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Gradius2

The Solution for Seagate 7200.11 HDDs

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Still a problem in 2018! A family member had a Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500GB ST3500320AS drive in an external USB caddy, on firmware SD81, which had a bunch of old family photos on it, with no backup. One morning recently, it disappeared after being turned off and back on again. He asked me if I could do anything with it. I connected it directly via SATA to my PC, and it failed to POST on the BIOS screen, despite sounding like it was spinning up okay, which I thought odd. After some searching, I found this thread (and a few others, and youtube videos), which helped diagnose this as the BSY problem. I used a Silicon Labs CP2102 USB to TTL serial module to unbrick it, rather than the Nokia lead (couldn't find one!). I had problems with serial software; I was using Windows 7, so Hyperterminal isn't installed. I tried using Putty, but it wouldn't connect, leaving me scratching my head for a couple of hours, wondering if something else was wrong with the drive, or if I'd hooked up the USB to TTL wrong. I ended up downloading a trial version of Hyperterminal from hilgraeve.com, and that connected straight away! Following the instructions from the first post, I unbricked the drive, and it sprang back to life, mounted fine and I copied off all the data to multiple other drives.

The family member doesn’t trust the drive any more, naturally! So he left the drive with me. Knowing that if I used the drive it would eventually brick again, I decided to update the firmware to SD1A from http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/207951en?language=en-gb . The .exe version of the updater wouldn’t work on this drive. I read elsewhere that the BIOS SATA mode had to be set to Legacy or IDE, rather than AHCI, but that didn't help with the .exe version. I couldn't find any software that would convert the .iso version of the firmware updater to a bootable USB stick, so I had to dig out a USB CD drive, burn the .iso version of the firmware to a blank CD (found in my loft! Haven’t needed them for at least 5 years…) and booted from that, which did finally work and update the drive to SD1A. Contents of the drive survived the update with no problems.

Not sure I really trust this drive either... but thanks for the help and voyage of discovery!

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30 minutes ago, Ginjaian said:

... Following the instructions from the first post, I unbricked the drive, and it sprang back to life, mounted fine and I copied off all the data to multiple other drives.

....

Not sure I really trust this drive either... but thanks for the help and voyage of discovery!

Good news. :)

But rest assured, with the upgraded software it won't brick anymore and will last like *any other* disk drive, i.e. an unknown and completely random number of years, months, days or hours :w00t: :ph34r:.

The original issue was only a "software/firmware" defect, once that has been solved through the update the disk drive in itself is not worse (nor better) than any other drive.

Being a USB caddy, most probably the disk was very rarely powered up (hence it didn't brick earlier) so it should have also very few hours of service,

jaclaz

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Posted (edited)

Hello everyone,

my drive is a ST3500320AS with SD15 firmware which had the busy state issue and was someday not recognized by the BIOS anymore. I found this thread and was quite confident that this would be an easy fix. I hooked the drive up to my 3.3V TTL to USB cable and executed the commands. Everything worked fine as far as I could tell and the drive returned:

IMG_0531.JPG.57565b1f1db93e0ee53b9059ab6cb1bc.JPG

The only thing I found odd is that it prompted this line almost instantly as I expected it to take a minute or so.

After the procedure the drive is again recognized by the BIOS but other than that every software I tried to access or communicate with this drive behave like this is some kind of alien device. They hang or do weird stuff. The best info about the drive I get is from Ubuntu:

732266176_Screenshotfrom2018-08-3016-13-40.png.7875a9d0d1812851d9b874773af82f28.png

But that's it, there is no way I can access the content. Every recovery program I tried on Windows crashes or hangs when trying to access the drive. I also tried to use Seagate's firmware update ISO but it just prompts:

Error: Specific model not found. ST3500320AS expected.

even though BIOS and Ubuntu recognize the drive. Any ideas? I tried a lot now and just don't know what else to do.

 

thanks in advance!

Alex

 

Edited by ufbafigawe

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The delay in "user partition format successful" shouldn't be connected, It depends on cases. sometimes it is almost instant, sometimes it takes seconds, sometimes it takes minutes.

From the UBUNTU (that has somehow access to it) try dd_ing the first few sectors of the WHOLE disk (in your case (/dev/sdb) to a new file.

If the disk was originally partitioned in Windows XP or earlier, 100 sectors will be enough, if it was partitioned under Vista or later, you need 2100.

Now, if the dd command fails, then there is an issue with the disk, if it does produce a file let's see what's in it with a hex editor.

jaclaz

 

 

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Posted (edited)

ahh that's a cool idea, thanks for your help! dd worked just fine. could well possibly be that the hdd was formatted with linux though. hex dumps attached

first2100.hex

first100.hex

edit: ahh ok you mean first 100 sectors not bytes. how do i find out how many bytes my sectors are?

edit2: ahh got it! 512bytes right?

edit3: files are to big for the forum: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1bKQdiCrdc7UvYPH6JMlIK0X3Wv4MLGUO, https://drive.google.com/open?id=1iXABssls1_DvSygI9Ow2aTzagxQobRC1

Edited by ufbafigawe

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The disk seems fine (in the sense that the data copied by dd makes sense, it is not 00's or F6's).

The partition table is "normal":
#0 07 00 0 32 33 1023 254 63   2048 976766976

the MBR boot code is GRUB (possibly GRUB2) and extends up to sector LBA 104 (which is unusual, as normally that would be contained within sector 62 to allow partitioning with CHS alignment), anyway the disk is MB aligned (i.e. PBR is on sector LBA 2048), so it's fine.

The PBR is a "normal" NTFS one invoking BOOTMGR, to be picky it is the version "NT62" i.e. the one coming with Windows 8/8.1, and it is just fine.

The address of the $MFT is in the "usual" position on cluster 786432, which is also "fine" and "normal".

Most probably there is some corruption in the NTFS filesystem itself, it is not common (but it can happen), the "resetting" procedure may alter the P-list (or the G-list, or both) and if one or more remapped sectors is "lost" AND it is a "vital" one the result is an unreadable volume.

Standard/suggested procedure:
1) procure yourself a 750 GB (or larger) hard disk (if you have or can afford a 1.5 or 2 TB one, better)
2) dd the whole failed disk to an image file (if possible make a second copy of the image)
3) try accessing the image with DMDE:
https://dmde.com/

(though not exactly for the newbie/faint of heart) in case of (relatively) simple issues it can be used also by a non-expert of NTFS, it is read-only by default so it is safe.

Usually (not always but usually) DMDE is able to allow the recovery of files (without "fixing" the underlying NTFS) keeping the folder structures and names, so assuming that the disk was not full up to the brim and you can use a 1.5 or 2 TB disk, you should have enough space on it to salvage the relevant files.

Then, once these are "safe", we may talk of analyzing and hopefully fix the NTFS.

To do this - should you need assistance - start a new thread as that would be off topic here (and the thread is long enough already.

jaclaz 

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