hidden partitions

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I'm new to laptops. Found laptops often come with a hidden partition
with software to restore OS. Was wondering how they made a 'hidden'
partition! Did a little google research and found this link from Acronis

It recommends making a hidden partition on an external USB drive. Makes
sense, but how does one make a hidden partition??

I've partitioned and setup PC HD's for decades. Used MS tools (FDISK,
FORMAT). Does one need special tools to create a hidden partition? If
so, have any generous freeware writers made it available?

Lastly, how does one access a hidden partition?


Re: hidden partitions

mars wrote:
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There are certainly a wealth of tools to hide partitions but personally,
I only use Partition Magic or Disk Director.

The "hidden" partitions you find on laptops are "special" partitions
installed by the manufacturer that cannot be deleted by Fdisk, at least
to my knowledge. I do not know how they are created, but they are not
the same hidden partitions you can create with the afore mentionned tools.

To access a "normal hidden partition", it must first be "unhidden", for
instance with the tools I indicated. Some software automatically hide
and unhide partitions for special purposes. An example I know is System
Commander which hides boot partitions which do not need to be visible,
when the machine boots, depending on a user setting.

The main purpose, for me at least, of hiding a partition is, either to
prevent unwanted access by the OS to that partition (and Windows has a
very unpleasant knack for trying to use partitions you do not want it to
use), or to hide that partition to prevent accidental access and
deletion or updating of data. I use such partition to keep a copy of my
boot partition handy.


John Doue

Re: hidden partitions


Some computer manufacturers use HPAs to hide restore partition, media
player partition, etc.  see
HPAs are not the same as "old-fashioned" hidden partitions.

Basically, the HDD reports itself as a smaller size to the BIOS.  I've
routinely used HDD imaging software in the past and I need to
investigate how (if??) they handle HPAs.  I had a look at this a while
ago, but haven't had a chance to finish.  

Note also that in some cases a given order and sequence of the
partitions is required.  For example, if the restore partition is the
third partition on your HDD (laptop out of the box), and you split
your main partition (making the restore the fourth partition), the
restore may no longer work.


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