Hitachi Travelstar HDD


S

SC Tom

Subject drive:
http://www.hitachigst.com/tech/techlib.nsf/techdocs/503ECC8AB77D22D686256EF40056CF4C/$file/C4K60_PC_v7_sp.pdf

I have an older Creative Zen Touch that uses a 20GB IDE HDD, and is without a doubt the best MP3 player I have ever
used, along with the associated software. Last year (February 2010), the hard drive started ticking and hanging like it
was on it's way out. I bought a new drive, installed it, then restored the drive from the backup made with the Creative
software. Unfortunately, the software requires Win98 through WinXP and nothing newer than IE6. I have WinXP, but would
find it extremely difficult to roll back now to IE6 from IE8.

What I would like to do is be able to connect the HDD to my PC so I can make an image of it, and then use that image to
restore to a new drive if this one fails (the drives are cheap enough and readily available). Supposedly, it's a
standard IDE interface, but not like any IDE plugs I have. It LOOKS like one (sort of) with space for 50 pins, but
they're not all for a connector. The first four are for jumpers, then skip a space, then the rest of the pins are for
data and power. I am assuming it's probably a proprietary connector, so my question is, has anyone had any experience
with this type of drive, and is there any way to interface with it as an add-in drive so I can clone/image it?

TIA!
 
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P

Paul

SC said:
Subject drive:
http://www.hitachigst.com/tech/techlib.nsf/techdocs/503ECC8AB77D22D686256EF40056CF4C/$file/C4K60_PC_v7_sp.pdf


I have an older Creative Zen Touch that uses a 20GB IDE HDD, and is
without a doubt the best MP3 player I have ever used, along with the
associated software. Last year (February 2010), the hard drive started
ticking and hanging like it was on it's way out. I bought a new drive,
installed it, then restored the drive from the backup made with the
Creative software. Unfortunately, the software requires Win98 through
WinXP and nothing newer than IE6. I have WinXP, but would find it
extremely difficult to roll back now to IE6 from IE8.

What I would like to do is be able to connect the HDD to my PC so I can
make an image of it, and then use that image to restore to a new drive
if this one fails (the drives are cheap enough and readily available).
Supposedly, it's a standard IDE interface, but not like any IDE plugs I
have. It LOOKS like one (sort of) with space for 50 pins, but they're
not all for a connector. The first four are for jumpers, then skip a
space, then the rest of the pins are for data and power. I am assuming
it's probably a proprietary connector, so my question is, has anyone had
any experience with this type of drive, and is there any way to
interface with it as an add-in drive so I can clone/image it?

TIA!
The 44 pin interface on 2mm centers, is a standard for at least 2.5"
laptop drives. And you can buy adapter dongles, that come with a
power cable plus 40 pin standard desktop IDE on one side, and the
integrated 44 pin on the other side.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812196219

In that example, the Molex supplies +5V to the laptop drive. The
gold pins would connect to one of the two drive positions on a
desktop IDE cable. The "smaller end" plugs into the laptop drive.
Those adapters were popular perhaps 10 years ago.

If you purchase a USB2 to SATA/IDE dongle adapter kit, you get
three adapters in one, and that's another way to get there.
These adapters have a 44 pin on them, for 2.5" IDE laptop drives.
Then you're limited to 30MB/sec while transferring via USB2.

http://ca.startech.com/HDD/Adapters/USB-20-to-IDE-or-SATA-Adapter-Cable~USB2SATAIDE

*******

Now, your PDF document also mentions a ZIF interface version.
I managed to find an example here, of an adapter, and it appears
they offer ZIF for 1.8" drives.

http://www.addonics.com/products/aat18.php

If you cobble together enough adapters, eventually you get back
to the 3.5" 40 pin 0.1" center to center style used on the desktop system.

Paul
 
S

SC Tom

Paul said:
The 44 pin interface on 2mm centers, is a standard for at least 2.5"
laptop drives. And you can buy adapter dongles, that come with a
power cable plus 40 pin standard desktop IDE on one side, and the
integrated 44 pin on the other side.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812196219

In that example, the Molex supplies +5V to the laptop drive. The
gold pins would connect to one of the two drive positions on a
desktop IDE cable. The "smaller end" plugs into the laptop drive.
Those adapters were popular perhaps 10 years ago.

If you purchase a USB2 to SATA/IDE dongle adapter kit, you get
three adapters in one, and that's another way to get there.
These adapters have a 44 pin on them, for 2.5" IDE laptop drives.
Then you're limited to 30MB/sec while transferring via USB2.

http://ca.startech.com/HDD/Adapters/USB-20-to-IDE-or-SATA-Adapter-Cable~USB2SATAIDE

*******

Now, your PDF document also mentions a ZIF interface version.
I managed to find an example here, of an adapter, and it appears
they offer ZIF for 1.8" drives.

http://www.addonics.com/products/aat18.php

If you cobble together enough adapters, eventually you get back
to the 3.5" 40 pin 0.1" center to center style used on the desktop system.

Paul
Paul, I should have known if anyone would find this, you would! Thanks, I'll look into it.

Mine is the IDE connector and not the ZIF, so that's out. Plus, I'm not too sure about the 5VDC since the power
requirement printed on the HDD label states DC+3.3/5V. Auto-select, maybe? I went ahead and ordered the one shown on
Newegg from Amazon ($3.86 w/free shipping vs $27.98 +$3.99 shipping). I'll let you know how it works out. If that
doesn't work, I might try the other USB2 adapter. Not too sure how well my imaging program (ATI Home 2010) will see a
USB drive, but I don't know why it shouldn't- that's where my target drive is for my images.

Thanks again for your help, Paul! Your search abilities are definitely much better than mine, that's for sure :)
 
S

SC Tom

Paul said:
The 44 pin interface on 2mm centers, is a standard for at least 2.5"
laptop drives. And you can buy adapter dongles, that come with a
power cable plus 40 pin standard desktop IDE on one side, and the
integrated 44 pin on the other side.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812196219

In that example, the Molex supplies +5V to the laptop drive. The
gold pins would connect to one of the two drive positions on a
desktop IDE cable. The "smaller end" plugs into the laptop drive.
Those adapters were popular perhaps 10 years ago.

If you purchase a USB2 to SATA/IDE dongle adapter kit, you get
three adapters in one, and that's another way to get there.
These adapters have a 44 pin on them, for 2.5" IDE laptop drives.
Then you're limited to 30MB/sec while transferring via USB2.

http://ca.startech.com/HDD/Adapters/USB-20-to-IDE-or-SATA-Adapter-Cable~USB2SATAIDE

*******

Now, your PDF document also mentions a ZIF interface version.
I managed to find an example here, of an adapter, and it appears
they offer ZIF for 1.8" drives.

http://www.addonics.com/products/aat18.php

If you cobble together enough adapters, eventually you get back
to the 3.5" 40 pin 0.1" center to center style used on the desktop system.

Paul
I bought both devices, and the Startech one came in today, so I tested it out. I'm able to see the drive in Windows XP
disk management, but it says the disk is not initialized, so there's nothing there to see.
I booted with my ATI disk, and it sees it as an empty drive (no letter), so it won't allow me to create an image of it
(who wants an empty image, I guess).
I booted with a UBCD disk, but since that's basically XP-on-a-CD, it sees it as an uninitialized disk also.
I was thinking of using a Linux boot disk and see if that will recognize the Hitachi as something, but have no
experience with it. Do you have any suggestions of what else I might try, or what version of Linux might be best to test
something like this?

Before I try anything, I think I'll reinstall it in the Zen and see if it still works. I putting that off since it's
such a PITA to do :)

Thanks for any advice you might have.
 
P

Patrick

SC said:
I bought both devices, and the Startech one came in today, so I
tested it out. I'm able to see the drive in Windows XP disk
management, but it says the disk is not initialized, so there's
nothing there to see. I booted with my ATI disk, and it sees it as an
empty drive (no
letter), so it won't allow me to create an image of it (who wants an
empty image, I guess). I booted with a UBCD disk, but since that's
basically XP-on-a-CD, it
sees it as an uninitialized disk also. I was thinking of using a Linux
boot disk and see if that will
recognize the Hitachi as something, but have no experience with it.
Do you have any suggestions of what else I might try, or what version
of Linux might be best to test something like this?
Before I try anything, I think I'll reinstall it in the Zen and see
if it still works. I putting that off since it's such a PITA to do :)

Thanks for any advice you might have.
Try turning it off then on again !
I've an external USB_IDE interface adapter that sometimes shows as
uninitialised but when I turn it off/on again it's all there !
Said also, sometimes prevents the machine BOOTing but I just turn it off
until the OS is running.
 
S

SC Tom

Patrick said:
Try turning it off then on again !
I've an external USB_IDE interface adapter that sometimes shows as
uninitialised but when I turn it off/on again it's all there !
Said also, sometimes prevents the machine BOOTing but I just turn it off
until the OS is running.
I tried that a couple of different times, and it had no effect.

I did try the drive in my Zen and it does work, so it's not that the drive has failed.
 
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P

Paul

SC said:
I tried that a couple of different times, and it had no effect.

I did try the drive in my Zen and it does work, so it's not that the
drive has failed.
If you have a copy of Partition Magic, it has the convenience utility PTEDIT32.
But you also download that from Symantec, and it's free. It gives a dialog
box, displaying the four 16 byte primary partition entries in sector 0.
This is a Windows utility.

ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_canada/tools/pq/utilities/PTEDIT32.zip

If PTEDIT32 says it sees the valid flag (0xAA55 at the end of the sector),
then it will attempt to interpret the table of values.

If sector 0 is valid, then you can try some other techniques.

You can try a "read verify" test with HDTune. Just to see
if you can read it from end to end. That's the bad block scan
option.

http://www.hdtune.com/files/hdtune_255.exe

Now, if there was an actual partition structure, there is a tool
called "disktype", which is available in the Package Manager of
some of my Linux LiveCDs. It's too bad they don't bundle this
right on the CD, because it's a pain to have to tick extra
Repository boxes in the Package Manager, reload the list of
packages, to be able to see it and download it. The source is
is 44K, and the binary is around perhaps 9KB. And you end up
loading megabytes of repository info, just to be able to get it.
I wish there was a Windows port available for this, because it's
useful. It can even identify the file system on a CD or DVD.

http://disktype.sourceforge.net/

In Linux, you point that at a partition, that is, as long as
there is actual partition structure there.

disktype /dev/hda1 # check file system type of the first partition

disktype /dev/hda # attempt to identify a disk without a valid MBR
# This would be on the assumption that the disk
# doesn't have an MBR, and this would be a shot
# in the dark. If the entire disk is a single
# FAT32 without MBR, this might tell you.

The TestDisk utility, is good if there are conventional file systems on
there. You wouldn't actually "write" anything with the TestDisk, just
let it analyse and scan the disk, looking for partitions. Normally,
you use TestDisk to re-compute the MBR contents, for repair purposes.
But if you use disktype, I expect that will do much the same thing for
you. I would not expect the structure on the disk to be obscured by
say, a large empty offset from the origin, as an attempt to prevent
users from doing maintenance.

TestDisk is available on some of the Linux LiveCDs, and is also available
for Windows. This would be largely optional in this case, as disktype
would likely get the answer just as easily. (We don't suspect the MBR is
bad - TestDisk is more for when the MBR is bad, and the entire disk needs
to be scanned to find the partitions.)

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step

So my strategy would be:

1) PTEDIT32 in Windows, for a quick look. If sector 0 is a valid
MBR style entry, as indicated by the 0xAA55, then you can do more
probing using individual partition numbers, like /dev/hda1.

2) If PTEDIT32 whines, that the MBR is invalid on the disk, then
that suggests trying the "disktype /dev/hda" and have it start
its check at sector 0. This would apply to a drive, where a
file system actually starts at sector 0, and there aren't actually
multiple partitions.

3) Switch to Linux, and try disktype, based on the initial PTEDIT32
evidence.

Even without knowing the composition of the disk, you can likely
image the drive using dd. dd is available for Windows or Linux, and
making a sector by sector copy, would allow making a backup that could
be restored to a newly purchased disk in the future. As long as the
new disk is the same size or slightly larger, you wouldn't "lose any
stuff off the end". In Linux, it would look like

dd if=/dev/hda of=/home/ubuntu/my_20GB_disk.dd

By not setting a blocksize or count parameter, the tool will still
copy the whole disk, but at around 13MB/sec. You can include things
like "bs=4096" on modern disks, to speed up the transfer. Actually,
you can surgically extract data from a disk, using "seek" and "skip"
parameters, and I sometimes use that capability when looking for RAID
metadata up near the end of a disk. But in this case, we just
want to copy the whole thing, so fewer parameters are needed.

dd if=/dev/hda of=/home/ubuntu/my_20GB_disk.dd bs=4096

That should give an "image" of the disk, that would suffice as
a backup. Reversing the command, is how you do the restore.

dd if=/home/ubuntu/my_20GB_disk.dd of=/dev/hda bs=4096

I'm assuming /home/ubuntu, is big enough to hold a 20GB file.

It probably isn't some encryption scheme, just a "lazy implementation"
of a file system... And with some luck, you may be able to figure it
out. Of course, Googling the music player name and looking for
the forensics work of others, will speed up the job. Lots of
people hacking out there, and someone will likely have taken
one apart already and done the work for you.

HTH,
Paul
 
S

SC Tom

Paul said:
If you have a copy of Partition Magic, it has the convenience utility PTEDIT32.
But you also download that from Symantec, and it's free. It gives a dialog
box, displaying the four 16 byte primary partition entries in sector 0.
This is a Windows utility.

ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_canada/tools/pq/utilities/PTEDIT32.zip

If PTEDIT32 says it sees the valid flag (0xAA55 at the end of the sector),
then it will attempt to interpret the table of values.

If sector 0 is valid, then you can try some other techniques.

You can try a "read verify" test with HDTune. Just to see
if you can read it from end to end. That's the bad block scan
option.

http://www.hdtune.com/files/hdtune_255.exe

Now, if there was an actual partition structure, there is a tool
called "disktype", which is available in the Package Manager of
some of my Linux LiveCDs. It's too bad they don't bundle this
right on the CD, because it's a pain to have to tick extra
Repository boxes in the Package Manager, reload the list of
packages, to be able to see it and download it. The source is
is 44K, and the binary is around perhaps 9KB. And you end up
loading megabytes of repository info, just to be able to get it.
I wish there was a Windows port available for this, because it's
useful. It can even identify the file system on a CD or DVD.

http://disktype.sourceforge.net/

In Linux, you point that at a partition, that is, as long as
there is actual partition structure there.

disktype /dev/hda1 # check file system type of the first partition

disktype /dev/hda # attempt to identify a disk without a valid MBR
# This would be on the assumption that the disk
# doesn't have an MBR, and this would be a shot
# in the dark. If the entire disk is a single
# FAT32 without MBR, this might tell you.

The TestDisk utility, is good if there are conventional file systems on
there. You wouldn't actually "write" anything with the TestDisk, just
let it analyse and scan the disk, looking for partitions. Normally,
you use TestDisk to re-compute the MBR contents, for repair purposes.
But if you use disktype, I expect that will do much the same thing for
you. I would not expect the structure on the disk to be obscured by
say, a large empty offset from the origin, as an attempt to prevent
users from doing maintenance.

TestDisk is available on some of the Linux LiveCDs, and is also available
for Windows. This would be largely optional in this case, as disktype
would likely get the answer just as easily. (We don't suspect the MBR is
bad - TestDisk is more for when the MBR is bad, and the entire disk needs
to be scanned to find the partitions.)

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Step_By_Step

So my strategy would be:

1) PTEDIT32 in Windows, for a quick look. If sector 0 is a valid
MBR style entry, as indicated by the 0xAA55, then you can do more
probing using individual partition numbers, like /dev/hda1.

2) If PTEDIT32 whines, that the MBR is invalid on the disk, then
that suggests trying the "disktype /dev/hda" and have it start
its check at sector 0. This would apply to a drive, where a
file system actually starts at sector 0, and there aren't actually
multiple partitions.

3) Switch to Linux, and try disktype, based on the initial PTEDIT32
evidence.

Even without knowing the composition of the disk, you can likely
image the drive using dd. dd is available for Windows or Linux, and
making a sector by sector copy, would allow making a backup that could
be restored to a newly purchased disk in the future. As long as the
new disk is the same size or slightly larger, you wouldn't "lose any
stuff off the end". In Linux, it would look like

dd if=/dev/hda of=/home/ubuntu/my_20GB_disk.dd

By not setting a blocksize or count parameter, the tool will still
copy the whole disk, but at around 13MB/sec. You can include things
like "bs=4096" on modern disks, to speed up the transfer. Actually,
you can surgically extract data from a disk, using "seek" and "skip"
parameters, and I sometimes use that capability when looking for RAID
metadata up near the end of a disk. But in this case, we just
want to copy the whole thing, so fewer parameters are needed.

dd if=/dev/hda of=/home/ubuntu/my_20GB_disk.dd bs=4096

That should give an "image" of the disk, that would suffice as
a backup. Reversing the command, is how you do the restore.

dd if=/home/ubuntu/my_20GB_disk.dd of=/dev/hda bs=4096

I'm assuming /home/ubuntu, is big enough to hold a 20GB file.

It probably isn't some encryption scheme, just a "lazy implementation"
of a file system... And with some luck, you may be able to figure it
out. Of course, Googling the music player name and looking for
the forensics work of others, will speed up the job. Lots of
people hacking out there, and someone will likely have taken
one apart already and done the work for you.

HTH,
Paul
Thanks, Paul.
PTEDIT32 doesn't even show the drive, so I tried "initialize" in Disk Management. Still no show, but now it doesn't work
in the Zen either. Not a big deal, since it was the old drive anyhow. And I can't reload the firmware on it since I
don't have IE6.

I had downloaded Ubuntu 11.1 and was going to try that to access the drive, but unfortunately, it won't finish booting
on my PC. It gets past the logo with the 5 dots under it, sits there for a minute or two, then the screen just loads up
with artifacts and the whole process quits. Oh well, no biggie.

I guess I've had the two drives in and out of my Zen one too many times now; neither drive will work in it. I put the
known good one back in, and it gets to the "Zen" screen and locks. So I guess I'm in the market for a newer MP3 player.
I have a Klipsch speaker system with an iPod dock, so maybe I'll try one their series of players. The new 16GB Nano will
hold all my songs easily enough; now it's just a matter of learning their software and getting it setup the way I like
it. One of the things I liked about the older Creative software was the ability to load the songs by album, so if there
were two songs with the same name, there would be no conflict. With the newer Creative players, that function doesn't
work the same way, and will either overwrite the first song or just not copy it over. I haven't looked thoroughly
through the iTunes help site to see if iTunes will do that or not; that's one of my tasks for today.

Thanks for all your help. Too bad the whole device died before I had a chance to try all your suggestions :-(
 
P

Paul

SC said:
Thanks, Paul.
PTEDIT32 doesn't even show the drive, so I tried "initialize" in Disk
Management. Still no show, but now it doesn't work in the Zen either.
Not a big deal, since it was the old drive anyhow. And I can't reload
the firmware on it since I don't have IE6.

I had downloaded Ubuntu 11.1 and was going to try that to access the
drive, but unfortunately, it won't finish booting on my PC. It gets past
the logo with the 5 dots under it, sits there for a minute or two, then
the screen just loads up with artifacts and the whole process quits. Oh
well, no biggie.

I guess I've had the two drives in and out of my Zen one too many times
now; neither drive will work in it. I put the known good one back in,
and it gets to the "Zen" screen and locks. So I guess I'm in the market
for a newer MP3 player. I have a Klipsch speaker system with an iPod
dock, so maybe I'll try one their series of players. The new 16GB Nano
will hold all my songs easily enough; now it's just a matter of learning
their software and getting it setup the way I like it. One of the things
I liked about the older Creative software was the ability to load the
songs by album, so if there were two songs with the same name, there
would be no conflict. With the newer Creative players, that function
doesn't work the same way, and will either overwrite the first song or
just not copy it over. I haven't looked thoroughly through the iTunes
help site to see if iTunes will do that or not; that's one of my tasks
for today.

Thanks for all your help. Too bad the whole device died before I had a
chance to try all your suggestions :-(
The last version of Ubuntu I would recommend, is 10.10 . Or 10.04LTS,
if you believe the Long Term aspect is somehow valuable (like Repository
still accessible for a while).

The problem with the newer versions of Ubuntu, is the Metro (tablet style)
interface. On 11.04, I figured out a recipe to defeat it during bootup,
but it's really not worth it. On 11.10, apparently there isn't any fallback
to the original desktop UI.

To "stop the dots", you can remove the "quiet splash" from the boot line.

1) Insert Ubuntu CD and attempt to boot from it.
2) Press <esc>, <Return>, F6, <esc>.

The first <esc> gives a language choice menu. The <Return> accepts
the default. The F6 selects the option to edit. The <esc> removes
some menu choices from the screen.

Press the first <esc>, when you see the icon near the bottom of the screen.
If you wait too long, with the icon present, it'll "take off" on its own.

3) Now you should have the boot line. Delete the "quiet splash --"
on the end. Just press the Delete key and watch the end of the line
for a response. Removing that bit prevents the splash screen from covering
the text during boot. Press <return> when you want to boot.
(On some other distros, you press control-X to boot.)
4) We know you're dying while starting Xwindows, so this four step
refinement is largely useless :) But at least it leaves more of
the traditional text mode output on the screen, in case an error
is actually visible. Chances are slim, of seeing the reason you're
broken, in plain english.

You can try pressing <control>-<alt>-F1 through F6, and see if a
text mode console is hiding underneath the mess. I think <control>-<alt>-F12
restarts the XWindows server, but that won't help because until you
repair the X config, it's still going to crash out.

If you did have text mode functionality, if you figure out how to
change the run level and operate in single user mode, you'd look
at /var/log/Xorg.0.log for the XWindows log file. And /etc/X11/xorg.conf
is the thing you would repair to get X working (depending on symptoms in
the log). In many cases, with a LiveCD, there *is* no xorg.conf,
which means the server is using automatic startup. Then, you need a
means to enter an xorg.conf file by hand, to override the automation.

The reason I'm familiar with this stuff, is fixing one Ubuntu release
after another, so they run in Virtual PC 2007.

If you get 11.10 running, click the upper left icon on the tablet
interface. In the search box, type "terminal". Click the leftmost of
the three returned results. That gives the traditional terminal window.
If you type "nautilus ." as a command, that should give a file manager.

*******

See if the Zen has a reset procedure.

http://www.ehow.com/how_6911749_reset-creative-zen-player.html

The problem could be some damaged flash code of some sort,
in which case it might not be recoverable. I don't know anything
about music players, whether they have boot block and main code
blocks in flash or not. Presumably all that a reset procedure would
do, is blow away data structures, without altering the initial code load.

HTH,
Paul
 
S

SC Tom

*******

See if the Zen has a reset procedure.

http://www.ehow.com/how_6911749_reset-creative-zen-player.html

The problem could be some damaged flash code of some sort,
in which case it might not be recoverable. I don't know anything
about music players, whether they have boot block and main code
blocks in flash or not. Presumably all that a reset procedure would
do, is blow away data structures, without altering the initial code load.

HTH,
Paul
I tried that. With the old drive, the menu came up, but the firmware needs
to be reloaded, and requires IE6 (Creative Labs never updated the procedure
for the older players). As near as I can tell, the firmware and "Play for
Sure" program are loaded to the drive. With the other (newer, but now
inoperative) drive, I get the start-up screen and that's it; no menu or
error, and none of the buttons (including the power button) work at all. I
don't know if the HDD electronics are locking up the unit or what, but it's
not really worth putting any more money into it. I think that's what's
happening since I can at least get the menu with the old drive.
 
R

Rodney Pont

I tried that. With the old drive, the menu came up, but the firmware needs
to be reloaded, and requires IE6 (Creative Labs never updated the procedure
for the older players). As near as I can tell, the firmware and "Play for
Sure" program are loaded to the drive. With the other (newer, but now
inoperative) drive, I get the start-up screen and that's it; no menu or
error, and none of the buttons (including the power button) work at all. I
don't know if the HDD electronics are locking up the unit or what, but it's
not really worth putting any more money into it. I think that's what's
happening since I can at least get the menu with the old drive.
What about installing Oracle VirtualBox, then installing XP with it's
original IE6 into that and then running your recovery procedure.
 
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S

SC Tom

Rodney Pont said:
What about installing Oracle VirtualBox, then installing XP with it's
original IE6 into that and then running your recovery procedure.
That would probably work. I might hang onto it for a while longer and test that out. I've never worked with virtual
machines on a home PC, so I guess that'll be another learning experience. Can I use my same XP, or do I have to buy
another copy/license? Since ME or Win98SE supports USB, I could use one of them from my collection on the shelf LOL!
 
R

Rodney Pont

That would probably work. I might hang onto it for a while longer and test that out. I've never worked with virtual
machines on a home PC, so I guess that'll be another learning experience. Can I use my same XP, or do I have to buy
another copy/license? Since ME or Win98SE supports USB, I could use one of them from my collection on the shelf LOL!
Legally you should buy another copy of XP but it should work with the
same one. I think ME and Win98SE should both work but I can't remember
what it lists now.
 
F

Franc Zabkar

I tried that. With the old drive, the menu came up, but the firmware needs
to be reloaded, and requires IE6 (Creative Labs never updated the procedure
for the older players). As near as I can tell, the firmware and "Play for
Sure" program are loaded to the drive. With the other (newer, but now
inoperative) drive, I get the start-up screen and that's it; no menu or
error, and none of the buttons (including the power button) work at all. I
don't know if the HDD electronics are locking up the unit or what, but it's
not really worth putting any more money into it. I think that's what's
happening since I can at least get the menu with the old drive.
I always use a disc editor to view a drive in read-only mode. That way
you're not relying on software to "interpret" disc structures for you.

To this end I recommend either HxD or DMDE.

HxD - Freeware Hex Editor and Disk Editor:
http://mh-nexus.de/en/hxd

DMDE (DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery):
http://softdm.com/download.html

If you can show us sector 0 in hexadecimal mode, then that will go a
long way to explaining how the file system is set up.

Here is my favourite reference site:
http://thestarman.pcministry.com/index.html

Here are examples of several Microsoft MBRs:
http://thestarman.pcministry.com/asm/mbr/index.html

- Franc Zabkar
 
S

SC Tom

Rodney Pont said:
Legally you should buy another copy of XP but it should work with the
same one. I think ME and Win98SE should both work but I can't remember
what it lists now.
After looking deeper into it (it had been a long time since I had to change the drive in the device), it seems that the
firmware flash program requires Windows Media Player 10 to be installed, which means Windows XP SP2 has to be the OS
since WMP10 doesn't run on anything else. So I installed Oracle VirtualBox, XP SP2, and WMP10. Everything seems to
connect and run as it should except USB ports. I have gone to every instance of USB in the manual and still haven't
figured it out. That has to be the most circular manual I have ever read :) Start on p53, refer to p104, see p18, refer
to p53. What?!? That's where I started!
If I can figure that part out, I may just get the Zen working again, since I need the USB connection in order to flash
the Zen. Of course, I only have 30 days before activation locks me out :) Thanks again for your suggestion. If I get it
figured out, I'll let you all know. Or if you have any suggestions for the USB problem, I'm open for that, too.
 
P

Paul

SC said:
After looking deeper into it (it had been a long time since I had to
change the drive in the device), it seems that the firmware flash
program requires Windows Media Player 10 to be installed, which means
Windows XP SP2 has to be the OS since WMP10 doesn't run on anything
else. So I installed Oracle VirtualBox, XP SP2, and WMP10. Everything
seems to connect and run as it should except USB ports. I have gone to
every instance of USB in the manual and still haven't figured it out.
That has to be the most circular manual I have ever read :) Start on
p53, refer to p104, see p18, refer to p53. What?!? That's where I started!
If I can figure that part out, I may just get the Zen working again,
since I need the USB connection in order to flash the Zen. Of course, I
only have 30 days before activation locks me out :) Thanks again for
your suggestion. If I get it figured out, I'll let you all know. Or if
you have any suggestions for the USB problem, I'm open for that, too.
Do you have the extension pack ?

https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

I've had mixed luck with VirtualBox. Sometimes I get it working right
away, other times, I have to play around with it for a while.

As for the software lineup, perhaps that lineup is needed to get
an MTP driver, to talk to the Zen ? WMP was one way to get an MTP
driver, so perhaps that's why it needs WMP. You may have some other
options, if there is a driver available separately. Just a guess.
I've never owned a music player, or anything that supports MTP.
MTP is an alternate interface method to USB Mass Storage, and
from my perspective, the main feature of MTP is support for DRM
(restricting the ability to make copies of content). Still, if
all your device supports is MTP, you're stuck with it. USB Mass
Storage is too "dumb" for that sort of thing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_Transfer_Protocol

Paul
 
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S

SC Tom

Paul said:
Do you have the extension pack ?

https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads

I've had mixed luck with VirtualBox. Sometimes I get it working right
away, other times, I have to play around with it for a while.

As for the software lineup, perhaps that lineup is needed to get
an MTP driver, to talk to the Zen ? WMP was one way to get an MTP
driver, so perhaps that's why it needs WMP. You may have some other
options, if there is a driver available separately. Just a guess.
I've never owned a music player, or anything that supports MTP.
MTP is an alternate interface method to USB Mass Storage, and
from my perspective, the main feature of MTP is support for DRM
(restricting the ability to make copies of content). Still, if
all your device supports is MTP, you're stuck with it. USB Mass
Storage is too "dumb" for that sort of thing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_Transfer_Protocol

Paul
Yep, already installed the extension pack. Redid it just now to be sure. I guess virtual Windows isn't quite as PNP as
real Windows :-(

MTP may be part of the problem, I don't know if that's the format of the Zen or not. I've tried installing the drivers
from Creative, but no joy accessing it in XP SP2 or SP3 any more. If I plug it into my Win7 laptop, it sees the Zen as a
music player and storage device, but the firmware program won't run on Win7, not even in any of the compatibility modes
(and I run it as admin). And since it's an older player, there are no updated USB access drivers for Win7, or newer
versions of XP. Much as I hate to, I guess I'm going to have to put 'er down.
 
P

Paul

SC said:
Yep, already installed the extension pack. Redid it just now to be sure.
I guess virtual Windows isn't quite as PNP as real Windows :-(

MTP may be part of the problem, I don't know if that's the format of the
Zen or not. I've tried installing the drivers from Creative, but no joy
accessing it in XP SP2 or SP3 any more. If I plug it into my Win7
laptop, it sees the Zen as a music player and storage device, but the
firmware program won't run on Win7, not even in any of the compatibility
modes (and I run it as admin). And since it's an older player, there are
no updated USB access drivers for Win7, or newer versions of XP. Much as
I hate to, I guess I'm going to have to put 'er down.
Well, it's only fun if you have time to waste on it.

VirtualBox USB is different than the Microsoft Virtual PC for Windows 7.
The Microsoft one attempts to pass through certain classes of device.
(Say, anything supporting USB Storage Class.) While the VirtualBox technique,
is to intercept traffic at the device level (i.e. a port) and redirect that
to the guest OS. Whether the Host OS has MTP capability is immaterial to
VirtualBox, as it is just supposed to pass packets through to the guest OS,
but on a per-device basis. With the add-on pack installed, the USB menu
should offer a listing of VID:pID for things plugged in. You indicate which
device you want passed through.

Now, the last time I tried that, it was throwing an error each time it
went near USB. I don't remember what I did, whether it was yet another
reboot of the host OS, but eventually the menu appeared.

You can use UVCView, to check what is connected to the USB port and
see what it is reporting. (You run this on the Host at least, to get
an initial feeling for the device health.) Basically, all you'd be
looking for, is vid:pid (to be sure you were looking at the right port), and then
USB Class. Then, you'd have to look up the Class codes and see which
one is assigned to MTP. That's to ensure the Zen shows up with an
appropriate looking interface. It doesn't guarantee it actually works,
and whether you can update the firmware, is going to depend on how
pure that MTP interface is (i.e. hardware based, instead of a firmware
kludge).

A recipe to get UVCView is here.

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.comp.hardware/msg/f7455e693c12f790?dmode=source

The USB IDs are here.

http://www.linux-usb.org/usb.ids

041e Creative Technology, Ltd
411b Zen Touch

HTH,
Paul
 
S

SC Tom

Paul said:
Well, it's only fun if you have time to waste on it.

VirtualBox USB is different than the Microsoft Virtual PC for Windows 7.
The Microsoft one attempts to pass through certain classes of device.
(Say, anything supporting USB Storage Class.) While the VirtualBox technique,
is to intercept traffic at the device level (i.e. a port) and redirect that
to the guest OS. Whether the Host OS has MTP capability is immaterial to
VirtualBox, as it is just supposed to pass packets through to the guest OS,
but on a per-device basis. With the add-on pack installed, the USB menu
should offer a listing of VID:pID for things plugged in. You indicate which
device you want passed through.

Now, the last time I tried that, it was throwing an error each time it
went near USB. I don't remember what I did, whether it was yet another
reboot of the host OS, but eventually the menu appeared.

You can use UVCView, to check what is connected to the USB port and
see what it is reporting. (You run this on the Host at least, to get
an initial feeling for the device health.) Basically, all you'd be
looking for, is vid:pid (to be sure you were looking at the right port), and then
USB Class. Then, you'd have to look up the Class codes and see which
one is assigned to MTP. That's to ensure the Zen shows up with an
appropriate looking interface. It doesn't guarantee it actually works,
and whether you can update the firmware, is going to depend on how
pure that MTP interface is (i.e. hardware based, instead of a firmware
kludge).

A recipe to get UVCView is here.

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.comp.hardware/msg/f7455e693c12f790?dmode=source

The USB IDs are here.

http://www.linux-usb.org/usb.ids

041e Creative Technology, Ltd
411b Zen Touch

HTH,
Paul
UVCView shows info for the Zen, and it does auto-refresh when I plug or unplug it.
I uninstalled Oracle VM and am going to try an older version that may be more stable (if that's the word), or maybe one
of the other VM programs. Since I'm using XP Home, Virtual PC isn't an option or I'd try that.
Thanks again!
 
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