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Maxtor ( Segate ) STM3200320AS Detecting problems

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June 18, 2009 3:46:57 PM

Hi folks ,

I`ve purchased a maxtor 500 GB Hard Disk 5 month ago . until yesterday it `was working great . on my last session of working with my PC i did not see anything wrong with my PC.It was working great , as usual.
today when turn my pc on , i saw that in post stage ,PC hanged for a while and then my Bios did not detect my maxtor . i use 2 hard disks . one Hitachi and this maxtor .the bios detected the Hitachi. and it was OK.

in spite of my maxtor hard drive seems OK. the spin down and the its motor is working just fine , it was not detected by bios.

i have tested it on 3 other PC. in all of them the case was the same.

after searching the internet , i found that some models including this models released by segate have some bugs in their firmware and it is the company fault in fact .and the hard disk itself is OK .but as result of this error in its micro-Os , the hard is locked. it need some stuff and a PC .with windows hyper-terminal we can fix the error and then recover the hard in order to recover 100% of data...

since this task of course is reliable , but i`m not that professional to do that. on the other hand, there are two many date on it that are really valuable for me.i prefer to fix it by myself rather than giving it away to a Segate authorized center .( however in most cases they did not accept this fault!!)

so the point is , is it OK , to purchase another hard disk exactly with this specifications and firmware version and then change its logic board with this malfunction hard dive? so that immediately , i can back up my data.

Friends , this is very crucial for me..please help me out toward this..problem...


However , i promise i won`t purchase any product of segate ( Maxtor )!!!

your help would be really appreciated,
joopin

June 18, 2009 5:17:55 PM

I don't think swapping the PCB will work. I've heard that the PCB will only work with the drive it shipped with, even if the other drive is the exact same model.

I think it will be easier and less expensive if you just perform the ghetto fix. It takes a little while to get your head around it if you haven't tried to access the firmware of a hard drive at a low level before, but once you have everything connected up it's fairly straight-forward.

I was in the same position a few months back, but eventually I decided to try my luck at fixing my bricked Seagate and it was revived successfully. It takes a bit of perseverance and improvisation with you pulling your hair out whenever something doesn't work, but it's all worth it in the end if you get your data back, and you get a working drive back as a bonus.

Anyway, good luck on getting it de-bricked. Hope you get your data recovered.
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June 18, 2009 6:09:19 PM

to perform the ghetto fix? sorry...i`m not that much well-educated guy....would you please give some guidelines?
however , i have seen some guys have done this and the device worked like a charm....!!what maybe the reason?!


Thank you so much,
joopin
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June 18, 2009 7:57:35 PM

The ghetto fix is to use an RS232 to TTL adaptor and send a few commands through a terminal, as what has been posted on several websites. They have better guides on how to fix it, but I can give a run-down of the essentials.

First of all, you need a computer with an RS232 port. These usually exist on older computers as it's mostly replaced with USB these days. It's basically a 9-pin port with 4 pins on top and 5 on the bottom. If your computer doesn't have one, you could get a PCI adaptor or you could use a USB to TTL adaptor instead, though there are no guarantees that the latter will work. I prefer to go native with RS232 because then there are less things that can go wrong.

Other bits you will need is a RS232 to TTL adaptor, a Torx-6 screwdriver, a few jumpers (I improvised and used some as headers), some jumper wires, and if you don't like the idea of chopping up a SATA power cable, a CR2032 lithium battery and socket.

First of all, you should do a loopback test to make sure the RS232 to TTL adaptor works. There are other guides that tell you how to do this, but it's quite simple. You should not have your hard drive connected to anything at this point. Basically, short both the RX and TX together with a wire. Then connect +5V to the positive terminal of the battery, and GND to the negative terminal. Then plug in the adaptor to the RS232 port of a computer and start a terminal session. I used PuTTY for this, but you can use whatever you want. Just make sure to turn local echo off, otherwise your commands will be displayed twice. Also set Baud to 38400, Data Bits to 8, Stop Bits to 1, Parity to None and Flow Control to None. Then once you start your terminal session, type a few things and if you can see what you have typed, the adaptor is working.

Once you know the adaptor is working, you can move on to do the real thing.

It's preferable that you use two computers to do the fix. That way you can hook up the hard drive to the SATA power of one computer while connecting it to the RS232 port of the other. It makes it easy to power cycle it then. I ended up digging out my old Pentium III to use the terminal with, and used my main computer for the power.

First disconnect the wire shorting the RX and TX together. Then connect the RX to the TX pin on the hard drive, and the TX to the RX pin on the drive. Then plug in the SATA power cable from the other computer to the hard drive, but don't plug in the data cable. Also make sure you have a piece of card that separates the motor contacts.

Now everything should be connected up. Turn on the computer that is powering the hard drive, wait a few seconds, then start the terminal session. You should see a F3 T> prompt appear. If you get this, you are good to go, and you should be able to follow the other guides posted around with relative ease. If not, recheck the connections to see if it's all connected properly. When you are told to cycle the power for the hard drive, just turn off the computer that is powering the hard drive, wait a few seconds and then turn it back on again.

After typing the right commands in the terminal, you should be able to simply put the hard drive back in your computer. If all went well, you should even be able to boot from it as if nothing ever went wrong, and all your data should still be intact.

Again, good luck on this. It's a bit of a headache, but it will all be worth it in the end if you succeed. And remember to update the firmware from the Seagate website once you have all your data backed up, so the firmware won't brick the drive again later.
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June 18, 2009 8:40:27 PM

I thing here is the thing you mentioned....

http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=128807

but one point : as far as i understood from this forum , i have to regenerate my partitions....so that i will clear all data and i have to do a recovery...is it true?

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June 18, 2009 8:53:12 PM

No, your data will still be there as if nothing had ever gone wrong. You can even boot from it fine. You won't need to do a recovery as your data will be as accessible as any working drive, though of course you will need to back up all that data as soon as possible in case the hard drive decides to brick itself again.

Then after you have all your data backed up, you should update the firmware which will fix the bug that will cause it to brick itself again. After I've de-bricked my drive, it has worked flawlessly since, and it has ran for about a month now.
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June 18, 2009 9:41:17 PM

Dear Lippy13 , really appreciate for you help...i`was wondering if you`d mind check out that link above whether it is OK or not?

because there are some commands for regenerating of partition....do you know somewhere which i can find a reliable procedure?

thanks again
joopin
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June 18, 2009 10:09:46 PM

Yeah that link is fine, I used it to fix my drive actually. From the issues you mentioned it looks like you have the BSY error, so I would follow the direct guide for it given at the bottom of the post. You should be able to ignore the 0 LBA bit.
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a b G Storage
June 18, 2009 10:28:00 PM

As long as you're well versed in using command lines (following exactly what's in that thread) you'll have no problem.
In fact I already had a RS232 to TTL cable ready (from the other hack jobs I do) and was ready to perform the fix in case any of my 7200.11 fall into either 0LBA or BSY error. Luckily I was able to update them all before it did.
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June 18, 2009 10:48:10 PM

so after all...please clarify for me that ,am i suppose to regenerate my partition and recover my data or not.....there is a command for it in that tutorial....

*********************************************************
Partition regeneration:
CODE
F3 T>m0,2,2,,,,,22 (enter)


For reference:
QUOTE
Level T 'm': Rev 0001.0000, Flash, FormatPartition, m[Partition],[FormatOpts],[DefectListOpts],[MaxWrRetryCnt],[MaxRdRetryCnt],[MaxEccTLevel],[MaxCertif
yTrkRewrites],[ValidKey]

*********************************************************

what should i do?

Thanks
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June 18, 2009 11:14:53 PM

Yeah, follow all the commands you need to type in that post. The m0,2,2,,,,,22 command is one of them. The partition regeneration should not harm your data, it just merely makes it accessible again.

When you have typed all the commands, your drive should be de-bricked and should behave like a normal working drive again. So you can just access your data normally after that by plugging it back into your main computer like you would with a normal hard drive. There is no need to recover your data as your data will show up as your drive is now a working drive again. Just remember to back up your data before you next shut down your computer.
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June 18, 2009 11:26:31 PM

sorry for asking too much..I`m newbie in this case..i don't want to lose my data...
how many percents is possible to damage my data as result of missing steps or the cabling or other devices not working properly?

thanks again for your kind support
Joopin

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June 18, 2009 11:43:33 PM

From what I've heard, a mistyped command usually doesn't do any harm. Though it is still very easy to destroy your data if you do something wrong. If you go through the commands in the correct order you should be fine. Just keep calm and make sure you double or even triple-check what you are doing. The vast majority of cases from those who have posted over there are successful.

In the case of the devices not working properly, that should be avoided if you do the loopback test, because if that is successful, then the RS232 to TTL adaptor should be working.
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