Problem with Adaptec 39160 SCSI Controller and Hitachi U320 Disk

Gents, I fall upon your feet as a humble fool looking for help in an area of storage I know little about.

I have been given the task of erasing some Hitachi IC35L146UCDY10-0 disks which are 146Gb 80 pin Ultra320 SCSI-SSA Drives.

What I have is
1) An Adaptec 39160 Ultra160 controller, which is 68pin
2) A number of SCA80 80pin->68pin converter plugs
3) A 68pin SCSI ribbon cable which has a terminator at the end.
4) Windows 7 32bit

When I boot the PC the Adaptec controller correctly identifies the disk and it spins up. If I enter "Device Manager" within windows both the SCSI controller and disk show up. In the case of the diagnostics below the disk shows as Bus Number 0, Target ID2, LUN 0 and I can see all the information about the disk type, capacity etc etc.

However if I look in the System Event Log there are lots of "errors" and here is an example

Under General Tab
The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Scsi\adpu160m1.


Details/Event Data
\Device\Scsi\adpu160m1
   0F00100001000000000000000B0004C0245000C1000000000100000000000000000000000000000000000000020000000000000005000000



Binary data:


In Words

0000: 0010000F 00000001 00000000 C004000B
0008: C1005024 00000000 00000001 00000000
0010: 00000000 00000000 00000000 00000002
0018: 00000000 00000005  


In Bytes

0000: 0F 00 10 00 01 00 00 00   ........
0008: 00 00 00 00 0B 00 04 C0   .......À
0010: 24 50 00 C1 00 00 00 00   $P.Á....
0018: 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00   ........
0020: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00   ........
0028: 00 00 00 00 02 00 00 00   ........
0030: 00 00 00 00 05 00 00 00   ........

If I try to use utilities such as KillDisk or DBAN they report "ERROR (1117 ) unable to read sector 0". If I use the Adaptec SCSI BIOS utility or the Hitachi Drive Fitness utility then I can erase the drive.

I doubt that all the disks are at fault ( have tried about 24 so far ) but am lost as to what my issue might be and wonder if it's a combination of my other components.

Looking for any suggestions!

Thanks in advance

Mark
RibTimeAsked:
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DavidPresidentCommented:
Well first and foremost, are you 100% sure you have a SSA disk?  SSA "speaks" SCSI, and they made some disks with a SCA connector, but they are NOT compatible with that controller.   You need a SSA controller, like IBM's or a pathlight if you can find it.

Of course, it may be a moot point now, I would be surprised if you didn't fry the I/O interface
-----------

Let's now assume that these are really SCSI disks with a SCA connector.
As a sanity check, you had better make sure that DFT & the adaptec BIOS actually erased the disks.  

Now to erase the disk, no reads are necessary unless you are running a destruction for compliance reasons, like the Dod 5220.M method.  I do not know the internals of Hitachi's DFT, so my assumption is that you just kicked off an erase, rather than a erase followed up with a full media verify.    You can certainly have a bad block survive a format.
If you are running DFT from within Windows7, then perhaps it just has a bug and would be better off running under XP?  

Since killdisk/DBAN blew up reading block zero, then did they give up and terminate, or did they crank on for an hour or so?

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RibTimeAuthor Commented:
diethe

Thank you for taking the time to reply.

The attached picture shows one of the disks and hopefully the label shows you the information your after. The adapter, in the picture, is attached to the disk when it's removed from the caddy. Once removed it reveals a 80pin SCSI connector for which I attach the SCA80 adapter to allow connection to the 68pin SCSI controller.

DBAN fails straight away and I've looked at the logs but can' ascertain the failure reason. KillDisk will run but the time to finish is a very large number and clearly incorrect, I guess due to the inability to write to the drive.

Regards

Mark
Disk---Adapter.jpg
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RibTimeAuthor Commented:
diethe

Thankyou for taking the time to reply.

The attached picture shows one of the disks and hopefully the label shows you the information your after. The adapter, in the picture, is attached to the disk when it's removed from the caddy. Once removed it reveals a 80pin SCSI connector for which I attach the SCA80 adapter to allow connection to the 68pin SCSI controller.

DBAN fails straight away and I've looked at the logs but can' ascertain the failure reason. KillDisk will run but the time to finish is a very large number and clearly incorrect, I guess due to the inability to write to the drive.


Disk---Adapter.jpg
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DavidPresidentCommented:
Yup.  You have a SSA disk, which is NOT the same as SCSI, and not the same as SAS.  SSA even predates fibre channel (which IBM also invented, but IBM made some stupid licensing blunders, otherwise everybody would know of SSA and nobody would have heard of fibre channel).

This explains everything.  None of the software you have will work.

So your practical choice are:
1. Dispose of the disks responsibly via a media destruction company.
2. Obtain software & controller, and drivers, but you are not going to have a lot of luck.  SSA uses a different interconnect as you can see .. that daughter board is necessary.  
3.  Hook them up to whatever system you had before (Most likely an IBM AIX machine), and write a program to blow them away, but only if that machine used the JBOD SSA and not one of the RAID controllers.
4.  Hire somebody to knows what they are doing and has the equipment.   I actually may have a controller with Win2K drivers, so if you must do it, contact me offline, but I question the practicality of doing this.   The reason is that those disks are almost 10 years old, and you may have fried them.  The Dumps you got are probably due to programming bugs in the software you used to read them.   I doubt whether the authors of DBAN or killdisk have ever seen a SSA disk, let alone written drivers/diagnostics for them like I have.

So bottom line, your best bet is to hire a company to turn them into small metal shavings.
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RibTimeAuthor Commented:
Very fast response to my question, many thanks
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RibTimeAuthor Commented:
diethe

Not sure how to get to you offline.

As it happens I have another 170 of these disks, which were in an IBM Shark box. A company I deal with asked me if I could help them out erasing the customers data before they tried to sell them on as either a complete box, groups of 8 or even single disks.

I'd still like to know more about how I could do this so can you drop me an email ( m a r k @ ecc- limited .c o m ).

thanks again

Mark
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DavidPresidentCommented:
For benefits of others, the Shark confirms it. That was a storage appliance built upon IBM AIX servers, some specialized bridge technology, and IBM SSA JBOD. IBM expected it to be an EMC killer.   It didn't turn out that way.  I'll contact you directly, Mark. My profile has an email address where you can get me, but it is not my "regular" address because we all hate spam.
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