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I have commented on this before at T13 meetings but it seems to becoming more and more common all the time. If I were in the disk drive business I think I would be concerned. I get inquiries all the time from people that are "in the data recovery or repair business", usually they are outside the USA, asking about reading/writing the hidden data on a disk drive - the drive's zone and defect tables and the drive's firmware. It seems there are web sites that document how to "unlock" access to this data on most disk drives. I hear there are full descriptions of the zone and defect table layouts for most disk drives at these web sites. And I hear that even disassembly listings of some drive's firmware can be found. If I were making disk drives I'm not sure I would want these people, who may have good intentions, to be reading and writing this information. But mostly I would not want some virus that destroyed this data to pop up one day. As I have said many times before, I don't understand why the commands that would allow access to this drive data is even in a shipping drive's firmware. Anyway, if you are a device manufacturer you may want to be concerned about this issue before it becomes a big problem. Hale *** Hale Landis *** www.ata-atapi.com ***