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FGA for the Seagate 7200.11 drives

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Frequent Given Answers for the 7200.11

We do not normally mind helping people in need, but it does get sometimes a bit tiresome answering the same questions with the same answers, over and over again :boring: . But, as has been rightfully said in the Read-Me-First, repetita juvant ;), so we thought it would be helpful to group those answers together in a shorter FGA thread, to save everyone a bit of time.

This often happens because they DO NOT READ first the Read-Me-First or they try to "twist" what is in there to make it "easier" or "more convenient". We do not mind original ideas to make life easier tongue.gif, but sometimes the same (non-workable) ideas pop up time and again. This topic had quite a lot of minds working on it already, and if there were an easier method, we would have told you. Life is tough sad.gif, very rarely shortcuts work, and TANSTAAFL.

Although recovering from a bricked 7200.11 drive SEEMS very complex at first unsure.gif, it is very well documented (the link is now dead, but CarterInCanada's guide -- in .pdf format -- is attached below) and once you came over the initial shock of having to open your HDD and having to fiddle inside with the power on, it is doable by everyone :yes:, but you will need some time getting the hang of it before attempting doing it. (Read-Me-First Point #14)

More than that, take some time BEFORE posting yet another time the same question, please. smile.gif

1. I have exactly the same HDD in my other computer. Will a PCB swap work?
No. Although that used to work on some older models, in newer HDD's like the Seagate 7200.11, the PCB is specific to the drive and you risk frying both if you try that. ph34r.gif

2. Seagate's serial checker says my disk is not affected, (but it is!)...
The good people at Seagate huh.gif are most probably scared stiff of lots of lawsuits, and since they can't deny the bricking of drives, they decided in their infinite wisdom that it would be a good Public Relations exercise to admit that *some* of the 7200.11-series were affected. Since they do not want too many lawsuits, the number that they chose to admit suffering from this firmware bug, is in fact a very small fraction of the total number of affected drives. In fact, as this issue is related to the firmware and not the drive, ALL 7200.11 drives with firmware prior to SD1A are susceptible to this bug and is a time bomb waiting to happen. These include, but are not limited to SD15, SD16, SD17, SD18, SD19, SD25, SD35 and SD81.

If you are one of the "lucky" few whose drive is on the "we admit it is our fault"-list, you *might* be able to convince them to fix your drive AND do your data-recovery for free. The other 99% of you *might* also be able to convince them to fix your drive under guarantee, BUT they will send you a refurbished drive with NO DATA back, as their guarantee covers ONLY your drive, and NOT your data.

3. Will firmware update prevent my drive from bricking again?
Yes. If you have firmware SD1A or later (HP26 if you have an HP drive), your computer will be immune to this bug. biggrin.gif
To be sure nothing else is wrong with it, you can test it by using Seagate's SeaTools (Read-Me-First Point #5)

4. Ctrl Z doesn't work...
Did you do a Loopback test? (See Read-Me-First Point #8)

A Loopback test will tell you if your converter can talk to itself. You can't expect your converter to talk to your HDD if it cannot talk to itself. blink.gif A successful Loopback test will show you that you have a working converter that is set up correctly and you have correctly identified the Rx and Tx wires (they might be the wrong way around, but that is not critical at this stage) biggrin.gif

After a successful Loopback test, you can connect your converter to your HDD. If you still do not get a signal after Ctrl-Z, try switching Tx and Rx around. Make sure your HDD is powered. Make sure your PCB is not connected by isolating either the Motor or Head contacts. Also make sure you have a 3.3V converter and NOT a 5V converter (Read-Me-First Point #10). Check grounding (Read-Me-First Point #7).

5. My Loopback test failed. What is wrong?
Make sure you have the right driver installed. Is your converter seen as a port in your Device Manager and HyperTerminal? Make sure you have correctly identified the Rx and Tx wires. Does your converter need to be powered? Did you set up your HyperTerminal session correctly? If all that fails, your converter might not be working.

6. I know Nokia cables are frowned upon, but I happen to have a CA-42 cable with driver cd lying around in the "things that may be of use some day" drawer, and have nothing to lose in trying it :angel . I also do understand that some Nokia Converters work and others not, but do have some free time on my hands and am willing to risk it. How do I set it up and identify which wire is which? (Obviously at my own risk...)
It is normally a good idea to first plug the cable (without a phone connected to the other end) into your computer's USB port. If your computer starts to install drivers automatically for the cable (not necessarily the correct ones, those you will get from the driver cd), you have a good chance of having a "working cable". That way you won't end up decapitating a perfectly good (for other things) cable that might not work to unbrick your HDD.

Once you have determined that you have a *probably* working cable you can try to figure out which wires is which. A good method is given here. Only follow the method till after the "sanity check your findings" part. Thereafter you can connect it to your HDD.

7. I get all kinds of gibberish and random characters on my screen when I connect my converter to my HDD.
Check grounding. (Read-Me-First Point #7)
Also make sure that the connections between your converter and HDD are insulated and do not touch each other.

A special thanks should go to jaclaz, since most of the above answers have been learned through his numerous posts. Other people who also contributed to my better understanding of the subject include, but are not limited to, gradius2, Aviko, CarterInCanada, Mundy5 and VideoRipper.


Fixing the Seagate Bricks by Carter in Canada.pdf

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