August 2nd, 2006, 02:19 AM
Toshiba Laptop [Hidden Partition?]
I'm working on a Toshiba laptop. I'm sorry, but I forgot to get
the model no. today. It's a $4,000 model, has a 80GB drive and
XP (2.8GHz, 512MB RAM).
I'm trying to clone the hard drive to a new Western Digital 250GB
USB drive without success.
Western Digital told me some laptops have a hidden partition and
this usually causes cloning or imaging the drive to fail.
Anyone know how to get around this (or verify that it exists)?
Partition Magic, Partition Expert and Partition Commander don't
see the USB drive (all these programs run in DOS mode).
I made three 75GB NTFS partitions on this drive. I prefer cloning
because a cloned drive can usually be booted up when the main
The "Retrospective" backup software that came with the drive is
too confusing for the customer to use (I don't like it either) so
1. Paragon Drive Copy (in Windows and then with the bootable CD
version). Hangs up near the end of the copying and in Windows all
the partitions are no longer visible.
2. Handy Backup 3.5 (same problem as above)
3. Acronis True Image (in DOS mode). Says it can't identify the
zero sector of USB hard drive.
August 2nd, 2006, 02:28 PM
Most toshibas I've seen do NOT have a recovery partition. That's why they give you recovery CD/DVDs. It's hard to help without a model number.
Which version of TI are you using? TI9 boots to a WinPE GUI interface.
August 2nd, 2006, 02:32 PM
This a quick and dirty one I sometimes resort to.
What you can do is use the UBCD to boot into a minimalistic Linux distro.
Then use the dd command, reboot, use Partition Magic to adjust sizes.
The naming convention for drives is:
1st IDE, Master Drive /dev/hda
1st IDE, Slave Drive /dev/hdb
2nd IDE, Master Drive /dev/hdc
2nd IDE, Slave Drive /dev/hdd
Subpartitions of a drive appear like hda1, hda2 and so on.If you use for instance just hda when it contains subpartitions all the subpartitions will also be copied.
BE WARNED! The resulting partition on the destination drive is EXACTLY the same size as the source partition. That is why I say to use Partition Magic on it afterwards.
To copy an exact image of primary master (say the old drive C: ) to the secondary master (say new drive E: for instance), we would use:
dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdc
Since you have a USB drive it will appear as a SCSI device eg: /dev/sda /dev/sdb etc
So you would use something like dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/sda
Last edited by kaulbach; August 2nd, 2006 at 02:35 PM.
August 2nd, 2006, 05:12 PM
I'm not sure if the current Linux distros on the UBCD have USB support (since I am normally doing this mainly between IDE drives), but this exact same method will work from any bootable Linux CD distro that has USB support like Ubuntu for instance, or any 2.6 kernel based distro.
Drive letter changes with this method can be a ***** but Partition Magic has a function for this which is usually acceptable.
This method will actually work even for copying the contents of a larger drive to a smaller drive, provided the total amount of viable data is less than the size of the smaller drive and that DEFRAG is run just prior to move it all to the beginning of the drive. the dd command will of course chunk out when it hits the end of the smaller drive but all the usable data is in fact transferred.
October 11th, 2006, 03:01 AM
wd external works outside Windows?
I have a similar configuration and I tried and failed to:
- install linux on wd external and
- save ghost files directly to wd external under a sort of DOS operation system
The problem is that wd external is visible only under Windows.
Please let me know if you can see wd under any other circumstances except under Windows and how!
Reasons to be optimistic that this is possible:
Toshiba can boot from a usb fdd
hopefully what you need is only a usb driver
i have been able to see the wd drive under that dos, but only usb1, and i never succeeded to repeat that
Reasons to be pessimistic about the possibility to see wd from other os's and, even more, to boot from it:
it was not visible from fedora core 5 installer
i believe it is not visible from windows without driver installed
for boot, the driver should be in BIOS, and it is sure that it is not in BIOS, since it is not visible from the dos, unless the dos and the linux installer unistalled the BIOS driver ?!!!
wd site says that it does NOTHING about linux. I found nothing on the Internet about wd usb drivers for linux. So it might be a secret interface standard.
Oh yes, the hidden partition. There was a hidden partition (not recovery) of 204 MB on my laptop. I deleted it without consequences. It was reported as full of data. On the Toshiba site there is a story about a laptop shipped by mistake with a 9GB hidden partition, on a hdd of 30GB or so. They offer a program to delete it. I believe that most Toshiba laptops have hidden partitions. Maybe they store wd usb drivers.
Please let me know if you succeed with anything.
October 11th, 2006, 05:23 AM
you just killed the quickplay-type option on your laptop. it's similar to the HPs. that's what the 200MB were for. oh well.
October 11th, 2006, 06:39 AM
quick play and wd by usb under linux
Thank you for the "quick play" hint. I still don't know how should I start this option (nothing about this in documentation!), but I shall find out.
Linux - Fedora Core 5 - sees the external western digital usb drive, only that it should be started after the installation begins. I suppose, after the usb drivers are loaded, of course.
Last edited by doru; October 11th, 2006 at 07:22 AM.
October 14th, 2006, 03:58 AM
Yes the USB drivers need to be loaded first... this is a classic "catch-22" situation but you can also install a kernel with built-in features you need for certain devices like SATA USB and so on.
Last edited by kaulbach; October 14th, 2006 at 03:59 AM.
October 15th, 2006, 05:50 AM
It is clear that Linux (and DOS) loads itself over the usb drivers loaded from BIOS during boot on my Toshiba laptop. I can use my external usb keyboard and mouse during boot and in BIOS Setup, but not anymore when Linux boot loader (GRUB, I think) comes up, and then I can use them again when Linux starts.
Originally Posted by Bil Green
October 20th, 2006, 10:43 AM
If you want Fedora on the usb drive, try this:
or the same thread through:
which is the same thread through an interface which I like.
Originally Posted by Bil Green
Last edited by doru; October 20th, 2006 at 10:45 AM.
Reason: i answered about linux, question about windows
October 20th, 2006, 10:50 AM
The stragegy I use is this: make a partition for data with partition magic, use ghost from a bootable dos cd to save the system partition to the data partition in a file, then save the ghost files on the external usb or on cd or dvd's. Cloning doesn't boot under XP, someone told me, not even from internal drive.
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