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Instructions on how to copy the HPA to a new Drive

T4x series specific matters only
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Puttagee
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Instructions on how to copy the HPA to a new Drive

#1 Post by Puttagee » Sun Jul 31, 2005 1:06 pm

So much has been discussed about copying IBM's hidden partition but nothing seemed to work for me, maybe changes where made to this area in newer TPs. Anyways I found some information on how to do it, tried it myself and figure I would pass it on since it worked for me. I have a T41 (2378-DLU) with no floppy drive and wanted to upgrade my 40G HD to 80G (Hitachi Travelstar HTS548080M9AT00, 5400 RPM). I selected this drive because it is being used in TPs, I didn't want to run into any problems with IBM should my TP require warranty service further down the road. I also purchased a drive enclosure so the old drive can be used as a backup. I tried various methods mentioned is this forum about disabling the HPA in the CMOS then it would appear as a FAT32 partition which can be copied but it only appeared as unallocated which I seriously doubt anything would copy it.
This is what I did to copy IBM's PreDesktop Area (Hidden Partition Area):
- I found some information from IBM which gave instructions on how to copy the HPA
ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/pc/pccbbs/ac ... a_aibm.pdf
- create a 5G FAT32 partition on current HD, this will be used to copy the HPA
- hookup new drive with the drive enclosure and create a 5G FAT32 partition
- boot TP, and press the Access IBM button
- select restore to factory setup
- once in press F3 to quit to DOS prompt
- change to a:\recovery and copy fwbackup.exe, fwrestor.exe to c: (FAT32 partition on old drive)
- change to c: and run 'fwbackup file=predeskt size=1000', this will create several 1G files
- boot to XP, copy above files to FAT32 partition on new drive
- shutdown TP, remove old drive and install new drive
- boot TP, and press the Access IBM button, select restore to factory setup, press F3 to quit to DOS
- change to c: and run 'fwrestor file=predeskt'
- the HPA is now on the new drive

from here it's up to you, I actually ran the restore to factory setup just to ensure that it worked, it was time for a fresh load anyways. You can if you like copy the windows partition from the old drive to the new using Ghost, Partition Magic or whatever.

I did receive an error message while doing the restore and I believe this is because IBM suggested not to have any partitions on the new drive but the restore fixed the problem and everything is working great. I would suspect that Ghost or Partition Magic would have no problem fixing this problem as well. I believe that the FAT32 was over written by the HPA thus causing the error.

I would recommend copying the above mentioned files to a bootable DVD for safe keeping

Hope this helps

Phil_C
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#2 Post by Phil_C » Sat Mar 11, 2006 4:52 pm

Is there a way to do this on a T43p? I don't see a way to get to a command line with F3 or anything else. Are the two necessary files available anywhere separately?
Phil
--
W500 4062-36U, 2.53 GHz, 15" WSXGA+, Win 7, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Multi-Burner, Intel WiFi Link 5100, 9-cell battery
T43p 2687-EJU, 2 GHz, 15" UXGA, Win 7, 2GB RAM, 100GB 7200 RPM HDD, Super Multi-Burner, IBM WiFi II, 9-cell battery

Guv'nor-K
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#3 Post by Guv'nor-K » Sat Mar 11, 2006 11:58 pm

i have a few newbie questions regarding this HPA.

ive only had my T43 for 2 weeks now and since it came preloaded, I was concerned as to how I would reinstall (with/without formatting) windows without having the disk. How does one access the HPA? when windows messes up, is there a way to access the HPA easily and just run windows setup through it?

Id really like to know because I was worried that I might need to buy the external 40GB USB thinkpad harddrive that comes with Rescue & Recovery. Do I need that? Should I make an image of my system? or can I rely on the HPA?


thanks
IBM T43 2668-44U - running Ubuntu & XP---1.86Ghz - 1.5GB PC-4200 - 40GB 5400 RPM HDD / 7K100 in Ultraslim Bay - X300 64MB - FP Reader - and my Sennheiser HD-595s :D

bill bolton
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#4 Post by bill bolton » Sun Mar 12, 2006 12:52 am

Guv'nor-K wrote:How does one access the HPA? when windows messes up, is there a way to access the HPA easily and just run windows setup through it?
Your T43 doesn't have an HPA, it has a different pre-Load environment. You can access it through the Rescue and Recovery environment on your T43.

However you can't run a normal Windows setup from it. You have to do a run the R&R OS recovery operation which does something generally similar in outcome, but is somewhat different in the process involved.

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 if you don't have a clone backup of your drive.

Cheers,

Bill

Phil_C
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#5 Post by Phil_C » Sun Mar 12, 2006 11:53 am

Is it WinPE that's on the T43p? And is there a way to copy the partition? Partition Magic seems to have a problem with it, i.e. the resulting copy is smaller than the original with no way to resize it. And the Access IBM button does not get me into the pre-environment on bootup.

Searching around, I see that installing R&R 3 might also install the Service Partition? That's what I want to accomplish on my new HDD.
Phil
--
W500 4062-36U, 2.53 GHz, 15" WSXGA+, Win 7, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Multi-Burner, Intel WiFi Link 5100, 9-cell battery
T43p 2687-EJU, 2 GHz, 15" UXGA, Win 7, 2GB RAM, 100GB 7200 RPM HDD, Super Multi-Burner, IBM WiFi II, 9-cell battery

bill bolton
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#6 Post by bill bolton » Sun Mar 12, 2006 5:16 pm

Phil_C wrote:Is it WinPE that's on the T43p? And is there a way to copy the partition?
Yes... and Acronis True Image 9 works for me.

Cheers,

Bill

Phil_C
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#7 Post by Phil_C » Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:27 am

I was able to image the Service partition on the old HDD with Acronis, then restore it to the end of the new HDD. However, it could not be accessed during bootup. The solution was to install R&R 3.xx, boot to the pre-environment, then reboot into Windows and uninstall R&R (which I don't use). All is now well and the pre-environment remains accessible via the Access IBM button at bootup.

The relationship between the Service partition and R&R is very confusing, even after reading all the IBM online documents I could find.

For example, at one point I had R&R installed WITHOUT the Service partition on the HDD. Apparently R&R places a folder on C: that acts as the pre-desktop and is accessed in the same way at bootup. The pre-desktop looks just like the one from the Service partition and has all the same options --- including Restore to Factory configuration. HOW CAN THIS BE? The factory install files are located in the Service partition, which was not present. The R&R installation seems to take up only about 800 MB of space and can't contain the factory install files.

Or am I even more confused than I think I am?!?
Phil
--
W500 4062-36U, 2.53 GHz, 15" WSXGA+, Win 7, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Multi-Burner, Intel WiFi Link 5100, 9-cell battery
T43p 2687-EJU, 2 GHz, 15" UXGA, Win 7, 2GB RAM, 100GB 7200 RPM HDD, Super Multi-Burner, IBM WiFi II, 9-cell battery

Guv'nor-K
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#8 Post by Guv'nor-K » Tue Mar 14, 2006 9:17 pm

bill bolton wrote:
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 if you don't have a clone backup of your drive.

Cheers,

Bill

I accessed the pre load environment by pressing the ibm access button on startup but it only has an option to make floppy disks through PC doctor or something. How can I make recovery CDs?

thanks
IBM T43 2668-44U - running Ubuntu & XP---1.86Ghz - 1.5GB PC-4200 - 40GB 5400 RPM HDD / 7K100 in Ultraslim Bay - X300 64MB - FP Reader - and my Sennheiser HD-595s :D

Phil_C
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#9 Post by Phil_C » Tue Mar 14, 2006 10:10 pm

I don't see that option in the pre-environment either. My recovery CD's were made from Windows with Rescue & Recovery. There should be a Start menu option under Access IBM or ThinkVantage to create rescue media. I don't remember since I deleted R&R after making my CD's.
Phil
--
W500 4062-36U, 2.53 GHz, 15" WSXGA+, Win 7, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Multi-Burner, Intel WiFi Link 5100, 9-cell battery
T43p 2687-EJU, 2 GHz, 15" UXGA, Win 7, 2GB RAM, 100GB 7200 RPM HDD, Super Multi-Burner, IBM WiFi II, 9-cell battery

Guv'nor-K
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#10 Post by Guv'nor-K » Tue Mar 14, 2006 11:29 pm

thanks, i'll just use R&R then.

are the backups generally reliable? or do they sometimes fail to bring the system back to its original state?
IBM T43 2668-44U - running Ubuntu & XP---1.86Ghz - 1.5GB PC-4200 - 40GB 5400 RPM HDD / 7K100 in Ultraslim Bay - X300 64MB - FP Reader - and my Sennheiser HD-595s :D

Phil_C
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#11 Post by Phil_C » Wed Mar 15, 2006 10:31 am

Well --- I've never had to use a Recovery CD set. I always keep a 2nd HDD that's a clone of the primary drive made with Partition Magic. It's not the cheapest way to go, but the one time I did have a drive fail physically I simply removed it, popped in the clone, and was right back in business.

That 2nd HDD was worth every penny.
Phil
--
W500 4062-36U, 2.53 GHz, 15" WSXGA+, Win 7, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Multi-Burner, Intel WiFi Link 5100, 9-cell battery
T43p 2687-EJU, 2 GHz, 15" UXGA, Win 7, 2GB RAM, 100GB 7200 RPM HDD, Super Multi-Burner, IBM WiFi II, 9-cell battery

donking!
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#12 Post by donking! » Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:41 pm

I don't understand when people keep referring to making clones with Partition Magic. Isn't that just a partitioning tool? I thought Ghost was Symantec's cloning program. What's the difference between what the two do when they're copying partitions? And what happened to PowerQuest's Drive Image?

Phil_C
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#13 Post by Phil_C » Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:59 pm

Partition Magic, besides being used to partiotin a disk, can be used to copy partitions to the same or other drives. If I copy ALL of the partitions on one drive to another drive, I assume that's the same as cloning a drive. I'm not sure if a "cloning" program like Ghost or TrueImage does anything different in the process.

I've used only PM for years, but recently tried TrueImage (as in the posts above), which had the extra ability to copy the IBM_SERVICE partition --- which PM could not seem to do properly. I still like PM for my purposes because it gives more control over individual partitions. They can be copied directly to any disk without having to create an image that has to be restored in a second step.

I tried Drive Image at version 5, but it failed to copy some deep subfolders. PowerQuest never figured out what the problem was. BTW, didn't Norton or Symantec buy DI and turn that into Ghost? Seems I read something like that, but I'm not sure.
Phil
--
W500 4062-36U, 2.53 GHz, 15" WSXGA+, Win 7, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Multi-Burner, Intel WiFi Link 5100, 9-cell battery
T43p 2687-EJU, 2 GHz, 15" UXGA, Win 7, 2GB RAM, 100GB 7200 RPM HDD, Super Multi-Burner, IBM WiFi II, 9-cell battery

bill bolton
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#14 Post by bill bolton » Wed Mar 15, 2006 9:07 pm

Phil_C wrote:It's not the cheapest way to go
Given the low relative cost of hard disks now a days, it is if you put even a very low value of your time for the potentially lost effort in recovering from a failed disk!

I paid ~A$220 (~US$160) for a Fujitsu 80GB drive in a high quality 2.5" USB drive case. I can clone my whole 80GB primary drive in less than 30 minutes using True Image 9, to produce a ready to boot backup.

So now its very practical for me to do a full clone copy of my work every night, even when I'm out in the field, with the knowledge that the time for me to recover from a disk failure to a backup which is no more than a day old is probably about 10 minutes longer than it takes me to get back to my hotel room!

My previous best recoverablility option would have involved probably a full business day worth of effort, which is worth literally thousands of dollars in lost billable time, and the recovery would probably have been to a copy from up to a week ago (because that backing process was so tedious that it only got done on a weekly basis!).

Cheers,

Bill

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#15 Post by princeatul » Sat Mar 18, 2006 4:27 am

bill bolton wrote: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 if you don't have a clone backup of your drive.
I admit that I haven't read very well about HPA, WinPE, R&R, etc. and am already tad too confused :?
I've burnt a set of recovery disks (1CD + 1 DVD). Now, is this equivalent to image-copying the HPA/WinPE paritition to other HDD or DVD??? If not, then to be doubly safe, would you recommend burning the whole of HPA/WinPE onto DVD, or copy somewhere else?
IBM T43 2686-E7U 14.1" SXGA+, 1.86GHz, 1.5GB, Hitachi 7K100 80GB @7200, DVD-RW, Intel 2915ABG
It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.

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#16 Post by bill bolton » Sat Mar 18, 2006 6:54 am

The recovery disk set will rebuild a complete ex-factory software environment on your hard disk including the HPA or PreWIN environment (as appropriate).

Whether you clone the installed environment onto other media is your choice. Some users like to do it, as its usually a lot quicker to recopy from the cloned image than do a fresh install from the recovery disks... but you will need third party software, like Acronis True Image 9 or similar, to do it!

Cheers,

Bill

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Cool!

#17 Post by princeatul » Sat Mar 18, 2006 10:26 am

bill bolton wrote:The recovery disk set will rebuild a complete ex-factory software environment on your hard disk including the HPA or PreWIN environment (as appropriate).
Oh! So it will restore to original state + HPA/WinPE 8) , thanks for clearing the air :)
So, what if I've installed other OS on a separate paritition or have additional partition (that I created with some 3rd party tool). :?

From what I've read on our forum, it seems that on recovery only C:\ will be formatted completely (leaving your MBR & hence other partitions intact) and restore OS to C:\
Is my understanding correct?
IBM T43 2686-E7U 14.1" SXGA+, 1.86GHz, 1.5GB, Hitachi 7K100 80GB @7200, DVD-RW, Intel 2915ABG
It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.

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#18 Post by Phil_C » Sat Mar 18, 2006 11:48 am

From what I've read, restoring from the Service partition gives you the option of formatting ONLY C: and retaining other partitions you may have created.

However --- restoring from the Recovery disks does NOT have this option and will format your ENTIRE HDD, returning it to the original factory state.

I'm sure someone else here can correct me if I am wrong.
Phil
--
W500 4062-36U, 2.53 GHz, 15" WSXGA+, Win 7, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Multi-Burner, Intel WiFi Link 5100, 9-cell battery
T43p 2687-EJU, 2 GHz, 15" UXGA, Win 7, 2GB RAM, 100GB 7200 RPM HDD, Super Multi-Burner, IBM WiFi II, 9-cell battery

pksw
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#19 Post by pksw » Sun May 21, 2006 11:03 pm

bill bolton wrote:The recovery disk set will rebuild a complete ex-factory software environment on your hard disk including the HPA or PreWIN environment (as appropriate).
Bill
Bill, I hope you are right. I have managed to clone my HPA on my t41p on to another harddisk, by using the FWBACKUP utility.

However, I have inadvertently modified the image when I accessed it (I think a temporary file or something was written when I FWMOUNTed the partition).

Now I can't access the HPA, as the BIOS recognised that the image's digital signature has changed, and is "corrupt" or "affected by a virus". (although I can still FWMOUNT the image)

I can't perform a factory restore from the BIOS as the HPA won't boot now. And the backed up copy won't work either, as it's just a duplicate of the modified HPA.

I will order the disks from IBM (not cheap) or perhaps buy them off Ebay (half the cost).

I just need to restore the HPA again, my machine OS boots fine.

Summary: In trying to backup the HPA on a working machine, I have accidentally modified it, and now have no working HPA, and a backup that's useless. Now I have to buy the recovery CDs just to restore my HPA, which I was trying to backup for free in the first place!
T41p / T61p

Grim
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#20 Post by Grim » Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:43 am

I realise this is an old thread, but obviously as a topic it still comes up....

I have manually done what the HPA does on my previous machines.

perfect fresh install with all drivers (ie run the IBM setup)

then take an image.

obviously you can install any essential programs at this stage, set up internet accounts etc....

restore the image to your new drive, plus put a copy onto another partition on the new drive

then wrap up the old drive in cotton wool, and keep in an enviromentally sealed chamber, 50 foot underground - you can never be too carefull :wink:

apart from loosing the ease of the little blue button, are there any other downsides?

it seems the cheapest source of drives, is to buy a external 2.5" and rip out the guts then stick an old 2.5 in and you have a free usb http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 0073890709
T41 1.6gig P M 1GB ram 160GB Seagate momentus

Ken Fox
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#21 Post by Ken Fox » Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:16 am

bill bolton wrote:
My previous best recoverablility option would have involved probably a full business day worth of effort, which is worth literally thousands of dollars in lost billable time

Bill
Are you an American lawyer working in Australia? I thought our lawyers were the only people who'd figured out how to bill for 28 hours in a day!
Ken Fox

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