CarterInCanada

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About CarterInCanada

  1. Hello digital warriors!! Hard to believe but it's been FIVE YEARS since this whole bricked drive mess started. Jaclaz, you Jedi Drive Master you. I see you're still jousting with the newcomers who refuse to read properly. You're unstoppable man. Well done you! I popped in because I'm shifting some web things around and mapleleaf mountain (with my guide included) will soon evaporate into the ether. But Don't Panic! I couldn't leave you folks hanging. I still get one or two emails a month with successful unbrickings so I wanted to keep the content up on the interwebs for people to access and use. Since there's not really any need to 'update' the guide per se (the method hasn't changed in years), I've merely refreshed it to clear a few broken links and made it into a 2mb downloadable .pdf file complete with the same instructions and photos you see now (I might have added one or two more jokes since I had a few ciders open while I worked last night). The whole thing is parked out on a Google drive page anyone can access found here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5DyuVvuODctc2R4bDJJT19rMDQ/ (jaclaz, I was going to update the thread that has the old mapleleafmountain pointer but it's locked, I'm guessing you have the keys to the kingdom and can update it for these kind folks?) I'll happily leave the guide there until all these drives finally die. Google seems to be the omnipresent cloud beast for the forseeable future so it should be safe there. Clicking on the link will give you a 'preview' of the file and you can then download a proper copy for your very own with the controls at the top of the page. I notice that the links within the guide don't function in the 'preview' but work fine once you have the .pdf on your local machine. I just last week retired my final 7200.11 from the backup cabinet so despite the firmware screwup, I can't complain about getting my use out of them over the years. My world is now all about growing a 25-acre orchard of apples and pears and berries I bought a while back and generally doing garden things that have nothing whatsoever to do with hard drives. Putting in wine grapes next year even. The cats are still happy and send their regards. It's a good gig up here in Canada. I wish you all well with your continued electronic repair work. Just remember the golden rule and DON'T PANIC! Cheers! Carter In Canada
  2. I have a BudgetHardDrivesRUs brand drive model 62000001.42 and it's making a clunking noise everytime I set my teacup on top of it. Will this fix work? Ok, just kidding. It's me, Carter in Canada! How's everyone doing these days? I can't tell you how good it does my heart to see you still here jousting with the rookie hard drive repair students jaclaz. Well done you mate! It's been an interesting two years for me since I last visited the repair pages. I've moved across the continent to find ANOTHER remote Canadian mountaintop on which to park myself and my drives. I'm building my own house - a longtime dream. And my cats are still trying to extort tuna out of me at every turn. I had forgotten all about my 7200.11 woes until I just happened to be cleaning up my website and saw the broken link to the Seagate firmware pages - they moved them when I wasn't looking. That's been fixed and we're over 3200 confirmed repairs. Wow. Who would have thought, eh? I've also just renewed my site for another three year stint so as long as you folks still need it, I'll leave the page up for reference. Thankfully the pizza experiments have progressed well past the hard drive repairs. Oh, another thing. To be clear since it seems someone tried to hijack my name about a year ago and use it to sell stuff on ebay, I'm still *NOT* selling anything, asking for ANY money (unless Seagate wants to pay me for saving them thousands, LOL), or otherwise endorsing ANYTHING online to do with hard drive repair for profit. Ebay very quickly shut down the imposters when I talked to them and they've not tried it again but I thought a word of caution was in order. If you see my name being used to make any sort of coin off hard drives, shoot me a message so I can shut them down quick. Free pointers to my site are fine (as several reputable computer repair houses have done) but if they try to charge you anything for the info or some bit of kit, they're fakes. I also noticed that the folks at Pololu (the brand of TTL adapter I used) have added a new version that includes a built-in electrolytic cap to help prevent the LC Voltage spikes that can fry the TTL adapters. The 'manufactuer's link' on my page in that section has all the details of the new model. I'm sure that's a result of all of us un-bricking our drives. Who says consumers can't make a difference? Now if we could just think of a reason to make global warming LESS profitable. :-) Speaking of old drives, I'm migrating to mostly SSDs these days and have all but swapped out for 7200.12 drives on my remaining 'live' SATA2 units. I still have (I think) two 7200.11 drives in the offline backup box but I note that after the fix, I must have run them for nearly two years longer in my live system with no problems. And of course ONLY with capable backups on standby in case they went wonky. Because of the giant spike in hard drive prices after the Thai flooding of 2011, I wanted to squeeze every bit of life out of my old drives that I could. I hope you're all well. Keep up the good fight jaclaz! Don't give up you hard drive warriors. And of course remember....DON'T PANIC!! Cheers, CarterInCanada edit: For you newcomers, I'm the whacko behind the repair guide at http://www.mapleleafmountain.com/seagatebrick.html
  3. Hello again digital warriors! Carter here just checking in with ongoing firmware war. You lot are doing fine work as usual getting the digital masses back to working order. Your computer karma should be off the charts by now. I wanted to chime in with a little tidbit I’ve just updated on my method. I got a nice email from an engineer at Pololu, the company that makes the adapter I used to unbrick my own drives, informing me of a something they’ve started to see in the field now that there are hundreds (if not thousands) of you out there on the path to drive redemption. It seems that if you use particularly long jumpers in your setup, some LC voltage spikes can crop up and cause permanent damage to your adapter and cause you temporary insanity trying to sort out what went wrong. They have been able to reproduce the ‘effect’ consistently with jumper wires at 3 feet (about a meter) long. On their site they have linked a paper on the topic ( http://www.pololu.com/docs/0J16 ) for any of you tech nerds like me that are interested in such things and even have a solution where you insert a cheap capacitor into the setup to prevent the phenomenon. For everyone else, don't panic! I think the message is just to be sure not to use particularly long wires and be sure your elderly power supply is up to specification (dust off the voltmeter perhaps?) before plugging into it with our whacky firmware cure. I believe this spike phenomenon could impact pretty much any brand of adapter out there so I’d suggest you err to the side of caution whichever TTL adapter you buy and keep your leads as short as possible. In my case they came in under 30cm (1 foot or 12 inches) total and my 650w power supply tested right at spec. Otherwise I hope you’re all well and that winter is treating you kindly. At the moment I’m sitting in an airport headed back to Canada where I hear the snowboarding is off to a grand start this year. Remember to look up from fixing hard drives and get some fresh air when you can out there. Good holidays to you all. Cheers! - CarterinCanada
  4. Unbrick -> Backup Data -> Firmware Update Agreed! Once the data is safe-ish, you can afford to be a bit more cavalier with the (formerly bricked) drive. I suppose it pays to re-read my old prose as well as get a fresh cup of tea. I realized after reading this post that I didn't actually bother to TELL people to do their backups in my guide so I've fixed that oversight. I suppose I just assumed they'd be dancing about with joy so much that it would be obvious. Spot on again jaclaz. Well done mate. Cheers, Carter in Canada
  5. Hi Carter long time, no see. Happy that both you and cats are well. It would be appreciated, since you are in "update mood", if you could cross link from your guide to the read-me-first: http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=143880 so that the number of people that will read AFTER will decrease. jaclaz No worries jaclaz. Updated the links a bit and tried to make it clear to read your starting point BEFORE this monster. Well done putting that filter up to help sort out the potentially happy bunnies from the permanently angry lizards. And good luck in here, I'll try to check back in more often than every 50 pages. Cheers! - Carter in Canada
  6. Hey there hard drive warriors! It's been a while since I peeked in here and just wanted to say thanks for all the kind words (in here and sent directly) for that little bit of prose I contributed to this monster of a topic last year. You guys (jaclaz especially and you too Videoripper) are doing great work in here. I just updated my guide at http://www.mapleleafmountain.com/seagatebrick.html to include some tips on grounding and voltage to perhaps help those that are using setups different enough from the one I wanted to spell out to cause problems. Maybe that will lighten the load a bit with folks getting tripped up with other adapters that need the ground pin connected to behave - you're right that it's never a bad idea if you've got the jumper right there and handy. Seems most of the email I get is about XYZ brand adapter not handshaking properly. If nothing else, they'll have a good pizza recipe if they snoop around the site some. LOL Apart from the thanks, I wanted to add that the 7200.11s of my own that I've de-bricked are still in service and running fine on SD1A. They've been on mostly 24x7 since early last year when I debricked them. I'm working new 7200.12s into the rotation as I don't keep any drive in service more than say four years but time will tell if I have a higher than normal failure rate on this batch before natural "retirement". Things look good so far. I see a lot of folks asking if they're "safe" after the fix and mine don't seem to have any further problems related to the fix. But then, I also have duplicate hard drives of EVERYTHING plus some emergency drives stashed away. I have to repeat what jaclaz said...ALL drives will fail, it's just a matter of when. DO YOUR BACKUPS. You guys would be amazed at some of the stories I've been getting in email where people that have decades of work and business data and such on only ONE drive. Maddness that is. I think the best story so far was the pie shop in the UK that said they had twenty years of secret recipes (and business data) that was saved by the fix. They told me that if I was ever in Kent, I could have free pie! LOL Any way, keep up the good work in here lads and lasses. The digital karma will surely come back to you many times over. Cheers! - Carter in Canada
  7. Hello folks! I'm not sure if 94 pages on bricked drives is a good or bad thing but at least we're all in this together. I've been gone for a bit and just caught up on my reading and wanted to say thanks for all the kind words sent along for my little guide over at http://www.mapleleafmountain.com/seagatebrick.html (as well as the few kind souls that were concerned for me and my mad forest hermit ways during the recent forest fires up here). I just hope it has helped some folks as much as this forum helped me. There was one question a few pages back about which set of contacts on the drive to insulate before trying to spin down the drive (as opposed to removing the PCB entirely which I think now everyone agrees isn't needed). Several guides out there, including posts in this one originally, suggest the "head" contacts (square on the corner of the drive) whereas I used the "motor" contacts (in the centre of the drive). I originally tried the former with no luck but when I switched to the latter, I was able to go right through the process. I suspect the specific model of the drive might account for the varying degrees of success here. Mine happen to be the 1TB models (ST31000340AS) but listening to all the email reports I've had, it seems to have worked fine on a few others as well. So, if you have luck with one set and are able to spin down the drive, proceed as usual. If not and you continue to get the busy error report in your terminal session, you might try the other set. There are just too many reports either way to say that one or the other is the definitive fix. Thankfully, I don't see how it can really hurt to try either. Good luck in all your unbricking out there!! Cheers, - CarterInCanada
  8. Hi folks! I've been out for a few days and I'm just catching up. Leon is correct that you should only give the partiion regen command (m0,2...) at the end *after* the SMART erase. Because so many people have had luck WITHOUT powering down their drives in the middle of the process, I updated my little attempt at a guide to reflect the choice. I did power down, others haven't. You make the call with whatever will let you sleep better at night. What I DID want to add, however, is that if you DON'T power down, you need to be sure to go back to the test level by typing: F3 1>/T So you get back to: F3 T> before continuing with the partition regen. I know it's a small step but I didn't see anyone actually mention how to do it in the last few pages. Those pesky computers...one little thing and they go all wonky. Hang in there Brick Drive Warriors!! We're all in this together! Cheers, Carter in Canada
  9. You might want to read back a few posts before you start swapping PCBs, Robin. A few folks were convinced that was a bad idea and way back in the dark recesses of my brain, I think I agree with them. My highly UNeducated guess is that dropping another PCB on the drive before you can give the spin down command might, at worst, send things wonky and at best, be a waste of time. Just another tidbit to worry you in all this but your mileage may vary on that solution. As an aside, does Seagate's "official" repair/data recovery not cover you there in the UK? Just curious for anyone else that may be in your situation nearby. The first pint in October is on you, but here's hoping we get you sorted out long before then. Cheers! - CinC
  10. Hi Robin, Hang in there! Your problem sounds like one a few posts back where the loopback works but the communication goes wonky once the drive is introduced. Have you confirmed the hard settings on your USB port aren't doing something to interfere? I'm talking about port settings on your computer's BIOS that might be over-riding the soft setting within Hyperterminal. Another friend of mine had similar problems and we discovered her BIOS had set the USB port to a hard setting different from what the drive expected. Flipped it to "auto/software controlled" and the prompt came right up. Since you've had a sucessful loopback (wires are dumb and don't care about settings), I'd focus on the communications settings on the port and inside windows just to make sure something there isn't fouled. Slim help I know but it sounds like you're really close to getting there. Good luck! CinC ps. Too bad I'm in Canada, but I come to London every fall so if you're still having problems in October...LOL (sorry, I know you don't find it funny but I couldn't resist)
  11. You're most welcome morpheux. All I did was digest the info from those that came before me and add a couple bits of clarification. The main thing is that we're all helping each other get past that sinking feeling when we first lose the drive and to the happy results. Cheers! CinC
  12. Hello shivpaul, First, let me say I've never even touched a mac so take this with a grain of salt. I could easily be completely wrong here. On PCs, the firmware related "lockup" is known to happen after a power cycle (turning it off and on, whether by the switch or any other power outtage) so my guess is that *is* your problem. On the drive itself, there should printed which version of the firmware the drive shipped with (assuming you haven't updated it since you bought it). If it's SD15, assuming they use the same numbers on Mac models (which is a huge assumption - potenially wrong), you're one of the "lucky" ones. No clue from me how the "NS" models (which I presume are for Macs) differ from the "AS" versions that I use on my PC. Along those lines, I don't know if you could wire up the drive as described here and use the Mac version of Hyperterminal to talk to the drive but it SEEMS like the basic TTL commands we're talking about wouldn't care about your Operating System (mac or pc). Once you get the drive unlocked from the BSY state, I have no idea of the process to update the firmware on a Mac but surely that is something the Seagate forums would spell out? I just never looked for it. Anyone else on here more Mac fluent? Is there a "mac version" of our thread out there anywhere? Worst case, I'd get Seagate on the phone and see what they say. It's a free call at least. Good luck! - CinC
  13. Trax, The first converter is the right sort of module but since it's powerered at 3v (relatively low), you might have problems if you try to power it from your PC power supply. You'd probably want to use a 3V battery to power that module. The second USB module looks like the right sort as well but since my German is very rusty, I couldn't tell from the link what voltage it's running on. The same sort of voltage precautions would apply. Good luck! CinC Edit: For everyone out there reading along that might be worried or confused about all this voltage talk, try searching for a TTL module that can accept (and deliver to the HDD data pins) a RANGE of voltages (say 3v to 5.5v) rather than just one static level. This will give you a bit more flexibility in both how you power it and what it sends along to the drive. The one I used was smart enough to adjust to send the same voltage that you use to power the module and while it was a bit high (5v from the PSU) the hard drive tolerated it fine for the few moments it was connected. Reading way back at the beginning of this thread it seems the hard drive would ideally like to see something lower but no harm in the short term. My GUESS (and it's just a guess) is that you could leave the drive data pins plugged into 5v for a few hours without any issues. I just wouldn't leave it plugged in for a week sitting on my workbench.
  14. Mark, Hang in there, I know it's frustrating. I did things a bit different from Brad so I can't really advise about his approach. If you do it the way I used, the only thing that comes to my mind, and it's a longshot, is to check the settings in both your terminal program (Putty) and on the port hardware settings in your computer BIOS to make sure they match what the drive wants to see. The loopback test working fine says you have things plugged in properly (and in the case of loopback, the settings wouldn't stop it from communicating - loopback wires don't care about the speed, parity, etc.) but it sounds like there's some sort of mis-match when it comes time to actually communicate with the drive. A setting for your COM port like "automatic/software controlled" through the BIOS should be default but perhaps it was accidentally changed to some hard setting (like 2400/N/8/1/Xon) that's interfering with Putty? Other than that, I don't know Putty well enough to know if there are any other settings that might be accidentally fouling the communications. Are you on an OS where you could try another terminal program? Anyone else out there know Putty pretty well? Reading the other guides, the only other thing I can imagine could be some sort of grounding/voltage issue that's interfering with communications depending on how you're getting power to your serial-to-TTL adapter? Some part of your setup that comes into play when you switch from the loopback test to the actual drive? Sorry I'm not much help but those ideas are the only that come to mind. I'll keep thinking about it for you. Good luck! CarterInCanada Mr. C., In my case with ST31000340AS drives, flashing the bios of both "repaired" drives (from the BSY error) and drives running SD15 that had yet to exhibit a problem didn't effect my data at all. Everything that was there before the update was there afterwards. I used the bootable firmware CD update made using the method on the Seagate site. They mark the update as HIGHLY recommended and after suffering with three drives that had SD15 problems, I would too. I think the problems they had in the first release of the "fixed" firmware (around January) have died down and the version that's on the site now is stable and cures the problems. At least that seems to be the consensus in the boards I'm reading. The only extra thing I did was to strip down my system (unplugged the other devices from the motherboard) to just the CD/DVD drive and the drive I was flashing, i.e. one drive at a time so I could be clear WHICH drive was being flashed without the chance of effecting any of my other nine drives in the process. A bit over cautious I know but after all the troubles, I didn't want to take any chances. Have fun flashing! CinC
  15. Sorry I'm on the other side of the continent trgTyson otherwise I'd loan you my setup. The crucial bit (the serial-to-TTL adapter) I grabbed was from right next door to you in Quebec at RobotShop. Might be just as easy to get a mail order headed your way. The process itself is simple, you can handle it I'm sure. Since I've already gotten a couple PMs asking for it again, below I quoted my post from a couple days ago with the link to my particular episode of disc un-bricking within. Good luck, we Canucks have to stick together! Cheers, CinC