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This paper focuses on certain manufacturer hidden areas of a hard disk, specifically Host Protected Areas (HPA) and Device Configuration Overlays (DCO). These areas can be problematic for computer forensic investigators, since many of the common industry tools cannot detect the presence of the HPA and DCO. A review of the ATA specifications and recent white papers indicate that these areas can be accessed, modified, and written to by end users using specific open source and freely availabledblp:journals/ijde/GuptaHR06 fatcat:f2afb3wzffh2zh6se6d6mojxx4