11-05-2009 04:33 AM
Is there a special utility or recommended sequence of actions I could take to effectively, and permanently remove the HPA on the M58p 9965 PC?
I use Acronis TI on my previous PC to do 3 full image backups each week, those images can be used to bare-metal restore to a new hard drive in case of disaster (I've had to do that a couple of times). I want to do the same with the Lenovo but the HPA caused big problems for most commercial imaging software out there.
Any help would be much appreciated.
11-07-2009 04:50 AM
I'd rather go the other way and make use of what you already have - why destroy the HPA - keep it.
You can build yourself a set of recovery CDs from the pre-load environment (on a one time only basis), and I highly recommend that you do that, as its the only way to practically handle a complete disk failure
How do I create Recovery CDs using ThinkVantage Rescue and Recovery
How to copy the HPA
Hidden Protected Area
11-09-2009 05:41 AM
Thanks for your reply. I've already made the recovery disks as you suggest. In fact I've rolled back the OS for the time being from Vista to XP Pro (back to a smaller drive in fact which presented issues in itself but I sorted it out). I'll be upgrading to Windows 7 (with my free Lenovo W7 upgrade) later when that becomes more mature.
It's just that I'm so used to having full control & freedom in making fully bare-metal restorable images of my drive using Aconis TI, a system I have used & been able to trust for years now.
I'll give the built-in backup & recovery a chance before I do any serious work on the new PC & see how it stands up.
I read in one of the docs to kindly gave me links to that IBM provide a tool to remove the HPA if users want to. Have you ant idea where it it to be found? - just in case :-)
11-09-2009 11:55 PM
Unhide and unprotect the HPA, using the BIOS. See IBM HPA document.
ThinkCentre BIOS is manipulating the disk capacity - space allocated to the HPA doesn’t show up in the operating system.
The Hitachi Feature Tool lets you manipulate disk capacity as well.
11-10-2009 05:07 AM
Thanks again for your input. I'm now actually looking at the idea of employing a 'belt & braces' approach by using the supplied ThinkVantage R&R system & also Acronis True Image.
My current idea is to use both R&R & Acronis to create backups to an external USB drive. The only worry I have is that if I image say the main drive 'C:' partition with Acronis (not the full drive) & don't save the MBR & track 1, if I then restore from that Acronis image (without restoring MBR & track 1) will the restored system drive be OK & as before, or will the restoration of the Acronis image break something in terms of the layout/contents of the main drive?
I'm clinging to the idea of using Acronis TI because it is fast, backups are verifiable (for peace of mind) & the resultant images can be mounted as virtual drives from where individual folders or files can be selected at will, using the normal windows explorer, and moved back over to the main drive if required.
In case of disaster, if the ThinkVantage R&R system failed me for any reason, I could restore a basic system from my rescue & recovery DVD set then restore the main drive partition contents using the latest Acronis image.
Have you (or anyone else reading this) and experience of doing anything similar, or thoughts about this proposal?
11-11-2009 01:55 AM
don't fiddle - and as a first thing (if not too late)
Create your set of PRODUCT (!) recovery media - can only be done ONCE (Microsoft Licensing)
Tried it myself - worked.
First obtain understanding of BIOS predesktop security leveland then
Prepare for hard disk failure: Tried it myself - worked
Follow instructions in http://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/pc/pccbbs/access_ibm_en/hpa_aibm.pdf
Creating an image of the hard drive
Alternative method: did not try it myself
Image complete hard drive - including MBR HPA
Tried it with a Dell which had a hidden "Dell restore" partition - worked.
Obtain understanding of backup concepts which are available in Thinkvantage R&R
You are able to restore single files with that app. - Tested - worked
Use Thinkvantage Rescue and Recovery for backups of your i.e. C: drive - full and/or incremental
save to local disk and/or external device
11-11-2009 03:40 AM
Thanks for your thoughts once again. I have already created the full set of product recovery discs so that's fine.
I'll look through the other references you listed for me. I see you are happy to rely on the ThinkVantage R&R & it may well be reliable but I have no personal experience of using it in disaster situations so forgive me if I seem a little nervous:-)
I find the lack of real access to the backup images (other than through ThinkVantage) a bit disconcerting too.
I do know that individual files can be recovered from R&R backups (I've tried that) but can the R&R backups be verified for integrity in some way after they are made (as Acronis images can be)?
It would be bad news to find that your R&R backup would not restore successfully when you really need it.