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(SOLVED) What Gives after 4 Primary Drives


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38 replies to this topic

#26
jaclaz

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:thumbup

Let's wait for the data from OP ....and we'll see what can be done :rolleyes:

jaclaz


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#27
bookie32

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Hi jaclaz!

Hi Edited this post to give you a link to Skydrive where I have the info about the laptop







bookie32

Edited by bookie32, 20 March 2011 - 12:14 PM.


#28
jaclaz

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Got them. :)

No MBR copy, though. :(

Basic info Gathered from the posted images:
  • NTFS System <no drive letter> 199 Mb 208662528
  • NTFS <NO LABEL> C: 277,90 Gb 298389073920
  • NTFS Recovery D: 19,90 Gb 21364731904
  • FAT32 HP_TOOLS <no drive letter> 103 Mb 104161280

At first sight the 199 Mb partition is "queer", AFAIK the RTM makes a 100 Mb one and only the Beta used the 200 Mb sized one. :unsure:
Someone more familiar with 7 may correct or confirm the above.

What is inside the HP_TOOLS partition?
When does it "come into play"?

jaclaz

#29
myselfidem

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I've made some search and I've found some explaination about the partition : volume HP_Tools:

volume HP_Tools

Edited by myselfidem, 20 March 2011 - 12:49 PM.

For Windows 7 OS: SetProductKey.rar (fr-FR/en-US. Integrate keys).

#30
bookie32

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Hi again!

In my humble opinion I don't think that HP Tools is for the general bozo...LOL
These are tools for experienced users and not the general customer I get....What are HP thinking about?

Just my opinion...LOL

bookie32

#31
myselfidem

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You can find some documentation provided by HP:

http://h10025.www1.h...product=4098683

http://www8.hp.com/c...rt-drivers.html

http://h10025.www1.h...coveryPartition

Cheers.

myselfidem

Edited by myselfidem, 20 March 2011 - 03:55 PM.

For Windows 7 OS: SetProductKey.rar (fr-FR/en-US. Integrate keys).

#32
DJPro

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Hello there,

Something about warranty, what I do know OEM-builders only give warranty for hardware problems.
So if your HDD dies they will replace it for example.

If you repartition your harddrive or if you delete the recovery partition and do a whole new install of windows they don't care.

In the past I send some laptops back where I did a complete new install and repartition, after some time something went wrong with for example a memory module,
those laptops came back with a new module and they didn't care about the harddrive that was comletely repartitioned.

At least, you don't get warranty about software problems, only hardware problems.

Edited by DJPro, 20 March 2011 - 03:45 PM.


#33
myselfidem

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I've bought one computer HP having some troubles software, especially during the creation of the DVD recovery. And an other time with a notebook!
HP offered me the DVD's recovery, it was during the warranty period!
And for a friend even after the warranty period, because during the Recovery creation one CD (7 CD's burned) had a burning error!
For Windows 7 OS: SetProductKey.rar (fr-FR/en-US. Integrate keys).

#34
bookie32

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Hi guys!

OK! I thank you guys for great info and it has opened my eyes to many possibilities....depending on my customer's view on this.

I will now give my customer options and act accordingly.

I think we can call this thread solved.

I really appreciate all the info provided and it is nice to be able to refer back to old posts.....if you forget things like me......going senile....LOL

bookie32

#35
jaclaz

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@myselfidem

Very good findings :thumbup , though some aspects of the HP_TOOLS are frightening - to say the least. :ph34r: , an attempt to translation follows ;).

In a nutshell what the EFI related document is saying is :
there is a new interesting technology called EFI that overcomes some BIOS limitations and also allows to put loads of unneeded bloat on a system, BUT we are not actually using its functions fully:

Tapping into this technology, HP has implemented an EFI partition on all of its commercial notebook
computers. Along with replacing the traditional BIOS interface, the HP version of the EFI partition
adds tools to the preboot system environment. The HP EFI partition is viewable on the hard drive and
is labeled as HP_TOOLS.


but rather ADDED it to an otherwise normally BIOS driven PC, just for the fun of it:

The EFI partition and HP EFI applications and tools are not required for the basic operation of HP
notebook computers.


Since we are the HP guys and cannot do things in a plain, common, standard way, we have made up our own standard:

Total EFI partition size is 1 GB.

(WHY?)

On 2008 commercial notebook platforms with the EFI BIOS, HP created the
EFI partition as a FAT32 primary partition, due to EFI limitations with accessing other partition
formats.

(WHICH ones? Do they include Logical volumes inside Extended or other "partition formats" which BTW in English are called "filsesystems"? If you are so critical about the EFI platform developers stop whining and contribute a dedicated filesystem!)

We have added 2 (TWO) apps to the EFI:

Applications accessible during startup
The HP EFI partition includes the following applications, which are accessible during computer
startup:

  • HP QuickLook 2 or later versions (select models)
  • HP System Diagnostics
HP QuickLook 2 or later versions
QuickLook is a personal information manager (PIM) viewer for Microsoft® Outlook 2003 and 2007.
QuickLook captures Microsoft Outlook email, calendar, task, and contact information, and then displays it without starting the operating system and without launching Microsoft Outlook. QuickLook can access cached Outlook information at the press of a single button, whether the computer is off or in Hibernation.
HP System Diagnostics
HP System Diagnostics allows you to perform diagnostic tests on the following components:
  • Primary hard drive
  • System memory modules
You can also use this tool to obtain information about the computer, such as model number, processor
type, total memory, serial number, and so on.

Which translates to:
HP QuickLook 2 or later versions
Since our users are NOT the kind of those that are familiar with this kind of PIM application (and that ALREADY have these same functionalities perfectly set on their smartphone) and are NOT actually the kind that use daily PIM applications (which are ALL in the above category by now) we are trying to induce the few ones that don't use a such apps currently (because they use an old fashioned 0.05 Kg pocket paper contact/schedule book to learn how to use a PC as a smart 2 Kg pocket contact book.) . In any case since actually booting the Windos 7 on this PC takes so long we decided to have it booting something else, perfectly unuseful, but quicker. :w00t:

HP System Diagnostics
Since using memtest+ or similar apps would be too easy, we decided to reserve 1 Gb for some software that does the same (only worse but marked HP)

Oh, no sorry, they are (3) THREE, we missed listing:

BIOS Recovery
BIOS Recovery is a utility that allows you to recover the BIOS image if it becomes corrupt. BIOS
Recovery can be employed in two ways. It can automatically detect and repair a corrupted BIOS by
flashing the BIOS image that is stored on the partition into the flash ROM. It can also be used to force
a BIOS recovery.
Initially, the BIOS recovery directory on the EFI partition contains the first released version of the BIOS
for the platform. Later, as HP releases BIOS updates, two HP BIOS flash utilities (HPQFlash and SSM
flash) automatically update the partition with the most current version of the BIOS. Note that the
current version of the eROMPAQ flash utility does not support this function.

Which translates to:
We are putting in a time bomb as most people will manage in no time to:
  • update the BIOS
  • FAIL to update the hidden into the HP_TOOLS partition copy of it that will replace automatically the new one at any glitch

Launch EFI applications as follows:

  • Quick Look: Press the info button to start QuickLook from the off state (S5) or Hibernation (S4). If QuickLook is disabled in BIOS, the button is inactive while the computer is off, in the Sleep state, or Hibernation.
  • System Diagnostics: Press the Esc key when the “Press Esc for startup menu” message displays when ]you boot the computer. Then press F2 to launch System Diagnostics. F2 will not wake the system from the off state or the Sleep/Hibernation state. F2 can be used only during POST when the BIOS keys are displayed.
  • BIOS Recovery: Hold down the four arrow keys, and then press the power button to launch BIOS Recovery.

Which translates to:
Since NOONE should actually use the last two apps, we made getting into them almost impossible, but we left the HP_TOOLS visible so that any demented user can wipe it easily by mistake.

How BIOS launches EFI applications

The launch algorithm of the EFI BIOS application enumerates all FAT32 partitions and launches only
the first instance of the application. The application search algorithm searches only the volume
labeled HP_TOOLS for the predetermined name and path of the application.
When an EFI application is launched, it has as much control of the system resources as the BIOS
does. Because EFI applications reside on the public hard drive partition which is easily accessible and
therefore insecure, BIOS launches only EFI applications signed by HP.

We weren't able to find a way to NOT having filenames hardcoded somewhere, and since we were late on schedule we took the shortcut of using volume label to identify a partition. :blink:

Now, the best part:

Creating or restoring an EFI partition on the hard drive
Use the following steps to create an EFI partition and install EFI-related SofPaqs onto the partition:
1. Use Partition Magic to create a partition on a local hard drive that has a System partition with
the following characteristics:
Partition type: FAT32
Partition size: 1 GB
Volume name: HP_TOOLS
2. In the new partition, create a folder called HEWLETT-PACKARD.
3. In the HEWLETT-PACKARD folder, create the following folders:
- QuickLook
- SystemDiags
- BIOS
4. In the BIOS folder, create a Current subfolder
5. Download the EFI SoftPaqs for QuickLook, System Diagnostics, and BIOS to the operating system
partition. SoftPaqs are available from http://www.hp.com/support.
6. Verify that the Softpaqs run and unbundle into the C:\swsetup directory.
7. Verify that the EFI application is installed in the correct location in the FAT32 partition (for
example, QuickLook.efi and QuickLook.sig should be in ...\HEWLETT-PACKARD\QuickLook\).
8. Verify that all EFI applications have signature (.sig) files.
9. Verify that each application works properly after installation.

Hmmm.
Questions:
  • Do they bundle a Partition Magic license?
  • How many internal harddisks does a notebook have?
  • How many internal harddisks with a System partition (whatever it is) does a notebook have?

:whistle:

EFI partition errors
If the EFI application launch keys fail to operate, the partition may have become corrupt. Reinstall the application using the related SoftPaq from http://www.hp.com/support. If a reinstalled EFI application does not work after reinstallation, contact technical support.
The following errors may be displayed if a problem occurs when launching EFI applications:

  • EFI Partition not found: can’t find EFI FAT32 partition starting with HP_TOOLS.
  • Application not found: can’t find EFI application in directory.
  • Invalid signature: BIOS fails to verify the signature of the EFI application.
If there is a backup version of the application in BIOS flash (for example, HP System Diagnostics).
BIOS will launch the backup. Otherwise, BIOS displays an error message.

Some Captain Obvious must have has contributed to the above. :yes:

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 21 March 2011 - 01:34 PM.


#36
myselfidem

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Hi jaclaz ! :rolleyes:

I think there is two options:

1) Delete all the HP programs and create a new installation with Windows 7 without any programs HP, and follow the method given by cannie.

2) Second option: Delete the Recovery partition to have space and add a new parttion, like the example here:

http://ubuntuforums....d.php?t=1403747

And, of course phone to HP asking more informations about the HP_Tools volume and How to add more space inside the PC or Laptop adding a new partition.

My PC HP x64 doesn't have the HP_Tools volume!, but two HDD with Intel Recovery system to save the OS on the second HDD!
For Windows 7 OS: SetProductKey.rar (fr-FR/en-US. Integrate keys).

#37
jaclaz

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I think there is two options:

I see TWO more:
  • make the "C:" or "main OS partition a logical volume inside extended (NT based systems were MADE to reside on Logical volumes)
  • make a rotating set of partitions using grub4dos or similar software

The first one is "kosher" along MS guidelines and should be the actual "standard" IMHO, compare with:
http://www.msfn.org/...cal/page__st__6
http://www.msfn.org/...ows/page__st__3

The second one, though interesting and what not is a bit "risky" and I do not suggest it for a "final user":
http://reboot.pro/7138/

Additionally, I would ALSO experiment with the HP_TOOLS partition to see if it can be made into a Logical Volume inside extended (this depends mainly on the HP code to "look for first FAT32 partition with lable "HP_TOOLS" :ph34r: )

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 21 March 2011 - 10:04 AM.


#38
cannie

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Very good findings , though some aspects of the HP_TOOLS are frightening - to say the least.


Hi jaclaz!

After trying to sort it out in many ways by fear of losing warranty (the experiment was done on a brand new Hewlett Packard Pavilion running Windows Home Premium 64 ) I decided building an image of the whole HDD into 5 DVD units and another one into an external USB HDD, for increased security (any of both could fail) , to be used in case of need, copy/paste also into DVD and external USB HDD the driver's swsetup folder, then happily deleting the whole HDD rebuilding it from scratch using an install DVD and the same activation key .

No problems at all. Warranty period is already expired, no need of it at any moment.

Greetings.

cannie

Edited by cannie, 21 March 2011 - 11:40 AM.


#39
bookie32

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Hi guys!

I have to say this has been one of the most interesting threads for a long time.... it is amazing what this and other forums like this one offer for people who are interested in learning....

I am grateful to you guys for everything....

bookie32




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