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ATATool - Windows ATA Disk Info and HPA/DCO Utility

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Data Synergy ATATool can be used to display and modify ATA disk information from a Microsoft Windows environment. We believe this is a unique capability for a freely available tool. The principal use of ATATool is to check/modify the ATA 'Host Protected Area (HPA)' and 'Device Configuration Overlay (DCO)' features. It can also be used to simulate 'bad' sectors by corrupting disk ECC data.

Current features include:

  • List attached ATA devices (both legacy PATA and SATA)
  • Display device information including model/serial number, HPA and DCO status
  • Modify and reset HPA device status (SETHPA command)
  • Modify and reset DCO device status (SETDCO command)
  • Corrupt and fix disk ECC data (BADECC command)
  • Force Windows device re-detect following HPA status change
  • Runs inside a Windows environment (including Windows PE)

ATATool has the following requirements:
  • Windows XP SP2 or later (32-bit or 64-bit) including Windows PE
  • Administrator rights (elevated on Windows Vista and later)

Syntax summary

ATATool is command-line tool. It is supplied as a single EXE file and requires no external dependencies to function.

The command-line syntax is:

  ATATOOL action [options] [device]

Where action may be:

  /LIST - List all detected ATA devices (default)
  /INFO - Display summary ATA information for device
  /DETAIL - Display detailed ATA information for device
  /SETHPA:sectors[MB][GB][TB] - Set maximum number of sectors or capacity (HPA)
  /RESETHPA - Restore default device maximum capacity (HPA)
  /SETDCO:sectors[MB][GB][TB] - Set maximum number of sectors or capacity (DCO)
  /RESTOREDCO - Restore default device maximum capacity (DCO)
  /FREEZELOCKDCO - Lock DCO until next hardware reset / power-off (DCO)
  /ADVANCED - Display further advanced syntax

Valid options:

  /NOREDETECT - Disable device re-detection for /SETHPA and /RESETHPA
  This option should be used with extreme caution as
  system may be unstable after reducing drive size

  /NONVOLATILEHPA - /SETHPA and /RESETHPA changes are permanent
  Default is for changes to be discarded on power-off

Numeric values may be decimal or hexadecimal. Prefix hexadecimal with '0x'


  ATATOOL /INFO \\.\PhysicalDrive1
  ATATOOL /DETAIL \\.\PhysicalDrive2
  ATATOOL /SETHPA:1000MB \\.\PhysicalDrive2
  ATATOOL /SETHPA:0x123456 \\.\PhysicalDrive3

Data Synergy ATATool HPA DCO command line tool screenshot


This software can be used to permanently modify the configuration (including size) of a device. This may prevent access to data that was previously accessible and may result in permanent data loss. This tool should be used with great care and Data Synergy accepts no liability for any loss resulting from the use of this software.

Personal/Non-commercial License

Use of this software is subject to the Data Synergy UK Ltd Software License Agreement. A copy of this agreement is included with the software. Please do not use the software if you do not consent to the following:

Personal License/Non-commercial License authorises you to use this software for your own personal and private use and excludes any use for financial gain, during employment or other commercial activity in accordance with the Data Synergy EULA.

Please contact us to discuss commercial usage. In some cases (for instance, academic or law enforcement/ISO17025) this may be granted free-of-charge.