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Two identical Seagate 160gb HD's - One only reports 32 gb. Baffled!!

Posted on 2004-09-15
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I have two Seagate ST3160023A hard disks on my system. One is recognized by the mainboard (Gigabyte 8KNXP) BIOS normally, the other as having a capacity of only 31.8 gb's!!

I have tried this on 4 different systems, and always the same story. I have tried OnTrack Disk Manager and created 5 partitions that seemed to work in DOS. However, upon loading Linux, the partitions beyond 32 gb's were reported as faulty and never accessible - nor correctable by the Mandrake 10 installation means.

I am completely baffled and will be very happy if I could find a solution.

PS: Are the eproms on these Seagates programmable by the user?
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Question by:Shrink_EmDee
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by:LimeSMJ
ID: 12072302
Sounds like you have the jumper setup wrong on the "32GB" drive...

http://www.seagate.com/support/disc/ata/st3160023a.html

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by:cofneverlivetotell
ID: 12072510
Either your jumper is not set properly, or your motherboard cant cope with 320Gb of hdd

Cheers
Cof
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by:Julian Hansen
ID: 12072733
What happens if you try them individually in the system?
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by:Shrink_EmDee
ID: 12074366
The jumpers are set properly.. the "32 gb" drive reports its geometry wrong.
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by:Julian Hansen
ID: 12074411
If you put the "32 GB" drive on its own as the only drive (master) what is it reported as?
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kronostm earned 500 total points
ID: 12074633
Shrink_EmDee ..... if both drives are exactly the same and you've tested in the same conditions and one is giving you headiches, then it's OBVIOS that it has problems.
I guess you've tried each drive alone on the cable. If opne is reported correctly by BIOS and the other is not, then RMA it w/o question.
However, if the  problem isn't in BIOS but some partitioning software reports, then the situation changes.
Please enlighten us a bit with some answers to my questions.
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by:crazijoe
ID: 12075837
I would download Seagate Seatools utility and run it against the problem drive to check it.

http://www.seagate.com/support/seatools/
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Author Comment

by:Shrink_EmDee
ID: 12076931
@kronostm:
Thanks for the reply.. I'm thinking more along the lines that the CHS table in he HD CMOS got stuck somehow before it reached me. (It was a grant to my dept. thus can not be RMA'd)

I tried Seatools - it reports everything correctly, except the CHS details. All diags OK.

I can adjust the BIOS parameters to CHS 19457/255/63 with pre:0 and LZ:65534 as I've seen them from the other identical drive - and thus achieve a near-normal use.
BUT: It is a forced solution, and the mainboard (Gigabyte 8KNXP - latest BIOS) bypasses it in the POST screen as it is not set to 'auto'. However, the drive remains visible to XP. (go figure, eh?)

This drive will function under Linux as a dept. CVS server and it is vital that it's properly configured. I'm not that familiar with Linux anyway, I can manage out-of-the-box installations, but nothing fancy.

I must make the correct CHS stick to the drive's memory somehow. I have written to Seagate support , doubt if they come up with anything useful, though..

My sincere thanks to you all posting replies here.. I'm sure we'll get this sorted out.
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Author Comment

by:Shrink_EmDee
ID: 12076967
Addendum: The drive sits on the (otherwise unoccupied) 'single primary master' IDE channel. All jumpers off except 'CS'. I boot from the SATA drive.

This drive will not be used by this machine. I had to connect it temporarily to sort this problem out.
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by:LimeSMJ
ID: 12078408
Check to see if jumper pin 1 and pin 2 are connected (or bent) since this drive has a 32GB limiter if those pins are jumpered.
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Author Comment

by:Shrink_EmDee
ID: 12081699
Let's think more along the lines of reprogramming the drive parameters. I got a feeling that where it's at..

Update: The drive was not accessible like I mentioned before using forced geometry. It wouldn't format, though the Partition manager seemingly partitioned a 152.5 GB drive. OS was XP SP-2.
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by:crazijoe
ID: 12083566
<It wouldn't format, though the Partition manager seemingly partitioned a 152.5 GB drive. OS was XP SP-2.>

When you tried to format it, did it stop in the middle of formatting?
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Expert Comment

by:Sixtech
ID: 12088699
Hello,

Go to www.seagate.com and download discwizard starter edition. This is an diskette creator program. You will need two floppies.
Once you have the floppies boot to #1 then #2 when asked.
If it starts a install process - exit to main menu and choose Utilities.
In utilities choose - zero fill - then zero fill quick on the drive in question. when done it will send you to the main menu again.
Choose utilities again - then choose set drive size.
Choose the recommended lba size and then next.

You should be able to partition the full size now.

Hope this helps
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Author Comment

by:Shrink_EmDee
ID: 12091284
Finally the problem solved itself - the Seagate ST3160023A disintegrated itself making a big racket. Triggered the thermal fuse on my Enermax 650W PSU, as well. You all came up with great ideas, but I must pick one as to close this thread. I believe kronostm came up with a suggestion which proved to be correct later on. It was not a solution, but such is life - sometimes the approach matters as well.

Thanks to you all, chalk one up for experience..

Cheers.
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