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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am trying to bail out a cyber-clueless friend who has a Samsung SP2014N HDD that is *extremely* Trojan-infested, and would like to zero-fill it.

The instructions on the Samsung "utilities" web page seem to be inconsistent and incorrect. They direct me to download the file Hutil_creator.exe, but there is no link to do that. The only file available is a different name, hutil 200.exe.

It took me awhile to figure out that, unlike all other HDD manufacturers, this utility does not put itself on a dos bootable floppy that it creates. The files have to be copied onto a floppy that is already bootable.

But I did finally manage to run the utility. However, contrary to the instructions on that web page, it has no option to zero-fill, only low-level format. This seems to write nonzero patterns to the disk. And in addition, it got about one-quarter of the way through the drive and froze.

Anybody know what am I missing? Do I have the wrong version of the utility? Where would I find the correct one?

Thank you,
Ted
 
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I would search for low level format utility for samsung. if the manufacturer site is inadequate you can use other sources nothing wrong with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
PurpleSky said:
I would search for low level format utility for samsung. if the manufacturer site is inadequate you can use other sources nothing wrong with that.
Aaaaah, I've done quite a bit of looking and haven't come up with anything anywhere else. If you know something, I'm all ears.

Thanks,
Ted
 

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Ted:

Purple has the right idea / I think the link below is EXACTLY what your are expecting and accustomed to working with.

http://dban.sourceforge.net/ >>>>> download the floppy version

joe
 

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pianoman1949 said:
Aaaaah, I've done quite a bit of looking and haven't come up with anything anywhere else. If you know something, I'm all ears.

Thanks,
Ted

I've never used Darik's Boot and Nuke but you might want to try this also http://staff.washington.edu/jdlarios/autoclave-discontinued/faq.html and grab a program called Autoclave. You can put it on a floppy and/or a bootable CD-ROM. It has always served me well and consider it an extremely valuable resourse for this computer geek. The download and un-packing procedure is a bit 'quriky' but once you get past that, the program works great at zeroing a hard drive and is pretty simple and straight forward.

-Lydokane-
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok, thanks very much for all your suggestions. Now it is my turn to grovel. I am suffering from serious senior moments.

I looked at the Samsung utility on a different day and saw how to make the zero-fill function work. I did indeed get the entire hard drive zeroed.

But now I have another problem: I went to partition, format and re-install Windows on it, and nothing on this computer is seeing past 8 Gig of that hard drive: the bios, booting into dos (via the Windows 98 floppy), booting to Partition Magic from the floppy, or booting from the Windows install CD.

It is a Samsung SP2104N 200 Gig HDD, 7200rpm, 8M buffer, PATA. He bought the computer in 1999, I think. The motherboard is ASUS P3B-F Pentium 3 500 mHz, with an Award Medallion Bios V6.0, revision 1004.

I have read a lot about LBA and the techniques used to get around the various barriers, and I understand the theory (I'm a mainframe assembler programmer, so I understand about addressing limitations). But I haven't been able to find enough specific information about implementation to solve my problem.

The most confusing thing to me is that there is a second drive on this machine, 13.6 Gig, that is being recognized correctly by the bios. So the bios is definitely capable of seeing past 8 Gigs.

It's entirely possible that this friend has never been able to use more than 8 Gig on the 200 Gig HDD. He wouldn't have known the difference.

I know there is a 137 Gig barrier. If we could get up to that, he would be fine. If anyone has any ideas, or can direct me to a site with better explanations, I would be most grateful.

Thanks,
Ted
 

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A 1999 BIOS would indeed have a real problem with a 200gig hard disk! :grin:

There are many ways to get around the BIOS limitations, some more desirable than others. That 13gig drive may have been installed with drive overlay software, my least favorite thing. If there is a BIOS upgrade for the system, mid-2002 is when the changeover to LBA48 was happening and by the end of 2002, most BIOS versions supported 200gig drives.

You can also use a PCI IDE adapter, like the Promise units, they have an on-board BIOS and will recognize the full capacity of the disk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks very much for responding.

johnwill said:
A 1999 BIOS would indeed have a real problem with a 200gig hard disk! :grin:
So you are saying the BIOS limitation is the problem (or at least the first obstacle)?

But this is what I don't get: his machine has no trouble seeing my 60 or 80 gig drives. I can understand why we might not be able to see the whole 200 Gig, but why drop all the way down to 8? I would expect it to see 137 or 32.

I am trying to figure out how to update the bios. The version number on the ASUS website does suggest that an update is available, but a number of different methods are presented, and I'm not sure which one I should choose.

Thanks,
Ted
 

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Maybe that 200 has been formatted in such a way that it has "hidden partitions" that the OS isn't reporting.
If it's seeing up to 80 with the other drives it would have to be in the format or whatever happenned with that Samsung utility. I wouldn't go further until I hammered it down to bare metal with DBAN. Then chuck it up and see what the OS reads.

Don't flash BIOS unless you need to...there is risk involved. Read the release notes, instructions and take all precautions, prior.

Regards,
JF
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for responding. The drive is already hammered down to bare metal with the manufacturer's utility. There is nothing on it, no partitions, no formatting, no DDO.

I'm not sure I have the nerve to fiddle with the bios, although I could always put it back the way it was. I may just punt; this guy would be ok with 8 gig.
 

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I would guess that a machine of that vintage is going to see at least 137GB.

If it was properly wiped it would have taken (guessing here) about 6-8 hours for that 200. Is it possible that just one partition was wiped?

Regards,
JF
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
jflan said:
I would guess that a machine of that vintage is going to see at least 137GB.
Exactly, that's my expectation too; that's why I am confused.

jflan said:
If it was properly wiped it would have taken (guessing here) about 6-8 hours for that 200.
You are exactly right. It took about 7 hours, progressively displaying two numbers until they reached these final totals:

Size: 190,782 MB
LBA: 390,721,968 (sectors, I guess)
 

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Hi
Just a quick note that I thought that Low level formats were to be avoided as the geometry for the platters for each manufacturer was different so there by nullifying the option of downloading generic software. It MUST be from the manufacturer only or bad things will happen!. Is this a possibiltiy here that the geometry reset by the generic Low lovel formatter was incorrect. The problem is now is if he has physically altered the geometry of the disc for life as the original manufacturers software will/ may not be able to identify the drive due to its new configuration.

Just a thought
Regards
golith
 

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Baffling. I would be tempted to try the HD in another machine that's able to read larger drives. Then you would be able to eliminate one of two suspects.

Wonder if there is any history of compatability issues with the Samsung 200 and that particular computer?

Maybe there's some funky jumper setting that has to be done on the drive?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
golith said:
Hi
Just a quick note that I thought that Low level formats were to be avoided
As I said, I didn't do low-level formatting, I zeroed out the entire drive. Rants in a number of places have pointed out that these are two very different things, and that you really can't do low-level formatting anymore anyway.

golith said:
as the geometry for the platters for each manufacturer was different so there by nullifying the option of downloading generic software. It MUST be from the manufacturer only or bad things will happen!. Is this a possibiltiy here that the geometry reset
No, as I said, I used the utility from the manufacturer to do the zero-fill.

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
jflan said:
Baffling. I would be tempted to try the HD in another machine that's able to read larger drives.
I was thinking exactly that. I popped the drive in my computer, which is only slightly newer (a Pentium 4), and it worked fine.

fwiw, I also did the opposite: I put my 60 and 80-gig drives in his machine, and it saw the entire drive just fine. And I know neither of those have DDO.

It seems clear that the problem is a bios limitation. I am trying to work up the nerve to try an update.

Thanks
 

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Some points...

Using a 80 conductor IDE cable...
prefered jumpers: cable select setting
mobo --blue------grey------black [::|:] [power]

alternative jumpers: master setting
mobo --blue------grey------black [|:::] [power]

Does the BIOS show the correct model number? If not then there is a hdd firmware problem. Set BIOS to auto detect.

The fdisk on the windows98 bootdisk cannot properly partition a hdd larger than 64Gig (binary, 67 gig decimal).

Download a windows ME bootdisk and use the fdisk on it. (see bootdisks link below)

-------------------------------------------------------------------
If problem not corrected then a bios update is needed...
BIOS revision 1005
Fix IDE hard drive having a formatted partition larger than 8.4G bytes cannot be enumerated by OS in "User Type HDD" mode.

update to 1005 or 1006 (don't use beta updates-1008)
http://support.asus.com/download/download.aspx?modelname=P3B-F&SLanguage=en-us
 
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