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Ok, I know the mbr structure is jump statement to beginning of code BIOS parameter block Beginning of code 4 16byte entry Partition table AA55 After the first mbr sector ...
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  1. #1
    Just Joined!
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    Apr 2011
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    harddrive formating ?


    Ok, I know the mbr structure is

    jump statement to beginning of code
    BIOS parameter block
    Beginning of code
    4 16byte entry Partition table
    AA55

    After the first mbr sector the rest of the disk looks like this

    Partition 1
    mbr part 1
    filesystem ntfs ,ext4 ,...etc
    Partition 2
    mbr part 2
    filesystem ntfs ,ext4 ,...etc
    Partition 3
    mbr part 3
    filesystem ntfs ,ext4 ,...etc
    ...etc


    I know the Bios parameter block holds the info for the volume label, Volume serial , number of cylinders , sectors , and many more drive geometry info.

    My question is if you zeroed the whole drive out not just the partition. (example dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda )

    Then how can a device/program know how many sectors ,...etc etc to beable to format and use the drive again since the BPB would be wiped out along with all info on the sectors of the harddisk?

    Is their functions / data about the drive geometry stored in the firmware of the drive that can not be changed to give you this info?

    Provided the drive is an old one and doesn't have a HPA or DCO. Before 2001 ish
    Last edited by sam111; 10-16-2011 at 01:10 AM.

  2. #2
    Linux User
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    264
    I remember in my first pc it was possible to set the amount of cylinders and sectors manual in the Motherboard bios.

    Although there already was a option to get these values automatically.

  3. #3
    Just Joined!
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    Apr 2011
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    96
    Ok so their must be ATA commands that are built into the firmware of the HDD that can give you this info. And this info must be stored in some HDD firmware ROM memory. Or something not modifiable that an OS or software can call to always get the proper geometry regardless of if the sectors of the harddrive are completely zeroed out.


    Question 2
    Curious, other then the HPA ,DCO areas of a HDD is their any other hidden areas of a HDD or areas at all???

    Or is it just HPA , DCO , 512byte/4096byte sectors of the HDD ( plus preamble and error correcting code for each sector) that make up the entire HDD.

    Question 3
    Is their away to update the firmware of a HDD?
    Is their away to store information in the firmware of an HDD?

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