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Exodia

Unhide hidden partition on laptop?

17 posts in this topic

Hello all.

I have an IBM Thinkpad and i'd like to unhide the partition that holds the recovery image, i'd like to use the extra space. Also i was wondering if there is any way to retrieve any of the drivers and software from that partition. Its no big deal, i can download them all, i was just curious to know if i could. :)

Today i used the recovery image and found it to be out of date. Im thinking of making an unattended cd for this laptop and have it up to date with drivers and hotfixes, every time i reinstall.

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There's a partition manager in Windows XP in Computer Management. That should be enough to find the hidden partition. :)

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hmm that's actually right

but its been a long while since i don't use integrated windows utils :)

and i think there is a unhide partition in there as well ....

if not partition magic will work for sure.

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several ways 1st right click on my comp and select manage

then go to disk management

2nd type diskmgmt.msc in run

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Cant find my partition magic 7 so i decided to try with windows management.. no luck though. Are you sure theres an unhide feature in there cause i couldnt find it. If there is, how do i do this?

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you can do it in the registry, i have to go to work though now and havent had enough coffee for my brain to function.

I will post how when i get back (and have had chance to look it up in my notes!)

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what unhiding partition is a registry hack?

wow never knew about that.

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what unhiding partition is a registry hack?

wow never knew about that.

Me neither!

*eagerly waiting for jacks return* :)

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Argh... my notes on this are all at work, its something i havent messed with in a long time. Tell you what, i will email them to Aaron from work tomorrow and hopefully he can post it on my behalf, as i will be at work till late i expect - systems cabinet getting rebuilt, and i need to get my normal work done too.

Far as i remember though, you can only hide or unhide the drive if you know its letter. Then again this can always be guessed, you can hide and lock drives too ( i think) so if you have some drive you want to protect from being accessed or edited its handy.

i had a bit of a crazy day today and forgot to bring my ring binder home, sorry guys.

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use acronis partition expert. you will be able to unhide and assign a drive letter to a recovery partition in one step within windows. i do this a lot when i run into HP's. They have a rec. part. that has all drivers, winpe to install, and all programs that came with the comp. It is simple and safe for the most part.....

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Ok, here we go.

Dont confuse this as unhiding a drive thats hidden in the MBR, this is in windows only. So you will still need to use something such as PM8 or another disk manager to unhide that as its nothing to do with the OS.

Log in as the user you want to limit access with. go:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

Create a Dword value called NoDrives - its value will corespond to which drive(s) need to be hidden.

A: 1, B: 2, C: 4, D: 8, E: 16, F: 32, G: 64, H: 128, I: 256, J: 512, K: 1024, L: 2048, M: 4096, N: 8192, O: 16384, P: 32768, Q: 65536, R: 131072, S: 262144, T: 524288, U: 1048576, V: 2097152, W: 4194304, X: 8388608, Y: 16777216, Z: 33554432

With these same decimal values you can also do a different tweak, you can leave the drive letter visible, but make it so the user cant view the content of the drive and also stop them using - Run, Map Network Drive, or DIR.

Create a new Dword value called NoViewOnDrive and use the appropriate decimal value from above.

Ill add this to the reg tweaks thread to keep it building up full of tweaks.

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That registry mod is barking up the wrong tree. That prevents drive letters from being displayed in Windows Explorer only - which does nothing to address the original question, which was about unhiding an IBM utility partition.

Similarly, the Disk Management Console snap-in or the DISKPART command-line utility can be used to remove drive-letter assignments to existing visible partitions, but this isn't the case with your IBM partition either.

A truly hidden data partition is partition type 0x16 (hidden FAT16), partition type 0x17 (hidden NTFS), or 0x1C (hidden FAT32). These partitions will NOT be assigned a drive letter by Windows XP - they are totally inaccessible from within the OS. Here's an edited snippet from the partition type listing from AEFDISK:

01h DOS 12-bit FAT

04h DOS 16-bit FAT (up to 32M)

06h DOS 3.31+ Large File System (16-bit FAT, over 32M)

07h Windows NT NTFS

0Ah OS/2 Boot Manager

0Bh Windows 95 OSR2 with 32-bit FAT

0Ch Windows 95 OSR2 with 32-bit FAT (LBA-mode INT 13 extensions)

0Eh LBA VFAT (same as 06h but using LBA-mode INT 13)

0Fh LBA VFAT (same as 05h but using LBA-mode INT 13)

11h Hidden 12-bit FAT partition, OS/2 FAT12

12h Compaq/HP Diagnostics partition (FAT compatible)

14h Hidden sub-32M 16-bit FAT partition

16h Hidden over-32M 16-bit FAT partition

17h Hidden HPFS partition

1Bh Hidden Windows 95 with 32-bit FAT

1Ch Hidden Windows 95 with 32-bit LBA FAT

1Eh Hidden Windows 95 with LBA BIGDOS

I just spoke with a Dell engineer who says their utility partition is hidden FAT12 (floppy). The hidden IBM partition in the original question may be similar (looks like type 0x12).

Anyway, the real issue is that you need to modify the partition table to change the partition type from a hidden variety to normal. DISKPART, the native command-line tool, CANNOT change a partition type - for example, change hidden fat16 (type 0x16) to unhidden fat16 (type 0x06). Your only recourse is to use a 3rd-party tool like Partition Magic (PMAGICNT) or its ilk to edit the partition table. If the utility partition is type 0x12, it may not be "convertible" - you may have to delete it and recreate a normal partition, which may screw up your XP drive letters. Outside of XP, check out AEFDISK by Nagy Daniel - a powerful shareware tool for working with partitions. Not merely "FDISK on steroids", but FDISK on crystal meth, X, and roids combined. Not that I advocate such things. :)

I'm currently on the prowl for a freeware tool to do this myself (googled over this post), so I thought I'd share my experience on the subject.

-syrynxx

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