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How I fixed my son's new laptop 160GB drive

My son bought a new 160GB SATA drive for his Dell laptop to replace the original 40GB drive. I used a USB adapter to connect the drive to the laptop and used Acronis V11 Home to clone the Dell drive to the new drive.

After it completed the clone, I pulled out the old and installed the new and powered up. The drive started the boot and the Windows XP screen displayed and I thought we were home free! However, it blue-screened shortly after the Windows screen displayed.

I booted to the setup bios and it showed the new drive as 40GB, same as the old. Every tool I tried showed 40GB instead of 160GB and I have a lot of them. Reformatting, zeroing, etc would not bring the drive back to its original state.

After some hours of searching, I finally found a thread which led to the solution. The tool is called HDAT2. The problem seems to be the combination of the Dell laptop (with MediaDirect which uses a Host Protected Area (HPA) of the disk) and Acronis which had apparently problems with this HPA configuration corrupting the drive.

I burned the HDAT2 ISO to a bootable CD and booted it up to a laptop with the new drive connected via the USB adapter. HDAT2 did see the USB drive when the USB ASPI driver was selected during bootup but the option I was looking for (Set Max (HPA)) was not on the main menu like it was for the internal drive. So, I pulled out the old and popped in the new (again) and booted up the HDAT2 CD and this time the Set Max (HPA) menu item displayed for the drive.

I selected this option and it immediatly showed the discrepancy and had the Max Address field already populated with the correct value so all I had to do was type S to Save and that fixed the problem. The new drive now reported its correct size.

I will not use Acronis with this Dell for a disk clone. BTW, Acronis had worked fine for my old Dell when I upgraded its drive.

Note that the thread referenced above discussed a Seagate drive that had issues and a special procedure for dealing with 28 vs 48 bit LBA. My son's drive is a Western Digital and did not have those problems. A simple press of the S key was all that was needed in my case.

Print | posted on Saturday, May 10, 2008 12:00 AM | Filed Under [ Personal ]

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# re: How I fixed my son's new laptop 160GB drive

You had done fixed your son right? I also have hard drive that can't read here.. I'm searching the tutorial now :)
10/23/2017 9:08 PM | Dzkry Az
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# re: How I fixed my son's new laptop 160GB drive

i wanna fix my problem
2/28/2020 8:31 PM | pintuinspirasi
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# re: How I fixed my son's new laptop 160GB drive

Hopefullyyou've managed fixiing your son's computer, if you've not then I can suggest you to go to your device's manufacturer service or Microsoft forum there you'll find very interesting and useful content to help you out from this situation.
4/23/2020 8:07 AM | Yuda
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# re: How I fixed my son's new laptop 160GB drive

The thing you should consider when trying to fix your device is try to contact the support team of your device's maker there you'll find the very interesting response and hopeffy the accurate technic fixing your computer.
4/23/2020 8:10 AM | Aldi Marwan
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# re: How I fixed my son's new laptop 160GB drive

After it completed the clone, I pulled out the old and installed the new and powered up. The drive started the boot and the Windows XP screen displayed and I thought we were home free! However, it blue-screened shortly after the Windows screen displayed.
4/23/2020 8:11 AM | Mahesa Oke
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# re: How I fixed my son's new laptop 160GB drive

i have the same problem.. i'll try your method..
5/15/2020 9:21 PM | teknorizen

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