from your current drive. Supposedly by following the steps outlined, they have gotten 150GB from an 80GB EIDE drive, 510GB from a 200GB SATA drive and so on.' Could this be true? I'm not about to try with my hard drive." Needless to say, this might be a time to avoid the bleeding edge. (See Jeff Garzik's warning in the letters page linked from the Register article.)
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Recovering Secret HD Space

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  • How? Reliability? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by superhoe (736800) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @03:24AM (#8518963) Homepage
    "IBM Deskstar 80GB EIDE Yield after recovery: 150GB of space"

    Ok, I have one of these and this looks more than interesting. But those step-by-step instructions with some specific Norton Ghost sound pretty unreliable. Anyone have any idea what really happens in the procedure and where does that almost 50% increase come from?

    Main question: Will the extra storage/the disk as a whole be as reliable in normal use as it was before this procedure?

  • Floppy / Drill fun (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Channard (693317) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @03:26AM (#8518968) Journal
    This does sound suspect, but it reminds me of the trick you used to be able to do with 720 floppy disks - you could drill a hole where the hole on a 1.4MB disk would be and use it as a 1.4MB disk. Trouble was, it wouldn't retain data for very long, but it usually lasted for a day at least before the data degraded.
  • by innocent_white_lamb (151825) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @03:33AM (#8519011)
    THIS method is obviously BS (to put it mildly) but back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth we could double the size (or was that 1.5x, I can't remember) of a MFM hard drive by hooking it up an RLL controller. I remember putting a full-height IBM 10mb hard drive into my 386 and making it into either a 15mb or 20mb hard drive. I used that hard drive to store and rotate Fidonet echomail for several years, as I recall.

    That worked because RLL encoded the data using a different method than MFM.

    This, though, is smoke and mirrors.
  • by GrpA (691294) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @03:35AM (#8519019)
    However it has more to do with manufacturers cripling the size much like the old Celerons were sometimes PIIs.

    In those instances however, it often involves firmware upgrades, to remove the "crippled" firmware and replace it with the original intended firmware for the model it really was.

    But the method explained sounds like a great way to generate more work for PC techs when clueless users try it... Just like using a frozen Mars Bar to let you overclock processors...
  • Andre Hedrick (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @03:36AM (#8519025)
    The old Linux IDE guy spoke of something like this a while back. Apparently the drive vendors got sick of stocking every drive model for warranty replacement, and implemented a scheme where they could "flash" a generic drive with a specific model number and capacity. Therefore it's possible that your "120GB" drive is really qualified for 160GB but was set that way for inventory reasons.

    This was on the linux-kernel list a while back, too lazy too find it. (And it's possible I misunderstood -- Hedrick is a crackpot who is barely able to articulate what he is thinking.)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @03:37AM (#8519034)
    This sounds like the infamous "Chang Modification" that would magically increase the speed of your CPU. What it actually did was slow down the clock chip so that 1.2 seconds was only counted as 1 second . See the old Dvorak columns on this.
  • by M3wThr33 (310489) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @03:38AM (#8519035) Homepage
    But really, has anyone ran over the data with a bunch of unique files to see if it's not just sharing tables and writing over itself on the respected sides?
  • by frovingslosh (582462) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @03:39AM (#8519039)
    In other news, witnesses reported UFO sightings all over the country...

    So you're saying that, much like the UFOs, this really is true but it's being covered up?

  • Re:Uh, no (Score:5, Interesting)

    by borgasm (547139) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @03:45AM (#8519070) Journal
    Well thats what they advertise...

    There are lots of internal sectors that are reserved for errors. There are builtin algorithms on the disk to diagnose and correct physical errors. You just don't notice them because the disk remaps those sectors transparently.

    Hooray! I learned something in class for once!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @03:55AM (#8519120)
    I've done something similer in the past with a 40GB drive. I managed to get 67GB out of it. Worked fine and all the space was usable. The only problem was bad sectors, after only 2 weeks I had 15% of the dirve unusable, and after a month I couldn't even accsess it. So while it dose work it will quickly devistate the life expectince of the drive.

    On a side note a freand of mine tried this with his 20GB drive at around the same time, cranked it up to 32GB... Funny thing is it still fully works. Amazing isn't. Just don't try it at home :)
  • Re:Lovely (Score:3, Interesting)

    by eclectro (227083) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @03:57AM (#8519132)
    Well, let's not forget that there are dweebs who will try this and lose all their data, so slashdot is providing a service by posting this. And it is interesting in a carnival sideshow kinda way.

    This is really a nonsensical idea. Who wants to gamble with there data when hard drives are cheap and plentiful?

    You learn how valuable your data is the first time you lose it.
  • by Kynde (324134) <kynde@noSpam.iki.fi> on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @03:57AM (#8519134)
    ... that makes me want an article moderation capabilities to slashdot. I mean, how great would've it been to avoid seeing this at all because it had gotten (Score: -1, bullshit).

    I mean tricking an OS into seeing the partition table twice hardly counts for doubling the actual drive capacity. Geeez.

    Mmmm.. already dreaming of (Score: +4, top news) and (Score: -1, dupe)
  • Re:How? Reliability? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Blastrogath (579992) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @04:04AM (#8519164)
    It seems to work by deliberately corrupting your partition tabes by overlapping your patitions:
    Partition a from 0 to 200 GB
    Partition b from 1 to 200 GB etc.

    You could probably get it to say almost any amount, but it wouldn't be usable space.

    Some drives may have a little extra space but not 70 GB on a 80GB drive. No sane company is going to sell a 150 GB drive as an 80 GB because they pay as much to manufacture platters and heads no matter how they're used. The cost of the unused parts would come right out of their profits. Also, sometimes there is "unused space" used for the hard drive's bios, or for relocating data from bad sectors.
  • Re:Modder (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eclectro (227083) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @04:18AM (#8519214)
    Case modder - okay
    CPU overclocker - okay
    Grapic card overclocker - okay
    HD modder - ???


    Actually there are guys that mod their harddrives [bp6.com].

    Notice the less than clean working area with metal particles from the dremeling everywhere. This is less than wise, as the probability that foreign material will get in the drive and act like sandpaper is high. I certainly wouldn't put a modded drive like this in a production machine.

    I think modding is great, but this is where I draw the line.
  • Re:Simple corruption (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Fweeky (41046) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @04:42AM (#8519310) Homepage
    Heh, I remember how Amigas used to have a more powerful FDD controller than PC's, meaning they could squeeze more on a disk; the space-optimized filesystems there let you squeeze almost 1MB onto a single DD floppy vs the already impressive default of 880k; and yup, you got nearly 2M from a HD floppy! ;)

    Anyone wanting to try such amazing technology today can use a Catweasel [jschoenfeld.de], although I'm not sure if it supports anything more exotic than standard Mac/Amiga floppies.
  • by PCM2 (4486) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @04:47AM (#8519325) Homepage
    (I post this here because maybe you've been around long enough to remember when ARC vs. ZIP vs. LZH vs. some others was a big deal.)

    Back in the days of the "archive format wars" somebody made a program called NaBob that was pretty funny. It made archives that were so perfectly compressed that they approached singularity. That is, every archive turned out to be one byte long.

    The various compression methods, it was said, were named after different types of quarks. So, as the files were compressed, it would report, "upping," "downing", "charming," "stranging," etc.

    The file extension was .BOB.

    When you ran the uncompress process, all your files would be mysteriously "extracted" from the archive again. Amazing! It really stored all that data in a single byte!

    Of course, all it was really doing was setting the hidden file bit on all your files and creating a one-byte file with the .BOB extension, but hey, as they say, there's one born every minute.

    That program always cracked me up, so I just thought I'd share.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @04:53AM (#8519343)
    Back in OS 7 days on the Mac there was a program called DiskDoubler that did just this. It replaced the disk driver and compressed all data to the disk and expanded it on the way out. It really did work, for a while I had 80 Meg of space on a 40 Meg drive. Then it failed and I had 40 Meg of trash instead. So this could work but backup backup backup.
  • Probably true (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mcbridematt (544099) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @05:00AM (#8519364) Homepage Journal
    Try DD'ing a 20gb disk drive to a 40gb one, whole drive at the time (i.e dd /dev/hda -> /dev/hdb).

    I did this with my IBM DeathStar to My WD Caviar. cfdisk then thought I had a 20gb drive :( AFAIK I fixed it by blowing away the partition table completely with some other partioning app (don't remember)
  • Re:Simple corruption (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Ilgaz (86384) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @05:13AM (#8519403) Homepage
    I really wonder Ghost developers face when they first read that article :)

    Like, Shock?

    *nix only and Mac guys maybe not knowing it, Ghost is one of rare good codes coming out of Symantec and the primary purpose of it is DATA SAFETY lol... So, its like a huge joke.
  • by imsabbel (611519) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @05:23AM (#8519439)
    There were also programs that just "deleted" the file and strored the cluster numbers in the "compressed" file. Too bad if you happen to defrag or something else in the meantime.
    the faq of comp.compression has a lot of really wired stuff...
  • Re:I call (Score:2, Interesting)

    by moro_666 (414422) <kulminaator&gmail,com> on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @05:37AM (#8519471) Homepage
    basically if something gets lost on the windows machine it doesn't really matter anyway (problably yet more viruses and spyware gets corrupter, oh dear eh ?)

    anyway, i'm a bit techie and for calming down the people, there is no 50% extraspace in any hdd, really :)

    just some wierd hoax brought up by people to make them ruin their hdd-s and buy some new ones :) :)

    [considering the work/software/configuration loss you will have whily trying this, it's cheaper to buy a new hdd]
  • Stay Anonymous (Score:3, Interesting)

    by KalvinB (205500) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @05:43AM (#8519488) Homepage
    I suppose we could blame Slashdot for not taking the initiative to do a little fact checking before letting this one in but then again the members are the fact checkers, spell checkers, dupe dectors, etc.

    Whoever submitted this should remain anonymous. But, unless they were just seeing if they could slide one past the editors, we educated at least one person today.

    Debunking bogus articles every once in awhile isn't a bad thing. Chances are, quite a few people, although they would never try it, probably thought it was a valid concept.

    Ben
  • Aha! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @06:09AM (#8519555)
    See, turns out Linux is difficult!

    Look how obscure this command is, compared to the easy Windows equivalent. CQD.

    On a serious note, Windows fdisk is really different, because it does not work! I once had to lend a TOMSRTBT floppy to fellow Windows users, because fdisk refused to clean their HDs...
  • Re:Uh, no (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kaenneth (82978) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @06:18AM (#8519587) Homepage Journal
    The hard drives in many 60 hour ReplayTV's are actually 80 gigabytes (approx 1gig/hr), and can be reformatted as such. The formatting was reduced for marketing reasons.
  • by Geekbot (641878) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @06:32AM (#8519634)
    I'll second that. Wish I had a mod point for you. I don't trust 3.5s any more at all. USB flash drives for quick mobile storage, CD-Rs for anything bigger or more long term. Even the CD-Rs don't last well anymore. Now all those 3.5s come with those stupid little plastic sliders instead of the sturdy old metal ones. Constantly I find those things coming off and getting jammed in the drives at work. And the plastic is so cheap and flimsy they are almost a real "floppy" disk again.
    Of course, it doesn't help that now it's not just the computer geeks using these things and a bunch of stupid college kids are storing all of their term papers on these crappy things. Then they run around with them jammed in their back pocket or backpack until crushed, bent, or otherwise destroyed.
    My job involves me helping people use the computer, but I'm about to put a sign up that help with college work will cost extra.
  • by Alan Partridge (516639) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @07:27AM (#8519860) Journal
    I hardly think you can call this a bug when you have to deliberately switch off your machine at a certain point in it's boot process and swap out a drive!

    Is it a bug in MacOSX that it doesn't work if you delete the Applications folder while running a program from it?
  • Re:Uh, no (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bhtooefr (649901) <bhtooefr&bhtooefr,org> on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @07:38AM (#8519904) Homepage Journal
    However, there ARE tools to get 400K out of a 360K 3.5" floppy (and 800 out of a 720K) - the Mac OS uses them by default. Also, Microsoft developed tools to get 1.6 and 1.8MB out of a 1.44MB floppy. AFAIK, the technology is used by Linux, but Windows has a crap fit if it catches you writing to a 1.6/1.8MB floppy.
  • by Saiai Hakutyoutani (599875) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @08:30AM (#8520234)
    From my own page:

    When I created my Linux filesystems with mke2fs, I didn't know there was an -m option. This option specifies how many percent of your disk Linux will "steal" so that root can use it to fix your system when the disk is full. This defaults to 5%, which for a disk used to store files is obviously 5% too many. So for all your non-system disks at least, simply correct the file system with tune2fs:

    tune2fs -m 0 /dev/hdX

    Et voila. The disk is 5% bigger as if by magic. For a 120GB drive this gives you an extra 6GB. Hey, you never know when you might need it. Also, if you do this on your system disk, don't say I didn't warn ya.
  • Re:Uh, no (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cowbutt (21077) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @08:36AM (#8520271) Journal
    Second, early on Amiga floppies had a reputation for being somewhat less reliable than their PC and Atari brethren, though personally, by 1991 when I got a 500+, I didn't see any real difference.

    That's probably because the Amiga floppy controller wrote track-at-once, rather than secton-at-once but without either the controller or the trackdisk.device verifying that the entire track had been written correctly. Hence, if you updated a single sector on a track, the entire track would be re-written, and the "unmodified" tracks may get corrupted in the process.

    There was a nice hack called TrackSalve [funet.fi] which hacked the trackdisk.device so that it performed an automatic verify of tracks after writing. ISTR equivalent functionality may have been incorporated into trackdisk.device in 2.04/3.0+ Kickstarts, but before I started using TrackSalve, I used to frequently end up with corrupted diskette bitmaps (probably the most-rewritten track on an Amiga floppy).

    Another, probably less significant factor is that the Amiga disk hardware wrote tracks with no gaps between sectors in order to get that extra 160KBytes. If a PC disk controller encountered an error in the inter-sector gaps, I doubt it would cause it many problems, but for Amigas, it increases the probability that an error will occur in an occupied cell of the disk.

    --

  • by Shanep (68243) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @09:31AM (#8520670) Homepage
    Dells wich has only a portion of their HD partioned.

    A few months back (in Sydney at least), if you purchased particular uni-processor Dell rackmount gear (1650's from memory?), dell would send you dual-processors and charge you for the uni.

    I guess they might loose more money throwing a spanner into "their high speed money making machine". Perhaps just selling the next closest thing up is more cost effective for them.

    I saw this confirmed for other continents I beleive in the OpenBSD mailing lists, so it wasn't just a stuff up with our 3 orders.
  • Re:Simple corruption (Score:4, Interesting)

    by eric2hill (33085) <ericNO@SPAMijack.net> on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @09:35AM (#8520696) Homepage

    "to some magic 1.22 meg format that mysteriously made my floppies faster"

    No magic at all. I used the shit out of that program. It was called fdformat [simtel.net] and even came with Pascal source code! scheweet There were two little parameters called Xnnn and Ynnn that did sector sliding.

    From the fdformat docs... These options can be used to enhance the performance of your disk up to 100%. This is a bit difficult to explain. Imagine a standard 360 kB disk. It has 9 sectors on each track numbered 1 to 9. Normally the sectors on all tracks ordered "1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9". With sector sliding of 1 you order "1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9" on track 0, "9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8" on track 1, "8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7" of track 2 and so on. You can easily imagine, that it takes a little time, when your diskette drive head steps from one track to another. But your diskette continues rotating. Without sector sliding your diskette is positioned to sector 2 or 3 on the next track, when the stepping is done. It needs nearly a full revolution until sector 1 of the next track can be read. With sector sliding of 1 or 2 your diskette is positioned exactly on sector 1, when it starts reading again.

    This little bit of magic was somewhat drive-specific, since some drives were faster than others, you needed to use different sliding numbers, but all in all, it's a very cool hack.

  • Back in the Old Days (Score:2, Interesting)

    by SirLanse (625210) <`swwg69' `at' `yahoo.com'> on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @09:40AM (#8520741)
    Back in the old days, drive makers came out with RLL drives. They had to pass stringent QA to be sold as RLL drives. RLL was faster and had more density. Then we found out how to hook up a plain old drive to it. Amazing 10 meg slow drive in now 20 meg fast drive!!! They usually blew up in a year. Just before the service agreement ran out. You can also put nitrous oxide into your car and make a 4 cyl jap box go 150mph. It still won't run like a porche.
  • Re:How smart u are.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ktulu1115 (567549) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @09:46AM (#8520794)
    It has to do with the inperfections and variations in the original silicon wafer. Small deviations can effect the maximum speed the chip can run at while maintaining stability. You are right though, the process to create each chip (at least in each batch) is identical, however. I'm sure Intel has some whitepapers on the subject but slightly too busy at work to Google for them now. Hope this helps.
  • Re:Uh, no (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Shanep (68243) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @10:02AM (#8520953) Homepage
    Sorry, but this is complete bullshit.

    Yes. I call it corrupting your partition table. ; )

    Years ago, when an 800MB drive was "big", a friend of mine tried to convince myself and a group of IT staff friends, that he could get around BIOS limits of a particular DEC workstation, through some tricky settings of the geometry in the BIOS. LBA was not big in those days and MS OS were still using the BIOS for disk access beyond the boot process.

    Anyway, my friend managed to "trick" the BIOS into seeing 800MB (previously 504MB).

    So, in an attempt to prove him wrong, I then proceeded to format the drive. MS-DOS format claimed it was formatting the drive as 800MB, but this did not deter me. I knew that MS-DOS was simply fooled into thinking that 800MB was actually addressable on that particular (504MB through BIOS limited) machine.

    The format completed fine! But I was still not detered. I said, "ok, now we start to fill this drive up...".

    I started copying a large directory over and over to fill the drive. When we approached about 500MB... "Seek error: sector not found.". The drive no longer booted either.

    What had happened, was that we managed to force the BIOS to accept geometry values which it could not fully address. Most Significant Bits which MS-DOS would send, would never get seen by the drive, since the BIOS could not go beyond a certain address width. So while formatting, MS-DOS would be sending write commands which would be honored by the drive, but the BIOS would be passively stripping some of the highest MSB's out of shere lack of support of them.

    The end effect, was that at the 504MB point, the drive head would be about 504MB's in to the 800MB, then at 505MB, the address would go back to zero and the head would come back to the start! That first sector would be formatted again, the drive would report success, and MS-DOS format would think nothing of it. When it got to "800MB", it would have all appeared to format ok to MS-DOS.

    The end result was an 800MB drive, with a partition table which that BIOS was never going to be able to fully service, even though MS-DOS format "saw the proof" that all was fine. ; ) When someone tried to copy data to the next "safe" sector beyond what the BIOS could address, what they were actually doing was writing back over the beginning of the disk! Corrupting the partition table.

    ; )

    I was delighted, because everyone else was on my friends side, even though one of my buddies also had a background in electronics and should have known what I was talking about. Anyway, modern drives DO have secret areas set aside for remapping of bad sectors (to give you the consumer the perception of zero bad sectors and all the space you legally purchased), but this space is way smaller than what these jokers are claiming and it is normally not user accessible.

    So, save yourself the hassle of wondering in a few months time, why your drive has "crashed". You might not remember the "magic" that you did to your drive.
  • by zoloto (586738) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @10:15AM (#8521069)
    I know this is offtopic but google doesn't help much lately.

    I have a Serial ATA 150 drive, 80 gigs with WinXP loaded on it (sans 700mb hidden partition). I've used ghost to create an image. Here's the question:

    Taking the second 80gig sata and creating a 700MB partition (hidden, primary.. end of disk), is there a way I can keep this **.gho file in the partition, give that hidden partition it's own boot instructions (ie. off the ghost 2004 cd) and setting up the first partitions boot loader (whatever works) with a password protected "reimage drive" option that I can use to reimage my first partition of the same hard drive?

    Or am I not able to take the xx.gho file from the same physical disk and image the first partition meaning I have to load the image file from a foriegn disk?

    Let me know, google hasn't been much help and my ghost 2004 documentation is limited i.e. I can't find it
  • Re:How smart u are.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nelsonal (549144) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @10:26AM (#8521169) Journal
    As I understand it, and I'm certainly not a EE or chip designer, it's a matter of semiconductors can be driven "hot" which makes them work but shortens their life. Now Intel wants to run the voltage at 1.4 V to keep their heat dissipation at about 80 W. Imagine a P4 that has everything perfectly finished (if it were an engine it would be ported and polished). Now imagine one that all works but there are some thin gates, and doping wasn't quite as uniform. If you wanted it to run at 3 Ghz you might be able to if you crank the voltage up to 1.6 V and dissipate 110 W (note that these numbers are only guesses) Intel doesn't want to do that so they just mark it at 2.4 GHz.
    The arbitrage, and reason for such excitement in overclocking, is that most of the time Intel's manufacturing is too good. It makes too many uniform pieces that qualify for 3 GHz. The company likes to sell a few processors at high prices at the cutting edge, most processors at a sweet spot (~$200), and the remander as budget processors. To meet the economic demand, they take over qualified processors and mark them (most of them are multiplier locked as well) at for lower speeds. Over clockers take the chance that they bought a "relabed" processor not a "binned" processor. The success of a large group of overclockers is an indication of how well the manufacturing process is at delivering things at good tolerances. If you recall the Barton launch over clocking was a much dicier prospect, or further back an old Cyrix chip, because the processors were more likely to not qualify at higher speeds.
    Almost all manufactured goods are built to tolerances rather than exact specs. Go grab a precision instrument and check some. The tolerances allow for much lower cost, and are usually developed as a balance between cost reduction and usefulness. There is a whole branch of manufacturing statistics that has developed tools for deciding when a process is out of tolerance. (The stats aren't too tough the tools make it easy to check on the fly even if you have little or no stat's training).
  • Sometimes they do... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by barc0001 (173002) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @10:43AM (#8521332)
    Not always is their goal to make a profit, but rather market share...

    The best example of this is the Celeron 300A debacle for Intel. Switch back to those days of yore for a moment...

    Intel introduced the Celeron line to help blunt AMD's advance into the low end post-Pentium I market. One problem: The Celeron 233 and 266 with NO L2 cache suck so much ass nobody wanted them, but they couldn't just change over the production line to a new Celeron design at the drop of a hat. What to do, Andy? Easy. That production line in Malaysia that's pumping out the Deschutes 450 PIIs to the rescue! So Intel took a whack of those chips, gave them a lower L2 cache, dropped their "rated" bus speed to 66MHz and branded them Celeron 300As. Which is why pretty much every Malaysian Celeron 300A runs just fine at 450 MHz with the stock Intel cooler, no adjustment required.
    Intel actually lost money doing it, but they didn't lose the low end market. But the damage the current batch of crap they call a Celeron is doing to their reputation down there seems to indicate they will lose it soon...
  • Re:Uh, no (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nmos (25822) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @11:34AM (#8521835)
    Do they actually phisically install a head on the side of the platter that is not being used for drives such as your 10GB and 30GB examples? It wouldn't seem completely unreasonable to build them all the same and just disable the extra head in the firmware.
  • Re:How smart u are.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Patik (584959) * <cpatik@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @11:36AM (#8521860) Homepage Journal
    This sounds like what AMD did with its single (XP) and SMP (MP) Athlon processors. For a long while the XP and MP chips were the same except MPs were tested for SMP performance. A certain bridge on the surface of the board was cut to make a processor into an XP (though some weren't), so connecting this bridge turned your XP into an MP chip, which was a lot more expensive. The process [hardwarezone.com] was simple, and you could end up with a $121 MP2000 (according to pricewatch.com) for the price of a $48 XP2000.

  • by Short Circuit (52384) <mikemol@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @11:38AM (#8521875) Homepage Journal
    I'll attest to that. I once wanted to reinstall Windows on my Compaq Presario, but it took a while to make them understand when I told them that no, the base material that was on the HD was gone.
  • Re:Sometimes they do (Score:3, Interesting)

    by darkmeridian (119044) <william...chuang@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @11:50AM (#8522013) Homepage
    I had this ATI card. It was the Radeon 32 DDR. The cheap LE version I had simply had software support for a feature disabled. I enabled it using a utility and it was FINE!
  • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @12:03PM (#8522110)
    Before people started installing LBA48 kernels in their TiVos, upgraders were buying 160 GB drives and formatting them to a 137 GB (128 GiB) to maximize their capacity. And some of them then added the remainder that was outside of the TiVo's access abilities as another partition to hold backup images, upgrading tools, and whatever else they wanted (23 GB is plenty of space).

    This partition's presence in the partition table would not harm the TiVo's function as it would have no need to access the extra partition in its daily operations, so it would not be mounted.
  • Lightning Strike! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kcdoodle (754976) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @12:14PM (#8522199)
    I had lighting strike my house several years ago and the data on my HD was lost.

    Lo, and behold, when I re-formatted the drive it worked fine. Better than that, a 250M drive was now a 330M drive.

    This drive never ever failed after that, and is still operational inside one of my dinosaur computers.

    From personal experience I can verify that some drive do have more Megabytes than the manufacturers allow consumers to use.

    TTFN!

  • Re:Uh, no (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cshark (673578) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @01:22PM (#8523104)
    Secret hard drive space? I'll settle for the total amount of hard drive space they sold me. My new 160 gig drive only has 130gb of usable space on it.
  • Re:Uh, no (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @01:32PM (#8523231)
    Tell Rob Northen that.

    OK, 99 tracks is too much, but Rob did manage to fit 1028K on a 720K for one game's release - only part of the first track was "normal" enough for it to pick up the bootsector, at which point it was doing some freaky things with custom skews, interleaves, small "subcodes" of data stored between the tracks at the syncs (which probably only worked because of the changing interleave)... all highly timing-dependent too, but it was using nop loops to pull a similar sort of trick to the one that the Mac "spiral" format was doing at the time.

    It was hell to copy. I don't think anyone managed it directly (rather the cracker used Vexmon 1 (based on Mon 3.10), single-stepping and safe-nopping protection code as they went, managed to breakpoint the exotic loading routine, dumped every sector it read to his fancy, massive 100MB SCSI hard disk, linkfiled it, and used the groups' own, more efficient compression routines to get it into an 820K 10-sector slightly-extended format).

    There were these little problems with the original.. the discs weren't rated for that, so they failed quite soon... the drives weren't designed for it, so about one of every three times, the game refused to boot... oh, and it didn't run on the STe when it came out... of course only the cracked version survives now... it always did work better and he ended up megatraining it too :)

    Trying essentially that sort of ninja trick on *all* my precious data does not strike confidence into my heart.
  • by Fishstick (150821) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @02:05PM (#8523583) Journal
    happens all the time -- they aren't just "throwing in an extra", they are supplying a different motherboard that happens to be dual-cpu. You run out of stock on the specific component, so you use the next best compatible thing, rather than putting the thing on backorder and having the customer potentially cancel.

    I've had something similar a couple times. I bought a barebones kit that was supposed to include a 440LX board with a 333 PII. I discovered later that the machine shipped with a different board than the one I ordered, but it was better (a BX 100mhz bus jumpered down).

    I went online again to the place that sold me the kit, and they no longer had the LX kit, but were selling the BX kits for less than I paid for the older board. I assume this meant that they no longer stocked the older boards, but had a glut of the new ones.

    I later got hold of a P2/450 and jumpered the board to 100mhz fsb and all worked.
  • by kansei (731975) on Wednesday March 10, 2004 @02:46PM (#8524048)
    Windows NT has a problem if you make the primary partition greater than 7.6 GB. With a bigger partition, the files needed to boot the machine may be moved from the beginning of the disk (be defrag or an upgrade), and NT won't be able to boot (because of the primitive NTFS driver NT uses to boot). I believe this was fixed in 2k and XP. This may be why Dell decided to make the primary partition 6 GB...
  • by Tmack (593755) on Thursday March 11, 2004 @01:19PM (#8533845) Homepage Journal
    Its not just the outer radius, its the inner radius as well. One might think that over the years the case design might change to allow different sized platters (slightly larger with smaller drive axle for more surface area maybe), but if you stack up a bunch of platters from all different manufacturers over the last 10 years or so they match up almost perfectly, outside and inside. And as I said, the only noticable difference is color and thickness (and therefore weight as well). Goes to show where the research $$ is. Manufacturers have a design that works well for the case, platter assembly and drive mechanism, so they concentrate on increasing the storage density of the platters and accuracy of the heads (the design of the arms, heads and actuators has changed drasticly over the same time period).

    Tm

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