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Old 06-08-2017, 02:56 PM   #1
Harnando
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Question Unlimited Hardware Storage? (Researching)


I'm with a training facility now, and an older maintenance guy from Microsoft, who came here to fix up computers told me something, suspiciously useful. We sprang up conversation, me in particular out of boredom from my own self study, and had him fix up a virtual desktop of mine as the files on the desktop didn't want to load. During our discussion, I had asked him about some security measures regarding Unknown MAC device Encryption protocols wiping out entire devices plugged into the company network, to which he validated was true, but, "Has as much chance of hitting you like lightning!" --Anyway, one topic led to another, and he had started to mention about some of his work back with Microsoft. Apparently he has some access to things, that at least for my sake, can be really useful. "You see kid, all storage devices are the same, it just takes a flashing of the internal hardrive to change the amount of Storage within it. It's a bin file that limits how much storage you have, I can take your 16 GB flash drive and turn that baby into a 50 GB." Of Course this knowledge was downright incredible to hear, but he had refused to really explained further in the matter, as he had not the legal "Bond" to do so without permission from his company. (However he could perfectly distribute registered keys to Windows 10 and others if he wanted for us without so much as a question apparently.)If it was anything I could get out of him, it was some sort of program that supposedly accomplish this, but, I can't be certain which one. As I would love to change the official storage with little to no resistance, (and no, not so it reads as unlimited, but can utilize the new storage as such.) Now I had done a Google search, but I wanted to hear from people here if they have any knowledge of messing around with BIN files in order to accomplish an easier time, especially for myself, for Backing up large files in seemingly small flash drives. Thanks for listening.
 
Old 06-08-2017, 04:13 PM   #2
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harnando View Post
I'm with a training facility now, and an older maintenance guy from Microsoft, who came here to fix up computers told me something, suspiciously useful. We sprang up conversation, me in particular out of boredom from my own self study, and had him fix up a virtual desktop of mine as the files on the desktop didn't want to load. During our discussion, I had asked him about some security measures regarding Unknown MAC device Encryption protocols wiping out entire devices plugged into the company network, to which he validated was true, but, "Has as much chance of hitting you like lightning!"
Then he's an idiot, its not implemented correctly on that network, or not implemented at ALL. I've worked with several banks and some government agencies, and you can COUNT on a phone call within 60 seconds of plugging in any non-registered device, and a total wipe/bricking of it if they don't speak with you.
Quote:
--Anyway, one topic led to another, and he had started to mention about some of his work back with Microsoft. Apparently he has some access to things, that at least for my sake, can be really useful. "You see kid, all storage devices are the same, it just takes a flashing of the internal hardrive to change the amount of Storage within it. It's a bin file that limits how much storage you have, I can take your 16 GB flash drive and turn that baby into a 50 GB." Of Course this knowledge was downright incredible to hear, but he had refused to really explained further in the matter, as he had not the legal "Bond" to do so without permission from his company. (However he could perfectly distribute registered keys to Windows 10 and others if he wanted for us without so much as a question apparently.)If it was anything I could get out of him, it was some sort of program that supposedly accomplish this, but, I can't be certain which one. As I would love to change the official storage with little to no resistance, (and no, not so it reads as unlimited, but can utilize the new storage as such.) Now I had done a Google search, but I wanted to hear from people here if they have any knowledge of messing around with BIN files in order to accomplish an easier time, especially for myself, for Backing up large files in seemingly small flash drives. Thanks for listening.
I believe this falls into the "Let's see how gullible this guy is" category. Do you really, truly think that if such a 'bin' file existed somewhere to render hard drives/storage virtually 'unlimited'/quadruple the size, that it wouldn't be common knowledge? And these mystical 'bin' files....where do they get stored, since formatting the drive would wipe out ANYTHING ON IT, including the magic bin file that controls the size?

Sorry, no. Not possible as described. The only possible way anything remotely like this could be even partially true, is concerning virtual disk files/LVM's, where sizing can be done dynamically. But a 16GB thumbdrive will ALWAYS be at most, 16GB; same goes for hard drive/SSD capacity, or any other type of storage. You *CAN* partition it to be smaller, and only be able to see/use 1 GB of the 16.
 
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Old 06-08-2017, 05:42 PM   #3
syg00
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Don't be like that @TBone - have a read of this - particularly the start of the "Uses" paragraph.
It has long been the case that (sometimes) when dd'ing "identical" devices it will fail because the target is smaller.
 
Old 06-08-2017, 06:47 PM   #4
jefro
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Not sure what you are getting at but maybe you mean compression. Some data can easily be compressed. Not all files easily compress.

MS does some neat tricks on their install disc so I am told. They reuse parts that are common in many files so that only one copy need exist on the source.
 
Old 06-09-2017, 07:51 AM   #5
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syg00 View Post
Don't be like that @TBone - have a read of this - particularly the start of the "Uses" paragraph. It has long been the case that (sometimes) when dd'ing "identical" devices it will fail because the target is smaller.
Yes, this is true, but that specifically mentions hidden partitions, making larger drives *APPEAR* smaller, as I stated above. Seeing/removing those partitions is easily done, but there aren't any magical 'bin' files from Microsoft involved. And it certainly won't make a 16GB USB stick show up as a 50GB, will it?
 
Old 06-09-2017, 07:58 AM   #6
rokytnji
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Off Topic post:

This thread reminds me of putting moth balls in small cc motorcycle gas tank so one can go faster. Right up until the engine blows up. Funny how my mind works.

Sorry. I could not resist.
 
Old 06-09-2017, 08:18 AM   #7
syg00
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But 1T drive could be configured as 500G and there is no way from a users perspective this can be ascertained. And later it could be made to appear (and be) a 750G drive. All it takes is access to the code - magic "bin" or "exe", whatever. Who knows what the underlying hardware is. And what's in it.
Just like Intels AMT - out of sight and reach of the OS and its users. Nominally anyway - hackers have already made use of that fact with AMT; who knows what lies in ambush with DCO in hard drives. You could hide an awful lot of code in there - pick your favourite covert government agency. Stay tuned for this bursting into the press in the future me says.
 
Old 06-09-2017, 08:47 AM   #8
TB0ne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syg00 View Post
But 1T drive could be configured as 500G and there is no way from a users perspective this can be ascertained. And later it could be made to appear (and be) a 750G drive. All it takes is access to the code - magic "bin" or "exe", whatever. Who knows what the underlying hardware is. And what's in it.
Just like Intels AMT - out of sight and reach of the OS and its users. Nominally anyway - hackers have already made use of that fact with AMT; who knows what lies in ambush with DCO in hard drives. You could hide an awful lot of code in there - pick your favourite covert government agency. Stay tuned for this bursting into the press in the future me says.
Sorry..no. That's not what this is about, and the link you posted explicitly says so. It allows vendors to partition the disks. Anyone who knows how to partition a drive can easily pull up any utility and see this 'hidden' space. How many of us here have built a Linux box, and seen the Windows OEM recovery partition...and promptly blown it away.

Most users? You're exactly right...because they don't look or care. And they probably don't do the math on the drive, since even if you take 40 GB from the 750 GB disk, they're not going to notice or complain. And DCO and HPA is not only easy to see, but easy to remove:
Code:
View:    hdparm --dco-identify /dev/sdxxx (read man page for more info)
         hdparm -N /dev/sdx               HPA Enabled? you'll see this: max sectors   = 78125000/78165360, HPA is enabled
Remove:  hdparm -N p78165360 /dev/sdxxx   Use max-sector from previous command, this removes HPA
         hdparm --yes-i-know-what-i-am-doing --dco-restore /dev/sdxxx   ...and this clears DCO back to full hard-drive mfg. specs, clearing vendor settings
So...not hard to see, get rid of, etc. And this still does NOTHING to take a 16GB device to 50GB, or 'unlimited' storage, there's no magic bin/exe files involved either. Even more sketchy about what OP posted was an older Microsoft tech who can dole out Windows 10 licenses as much as they want...but this is 'ultra-secret' and he's not 'bonded' to release it. Yeah...right.
 
Old 06-09-2017, 08:55 AM   #9
smallpond
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The controllers for flash drives have writable configuration. It is fairly common to buy a suspiciously cheap flash drive on Ebay and then find out you can only write to the first 16GB of it. The drive isn't bigger, it just thinks it is. If a vendor could make twice as much money on the same part do you really believe they would sell it set to a smaller size?
 
Old 06-11-2017, 05:57 PM   #10
AwesomeMachine
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A drive isn't like a balloon where it just fills until it's full. Something must tell the drive what size it is.

On IDE and SATA drives it's the Boot Extension Engineering Record that holds, among other things, the size of the drive.

On bootup, the system BIOS hides the BEER sector by a command in the ATA command set. There are various ways to get to it and change the size of the drive, but every time a program is published to do just that, the author receives a generous offer to sell the program. Then, it's folded.
 
  


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