Need Help Deleting HPA

I need help deleting the HPA (Host Protected Area) of my HDD. It is a secret hidden section on my dell laptop HDD used to store MediaDirect software. I never used it, and it was never a problem, until my brother accidentally hit the mediadirect button that was next to the power button. Well, turns out this button activated the hidden partition, and mediadirect decided to redo my partitions table when the button was pressed, thus i lost everything.

I've tried Hitachi's Feature Tool because I heard booting with it allows you to resize the HDD to its total size and thus removing the HPA, but it didn't work. I've done everything from using Windows XP boot disk to delete and recreate all partitions to using Gparted Live CD to deleting/recreating all partitions. Still no good. Hitting the media direct button will revive the self-destruct sequence from the hidden partition D:

I even tried HDA2T, but after the boot menu loads the CD drivers, it hangs.

I've heard of a freeware utility called "HPA.exe" that's supposed to do the trick but have had no luck tracking it down.

I've also heard using zero fill or a low level format would do the trick, but i have no idea how.

apparently this has happened to other people O___O
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  1. Try HDAT2 again, but remove other hard drives and CD-ROMs from your machine -- boot off of floppy.

    You probably can't do this in the laptop, you'll need to put the hard drive in a desktop machine so that HDAT2 will run properly.
  2. Thanks, i'll keep that in mind as a last resort as I don't want to void anything.

    EDIT: I think I finally got rid of this thing.

    Using some help from Dan Goodell:

    1. Run Windows XP Recovery Console, type "fixmbr"
    2. immediately Run Hitachi Feature Tool boot disk after your restart, using the change capacity feature, set it to Max
    3. Use Gparted Live Boot CD, get into GUI, bring up terminal/command line, use "dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda" to zero fill drive. If it seems like it zero filled instantly, it didn't, let it wait a while (5 min for every GB of your drive). You might be able to use Windows XP boot disk to format, but i wanted to be safe and went for zero fill.
    4. turn off PC after zero fill, try the media direct button, it should just show the splash screen that is stored in BIOS, then it should give you "No boot sector on internal drive"
    5. boot from your chosen OS boot disk to create partitions/format/install etc.

    The sequence is important i'm going to try and reassign the media direct button for something useful...
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