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Is there hard drive "repair" software that can re-establish a hard drive with partitions?

Is there a hard drive "repair" software package that can totally re-establish a hard drive with partitions, and no longer require data to "factory new status"? I use a lot of Seagate 40GB 7200 RPM ATA/100 drives that occasionally leave the Windows 2000 installation halfway finished. When this happens, there is a partition of 96MB left on the drive that no amount of "fdisk" or "clean drive" will clear. I am looking for a package that the factory may use to final test their drives.

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Your best bet in that regard would be a drive-imaging software package, my favorite being Symantec"s Ghost. Ghost will create a bootable CD image of a hard drive that you can restore a workstation to a "known-good" state. To non-destructively manipulate/extend disk partitions on existing workstations, I recommend PowerQuest"s Partition Magic -- relatively inexpensive and (IMHO) quite intuitive.

This was first published in November 2002

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