How to clear data from a hard drive sector?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by XPletive, Apr 28, 2003.

  1. XPletive

    XPletive bbbb-ring...

    Maybe one of you gurus could point me in the right direction.

    Many months ago I installed Turbo Tax. As some of you
    may know, it came with a nice little "extra" feature called
    CDilla, which wrote data to sector 33 on my hard drive.

    I still suspect that there is a conflict between that data and
    a couple of other hard drive programs I'm using.

    How can I clear that data from sector 33?

  2. Enyo

    Enyo Moderator

    I was under the impression it writes to the MBR in which case fdisk /mbr or fixmbr or fixboot should correct the problem.

    You could try using diskprobe from the support tools.

    Edit: Disk Probe is now my firm bet. You should be able to open sector 33 and write over the data. Refer to disk probes help file before you do anything!

    Check out

    You may be able to get direct help on removal instructions. Ive seen various methods before.

    Also Check out some discussion can be found there.

    Spyware info news letter:

    C Dilla mentioned in Jan.

    Check out the two forums see what you can find :)
  3. yoyo

    yoyo _________________

  4. XPletive

    XPletive bbbb-ring...

    Thanks Enyo. I couldn't find any specific info. about removing the sector 33 data in any of those forums. Initially they suspected that it was writing to the MBR, but it doesn't.

    Extemetech was able to change the sector 33 data, as stated
    in their article:,3973,881243,00.asp

    "So to verify what was going on, we made a copy of that sector, scribbled it with random ones and zeroes, and restarted the system. It booted just fine. But when we attempted to invoke TurboTax, SafeCast decided that things were definitely not kosher."

    Rather than just overwrite the data with random information, I would like to remove the data if possible. I'm not sure how they overwrote the data in the first place.

    Yoyo: I heard about the low level format... Scary that I may have to resort to that. Hopefully I can solve it in another manner.
  5. Enyo

    Enyo Moderator

    Your on XP/2K right?

    With the article in mind i would use Disk Probe as stated above to open sector 33 and write over the data with 0's. You can do so, ive just tried it in read only mode.

    Should be OK but anything written in that sector will be removed.

    You could open sector 33, save the data as a file then write over it. If that creates a problem open the file back up and write the data back.
  6. XPletive

    XPletive bbbb-ring...

    OK. I'll give Disk Probe a try. It will be interesting to see what it finds.
  7. Silvio

    Silvio Argentinean Dogo

    Now that you mentioned it , i installed 3D studio Max 5 and it "came" with Cdilla too, so, i have my ideas but could you tell me what does it do?:mad:
  8. XPletive

    XPletive bbbb-ring...

    My only experience with Cdilla comes from Turbo Tax. I've read that they're are different ways it can be implemented. In my case
    it had two major effects.

    1. Turbo Tax would not run unless the Cdilla process was also running. This wasn't a problem, because Cdilla installed itself so it would start every time I booted. (without notifying me of course).

    2. The data in sector 33 of my hard drive is apparently a serial number, or registration number that Cdilla / TT reads to determine if you are "allowed" to use TT on this particular PC.
    TT will not run without the correct data at sector 33.