Can I recover data from a "Primary Hard Disk Fail"

Discussion in 'Storage Devices' started by ByteLess, Aug 12, 2003.

  1. ByteLess

    ByteLess Guest

    Hi,
    I have a WD75DA 7.5GB HDD that the system boot says "no fixed disk
    present".
    The system (PIII - 64MB sdram - Win98SE) halted whilst transferring data.
    I have tried <fdisk /mbr>and swapped the HDD into another machine.
    CMOS auto-detect recognises the HDD yet the system boot says "primary hard
    disk fail".
    The HDD runs up fine and has never emitted any 'unusual drive noise'.
    Assuming the HDD is shot, what processes can I investigate to recover some
    of the files on this HDD?
    (its principal purpose in my machine was as a storage for CD burning
    archive data - I do need to recover the last 5 days of work)
    I am thinking there has to be some low level software that will look at the
    data and allow it to be copied?

    Than You.
     
    ByteLess, Aug 12, 2003
    #1
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  2. ByteLess

    Leo Guest

    "Rod Speed" <> wrote in message news:<bhbr5k$10g27m$-berlin.de>...
    > > CMOS auto-detect recognises the HDD yet
    > > the system boot says "primary hard disk fail".

    >
    > > The HDD runs up fine and has never emitted any 'unusual drive noise'.

    >
    >
    > See what the manufacturer's diagnostic has to say about
    > the drive. If it says its dead, you might be able to get the data
    > back by swapping the logic card from an identical model drive.


    Such malfunction of the logic card is a very rare case. In this case
    problems with HDD's system area are most probable. Some firmware
    modules, which rewrite during work (SMART tables etc.). It can be
    checked up by swapping the logic card.

    Leonid
     
    Leo, Aug 14, 2003
    #2
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  3. ByteLess

    ByteLess Guest

    On Wed, 13 Aug 2003 08:53:52 +1000, "Rod Speed" <>
    wrote:

    >
    >ByteLess <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >
    >> I have a WD75DA 7.5GB HDD that the
    >> system boot says "no fixed disk present".

    >
    >> The system (PIII - 64MB sdram - Win98SE) halted whilst transferring data.
    >> I have tried <fdisk /mbr>and swapped the HDD into another machine.

    >
    >> CMOS auto-detect recognises the HDD yet
    >> the system boot says "primary hard disk fail".

    >
    >> The HDD runs up fine and has never emitted any 'unusual drive noise'.

    >
    >> Assuming the HDD is shot, what processes can
    >> I investigate to recover some of the files on this HDD?

    >
    >See what the manufacturer's diagnostic has to say about
    >the drive. If it says its dead, you might be able to get the data
    >back by swapping the logic card from an identical model drive.
    >

    Thanks for the response Rod, I followed up by:
    Running Western Digitals "Lifeguard Diags" for drives under 137GB (EIDE).
    Rebooting with Win98se DOS disk.

    I have also obtained the later Ver. 10 of this diagnostic tool/s.
    I have also written to WD,, buut from past experience I will not be holding
    my breath waiting for a response (any).

    Interestingly enough the BIOS will not boot beyond "primary hard disk fail"
    until I tell the CMOS there is no HDD mounted. This remains the same for
    either a DOS boot or using the LGDiags image boot disk.

    DRFAT32 from the LG image boot, reports on booting A:\
    "no valid FAT32 drive found".

    The diagnostic returned Codes 0000 on both the "Quick Check" and "Extended
    Check".
    0000 is "no errors found".
    This, after finding the drive and relaying its info.
    The extended check did a type of "scandisk" taking about 5mins to complete.

    If I have this right (?) the diagnostic is telling me there are no physical
    errors on the drive , however the FAT is destroyed/unreadable.
    Past experience has seen errors where there are two copies of the FAT seen
    on a HDD boot with the WIndows DOS boot asking which the operator wants to
    use -I always have gone for the default.
    As this HDD is not even getting to the DMI update part of the BIOS boot
    then I am having trouble getting my head around the obvious message that
    the BIOS cannot read the drive table
    (yet the architecture is seen in CMOS auto-detect)
    and therefore fails to recognise the drive on booting.
    This, I cannot understand.
    Like, the BIOS has stuff all say in what FAT will be used on any HDD..yeh?
    Also remembering I swapped this HDD out to another machine with a foreign
    (to original) BIOS so how the heck can a FAT be universal to all BIOS..bets
    me !

    I am now convinced the HDD is more likely quite OK in respect of data
    retention and physical order. Simply a matter of unlocking the door on the
    boot sector.
    Question is, How does one get the key? <g>

    Care to speculate ? ;-)

    Cheers

    ______________________________________________________

    feedback from LifeGuard Diags Tool

    Mod # : WD75DA - 00AWA1
    Ser # : WD - WMA1J1533560
    Firmware Ver.: 07.21L07
    C H S : 15520 15 63
    Drive (0,1): 0 Port 0x01F0
    DCM : DRBEQHB
    Build Date : 24/08/00

    --------------------------------------------
     
    ByteLess, Aug 14, 2003
    #3
  4. ByteLess

    ByteLess Guest

    On 14 Aug 2003 03:27:54 -0700, (Leo) wrote:

    >"Rod Speed" <> wrote in message news:<bhbr5k$10g27m$-berlin.de>...
    >> > CMOS auto-detect recognises the HDD yet
    >> > the system boot says "primary hard disk fail".

    >>
    >> > The HDD runs up fine and has never emitted any 'unusual drive noise'.

    >>
    >>
    >> See what the manufacturer's diagnostic has to say about
    >> the drive. If it says its dead, you might be able to get the data
    >> back by swapping the logic card from an identical model drive.

    >
    >Such malfunction of the logic card is a very rare case. In this case
    >problems with HDD's system area are most probable. Some firmware
    >modules, which rewrite during work (SMART tables etc.). It can be
    >checked up by swapping the logic card.
    >

    Leo,
    I appreciate you are responding to Rods input but for the benefit of one
    who is not so in tune with the 'speak' could you expand your statements a
    little please?
    Maybe there is something there I can work with?

    Thanks
     
    ByteLess, Aug 14, 2003
    #4
  5. "Leo" <> wrote in message news:...
    > "Rod Speed" <> wrote in message news:<bhbr5k$10g27m$-berlin.de>...
    > > > CMOS auto-detect recognises the HDD yet
    > > > the system boot says "primary hard disk fail".

    > >
    > > > The HDD runs up fine and has never emitted any 'unusual drive noise'.

    > >
    > >
    > > See what the manufacturer's diagnostic has to say about
    > > the drive. If it says its dead, you might be able to get the data
    > > back by swapping the logic card from an identical model drive.

    >
    > Such malfunction of the logic card is a very rare case. In this case
    > problems with HDD's system area are most probable. Some firmware
    > modules, which rewrite during work (SMART tables etc.).


    First it is the Maxtors that overwrite the reserved area and now
    it is the Western Digitals? There must be a conspiricy going on!

    > It can be checked up by swapping the logic card.
    >
    > Leonid
     
    Folkert Rienstra, Aug 14, 2003
    #5
  6. ByteLess

    Rod Speed Guest

    ByteLess <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Rod Speed <> wrote
    >> ByteLess <> wrote


    >>> I have a WD75DA 7.5GB HDD that the
    >>> system boot says "no fixed disk present".


    >>> The system (PIII - 64MB sdram - Win98SE) halted whilst transferring data.
    >>> I have tried <fdisk /mbr>and swapped the HDD into another machine.


    >>> CMOS auto-detect recognises the HDD yet
    >>> the system boot says "primary hard disk fail".


    >>> The HDD runs up fine and has never emitted any 'unusual drive noise'.


    >>> Assuming the HDD is shot, what processes can
    >>> I investigate to recover some of the files on this HDD?


    >> See what the manufacturer's diagnostic has to say about
    >> the drive. If it says its dead, you might be able to get the data
    >> back by swapping the logic card from an identical model drive.


    > Thanks for the response Rod, I followed up by:
    > Running Western Digitals "Lifeguard Diags" for drives under 137GB (EIDE).
    > Rebooting with Win98se DOS disk.


    > I have also obtained the later Ver. 10 of this diagnostic tool/s.
    > I have also written to WD,, buut from past experience I
    > will not be holding my breath waiting for a response (any).


    Yeah, most likely they'll just say that since their diagnostic says
    the drive is fine, that whatever appears to have scrambled the
    data on the drive is nothing to do with them, even if they do reply.

    They'd be right if thats what they say.

    > Interestingly enough the BIOS will not boot beyond "primary hard disk fail"
    > until I tell the CMOS there is no HDD mounted. This remains the same for
    > either a DOS boot or using the LGDiags image boot disk.


    Yeah, in some situations there can be a real mess config
    data wise and that can prevent the boot from happening.

    Can you put the drive in another system as a slave
    drive ? That may allow you to boot and run something
    to recover the data on the drive like R-Studio etc.

    > DRFAT32 from the LG image boot, reports on booting A:\
    > "no valid FAT32 drive found".


    > The diagnostic returned Codes 0000 on both
    > the "Quick Check" and "Extended Check".
    > 0000 is "no errors found".
    > This, after finding the drive and relaying its info.
    > The extended check did a type of "scandisk" taking about 5mins to complete.


    Thats a pretty good indication that there isnt anything physically wrong
    with the drive, just the data structures have got scrambled somehow.

    > If I have this right (?) the diagnostic is telling me there are no physical
    > errors on the drive , however the FAT is destroyed/unreadable.


    Correct.

    > Past experience has seen errors where there are two copies of the
    > FAT seen on a HDD boot with the WIndows DOS boot asking which
    > the operator wants to use -I always have gone for the default.


    Have you seen that much ? With that particular hard drive ?

    > As this HDD is not even getting to the DMI update part of the
    > BIOS boot then I am having trouble getting my head around the
    > obvious message that the BIOS cannot read the drive table
    > (yet the architecture is seen in CMOS auto-detect)
    > and therefore fails to recognise the drive on booting.
    > This, I cannot understand.


    There's a number of possibilitys. There is some geometry
    info in the MBR and if the MBR gets clobbered somehow,
    so its got bad data in it, the bios can get royally confused
    when it trys to use the bad data assuming its valid data.

    > Like, the BIOS has stuff all say in what
    > FAT will be used on any HDD..yeh?


    Yes, but it does use whats in the MBR to work out
    what partitions are on the drive and which one to boot.
    It can get rather confused if that MBR has bad data in it.

    > Also remembering I swapped this HDD out to another
    > machine with a foreign (to original) BIOS so how the
    > heck can a FAT be universal to all BIOS..bets me !


    All the bios is doing at that stage is looking at the partition
    table in the MBR, deciding which is the active partition that
    needs to be booted from, without knowing anything about
    how to boot from it. The boot sector of the bootable
    partition has a tiny fragment of code that looks after
    actually booting the partition and its that code that has
    to know how to boot the partition. Thats written to the
    boot sector of the partition at format time normally.

    > I am now convinced the HDD is more likely quite
    > OK in respect of data retention and physical order.


    Yes, no evidence that its dead or dying.

    > Simply a matter of unlocking the door on the boot sector.


    Yes.

    > Question is, How does one get the key? <g>


    > Care to speculate ? ;-)


    You should be able to rebuild the boot sector.
    Hopefully Joep or Svend or both will comment.
    They both have tools for that sort of thing.

    > ______________________________________________________
    >
    > feedback from LifeGuard Diags Tool
    >
    > Mod # : WD75DA - 00AWA1
    > Ser # : WD - WMA1J1533560
    > Firmware Ver.: 07.21L07
    > C H S : 15520 15 63
    > Drive (0,1): 0 Port 0x01F0
    > DCM : DRBEQHB
    > Build Date : 24/08/00
    >
    > --------------------------------------------
     
    Rod Speed, Aug 14, 2003
    #6
  7. ByteLess

    Rod Speed Guest

    Leo <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Rod Speed <> wrote


    >>> CMOS auto-detect recognises the HDD yet
    >>> the system boot says "primary hard disk fail".


    >>> The HDD runs up fine and has never emitted any 'unusual drive noise'.


    >> See what the manufacturer's diagnostic has to say about
    >> the drive. If it says its dead, you might be able to get the data
    >> back by swapping the logic card from an identical model drive.


    > Such malfunction of the logic card is a very rare case.


    Bullshit.

    > In this case problems with HDD's system area are most probable.


    More bullshit.

    > Some firmware modules, which rewrite during work (SMART
    > tables etc.). It can be checked up by swapping the logic card.
     
    Rod Speed, Aug 14, 2003
    #7
  8. ByteLess

    Leo Guest

    "Folkert Rienstra" <> wrote in message news:<bhgj6m$ikfi$-berlin.de>...

    > First it is the Maxtors that overwrite the reserved area and now
    > it is the Western Digitals? There must be a conspiricy going on!
    >

    It also is typical for Fujitsu, in case of malfunction CL-SH8671, and
    in some cases for Quantum. WD - only for model AA and newer. For
    Fujitsu and Maxtors, for example, it is the reason more than 50%
    references in data recovery service.

    2ByteLess:
    You can check your HDD with any non-destructive surface test, for
    example with http://www.alkor.ru/~00115800/HDDTEST.ZIP. If there will
    not be any good sectors, my diagnosis most likely is true.
    Publicly accessible tools for correction of this malfunction does not
    exist (if it really defect in firmware), it is necessary to address to
    data recovery professionals.
    HDD's PCB most likely is good, because the spindle turns also you can
    see the correct name of model and serial number.

    2Rod Speed:
    Your version of diagnosis?

    Leonid
     
    Leo, Aug 15, 2003
    #8
  9. ByteLess

    Rod Speed Guest

    Leo <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Folkert Rienstra <> wrote


    >> First it is the Maxtors that overwrite the reserved area and now
    >> it is the Western Digitals? There must be a conspiricy going on!


    > It also is typical for Fujitsu, in case of malfunction CL-SH8671,
    > and in some cases for Quantum. WD - only for model AA and
    > newer. For Fujitsu and Maxtors, for example, it is the reason
    > more than 50% references in data recovery service.


    > 2ByteLess:
    > You can check your HDD with any non-destructive surface test, for
    > example with http://www.alkor.ru/~00115800/HDDTEST.ZIP. If there will
    > not be any good sectors, my diagnosis most likely is true.
    > Publicly accessible tools for correction of this malfunction does not
    > exist (if it really defect in firmware), it is necessary to address to
    > data recovery professionals.
    > HDD's PCB most likely is good, because the spindle turns also you can
    > see the correct name of model and serial number.


    > 2Rod Speed:
    > Your version of diagnosis?


    That this latest is nothing like your original
    'Such malfunction of the logic card is a very rare case'
     
    Rod Speed, Aug 15, 2003
    #9
  10. ByteLess

    ByteLess Guest

    On Fri, 15 Aug 2003 04:30:53 +1000, "Rod Speed" <>
    wrote:

    >
    >Leo <> wrote in message

    snipt
    >
    >> Such malfunction of the logic card is a very rare case.

    >
    >Bullshit.
    >

    I thought so too, hence the thrust of my response.

    >> In this case problems with HDD's system area are most probable.

    >
    >More bullshit.
    >

    I detest doing "I agree with that" posts, however in the vein of trying to
    disseminate misinformation I have to say IAWT so as to preserve the
    integrity of method research into any future problems,,, for others.

    /me turns the cap around (brim to front)

    </geekdom>
     
    ByteLess, Aug 15, 2003
    #10
  11. "ByteLess" <> wrote in message news:...
    > On Wed, 13 Aug 2003 08:53:52 +1000, "Rod Speed" <> wrote:
    >
    > >
    > >ByteLess <> wrote in message news:...
    > >
    > >> I have a WD75DA 7.5GB HDD that the system boot says "no fixed disk present".


    Presumably, *after* you excluded it from being bound by the BIOS.

    > >
    > >> The system (PIII - 64MB sdram - Win98SE) halted whilst transferring data.
    > >> I have tried <fdisk /mbr>and swapped the HDD into another machine.

    > >
    > >> CMOS auto-detect recognises the HDD yet
    > >> the system boot says "primary hard disk fail".


    Uhh, wouldn't that be a POST message?

    > >
    > >> The HDD runs up fine and has never emitted any 'unusual drive noise'.

    > >
    > >> Assuming the HDD is shot, what processes can
    > >> I investigate to recover some of the files on this HDD?

    > >
    > >See what the manufacturer's diagnostic has to say about
    > >the drive. If it says its dead, you might be able to get the data
    > >back by swapping the logic card from an identical model drive.
    > >

    > Thanks for the response Rod, I followed up by:
    > Running Western Digitals "Lifeguard Diags" for drives under 137GB (EIDE).
    > Rebooting with Win98se DOS disk.
    >
    > I have also obtained the later Ver. 10 of this diagnostic tool/s.
    > I have also written to WD, but from past experience I will not be holding
    > my breath waiting for a response (any).
    >
    > Interestingly enough the BIOS will not boot beyond "primary hard disk fail"
    > until I tell the CMOS there is no HDD mounted.


    Presumably you meant that you excluded the drive from being included
    in the device list, i.e. no BIOS (Int13) support: "no fixed disk present".

    > This remains the same for either a DOS boot or using the LGDiags image
    > boot disk.
    >
    > DRFAT32 from the LG image boot, reports on booting A:\
    > "no valid FAT32 drive found".
    >
    > The diagnostic returned Codes 0000 on both the "Quick Check" and "Extended
    > Check".
    > 0000 is "no errors found".
    > This, after finding the drive and relaying its info.
    > The extended check did a type of "scandisk" taking about 5mins to complete.
    >
    > If I have this right (?) the diagnostic is telling me there are no physical
    > errors on the drive , however the FAT is destroyed/unreadable.


    Not that I found in what you reported. Apparently the bios POST did a small
    test that the drive failed. That small test *may* just be a read to (what better)
    sector 0 to see if the drive is functional and fit for BIOS inclusion.

    > Past experience has seen errors where there are two copies of the FAT seen
    > on a HDD boot with the Windows DOS boot asking which the operator wants to
    > use -I always have gone for the default.


    AFAICT, it doesn't get that far.

    > As this HDD is not even getting to the DMI update part of the BIOS boot
    > then I am having trouble getting my head around


    > the obvious message that the BIOS cannot read the drive table


    Obvious? And what "drive table" ?

    > (yet the architecture is seen in CMOS auto-detect)
    > and therefore fails to recognise the drive on booting.
    > This, I cannot understand.


    It could just be a bug in the bios code.

    > Like, the BIOS has stuff all say in what FAT will be used on any HDD..yeh?


    Not that I know of. The BIOS is OS independent.

    > Also remembering I swapped this HDD out to another machine with a foreign
    > (to original) BIOS so how the heck can a FAT be universal to all BIOS..bets me !


    It doesn't care.

    >
    > I am now convinced the HDD is more likely quite OK in respect of data
    > retention and physical order.


    > Simply a matter of unlocking the door on the boot sector.


    If it is the bootsector that is causing the problem.
    I would expect the WD diagnostic to have found a problem if it was.

    > Question is, How does one get the key? <g>


    That may be a bit difficult without destroying your data.
    Most software to only clear the bootsector requires the drive to be seen in
    BIOS. Most mfgr utilities that don't require BIOS will clear the whole drive.

    >
    > Care to speculate ? ;-)
    >
    > Cheers
    >
    > ______________________________________________________
    >
    > feedback from LifeGuard Diags Tool
    >
    > Mod # : WD75DA - 00AWA1
    > Ser # : WD - WMA1J1533560
    > Firmware Ver.: 07.21L07
    > C H S : 15520 15 63
    > Drive (0,1): 0 Port 0x01F0
    > DCM : DRBEQHB
    > Build Date : 24/08/00
    >
    > --------------------------------------------
     
    Folkert Rienstra, Aug 15, 2003
    #11
  12. "ByteLess" <> wrote in message news:...
    > On Thu, 14 Aug 2003 20:05:24 +0200, "Folkert Rienstra" <> wrote:
    >
    >
    > >
    > >First it is the Maxtors that overwrite the reserved area and now
    > >it is the Western Digitals? There must be a conspiricy going on!
    > >

    > FWIW,, I'll throw in (here) that essentially I blame myself completely for
    > this (problem). It is policy with any machine I setup to protect the write
    > to the MBR in the BIOS.


    Unfortunately, that is not what he (and I) meant.
    The reserved area is where the extended firmware is (used to be) located
    that has the full functionality and is loaded after spinup whereas the flash
    eprom located firmware has only to deal with the drive not yet spun-up.
    It also has a scratch area for the startup diagnostic and a logging area for
    errors and such, logical to physical block address translating tables inclu-
    ding bad block tables and of course the identification and setup sector.

    > Strangely for my own personal backup machine (on this occasion) I had not
    > turned this back on after the last image write for the HDD involved.
    > I have been caught before,,it seems the lesson is still not lodged in the
    > genes ! ? :- )
    > As the solution develops I am seeing that such an oversight may well have
    > not saved confusing the BIOS boot data on the HDD as I am getting the
    > picture the sectors that now contain corrupt data (possibly) are outside
    > of the write protect area in the MBR anyway?
    > Does not change the fact I goofed.
    >
    > BTW,, I have no doubt here IS a conspiracy,, one to "neither confirm nor
    > deny" <snigger>
    >
    > cheers
    >
     
    Folkert Rienstra, Aug 15, 2003
    #12
  13. ByteLess

    Rod Speed Guest

    Leo <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Rod Speed <> wrote
    >> Leo <> wrote in message


    >>>>>>> CMOS auto-detect recognises the HDD yet
    >>>>>>> the system boot says "primary hard disk fail".


    >>>>>>> The HDD runs up fine and has never emitted any 'unusual drive noise'.


    >>>>>> See what the manufacturer's diagnostic has to say about
    >>>>>> the drive. If it says its dead, you might be able to get the data
    >>>>>> back by swapping the logic card from an identical model drive.


    >>>>> Such malfunction of the logic card is a very rare case. In this
    >>>>> case problems with HDD's system area are most probable.
    >>>>> Some firmware modules, which rewrite during work (SMART
    >>>>> tables etc.). It can be checked up by swapping the logic card.


    >>>> First it is the Maxtors that overwrite the reserved area and now
    >>>> it is the Western Digitals? There must be a conspiricy going on!


    >>> It also is typical for Fujitsu, in case of malfunction CL-SH8671,
    >>> and in some cases for Quantum. WD - only for model AA and
    >>> newer. For Fujitsu and Maxtors, for example, it is the reason
    >>> more than 50% references in data recovery service.


    >>> 2ByteLess:
    >>> You can check your HDD with any non-destructive surface test,
    >>> for example with http://www.alkor.ru/~00115800/HDDTEST.ZIP.
    >>> If there will not be any good sectors, my diagnosis most likely is
    >>> true. Publicly accessible tools for correction of this malfunction
    >>> does not exist (if it really defect in firmware), it is necessary to
    >>> address to data recovery professionals.


    >>> HDD's PCB most likely is good, because the spindle turns
    >>> also you can see the correct name of model and serial number.


    >>> 2Rod Speed:
    >>> Your version of diagnosis?


    >> That this latest is nothing like your original
    >> 'Such malfunction of the logic card is a very rare case'


    > OK, let will be not "rare", but "almost impossible" ;-)


    Still just plain wrong. And isnt even talking about the
    situation that I was clearly talking about anyway, WHEN THE
    MANUFACTURER'S DIAGNOSTIC SAYS THE DRIVE IS DEAD.

    > Sorry for my poor english.


    The problem isnt with the english.
     
    Rod Speed, Aug 16, 2003
    #13
  14. ByteLess

    ByteLess Guest

    On Sat, 16 Aug 2003 00:48:22 +0200, "Folkert Rienstra"
    <> wrote:


    >
    >Unfortunately, that is not what he (and I) meant.
    >The reserved area is where the extended firmware is (used to be) located
    >that has the full functionality and is loaded after spinup whereas the flash
    >eprom located firmware has only to deal with the drive not yet spun-up.
    >It also has a scratch area for the startup diagnostic and a logging area for
    >errors and such, logical to physical block address translating tables inclu-
    >ding bad block tables and of course the identification and setup sector.


    0h,, i c,,
    so the eprom is out of the equation simply by its inaccessibility both to
    us (fiddlers) and any OS.
    buuut the scratch area within the reserved area *_is_* accessible and
    would be the residence of corrupted logical to physical addresses
    (mapping).
    so ,, Who gets to play in that area ? Only the manufacturer?

    cheers
     
    ByteLess, Aug 17, 2003
    #14
  15. ByteLess

    ByteLess Guest

    On Fri, 15 Aug 2003 04:30:40 +1000, "Rod Speed" <>
    wrote:

    snipT
    >
    >> Interestingly enough the BIOS will not boot beyond "primary hard disk fail"
    >> until I tell the CMOS there is no HDD mounted. This remains the same for
    >> either a DOS boot or using the LGDiags image boot disk.

    >
    >Yeah, in some situations there can be a real mess config
    >data wise and that can prevent the boot from happening.
    >
    >Can you put the drive in another system as a slave
    >drive ? That may allow you to boot and run something
    >to recover the data on the drive like R-Studio etc.
    >

    ok,, this is one of those "Good News" posts that are a joy to put up as a
    thankyou for the contributions of all,, whatever that may be :- )
    it (info) all makes for expanding ones horizons ?
    </philosophy>

    The problem is solved with the HDD back in service with full functionality.
    How?
    I did as suggested and configured it as a slave.
    The BIOS still remained confused with the MBR data (as in) the POST didnt
    get past trying to recognise the drive/s.
    Figuring that as the drive was an 'older' style and knowing some of the ATX
    boards have problems seeing older drives I thought that maybe despite the
    fact the HDD originally came out of an ATX board it may stand a better
    chance of recognition with an older BIOS.
    I swapped it into a working AT setup as a slave and surprise surprise the
    BIOS (AMIBIOS DMI Ver 2.0 - 1995) found the drive and followed through into
    the system boot.
    The boot then displayed " no win.com found ..blah blah" so I figured it was
    the C:\ partition on the dodgy WD HDD that was being seen as "active"
    instead of the boot partition on IDE 0.
    I then ran scandisk with "no errors" and no changes to the FAT or any of
    those "lost file fragments" garbage messages.
    I checked the root partition and found ALL the original files intact but no
    sign of the extended partition (E:\) that held the work I was looking for.
    I ran PQMagic on the HDD and now got a response,, the dreaded #108 error.
    I took little heed of that.
    As it was obvious the WD HDD was 'booting' and looking for a Windows
    system I got another HDD and wrote the Windows image ( that the boot was
    looking for) to it and set up the WD HDD as IDE 0/Master with the 2nd HDD
    (D:\Windows) as slave.
    I should mention here that I keep all my 'builds' in PQDI format for ease
    of rewriting, it certainly paid off in this instance.
    On firing up the new config,, hey presto Windows started and began to
    reconfigure to the new shell. When config was complete I checked the tree
    and there was ALL the structure (both C:\ AND E:\) !
    I copied the files across to another system and set about checking the HDD
    to see if it would respond to some low level commands.
    I wont go into that part of it as we all know how to format and fdisk, what
    I wanted to mention (which I found interesting) was that until I deleted
    all partitions using fdisk and ran <format C> , PQMagic wouldnt respond
    with anything else other than Error #108.
    I wonder now how many HDDs have been tossed unnecessarily.
    The HDD was repartitioned using PQMagic and is now happily whirring along,
    no bad sectors, no hiccups when booting - a good result.

    Western Digital clammed up after my insistence on SOME support and no doubt
    in due course Management will offer some BS policy statement that we
    (consumers) are all to be aware of when considering buying their product.
    Nonetheless WD completely missed the point as to my intention to resurrect
    the HDD as there were no obvious errors and from my perspective, no
    tangible reason as to why there should be, defects.
    I look after my gear,, or try to :- )
    Western Digital OTOH do not intend to look after me (Joe Consumer) so its
    the last WD drive that graces my door - so to speak.

    IF the reader would bear with me just a few more lines I would like to take
    the opportunity to thank all those contributing - throughout c.c.i.p.h.s.
    Its information pools like these that will keep the Net alive and free from
    those purveyors of the PAY PAY PAY and keep PAYING ethic.
    My IT section costs a great deal of money to keep fluid and current and
    that is fine, its business. But I am damned if Corporations akin to the one
    involved on this occasion should be allowed to simply ignore their
    responsibility to the consumer and answer enquires with a request for a
    "Valid Credit Card" (to coin a phrase) , as a solution.
    They could oh so easily have responded with suggested methods as Rod put
    up, something to get me thinking, but no that would be helpful !

    UseNET Rules...OK :- )

    Thanks
     
    ByteLess, Aug 17, 2003
    #15
  16. In news:, ByteLess <> wrote:
    > On Sat, 16 Aug 2003 00:48:22 +0200, "Folkert Rienstra" <> wrote:
    >
    > >
    > > Unfortunately, that is not what he (and I) meant.
    > > The reserved area is where the extended firmware is (used to be) located
    > > that has the full functionality and is loaded after spinup whereas the flash
    > > eprom located firmware has only to deal with the drive not yet spun-up.
    > > It also has a scratch area for the startup diagnostic and a logging area for
    > > errors and such, logical to physical block address translating tables inclu-
    > > ding bad block tables and of course the identification and setup sector.

    >
    > 0h,, i c,,
    > so the eprom is out of the equation simply by its inaccessibility both to
    > us (fiddlers) and any OS.


    Not any more than the reserved area is, really ...
    Both are updated when you do a firmware flash update.
    (That's assuming that ondisk firmware is still used today, which I'm
    not totally sure about. When, with time, Flash eproms in their smallest available size grow faster in size than the firmware, then
    costcutting
    by using disk-memory in stead of flash-memory has lost it's usefulness)

    > but the scratch area within the reserved area *_is_* accessible


    To the firmware only.

    > and would be the residence of corrupted logical to physical addresses (mapping).


    No, they are not part of the scratch area. Scratch area is for R/W tests to see if
    the drive is functional.

    > so ,, Who gets to play in that area ? Only the manufacturer?


    Yup.

    >
    > cheers
     
    Folkert Rienstra, Aug 17, 2003
    #16
  17. ByteLess

    Leo Guest

    "Folkert Rienstra" <> wrote in message news:<bhot4h$1lo6a$-berlin.de>...
    > (That's assuming that ondisk firmware is still used today, which I'm
    > not totally sure about. When, with time, Flash eproms in their smallest available size grow faster in size than the firmware, then
    > costcutting
    > by using disk-memory in stead of flash-memory has lost it's usefulness)


    On disk firmware of modern HDD's have a size up to 10-15 Mb, which
    contain a program overlays, adaptive, SMART, translation and defect
    management tables, identification data, and a lot of other data. Flash
    or mask ROM on many HDD models used only for PCB POR tests and loading
    of on disk overlay modules. Besides the some part of this information
    demands updating during work that it is much more convenient and more
    safe to do on a disk, instead of in flash.

    >
    > > so ,, Who gets to play in that area ? Only the manufacturer?

    >
    > Yup.
    >


    Not only the manufacturer. Some data recovery companies can do it
    also.

    Leonid
     
    Leo, Aug 19, 2003
    #17
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