I am following instructions on this other SuperUser post: Harddrive - wipe out "hidden areas" like HPA and DCO also after malware infection
For the last few days I have been researching hidden areas of a HDD and have been experimenting with them in Linux. Two topics which peaked my interest were the Host Protected Area and the Device Configuration Overlay. I managed to scan my HDD for the HPA and found that the HPA is disabled, meaning it doesn't have one.
As for the DCO, I executed:
sudo hdparm --dco-identify /dev/sdb
And got the following output:
/dev/sdb: DCO Checksum verified. DCO Revision: 0x0002 The following features can be selectively disabled via DCO: Transfer modes: mdma0 mdma1 mdma2 udma0 udma1 udma2 udma3 udma4 udma5 Real max sectors: 1465149168 ATA command/feature sets: SMART self_test error_log security HPA 48_bit selective_test WRITE_UNC_EXT SATA command/feature sets: NCQ interface_power_management SSP
My questions are:
- What does that mean?
- What exactly is a DCO? Should I get rid of it by executing
- Can malware reside in the DCO?
- Is there a disadvantage to removing the DCO? I'm not sure if this will affect my ability to install an OS onto the HDD later.
I want to ensure malware cannot hide in hidden HDD areas and am concerned as to whether there is any personal data residing there.
Though I do not want to risk bricking my HDD.