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guess who? Seagate barracuda 7200.11!

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#1
pompolus

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Hi all,

 

I'm havign troubles with a Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5 TB.

The hard disk is not recognized from bios, sometimes it appears in windows as a 3.86 GB hard disk (uninitialized) and with a different serial code.

 

So I'm trying to resurrect this little boy with the "paper under PCB trick"  with no luck.

And with no luck I mean that i can't get the prompt on console.

 

I'm using putty on windows 8.1 (tried also with hyperterminal on windows xp, same result), configured in this way:

 

Baud  38400  Data Bits  8  Stop Bits  1  Parity  none  Flow Control  none

 
I've used a usb to UART TTL (http://www.ebay.de/i...=item564571ffb4) and a cable like ca-42 (not the nokia original one). The result is the same with both the cable and the adapter:
- Power on the hdd with a sata cable
- I wait for the motor spins down
- connect the rx to tx, tx to rx and gnd to gnd
- open putty, select the com port in use from adapter, open connession
- press ctrl+z
and nothing. Everything I type is not shown, and even less I get the "F3 T>" line, all I see is a blank window.
 
Tried to do a loopback test with both the devices and when tx and rx are connected between them, I can see what I type, so I'm pretty sure the devices are operational and driver correctly installed.
 
So, what could I'm doing wrong?
I've googled around and found several people with my hard disk not seeing the prompt when pressing ctrl+z.
I found a guy that says he had succes with ST31500341AS after he has tried 6 different cables, so the only idea I have is that for my hdd a different voltage than the usual 3.3v is needed, is it possible? Anyone knows something about this s***ty 1.5TB hdd?
 
Any help or hint would be very appreciated, I'm lost, thank you

Edited by pompolus, 17 October 2014 - 06:26 PM.



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#2
jaclaz

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READ the read-me-first:

http://www.msfn.org/...-read-me-first/

 

it will answer most of your questions.

 

Try with the PCB completely detached from the disk.

 

Try inverting Tx and Rx.

 

jaclaz



#3
pompolus

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I have already read that, it is very useful thanks.

Of course I swapped rx and tx several times with no luck, I'm going to try in some minutes to completely remove the PCB, do you suspect the card over the contacts is not isolating very well?

#4
jaclaz

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Well, if you had read it, you wouldn't be asking questions about TTL levels/adapter cables (that have been detailed in it). :whistle:

 

As well, if you do not report that you tried swapping Tx and Rx, since my crystal ball is (again :() in the shop for maintenance, I have no way to know that.

 

The point of note here is that you are seemingly NOT in a LBA0 or BSY case, but even for them the "original" way to access the terminal was to completely separate the PCB from the disk, procedure that was later replaced by insulation the motor or head contacts.

 

As a matter of fact the "intermittent" nature of your issue could actually be connected to bad contacts, so removing the PCB and thoroughly cleaning contacts wouldn't be a bad idea anyway.

 

The "3.86 Gb size" is usually connected to yet another issue, however, and - usually - with a number of "clicks" when spinning up, called in jargon "click of death", see:

http://www.msfn.org/...-hdds/?p=862696

http://www.msfn.org/...hdds/?p=1086659

 

jaclaz



#5
pompolus

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I have read it, I swear! My question was aimed to know if my hard disk needed some different voltage than the other types, I'm not very familiar with these electronic stuff so I'm sorry if my question is silly, but I found many people reporting to get nothing after hitting ctrl z when trying to recover my hdd type...

You are probably right saying my problem is what you are talking about, my hdd does clicking sounds during boot, but the procedure to trying to resurrect it is partially the same, at least up to the time to send the commands to pcb through ctrl-z, right?

By the way I'm trying to remove the pcb and clean the contacts, I'll let you know, thank you for your time

#6
jaclaz

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You are probably right saying my problem is what you are talking about, my hdd does clicking sounds during boot, but the procedure to trying to resurrect it is partially the same, at least up to the time to send the commands to pcb through ctrl-z, right?

By the way I'm trying to remove the pcb and clean the contacts, I'll let you know, thank you for your time

Unfortunately no. :(
If you are having a "click of death", the CAUSE is very different (and unfortunately there are NO known AFAIK DYI way outs for it).

In the case of the LBA0 or BSY the issue is that the firmware on the disk enters a "loop" of some sort.
Imagine (in pseudo code, batch in this example) that it is executing a program like:


@ECHO OFF
SETLOCAL ENABLEEXTENSIONS
SET Counter=0

:repeat
SET /A counter+=1
SET /A Issue=%RANDOM%/512
:loop
ECHO %Counter% %Issue%
IF %counter% GTR %issue% GOTO :loop
IF %counter% LEQ 9 GOTO :repeat
If you run this program a few times, you will soon enter a loop from which you can only exit by pressing Ctrl+C.
 
The "click of death" is instead seemingly like the program file would be missing altogether.
 
The Ctrl+C is a sort of "reset" similar to the procedure for BSY or LBA0, there are no solutions (short of re-writing the batch) for the missing file. 
 

By the way I'm trying to remove the pcb and clean the contacts, I'll let you know, thank you for your time

You are very welcome :), though I am afraid we won't solve the problem. :(
jaclaz

#7
pompolus

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oh, I'm very glad to know it, I'm going to kill myself...

 

btw, just tried to remove the pcb and clean contacts, same result : \



#8
jaclaz

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oh, I'm very glad to know it, I'm going to kill myself...

 

btw, just tried to remove the pcb and clean contacts, same result : \

Well, before killing yourself, you might want to take a nice walk outside, maybe you change your mind about this.

 

In any case, often (but not always) a professional may be able to recover the data (with a cost that can be *anything* between €250 and € 1,000, not exactly "cheap", but still IMHO more affordable than suicide ;)).

 

jaclaz



#9
pompolus

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oh, I'm very glad to know it, I'm going to kill myself...
 
btw, just tried to remove the pcb and clean contacts, same result : \

Well, before killing yourself, you might want to take a nice walk outside, maybe you change your mind about this.
 
In any case, often (but not always) a professional may be able to recover the data (with a cost that can be *anything* between €250 and € 1,000, not exactly "cheap", but still IMHO more affordable than suicide ;)).
 
jaclaz

 
well, I already have the rope, so a suicide would be cheaper for sure ;)
 
But what I wondering is why I can't communicate through putty with the pcb completely removed form the hard drive? I could get the prompt even with hard disk detached, right?
So, the problem could be PCB related and swapping it with a new one could recover my data or it is just my ignorance talking?

#10
dencorso

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So, the problem could be PCB related and swapping it with a new one could recover my data or it is just my ignorance talking?


Frequent Given Answers for the 7200.11

[...]

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


Did you really read the Read-Me-1st? Doesn't it say there you should also read the FGA? Have you? dubbio.gif

#11
pompolus

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So, the problem could be PCB related and swapping it with a new one could recover my data or it is just my ignorance talking?


Frequent Given Answers for the 7200.11

[...]

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


Did you really read the Read-Me-1st? Doesn't it say there you should also read the FGA? Have you? dubbio.gif

 

Yes I did, but not the FGA, I was searching info about the DIY process as I was pretty sure (or I  hoped) I was afflicted by the common bsy or lba0 issues, mea culpa.

 

But, the question still stands... Could I communicate with the PCB completely removed from HDD, even if it is in the click of death state? I read this state often is not due to pcb issues, but sometimes is, so the fact I can't get the prompt upon pressing ctrl-z, could be meant that my issue depends from a fried PCB?

And if this is the case, is there a chance to repair the hdd in some way avoiding the data recovery services?



#12
jaclaz

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To reinforce the idea, you could also go through this ;):

http://www.msfn.org/...pcbs-on-720011/

which is also a sticky.

 

The disk operates more or less like this:

  1. the disk microprocessor boots by reading the contents of a flash chip <-(imagine it as something like a BIOS)
  2. then executes some instructions in it
  3. then reads some data from the actual disk surface (stored in areas that are not normally accessible)

UNLIKE normal BIOSes, the contents of the flash chip are partially CODE (the same for all chips with a same firmware) and partially "local" addressess/settings DATA that are specific to the disk that is "coupled" to the PCB.

 

You CANNOT swap a PCB.

 

You CAN however swap a PCB IF you "transplant" the "old" chip on the "new" PCB (AND if the "new" PCB is 100% compatible).

 

This is something that needs a little bit more experience than the average DIY guy, but that is entirely doable with all in all cheap and readily available tools (magnifying lens, soldering iron (or better a resoldering station) some soldering paste, etc.)

 

There are tools (that sell for several thousands US$ AND need some specific "advanced" training) that are able to:

  • read the whatever is in the chip (both CODE and DATA)
  • correct the whatever is in the chip (both CODE and DATA)
  • load partially CODE or DATA (from the chip and from an external source)
  • read the whatever is on the disk platter
  • correct the whatever is on the disk platter

 

Right now for all we know the issues you are having could be connected to one or more than one among:

  1. corrupted data in the chip "code" part
  2. corrupted data in the chip "data" part
  3. corrupted data on the disk
  4. failure of the disk head(s)
  5. failure of the disk self-positioning head arm
  6. failure of *any* component on the PCB

to which you add that we don't really know for sure IF your cable/adapter (or the settings you are using or even the connection you made) are "good" and working.

 

So, your next step would be to get another (working) 7200.11 and test if your procedure work for accessing it (and if it doesn't change the adapter/procedure)

 

Given that you succeed (i.e. that your tools and procedure are correct) you have a PCB that doesn't respond.

 

The next step would be to get yourself a compatible set of tools (and if you have no experience with this learn to solder/desolder tiny surface mounted components - as said doable but not easy-peasy) and transplant the chip from the "old" PCB to the new one.

 

In, say, the 75% of cases where you will manage to make the transplant without frying the chip, you will have access to the PCB terminal, then, you will have NO IDEA (just like we have none :blushing: ) of the following steps (commands to issue, etc.) which, even if known, may work in say 25% of the cases, in another 25% you will need to use a loader because the contents of the chip are corrupted, in another 25% of the cases you will need to replace a head assembly (which is NOT a DIY job unless you spend a few thousands dollars in tools, training, etc.) and in the remaining 25% the actual disk is really "gone for ever" and no data can be retrieved from it anyway.

 

To sum up (given that it is a generic, undiagnosed "click of death" and NOT a BSY and NOT a LBA0), if you do a PCB swap:

in 25% of cases you will fry the chip in the transplant

in 75%*25% of cases=18.75% you did i right but DO NOT know what to do next

in 2*75%*25% of cases=37.50% you did i right but have NO WAY to perform next step

in 75%*25% of cases=18.75% you did i right but THERE IS NOTHING to be done

 

Since 25%+18.75%+37.50%+18.75% sum up to a neat 100%, you have NO chance in practice to revive that disk AND you have big chances to accidentally make things so worse that even a professional service that has *some* chance to get the data now from the disk "as is" will have no chances left after.

Of course the above calculations are totally faked, and it is entirely possible that if any of the percentages adopted are wrong you have some teeny-tiny possibilities, but I wouldn't count on them.

 

I understand how sad it  is :(, but you have to evaluate attentively the above before deciding for:

  • suicide :w00t: :ph34r:
  • ask for a professional service repair
  • give up and call it a day
  • something else :unsure:

 

jaclaz

 

 

 

 






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