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Do Seek errors mean your hard drive is dammaged beyond repair?

Posted on 2007-03-22
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Last Modified: 2013-12-01
HDAT2 is was chosen to attempt to repair a 40 Gig Segate Hard disk after Sea Tools zero write low level format was unsuccessful (basically the Sea Tools low level format or zero write would hang and not complete) The program would try first to verify a sector and report seek failed. Then the program would attempt to write to that same sector and report Unknown error, then it would again try to verify that sector and report Seek failed.

Partition Magic was also used to try to fix the drive. Just as the format of the drive would complete Partition Magic would report error number 1551 "Partition FULL", file 0(0)

Spin Write reported the folllowing error: Critical error with verification of ability to read and write to drive, due to Hardware of firmware (Bios) Trouble (Recommend update of Bios)

Is the course recommended feasable do Bios effect the function of HD is it possible to update the firmware of a Segate Hard Drive.

Or is this hard drive simply toast??

We tried to remove the two partions on the Hard Drive with fdisk and when we would look again at the drive the partitions were still there. Even though we properly went through the steps in fdisk to remove the partitions.

We tried alternate hard drives in the computer and were successful at formatting and loading an operating system, however all of our available hard drives were too small for use and we want to recover the 40 gig hard drive.

Your comments and questions are welcome
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Question by:TomStarich
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by:PUNKY
PUNKY earned 200 total points
ID: 18776601
If there is important data on that drive, use knoppix or ubcd to try copying off data.

http://www.knoppix.net/
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

Hard drive is nowaday cheap, you might get new one bigger capacity, though.
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by:PUNKY
ID: 18776605
And recovery data: http://www.getdataback.com
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by:TomStarich
ID: 18776682
No important data is on the hard drive at this point. Thank you for your concern and great first suggestions.
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by:kode99
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ID: 18777134
I would try the spinrite with the drive connected via a USB adapter or enclosure and/or try it in a different machine.  Also try a different drive cable.

As Punky suggests though,  a new drive is pretty inexpensive and may save a lot of time, either now or down the road.  Even if you can clean it up with spinrite I am guessing it is a fairly old drive.  I tend not to ever trust a drive once it has come up with a lot of errors.  Age does not help to inspire any confidence either.
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by:TomStarich
ID: 18777277
We have established the drive cable is ok, by using it with other drives. We have swapped in different drives and the cable is functioning ok on the other drives.

I would not be the guy to turn down help from someone however and not try what they say however. Thank you very much for joining the thread.

I don't have a USB external hard drive so we cannot try that tonight. Tommorrow we may be able to borrow one. Spinrite has been tried with the following outcome said Critical faiure with verification of ability to read and write to drive due to hardware or firmware bios trouble. That makes your suggestion to try in another computer with a different bios a great idea. We can do that.

I looked on the segate site for any kind of firmware upgrades and saw none.
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nobus earned 200 total points
ID: 18778236
Did you do all the tests to the drive on the same system? it can be bad too, so try on another system, just to be sure.
If still problems, i would say it is a dead drive (and honestly, i do not understand why you put in so much effort for an old drive) - buy a new one
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by:huwgomez
ID: 18778527
In my experience drives in this condition can be recovered, have done it a few times with various bits of software but its not worth the time as they never last once thy have had problems, Most of the time thy dont seem to last more than a few months before developing problems again,

I would suggest the same as most of the posts here, that you buy another drive rather than repair this 1 and maybe get problems and loose data a few months down the line.
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by:TomStarich
ID: 18780104
I need to continue to try to find a solution because my brother is too cheap to buy a new drive. I think he is waiting for me or someone on experts exchange to buy him a drive in frustration..

He lives in an area of Michigan that is as poor as a third world country, Time is an asset Jobs pay $6.50 and hour. He developed these skills of fixing everything and buying little or nothing and is generally handy at everything.

His habbit of not spending money enabled him to wire and pumb and restore a house from a burt out house repair his own vehicles and kill deer and live off the land.

We have  tried to run Sea Tools last night, it identifies many bad sectors and tries to identify data to recover and then hangs..

Keeping the cabinet full of dog food for his dog is a higher priority than a computer. I am suprised he has electricity. The headlines this moring read  a 20 year old guy was arrested is Superior for having sexual conduct with a dead dear.

The closest walgreens or Walmart is an hour away. Saving this Hard Drive has been more for the challenge for me than anything else. I am getting closer to buying him a new hard drive just so some of my vacation is saved from this struggle. Oh I am sorry to report the bathroom has no hand wash sink, when they do wash its in the kitchen sink where they do the dishes. Yikes. no kidding Any way were going to drive to Rhinelander today I need some medicine for my mental illness and a hard drive to end this crazyness.
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by:TomStarich
ID: 18780215
I am happy to report the Sea Tools for Dos zero fill is progressing teh LBA was 1280 and now the number has moved up to 1792. I am ready to award the points for all your kind assitance but will keep the post open for a little while longer to let you know what happens. No way critical information would ever go in this drive if it gets working if it were mine.
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by:nobus
ID: 18780726
you can also try spinrite - can help :
http://www.grc.com/spinrite.htm      
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by:TomStarich
ID: 18783600
We are running a version of Sea Tools doing a zero write its been running since 8 am this morning and now it is about 6 pm. The LBA reads at 8704 sadly not even 1% complete. I looked for more information and it seems that there are cable select type ribbons and non cable select type ribbons. Does anyone know the difference between these and how to determine which is correct for this drive. Presently the drive is jumpered as a single Master drive and is on the end of the ribbon. The hard drive is a Model ST340014A during the seat tools test we did see a diagnostic error code at one point that said error 40h. Also what does LBA refer too.
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by:PUNKY
PUNKY earned 200 total points
ID: 18783646
LBA: Logical block addressing
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_block_addressing

Cable Select is an alternate method to using the Master/Slave jumpers for identifying the Master or Slave device on ATA/ATAPI systems. All Seagate ATA drives can be configured for either Cable Select or Master/Slave with jumper settings, but not both simultaneously. Additionally, if there are two devices on an ATA channel/cable, both devices must use either Cable Select or Master/Slave settings.


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by:TomStarich
ID: 18797272
We gave up in frustration, declared the hard drive as toast, Kaput.. worthless. We opened the hard drive only to find the read / write head would not move out on the disk unless the little grey-black arm was moved slightly while it was running. In the end the hard drive never read / wrote and after we opened it up it was no longer recognized by the system.. Were looking for a new hard drive. Good thing there was no data - we would have never gotton it back.
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