Harddrive - wipe out "hidden areas" like HPA and DCO after malware infection



Most IT administrators have probably heard of malware, and may even have experience with it; however, many are not aware of the hidden areas on a hard drive that can be affected by a malware infection. In this article, we will explore what these hidden areas are, how they can be affected by a malware infection, and how to properly wipe them out.

The first of these hidden areas is the Host Protected Area, or HPA. The HPA is a hidden area of the hard drive reserved for system utilities, such as diagnostic and recovery tools. Malware can infect this area and cause the system to become unstable, as the malware will be able to use the HPA to hide from detection and to modify system settings.

The second hidden area is the Device Configuration Overlay, or DCO. The DCO is a small area of the hard drive that is used to store system settings and configuration information. Malware can infect this area and cause the system to become unstable, as the malware can use the DCO to modify system settings and to prevent detection.

When a malware infection affects these hidden areas, the only way to properly wipe them out is to use a specialized tool that can scan the hard drive and detect the hidden areas. Once detected, the tool can then be used to wipe out the infected areas, restoring the system to its original state.

It is important to note that a regular antivirus program will not be able to detect these hidden areas, as they are not visible to the operating system. Therefore, it is important to use a specialized tool that is specifically designed to detect and wipe out these hidden areas.

In conclusion, it is important for IT administrators to be aware of the hidden areas on a hard drive, as they can be affected by a malware infection. If a malware infection is detected, it is essential to use a specialized tool to properly wipe out the infected areas, restoring the system to its original state.

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