I'm looking to build a robust system for malware research purposes and this is a requirement so I can absolutely trust that the system is clean on a reformat. Mobo firmware is locked down too of course and I already have a candidate for that but it's really really hard to find one for HDD. Likewise, I will never insert USB devices on this one (rolling full PS/2).

1 Answer 1


It's unlikely there are any HDDs with an embedded controller without firmware upgrade feature, though this upgrade feature need not be documented - the firmware developers will want to have access, too.

But if you are doing reverse engineering, why not use a reverse engineered HDD firmware, and disable the upgrade feature yourself? Of course, you better don't make a mistake in this, because you'll have only one shot ...

And on the subject of mobo firmware: There's plenty of places where there's firmware you won't expect (management engine, embedded controllers, network controllers, wifi controllers, ...) and you'll have to lock all of those down, too...

  • Thank you very much for the answer! I have gone really far on my research and I arrived at the same conclusion, regardless your thoughts did add up to the number of things I had to know about.
    – Resonce
    Commented Sep 17, 2018 at 6:45

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