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Recovering Secret HD Space

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the not-going-first-thanks dept.

Data Storage 849

An anonymous reader writes "Just browsing 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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The GNAA Presents another FP! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8518949)

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Gentoo? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8518951)

I use Gentoo; how does this affect me??

Re:Gentoo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519089)

I don't think it does. Not unless you try it. If you do, you're likely to trash your data, regardless of OS.

Why the fuck (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8518954)

Would you post a fake article, retards?

It doesn't work etce tc etc etc

Uh, no (5, Informative)

Sivar (316343) | more than 10 years ago | (#8518960)

Sorry, but this is complete bullshit.
Did aureal density technology increase to 200GB/platter overnight? No.

Please refer to this thread [] on for more information.

Re:Uh, no (5, Funny)

Froggert (187187) | more than 10 years ago | (#8518991)

No you fool, don't tell them yet! This is all part of my incredibly ingenious plan to get all the script kiddies and spammers in the world to follow these instructions to "enlarge" their three inch hard disks and corrupt all of their data in the process. Nobody remotely knowledgeable about computers would ever believe this, and nobody who knows nothing about computers would possibly attempt to do this. Who does this leave? Yes, the script kiddies and spammers. Now it's back to Plan B, sharks with frickin' laser beams on their heads.

Re:Uh, no (2)

Chalybeous (728116) | more than 10 years ago | (#8518998)

I'm not techical. Not even remotely knowledgeable about HD sizes and technology. Couldn't tell you what "aureal density" means.
But that article seems pretty suspect to me. I know some OEM PCs have HDs with hidden partitions, but I doubt they'd be half the HD size. Plus unless there's a way to mask partitions from DOS, you could see what was on the HD using, say, fdisk (on a Windows machine - I dunno the Linux equivalent).
I, for one, will not be trying it. I agree with parent in detecting a whiff of bullshit.

Disclaimer: I am not a techie. Please do feel free to correct me on any of the above.

Re:Uh, no (3, Informative)

Sivar (316343) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519059)

Couldn't tell you what "aureal density" means.
That's probably because I can't type. You may want to read this reference for " areal [] " density, though.

Re:Uh, no (5, Funny)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519113)

fdisk (on a Windows machine - I dunno the Linux equivalent).

er, fdisk

Re:Uh, no (4, Informative)

tap (18562) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519133)

Couldn't tell you what "aureal density" means.
"Aureal density" is a misspelling of "areal density". Areal means relating to area. In other words, the bits per square inch of the hard drive platters.

Re:Uh, no (1, Offtopic)

IamLarryboy (176442) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519038)

If this is real which is doubtfull it is probably a marketing trick. The drive manufactures proably make one drive and sell it as 3 different drives in different capacities.

Re:Uh, no (5, Informative)

Sivar (316343) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519103)

If this is real which is doubtfull it is probably a marketing trick. The drive manufactures proably make one drive and sell it as 3 different drives in different capacities.

Actually, this is exactly what they do. The difference, however, is that the lower-end (smaller) drives are identical except that they come with fewer platters. For example, a 160GB hard drive today likely has two 80GB platters, whereas an 80GB drive probably has one (though different combinations of different sizes are of course used, depending on when the hard drive was manufactured and other factors)

In some cases, a hard drive will be sold with a greater potential capacity than its available capacity. For example, a drive with two 60GB platters may be sold as a 100GB drive, the platters having been "short stroked". This has nothing to do with the absurd technique described in the Inquirer article, and I doubt that it is possible to recover the lost space.
Hard drives are the highest precision mechanical devices that most people have in their home--moreso than processors, high-end printer heads, or toasters. They are not something that you want to physically modify.

See the following highly informative and interesting (if you are a geek) posts by a Maxtor engineer:
Here []
here []
and here []

Re:Uh, no (2, Informative)

No One's Zero (714010) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519065)

I was really hoping for a cool firmware/bios hack to turn on unused platters or something cool... this is utterly dissapointing.

What is truly amazing is that some fool "discovered" this and actually believed he got ghost to double his HD size.

This does not in any way increase the physical disk size... this either overlaps partitions (bad thing) or creates a virtual partition inside the main one (stupid thing).

DONT DO THIS!!!!! (emphatic, not yelling)

Re:Uh, no (4, Interesting)

borgasm (547139) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519070)

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!

Re:Uh, no (3, Informative)

Sivar (316343) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519118)

This is true, but there certainly aren't several GB of sectors reserved for errors. :)

Re:Uh, no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519082)

"You get what you pay for"
I doubt that. I think it's more like you get what you believe you will get. If you believe you should pay more, then you will. If you don't, you don't.
You may doubt this, but it is related to one's ability to judge what defines self-fullfillment. Some people know how to fullfill their needs without spending money, others need to spend money to feel fullfillment because they lack an understanding of their goals.
I haven't paid for hardware in a long time because people are so quick to give me their supposedly outdated hardware that I can use in ways they can't even use their brand new overpriced, overheating, electricity guzzling toys.
I seriously doubt that you get what you pay for in computer hardware.

Re:Uh, no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519101)

aureal density? rofl

aureal means golden.

try areal.

Re:Uh, no (1)

Luguber123 (203502) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519116)

I suppose it's possible to pack more information into the outer cylinders of a harddrive, since the data density of the outer cylinder is much lower.
The outer cylinder is a much longer 'track' than the inner cylinder but still a conventional harddrive stores the same amount of data in all cylinders.
If you calculate how much more data that is teoretically possible to pack into the increasingly longer tracks, then I suppose you will end up with numbers like the ones suggested in the article.

inquirer not register (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8518961)

more fuckupery from the editors that couldn't.

suck my anus

Re:inquirer not register (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519076)

timmy can't walk, timmy can't ski, timmy's got muscular dystrophy!

How? Reliability? (2, Interesting)

superhoe (736800) | more than 10 years ago | (#8518963)

"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?

Re:How? Reliability? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519001)

IBM *DEATH*star? ...

I wouldn't worry... thouse drives couldn't be any less reliable :)

Re:How? Reliability? (1)

lendude (620139) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519032)

Speaking of reliability: My IBM Deathstar GXP75 EIDE - 30GB. Yield after click-of-death...

I call (5, Insightful)

ANY5546 (454547) | more than 10 years ago | (#8518966)


No way in heck can you increase the amount of storage a HDD has so drastically. I mean, the physical disks can only hold so much, and no matter what you do, they arent going to magically double or triple.

These are physical disks, they have a set number of sectors. One size and one size only.

Unless you get into the whole mega vs. mibi byte but thats a whole nother can of worms!

Re:I call (4, Funny)

flacco (324089) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519055)

No way in heck can you increase the amount of storage a HDD has so drastically. I mean, the physical disks can only hold so much, and no matter what you do, they arent going to magically double or triple.

unless the disks were secretly, specifically designed this way.

for example, for the benefit of spooks who want the device to maintain a rolling log of disk data for some period of time after the unsuspecting user thinks it's been deleted/reformatted/security-wiped.

Re:I call (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519080)

or, less mulderific, wouldn't it be easier for the HD manufacturer to make a bunch of the same drive, then sell them as 80gb, 100gb, 120gb, etc, with only a simple configuration change? It's the whole concept client perception. Like how it doensn't matter if you buy a chevey, or a cadalac, or whatever, they're all gm, all the same company. Marketing baby, marketing.

I call (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519083)

tinfoil hat

you are being too cautious, this comes from "teh" same people who can triple the speed of your internet connection by downloading troj.exe and running it. They are to be trusted, both in their technical expertise and moral character. Hell - I'd let them run my elections on their "133t r314y 53v3r5" if they could spare the time between all their work for orphanages and the homeless.

Frankly all this liberal-media bias and skepticism makes me sick to the stomach. One day we, the real people of the world, are going to usurp your cabals of power and send all you bleeding heart skeptics to a single country so that we can bomb it. Or we might just let you die there; because homosexual can't procreate after all right?

You are they type of filthy deviant who believes direct marketing, tupperware parties and pyramid schemes don't work. Next you'll be claiming that the half of those votes in florida (blacks and ex-felons) should have been counted and that Mr Al "BIG GOVERNMENT TAX AND SPEND" Gore should have won the election and that he'd have been more fiscally responsible than W's minor tax cuts and reserved spending.

You probably think there are no WMDs in iraq too, well I've got something for that little falsity:


And don't even TRY and say that 9/11 and Iraq aren't connected or that the training camps were in US/Kurdish controlled portions of Iraq. Because if you say that, I will start whaling on you with this rubber ducky.

anyway, go back to massachusetts pinko!

(sad that I have to include those tags so my post "validates")

Re:I call (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519105)

eerrr there was supposed to be a HTML-style "/right wing rave parody" at the end of that.... but it was eaten by monsters.

The post illustrates how a perfectly rational argument can be defeated by a right wing rave. Because, how wrong does the parent look now he is associated with homosexuals and liberal bias and al gore? He looks VERY wrong in light of my "exijesus". And hence the power of the right wing rave, trump card of the modern democracy.

Simple corruption (5, Informative)

gadfium (318941) | more than 10 years ago | (#8518967)

I'm a Ghost developer.

This is just a method of corrupting your partition table so the same disk sectors appear more than once. If you try this, don't ask Symantec for help afterwards.

Re:Simple corruption (1)

superhoe (736800) | more than 10 years ago | (#8518975)

In reply to my previous post.. this is just what i suspected. So it's simply useless. Gnaah..

Damn. (5, Funny)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519012)

Not only do US programmer have to compete against programmers in other countries, but now we have to compete againts the Undead?


Re:Simple corruption (4, Funny)

myowntrueself (607117) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519052)

Oh come *on* people.

Almost every slashdotter wants to find new and interesting ways to hose their data.

Its only natural.

Floppy / Drill fun (4, Interesting)

Channard (693317) | more than 10 years ago | (#8518968)

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.

Re:Floppy / Drill fun (4, Informative)

Canadian1729 (760713) | more than 10 years ago | (#8518987)

Then what kind of disks did you use? I did that to literally hundreds of disks more than 10 years ago, and they still work perfectly today; I've used some in the past week.

Re:Floppy / Drill fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519000)

You use floppies??? I thought everyone uses USB key fobs now...

Re:Floppy / Drill fun (1)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519094)

USB key fob huh?
Or USB hard drive?
Memory stick?
What the heck are we supposed to call these things? They're great but we don't know what to call it. Kinda like fizzy soft drinks. Great but nobody has ever standardised on a name for them.

Re:Floppy / Drill fun (5, Interesting)

innocent_white_lamb (151825) | more than 10 years ago | (#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.

Re:Floppy / Drill fun (2)

Piquan (49943) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519040)

Sure, since RLL is a compression technology. You just put a hardware compression system between the computer and the drive. Completely different beast here.

Floppys used to be better.. (5, Informative)

Zurgutt (131637) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519051)

In 1994 I bought a box of 720K single-density floppies by TDK. After discovering that making this extra hole could double the disk capacity, I crudely bashed the holes in them with the end of scissors.

These floppies were used almost daily for 3 years. (no hard disks available at that time). They were reformatted countless times.

Not single one of them ever failed. About a year ago, when failed to reformat and make a boot disk from several fresh-brought floppies I digged up one of them, reformatted again and succeeded in making a reliable boot disk.

Quality of todays media just makes me cry.

Re:Floppys used to be better.. (1)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519112)

I've still got some at home. They weren't totally as reliable as fully tested HD floppies, but they did great and they cost less. My dad had a bench drill that made really short work of punching holes in the disks, too. You just had to get it at exactly the right spot and you were good to go. Can't see that working with CD-R's somehow.

We also used some software, forget the name now, that allowed formatting of 360K floppies to 420K, and 720K to 800K. Those were the days! I ran MS-DOS3.3! And QUEMM386.

that looks like a *bad* thing (4, Insightful)

atlasheavy (169115) | more than 10 years ago | (#8518969)

I have to agree with all of the naysayers on this. As much as I'd love to double my hard disk space for free, there's no such thing as a free lunch. This looks like a really terrific way to hose all of the data on your hard drive. You're really better off just shopping around for a reasonably priced 100gb hard drive or something instead.

it involves 2 bn dollars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8518971)

2 billion dollars, 3,000 scientists, and a cloning centre.

yeah right. (4, Informative)

User 956 (568564) | more than 10 years ago | (#8518979)

So either the whole thing is a hoax, or, more likely, the OS is looking at a damaged drive (damaged partition table, at least) and seeing the same partition in multiple ways. Try to write on that shiny new partition and you'll be overwriting data on the old one. Guaranteed.

Some drives are known to short stroke their platters. This raises the more serious problem of this idiocy... The problem is modern drives store important information on those hidden inner areas of their platters (firmware, disk information, reallocated bad sectors), who knows what you could be overwriting whenever you use that space. Put something down in the wrong place and the drive will never start again or corrupt data at certain sectors. It's a lottery ticket everytime you write data in that partition. That's not what I call useable capacity.

Don't believe me? Go ahead and try it. You'll lose all those Buffy episodes you've downloaded on KaZaA, and instead you'll have to spank it to the Portman pictures your mom doesn't know you have stashed under your bed.

Plagerized? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519020)

This post is lifted from the link posted at the top of the page. Did you write it or are you fishing for mod points?

Re:yeah right. (4, Funny)

silvaran (214334) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519026)

Some drives are known to short stroke their platters.

Is that what kids are calling it nowadays?

Plagarism... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519097)

Taken from the afore-mentioned StorageReview thread:

Find it here []

Mod down!!

What *idiot* dared to post this on /.? (4, Insightful)

altamira (639298) | more than 10 years ago | (#8518981)

In other news, witnesses reported UFO sightings all over the country...

Re:What *idiot* dared to post this on /.? (2, Funny)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519005)

Ah, properly vetted articles. The holy grail of Slashdot readers.

witnesses reported UFO sightings (2, Interesting)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 10 years ago | (#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:witnesses reported UFO sightings (2, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519085)

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

Hey, you don't really believe that story that the extra disk space is really just a weather balloon, do you?


Re:What *idiot* dared to post this on /.? (2, Funny)

Kiryat Malachi (177258) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519071)


Disk is cheap. (4, Insightful)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 10 years ago | (#8518986)

My data is way more important than squeezing a bit extra out of an 80 dollar drive. Interesting idea and all that, but this isn't like in the old days of the "punch a new hole to make your 5-1/4 inch floppy double sided", where if you screw up, you lose only a disk worth of data - with this, if you screw up, you lose a _disk worth_ of data.

If I need more space, I'll buy a bigger drive, they keep getting cheaper and faster and bigger all the time anyway.

Re:Disk is cheap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519007)

Dead right. You can get a 100GB drive for a hell of a lot less than the trouble you'll cause yourself dicking around this way.

Sounds like a great idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8518989)

And I'm more than ready to put my grad thesis, financial records, love letter drafts (that I later copied by hand so they looked spontaneous), tax records, etc. at risk so I can store the complete set of Heather Brooke BJ videos on my hard drive. Why the hell not?

Re:Sounds like a great idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519062)

Obviously you've never taken the time to appreciate the fine talents of Ms. Brooke.

I'd keep her videos over any of the other stuff, hands down.

Is this not just using the space reserved for (1)

Too_Punk_To_Funk (520392) | more than 10 years ago | (#8518993)

bad sectors on the disk???? I may be wrong but I thought that modern disk upon finding a bad sector, made a not of it and remapped the location to a place on the reserved partition... So if I'm right you are just shortening the life of your drive... (by no means an expert so feel free to enlighten me)

Ah, the old media over-clocking trick (2, Insightful)

heironymouscoward (683461) | more than 10 years ago | (#8518996)

Reminds me of the old trick in which you could turn a single-sided diskette into a double-sided one by punching a hole through one corner.

Slight problem: the diskette usually failed a few weeks later.

The trick with this hard disk "expansion" is to reclaim space that has been reserved for error correction, or which failed quality control.

It's a lot like over-clocking a CPU, with a big difference: when it fails, you can't just reboot, you lose all your data. Personally, with HD prices so cheap, it hardly seems worthwhile.

Re:Ah, the old media over-clocking trick (1)

innocent_white_lamb (151825) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519028)

Slight problem: the diskette usually failed a few weeks later.

That's because you were spinning the disk backward when you turned it over. Any/all of the dirt or dust that was picked up by the jacket went right back onto the floppy disk when when you flipped it that way.

Re:Ah, the old media over-clocking trick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519066)

Nonsense. Apple II disks were intended to be double sided, and I still have Apple II disks that work, after all these years.

Flipping the disk was NOT the problem.

Re:Ah, the old media over-clocking trick (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519081)

Slight problem: the diskette usually failed a few weeks later.
They did? All my disks were single-sided ones made double-sided, and i don't remember an unusually high failure rate. Most disks worked for years.

As for this hard-disk trick... A number of people here have already suggested a few ways by which this process may yield extra space, and all of them are bad. If you need more space, get another HD. It's not like they cost anything these days.

Why? (1)

SyKOStarchild (576577) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519002)

I am sitting here wondering why I would compromise my Hard Disk for an extra 200Gigs of space, I already have tons of free space I am not using, and really can't see any need to pull more space from them instead of just buying a new $80 drive.

Manufacturer's view.. (5, Informative)

Channard (693317) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519003)

'A representative for large hard drive distributor Bell Micro said: "This is NOT undocumented and we have done this in the past to load an image of the original installation of the software. When the client corrupted the o/s we had a boot floppy thatopened the unseen partition and copied it to the active or seen partition. It is a not a new feature or discovery. We use it ourselves without any qualms' Which, having worked for a PC sales company, I can confirm is true. And certainly, while earlier models had partitions you could wipe with partition software, later PC builds had this hidden space. But the space was 1GB at most - there's no way there was the kind of 40GB plus hidden space the article claims.

This idea sucks (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519004)

If you do this you can say goodbye to spare blocks that are remapped in case the HD finds a bad block.
If you want to risk all your data stored on your huge hard drives... go ahead and do this. Otherwise I think this is generally a bad idea.

It is definitely not a case of Hard Drive makers ripping us off either. Even though you can buy a 250GB hard drive, it will appear on the system as 231GB or something close to that due to the math that GB are calculated at, as well as the file system overhead.

So yeah, this idea sucks.

Enlarge your HardDrive (5, Funny)

thefatz (97467) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519006)

Gain upto 300-600 more gigs. Your lover will be happy. Risk


Summary... (5, Informative)

nacturation (646836) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519010)

I think posting in the "letters" linked article sums it up pretty well:

About the "recover unused space on your drive" article:

Working for a data-recovery company I know a thing or two about harddisks....

One is that if the vendors would be able to double the capacity for just about nothing, they would.

All this probably does is to create an invailid partition table which ends up having:

|*** new partition ***|
|*** old partition ***|

overlapping partitions. So writing either partition will corrupt the other. It probably so happens that whatever situation people tried it, it just so happened that the (quick) format of the "new" partition didn't corrupt the other partition to make it unbootable.

And the 200G -> 510Gb "upgrade" probably has ended up with three overlapping partitions....


inq (2, Informative)

mr_tommy (619972) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519016)

I might note that it is the inquirer, not the register. Some editors might take offense ;)

You can increase some HDD sizes (2, Interesting)

GrpA (691294) | more than 10 years ago | (#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...

Remember MFM to RLL? (1)

osmac (24461) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519021)

Does anybody else remember using 30MB MFM hard disks with an RLL controller (or such), so that a 44MB RLL drive resulted?

I do not remmber the exact numbers, but I think it was around an 130% to 150% capacity increase.

Andre Hedrick (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#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.)

Nothing new (0)

gnu-sucks (561404) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519027)

This is nothing new, I just read the article, the same thing happened to my Compaq 486 when I installed Solaris Base Server 2.4.

Any partitioning program lets you do stuff like this. And, for those of us who use an operating system other than windows, we've been doing it for years.

If you want to check out something cool, floppy disks can actually be converted, many times, from SS to DS.

Article linked here []

Everybody that tries this (4, Funny)

Sivar (316343) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519029)

Be sure to use similarly advanced techniques to "defraggle [] " your hard drive.

Mod Up. That was cool! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519115)

Parent post's link has a hardware hack for doing the same thing. Too bad it only works for Windows.

" A hard drive becomes fragmented very, very fast. What happens is that all the tiny ones and zeros gets mixed and confused, and to get back the original speed on Your hard drive it's necessary to Defragment it.

There are several of different species of software to make this happen, but the most excellent way to do it is a hardwaredefragmentation. you'll only need some basic data-mechanical-skills to be able to accomplish this operation. ...

If you have Windows on your Data machine, You'll find the OS on the top disc, you'll recognize it easily, it's much heavier then the rest of the discs. If you use Linux, then you'll of course don't need to do this operation at all... "

heh... (0)

xangsta (75410) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519030)

only about 20 posts that recall that lol

Re:heh... (0)

xangsta (75410) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519041)

err nevermind...

use of greater than and less than signs messed up my post...

Re:heh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519127)

Remember kids - the preview button is your friend :-)

I thought this was going to be helpfull (5, Funny)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519031)

I saw the article title and I was very excited. I've bought many hard drives, and just recently I bought a 160 gig drive (was like $80 too after a mail in rebate, Fry's I love you...) and was about to buy a 250 ($110 after rebate, Fry's, still love you.) But then I figured, well if I do buy the 250, it's going to be able to hold around 200 gigs, and for some reason 50 gigs will be gone without a trace. I think there's 30 gigs missing on my 160 too, I've noticed this on a lot of drives (as drive sizes go up, so does the missing space.)

I thought this would actually let you use up that lost space somehow, you did buy the drive, it should contain the space, but it doesn't. RAM is just the opposite, you buy 512, it has 560 or so, well any ram I bought did. Anyway, is their a way to recover this lost space? Is their something I'm doing wrong? It seems to be worse in linux (but I heard that's cause it reserves space for root to access.)

Re:I thought this was going to be helpfull (1)

jangell (633044) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519048)

That's just because of the way they advertise. The space isn't hidden. They are just using fake numbers 1000 instead of the real 1024. You aren't very smart are you?

1024 vs 1000 as the meaning of k (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519072)

The problem is that drive manufacturers insist on claiming HDD sizes with a gigabyte meaning a thousand million bytes. It isn't meant to mean that, it's meant to mean 1024*1024*1024.

So you lose a few percent of capacity there.

There's also always some overhead of index tables and so forth for your filesystem, but you can't really complain about that - you kinda need it.

Re:I thought this was going to be helpfull (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519111)

Your brilliant humour is lost on these people :(

I have been doing this for years... (1)

RevAaron (125240) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519033)

Duh. Where have you been? This is old news. And not just in the way that things usually are old news on Slashdot- but really, really old.

I've been getting all sorts of super-secret space out of my drives for over 10 years.

The secret to this? Nothing fancy... Just MICROSOFT DOUBLESPACE! []

Haha. Just kidding. I never used that shit, way too flaky. Although it did almost effectively double the size of your drive for a pretty normal end user. But there were drawbacks, and I never used it more than to say "wow!" M$: DRVSPACE.BIN 0wnZ j00!

the latest "Chang Modification" (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#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.

It might SHOW that it's more (3, Interesting)

M3wThr33 (310489) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519035)

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?

I don't believe this. (0)

huwr (627730) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519046)

This is very unbelievable, however, I am waiting for someone to donate a HDD to scientific experiment and test it out. Maybe I might donate my old 1.7 gig. I might be able to get some 2 gigs out of that baby.

Lovely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519047)

Take this article down. "Stuff that Matters" my ass.

Re:Lovely (2, Interesting)

eclectro (227083) | more than 10 years ago | (#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.

I'm suprised (5, Funny)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519067)

I'm suprised with all the comments from people who DON'T want to try it out. This is SLASHDOT! Come on don't we all have dozens of 512MB hard drives? Or even some old 10 gig drive that you found in some computer while you were dumpster diving?

Re:I'm suprised (2, Funny)

rock_climbing_guy (630276) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519119)

Or even some old 10 gig drive that you found in some computer while you were dumpster diving?

Thanks for sharing with us how you like to spend your spare time!!!

OK, I think I figured it out!!! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519075)

The guy who wrote this article is definately the same guy who is sending the "add 3 inches to your hard disk" SPAM.

ecret hard disk space (1)

jkirby (97838) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519078)

Hahaha! I can ot believe this one made it through as a headliner on /. Someone must have been drinking on the job this evening :)

20GB - 1 TB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8519079)

I actually had windows report my 20GB drive to be 1TB in size last week.

Of course it wouldn't install. Now the disk isn't broken, I could install linux on it no problem (disk was reported as 20GB).
A side note is I have two such disks and they both behaved in this way,
the disk a Seagate cheetah which came from a Sun Ultra 5.

Does anyone know if Sun IDE disks have a firmware that makes it impossible to install windows on it?

It isn't a bad windows CD either, it installed perfectly on another non-sun IDE disk.

No I didn't RTFA (1)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519086)

I first thought it was related to the way CDR manufacturers can now propose >800MB discs, by using some redundancy check space for storage use.
Now, above comments mentions some Norton Ghost use that trick the fat (as in "file allocation table, not as in msfat) in order to make it see more sectors as usual.
Am I right or is there definitely something "that matters" in this article ?

Gigabytes Song (5, Funny)

unknown_host (757538) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519090)

(A.K.A The Song of Failing Disks)

Ten little gigabytes, waiting on line
one caught a virus, then there were nine.

Nine little gigabytes, holding just the date,
someone jammed a write protect, then there were eight.

Eight little gigabytes, should have been eleven,
then they cut the budget, now there are seven.

Seven little gigabytes, involved in mathematics
stored an even larger prime, now there are six.

Six little gigabytes, working like a hive,
one died of overwork, now there are five.

Five little gigabytes, trying to add more
plugged in the wrong lead, now there are four.

Four little gigabytes, failing frequently,
one used for spare parts, now there are three.

Three little gigabytes, have too much to do
service man on holiday, now there are two.

Two little gigabytes, badly overrun,
took the work elsewhere, now just need one.

One little gigabyte, systems far too small
shut the whole thing down, now there's none at all.

It works!!!! (4, Funny)

rock_climbing_guy (630276) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519098)

I j5st tried thiJ out wi_* my MAXTOR 80YB 7&00 RPM hard dFDve. It's ju7t amazifg; it says that I have over 200 GB unfoFGatted, with almosF 190 GB for3atted. I'm sure that the risks are all overstated. Who needs Gga3 for error correcGion and bad blocks, or whatever. It's just paranoia. If you want mor6 stFrage space, go try this out right sgrGREG][2fFS3g4

Don't believe them (3, Funny)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519099)

I'm here to protect you from the terrible secret of space.

Modder (1)

NoSuchGuy (308510) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519100)

Case modder - okay
CPU overclocker - okay
Grapic card overclocker - okay
HD modder - ???

riiiiiiiight (2, Troll)

goosebane (740956) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519107)

while(people == stupid)
anything = believable;

Thats all I have to say.

Re:riiiiiiiight (0, Offtopic)

unknown_host (757538) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519137)

that won't even compile on systems like our society...

Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity

It works, but be careful (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#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 :)

This is just the kind of article... (4, Interesting)

Kynde (324134) | more than 10 years ago | (#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)

Great..... (3, Funny)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 10 years ago | (#8519135) I can expect spam that reads:

Increase your harddrive size by 150mb! Women don't like men with small harddrives. Trustmeeee and click this blind link and giveme your CCnfo and I promise thisvkpj&$(*)#Hf89h0eq2987y

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