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How-To Geek

Host Protected Area

The Host Protected Area is a section of a hard disk that has been specially formatted and flagged so that it does not appear to the host operating system. This portion of the hard disk can be used for a variety of purposes including storing hidden data, security software to track stolen laptops, and vendor-specific utilities, but it is most typically used to house recovery software. Many desktop and laptop computers no longer ship with operating system reinstallation/recovery discs, for example, but instead include a large Host Protected Area that houses a recovery program that is accessible from the computer’s BIOS menu.

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