WD2500BEVE corrupted geometry - Storage

This is a discussion on WD2500BEVE corrupted geometry - Storage ; I bought a WD2500BEVE drive (Western Digital 250GB 2.5" IDE) to upgrade my Dell laptop and somehow in the process of partitioning, formatting and Windows OS migration, its geometry got corrupted and instead of being a 250GB drive, it is ...

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Thread: WD2500BEVE corrupted geometry

  1. WD2500BEVE corrupted geometry

    I bought a WD2500BEVE drive (Western Digital 250GB 2.5"
    IDE) to upgrade my Dell laptop and somehow in the process
    of partitioning, formatting and Windows OS migration, its
    geometry got corrupted and instead of being a 250GB drive,
    it is now a 78GB drive. The corruption is on the drive
    itself, as the 78GB shows in PC BIOS, with Knoppix Linux,
    when the drive is put in a USB enclosure, and in WD's
    Data Lifeguard Diagnostics. Other people have
    successfully installed this drive on the model of my
    laptop, so IDE controller features such as 48-bit
    addressing should not be any issue.

    WD DLG Diagnostics shows the CHS as 152139/16/63 when the
    drive should be about 484402/16/63. I contacted WD
    support and the rep says it can't be fixed via software
    and must be RMA'ed. The WD DLG tools don't have any
    abilities to change/correct the CHS configuration.

    Does anyone know of any utilities that could do some
    low-level geometry fixing on these WD drives? Can
    anyone explain how a 250GB drive could have been
    corrupted into a 78GB drive via software and not be
    able to be reverted via software? I saw somewhere
    that these drives have many layers of fancy geometry
    translations and it's likely the same hardware
    could be programmed to be different devices (drive
    sizes, features, etc.), which would make sense that
    WD does not release the software to do hardware
    "configuration."

    My drive will get replaced, so hopefully the
    corruption won't occur again. Perhaps the drive I
    have is indeed defective or arrears on firmware.
    But my curiosity is aroused, and I'd really like
    to understand what's under the covers.

    Thanks for any help.

    --
    Keep it brief: http://www2.paypc.com/mailrules/

  2. Re: WD2500BEVE corrupted geometry

    Peter Lu wrote:
    > I bought a WD2500BEVE drive (Western Digital 250GB 2.5"
    > IDE) to upgrade my Dell laptop and somehow in the process
    > of partitioning, formatting and Windows OS migration, its
    > geometry got corrupted and instead of being a 250GB drive,
    > it is now a 78GB drive. The corruption is on the drive
    > itself, as the 78GB shows in PC BIOS, with Knoppix Linux,
    > when the drive is put in a USB enclosure, and in WD's
    > Data Lifeguard Diagnostics. Other people have
    > successfully installed this drive on the model of my
    > laptop, so IDE controller features such as 48-bit
    > addressing should not be any issue.


    > WD DLG Diagnostics shows the CHS as 152139/16/63
    > when the drive should be about 484402/16/63. I contacted
    > WD support and the rep says it can't be fixed via software
    > and must be RMA'ed. The WD DLG tools don't have any
    > abilities to change/correct the CHS configuration.


    > Does anyone know of any utilities that could do some
    > low-level geometry fixing on these WD drives?


    Try wiping the drive with clearhdd
    http://files.filefront.com/ClearHDDr.../fileinfo.html
    If that doesnt work, try Hitachi's Drive Feature Tool.

    > Can anyone explain how a 250GB drive could have been corrupted into
    > a 78GB drive via software and not be able to be reverted via software?


    That last isnt likely.

    > I saw somewhere that these drives have many layers of fancy geometry translations


    Nope, just one.

    > and it's likely the same hardware could be programmed
    > to be different devices (drive sizes, features, etc.),


    Yes. Drives can be short stroked, appear to be smaller than they actually are.

    > which would make sense that WD does not release
    > the software to do hardware "configuration."


    Nope, Hitachi does.

    > My drive will get replaced, so hopefully the
    > corruption won't occur again. Perhaps the drive I
    > have is indeed defective or arrears on firmware.


    Possible, but unlikely.

    > But my curiosity is aroused, and I'd really like
    > to understand what's under the covers.


    Either its just got the geometry in the MBR in which case clearhdd will fix that
    since it wipes the MBR, or its been short stroked, in which case FT will fix it.



  3. Re: WD2500BEVE corrupted geometry

    In article <65ebrmF2f5b09U1@mid.individual.net>,
    Rod Speed wrote:

    >Try wiping the drive with clearhdd
    >http://files.filefront.com/ClearHDDr.../fileinfo.html
    >If that doesnt work, try Hitachi's Drive Feature Tool.


    Hi, thanks so much for the advice. I tried clearhdd and
    it did nothing. However, Feature Tool managed to
    fix the drive, so indeed it was short-stroked.

    But, while trying to set up for re-imaging my drive
    (from the old drive), it got short-stroked again, probably
    by Windows boot-up software. So, I'm very concerned that
    a drive would be corrupted so easily.

    While I wait for the replacement drive, I'm trying to
    install Windows, etc., on the "defective" drive just to
    characterize its failing behavior.

    >Yes. Drives can be short stroked, appear to be smaller than they actually are.


    How and why is this done? Is the short-stroking
    intentional?

    >Nope, Hitachi does.


    Odd that the WD rep didn't know anything about
    short-stroking or software to fix this.

    >> My drive will get replaced, so hopefully the
    >> corruption won't occur again. Perhaps the drive I
    >> have is indeed defective or arrears on firmware.

    >
    >Possible, but unlikely.


    When I get the new drive, the first thing I will
    check is its firmware level. I'm curious if the
    "bad" drive I have has vulnerability in being
    easily and unintentionally re-configured.

    >Either its just got the geometry in the MBR in which case clearhdd will fix that
    >since it wipes the MBR, or its been short stroked, in which case FT will
    >fix it.


    The drive is being short-stroked way too easily.

    Thanks for the help.
    --
    Keep it brief: http://www2.paypc.com/mailrules/

  4. Re: WD2500BEVE corrupted geometry

    Peter Lu wrote
    > Rod Speed wrote


    >> Try wiping the drive with clearhdd
    >> http://files.filefront.com/ClearHDDr.../fileinfo.html
    >> If that doesnt work, try Hitachi's Drive Feature Tool.


    > Hi, thanks so much for the advice. I tried clearhdd
    > and it did nothing. However, Feature Tool managed
    > to fix the drive, so indeed it was short-stroked.


    > But, while trying to set up for re-imaging my drive
    > (from the old drive), it got short-stroked again,
    > probably by Windows boot-up software.


    That last shouldnt be possible.

    > So, I'm very concerned that a drive would be corrupted so easily.


    Yeah, but I dont believe that Windows boot-up software
    does that, it must be something else like a defective drive.

    > While I wait for the replacement drive,


    Yeah, thats what I'd do, replace it.

    > I'm trying to install Windows, etc., on the "defective"
    > drive just to characterize its failing behavior.


    Yeah, it would be interesting to see what produces that short stroking.

    >> Yes. Drives can be short stroked, appear to be smaller than they actually are.


    > How and why is this done?


    Its done when a drive is replaced under warranty, when the manufacturer no longer
    has any stock of the drive being replaced. So they supply a more recent bigger drive
    and short stroke it so that the end user gets just the drive size they paid for.

    Its done with a variety of software, normally the manufacturer has their own.

    > Is the short-stroking intentional?


    Yep, for the reason above.

    >> Nope, Hitachi does.


    > Odd that the WD rep didn't know anything about short-stroking or software to fix this.


    Either he's ignorant or WD has decided that they prefer not to tell people
    how to reverse a short stroke, so those who get drives under warranty
    dont do that with their drive when its publicised on the net or something.

    >>> My drive will get replaced, so hopefully the
    >>> corruption won't occur again. Perhaps the drive I
    >>> have is indeed defective or arrears on firmware.


    >> Possible, but unlikely.


    More likely now given that the reversal of the short stroking doesnt stick.

    > When I get the new drive, the first thing I will
    > check is its firmware level. I'm curious if the
    > "bad" drive I have has vulnerability in being
    > easily and unintentionally re-configured.


    Yeah, that could indeed be a fault or maybe even some stupid WD footshot.

    >> Either its just got the geometry in the MBR in which case clearhdd will fix that
    >> since it wipes the MBR, or its been short stroked, in which case FT will fix it.


    > The drive is being short-stroked way too easily.


    Indeed.

    > Thanks for the help.


    No problem, thats what these technical newsgroups are for.



  5. Re: WD2500BEVE corrupted geometry

    Rod Speed wrote in news:65i3otF2g2ch2U1@mid.individual.net
    > Peter Lu wrote
    > > Rod Speed wrote

    >
    > > > Try wiping the drive with clearhdd
    > > > http://files.filefront.com/ClearHDDr.../fileinfo.html
    > > > If that doesnt work, try Hitachi's Drive Feature Tool.

    >
    > > Hi, thanks so much for the advice. I tried clearhdd
    > > and it did nothing. However, Feature Tool managed
    > > to fix the drive, so indeed it was short-stroked.

    >
    > > But, while trying to set up for re-imaging my drive
    > > (from the old drive), it got short-stroked again,
    > > probably by Windows boot-up software.

    >
    > That last shouldnt be possible.
    >
    > > So, I'm very concerned that a drive would be corrupted so easily.

    >
    > Yeah, but I dont believe that Windows boot-up software
    > does that, it must be something else like a defective drive.
    >
    > > While I wait for the replacement drive,

    >
    > Yeah, thats what I'd do, replace it.
    >
    > > I'm trying to install Windows, etc., on the "defective"
    > > drive just to characterize its failing behavior.

    >
    > Yeah, it would be interesting to see what produces that short stroking.
    >
    > > > Yes. Drives can be short stroked, appear to be smaller than they actually
    > > > are.

    >
    > > How and why is this done?


    > Its done when a drive is replaced under warranty,


    Nope.

    > when the manufacturer no longer has any stock of the drive being replaced.
    > So they supply a more recent bigger drive and short stroke it so
    > that the end user gets just the drive size they paid for.


    That doesn't work as it's easily undone.

    >
    > Its done with a variety of software, normally the manufacturer has their own.


    That's not shortstroking, that's a configuration overlay.
    And since even that can be removed they usually fix it with a factory
    low level format where the limited capacity is fixed (non changeable).

    >
    > > Is the short-stroking intentional?

    >
    > Yep, for the reason above.


    Nope.

    Shortstroking (setmaxLBA) is used to present a system -that is
    not capable to work with a bigger drive- with a smaller drive.

    It's mainly used by "drive overlays". Drive overlays are software that
    shortstroke a drive to a smaller capacity that is accepted by the system
    bios and add a small program in the drives bootsector that sets it back
    to the original capacity after the drive has been booted so the OS can
    use the full capacity.
    It can also be used to hide a secret partition from being used. It's the
    software that uses that partition that unhides it whenever necessary.

    >
    > > > Nope, Hitachi does.

    >
    > > Odd that the WD rep didn't know anything about short-stroking or software
    > > to fix this.

    >
    > Either he's ignorant or WD has decided that they prefer not to tell people
    > how to reverse a short stroke, so those who get drives under warranty
    > dont do that with their drive when its publicised on the net or something.
    >
    > > > > My drive will get replaced, so hopefully the
    > > > > corruption won't occur again. Perhaps the drive I
    > > > > have is indeed defective or arrears on firmware.

    >
    > > > Possible, but unlikely.


    > More likely now given that the reversal of the short stroking doesnt stick.


    And why should it. The problem is in the system, not the drive.

    >
    > > When I get the new drive, the first thing I will
    > > check is its firmware level. I'm curious if the
    > > "bad" drive I have has vulnerability in being
    > > easily and unintentionally re-configured.

    >
    > Yeah, that could indeed be a fault or maybe even some stupid WD footshot.
    >
    > > > Either its just got the geometry in the MBR in which case clearhdd will
    > > > fix that since it wipes the MBR, or its been short stroked, in which case
    > > > FT will fix it.

    >
    > > The drive is being short-stroked way too easily.


    > Indeed.


    Nope. It's by design.

    >
    > > Thanks for the help.

    >
    > No problem, thats what these technical newsgroups are for.


  6. Re: WD2500BEVE corrupted geometry

    Folkert Rienstra wrote
    > Rod Speed wrote
    >> Peter Lu wrote
    >>> Rod Speed wrote


    >>>> Try wiping the drive with clearhdd
    >>>> http://files.filefront.com/ClearHDDr.../fileinfo.html
    >>>> If that doesnt work, try Hitachi's Drive Feature Tool.


    >>> Hi, thanks so much for the advice. I tried clearhdd
    >>> and it did nothing. However, Feature Tool managed
    >>> to fix the drive, so indeed it was short-stroked.


    >>> But, while trying to set up for re-imaging my drive
    >>> (from the old drive), it got short-stroked again,
    >>> probably by Windows boot-up software.


    >> That last shouldnt be possible.


    >>> So, I'm very concerned that a drive would be corrupted so easily.


    >> Yeah, but I dont believe that Windows boot-up software
    >> does that, it must be something else like a defective drive.


    >>> While I wait for the replacement drive,


    >> Yeah, thats what I'd do, replace it.


    >>> I'm trying to install Windows, etc., on the "defective"
    >>> drive just to characterize its failing behavior.


    >> Yeah, it would be interesting to see what produces that short stroking.


    >>>> Yes. Drives can be short stroked, appear to be smaller than they actually are.


    >>> How and why is this done?


    >> Its done when a drive is replaced under warranty,


    > Nope.


    Yep.

    >> when the manufacturer no longer has any stock of the drive being
    >> replaced. So they supply a more recent bigger drive and short
    >> stroke it so that the end user gets just the drive size they paid for.


    > That doesn't work


    Corse it works.

    > as it's easily undone.


    Irrelevant to whether it works or not.

    >> Its done with a variety of software, normally the manufacturer has their own.


    > That's not shortstroking, that's a configuration overlay.


    Wrong, as always.

    > And since even that can be removed they usually fix it with a factory
    > low level format where the limited capacity is fixed (non changeable).


    Wrong, as always.

    >>> Is the short-stroking intentional?


    >> Yep, for the reason above.


    > Nope.


    Yep.

    > Shortstroking (setmaxLBA) is used to present a system -that is
    > not capable to work with a bigger drive- with a smaller drive.


    Wrong, as always.

    > It's mainly used by "drive overlays".


    Wrong, as always. There is no need to have the drive present
    a lower size than it actually is except when the bios locks up
    with the full size, as is seen with the Award 32GB limit. And
    thats done by jumper on the drive, not by short stroking anyway.

    > Drive overlays are software that shortstroke a drive to a smaller
    > capacity that is accepted by the system bios and add a small
    > program in the drives bootsector that sets it back to the original
    > capacity after the drive has been booted so the OS can use the full capacity.


    Utterly mangled all over again. Thats done with a jumper on the drive,
    not short stroking using software, and the overlay allows the full capacity
    to be seen, not a lower capacity than the drive physically has.

    > It can also be used to hide a secret partition from being used.


    There are much more effective ways of doing that.

    > It's the software that uses that partition that unhides it whenever necessary.


    It aint done by short stroking.

    >>>> Nope, Hitachi does.


    >>> Odd that the WD rep didn't know anything about short-stroking or software to fix this.


    >> Either he's ignorant or WD has decided that they prefer not to tell people
    >> how to reverse a short stroke, so those who get drives under warranty
    >> dont do that with their drive when its publicised on the net or something.


    >>>>> My drive will get replaced, so hopefully the
    >>>>> corruption won't occur again. Perhaps the drive I
    >>>>> have is indeed defective or arrears on firmware.


    >>>> Possible, but unlikely.


    >> More likely now given that the reversal of the short stroking doesnt stick.


    > And why should it. The problem is in the system, not the drive.


    You dont know that either.

    >>> When I get the new drive, the first thing I will
    >>> check is its firmware level. I'm curious if the
    >>> "bad" drive I have has vulnerability in being
    >>> easily and unintentionally re-configured.


    >> Yeah, that could indeed be a fault or maybe even some stupid WD footshot.


    >>>> Either its just got the geometry in the MBR in which case clearhdd
    >>>> will fix that since it wipes the MBR, or its been short stroked,
    >>>> in which case FT will fix it.


    >>> The drive is being short-stroked way too easily.


    >> Indeed.


    > Nope. It's by design.


    Easy to claim. Hell of a lot harder to actually substantiate that claim.

    In spades when the replacement drive fixes the problem.

    >>> Thanks for the help.

    >>
    >> No problem, thats what these technical newsgroups are for.




  7. Re: WD2500BEVE corrupted geometry

    Folkert Rienstra wrote:
    >
    > Rod Speed wrote in news:65i3otF2g2ch2U1@mid.individual.net
    > > Peter Lu wrote
    > > > Rod Speed wrote

    > >
    > > > > Try wiping the drive with clearhdd
    > > > > http://files.filefront.com/ClearHDDr.../fileinfo.html
    > > > > If that doesnt work, try Hitachi's Drive Feature Tool.

    > >
    > > > Hi, thanks so much for the advice. I tried clearhdd
    > > > and it did nothing. However, Feature Tool managed
    > > > to fix the drive, so indeed it was short-stroked.

    > >
    > > > But, while trying to set up for re-imaging my drive
    > > > (from the old drive), it got short-stroked again,
    > > > probably by Windows boot-up software.

    > >
    > > That last shouldnt be possible.
    > >
    > > > So, I'm very concerned that a drive would be corrupted so easily.

    > >
    > > Yeah, but I dont believe that Windows boot-up software
    > > does that, it must be something else like a defective drive.
    > >
    > > > While I wait for the replacement drive,

    > >
    > > Yeah, thats what I'd do, replace it.
    > >
    > > > I'm trying to install Windows, etc., on the "defective"
    > > > drive just to characterize its failing behavior.

    > >
    > > Yeah, it would be interesting to see what produces that short stroking.
    > >
    > > > > Yes. Drives can be short stroked, appear to be smaller than they actually
    > > > > are.

    > >
    > > > How and why is this done?

    >
    > > Its done when a drive is replaced under warranty,

    >
    > Nope.
    >
    > > when the manufacturer no longer has any stock of the drive being replaced.
    > > So they supply a more recent bigger drive and short stroke it so
    > > that the end user gets just the drive size they paid for.

    >
    > That doesn't work as it's easily undone.


    Nonsense. It's easy enough for some people (such as myself, for
    instance, or the manufacturer themselves) to disable one or more
    read/write heads, thus reducing the capacity.

    It's fairly well-known in the industry that at one point,
    smaller-capacity drives were being sold to "third" world countries at a
    correspondingly lower price - but they were identical in every single
    way to drives twice the capacity - they just had a read/write head
    disabled.

    It's all marketing dross.

    Quite honestly, Folkert, I would have thought you would know better.



    Duncan
    --
    Retrodata
    www.retrodata.co.uk
    Globally Local Data Recovery Experts

  8. Re: WD2500BEVE corrupted geometry

    On Tue, 1 Apr 2008 07:03:25 +0000 (UTC), swift@TheWorld.com (Peter Lu)
    put finger to keyboard and composed:

    >I bought a WD2500BEVE drive (Western Digital 250GB 2.5"
    >IDE) to upgrade my Dell laptop and somehow in the process
    >of partitioning, formatting and Windows OS migration, its
    >geometry got corrupted and instead of being a 250GB drive,
    >it is now a 78GB drive. The corruption is on the drive
    >itself, as the 78GB shows in PC BIOS, with Knoppix Linux,
    >when the drive is put in a USB enclosure, and in WD's
    >Data Lifeguard Diagnostics. Other people have
    >successfully installed this drive on the model of my
    >laptop, so IDE controller features such as 48-bit
    >addressing should not be any issue.
    >
    >WD DLG Diagnostics shows the CHS as 152139/16/63 when the
    >drive should be about 484402/16/63.


    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Host_Protected_Area

    Host Protected Area sometimes referred to as Hidden Protected Area is
    an area of a hard drive that is not normally visible to an operating
    system (OS).

    Creating and manipulating HPA on a hard drive can be achieved by a
    number of tools.

    HDAT2 by Lubomir Cabla.
    setmax by Andries E. Brouwer
    DiscWizard Starter Edition by Seagate Technologies.
    Feature Tool by Hitachi Global Storage Technologies.

    - Franc Zabkar
    --
    Please remove one 'i' from my address when replying by email.

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