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Backup Seagate hard drive not being recognized by BIOS


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#1 JMK2012

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 04:24 PM

I've been working with Fireman to cure a malware problem, which is now complete, but during the initial wait for assistance I thought I might do some scans to fill the time. I usually save my scans to my backup Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1TB drive, but when I tried to save a scan, my G & L drives were not listed in the Drive List anymore. Nothing was being written to the drive at this point because it wasn't in the list. Fearing the malware might somehow attack that drive (where most of my digicam photos, scans, music, etc.) is stored, I shut down and disconnected that drive, until the malware problem got resolved.

Once the malware problem was resolved, I reconnected the hard drive and booted several times to see if the drive partitions would come up in the drive list, but they didn't. I booted into SETUP to see what the problem was, and don't find the backup Seagate 1TB drive listed (the primary drive is also a Seagate 250 GB). There also didn't appear to be an auto-detect feature or a feature where I could add any drive parameters to enable that drive.

Reading about other people that had similar drive problems, I downloaded Parted Magic and InfraRecorder and made a bootable CD. I ran fdisk -l in Parted Magic, and it also did not list the second Seagate, only the 250GB drive. Since the TB drive was not showing up in Parted Magic, there were no diagnostics to run on it.

I appeciate, in advance, any help that can be offered,

Joe

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#2 James Litten

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 05:03 PM

Hi Joe

At this point there are some things to try (carefully) to see if you can get the drive recognized by the computer.

Turn off and unplug the computer before trying any of these...
  • Try plugging the SATA cable into a different port on the motherboard
  • Try a different power connector into the drive (probably won't help if the drive seems to be spinning)
  • Try replacing the data cable between the drive and motherboard
  • Try connecting it to another computer
  • Try a SATA to USB bridge. You can get them for less than $20 and will probably use it again in the future.
  • If you remove the drive, look carefully to see if anything looks burnt on the PC board

Let me know if the drive is plugged into an expansion card instead of the motherboard.
I put these in the best order for testing. Let us know what happens.
James

#3 JMK2012

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 12:06 PM

Hi James,

There's only two ports on the motherboard for hard drives.

And, yes, I'm certain the drive is spinning up. It's very warm to the touch and I can feel it running.

I'll try swapping a drive cable from my other computer, to see if that's the problem. I'd be surprised.

I don't have a SATA to USB bridge, but I'll get one. Like you say, probably just a good idea to have one around.

I already gave the drive a fairly close look over, and didn't see/smell anything burned. I'll get a magnifier out and take a much closer look at the individual components on the board, though.

The coincidental nature of this drive malfunctioning in the throes of this recent malware event seems fairly suspect to me. I haven't heard of any viral / malware processes that can mess with BIOS settings, but I can see where things could get messed up if a dynamic drive overlay was being employed (it was not). I don't think my disconnecting the drive when I realized it wasn't responding has anything to do with this either. The drive has been rock solid until I started this malware issue.

I was wondering if pulling the motherboard battery out long enough to lose bios settings would cause it refresh the hard drive auto detect features when reinstalled and restarted? It is as if this second drive is just not being detected with things the way they are. Once I rule out a malfunctioning cable, maybe we can revisit this thought.

Thanks,

Joe

#4 James Litten

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 12:45 PM

When you ran DDS in that malware thread, the drives were there and they disappeared within 24 hours of this...

==== Disk Partitions =========================
.
C: is FIXED (NTFS) - 224 GiB total, 134.862 GiB free.
D: is FIXED (FAT32) - 9 GiB total, 1.118 GiB free.
E: is CDROM ()
F: is CDROM ()
G: is FIXED (NTFS) - 466 GiB total, 58.312 GiB free.
H: is Removable
I: is Removable
J: is Removable
K: is Removable
L: is FIXED (NTFS) - 466 GiB total, 45.642 GiB free.


I noticed that they are over 90% full and that may or may not be important.

I also see this error...

7/18/2012 9:41:59 AM, error: sr [1] - The System Restore filter encountered the unexpected error '0xC0000001' while processing the file '' on the volume 'HarddiskVolume2'. It has stopped monitoring the volume.


Which may indicate the problem occurred before back on 7/18. Do you recall anything happening or making any changes with the computer on 7/18?

What is the manufacturer/model of the computer or the motherboard manufacturer/model if it is a custom build?
There may be some things to look at in the BIOS regarding the drives settings.

James

#5 JMK2012

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 01:29 PM

Hi again James,

The computer is an HP Pavilion a1350n running Win XP Media Center Edition 2005 (Win XP Pro). Looked for some ID on the motherboard, but can't see anything obvious with it still in the case.

Tried switching up a new cable in place of the questionable cable on the secondary drive - no change. Switched the primary drive cable with the new secondary cable - again no change.

Good spot on the DDS logs... I should have looked there myself. No, at that point on 7-18, I had made no hardware changes at all. I had previously been running mostly clean scans through Malwarbytes / AVG & SAS (and Spybot may have been loaded), but at that point, the CPU case was closed and I was just in a wait-state.

As it happened, I was getting bored a couple days into waiting for help, so I thought I'd do some digital scans and keep busy. When I did, and tried to save them to my scan directory on the G drive, it wasn't listed in my drives anymore... I got a bit alarmed at that point, since that's where my important files are located/stored, so I shut everything down, opened up the CPU and pulled the power & data cable from the secondary drive, until we got the malware problem sorted out. I was hoping to keep the secondary drive from any possible malware intrusions. I hadn't noticed that Restore Filter note...

The way the restore filter described it is just about the way it occured... The secondary drive has been rock solid all along, since it was installed in Oct 2008, and then when I went to save a scan, it just wasn't listed in the drives list anymore.

What exactly does the system restore filter do? I can't remember at what points I had manually turned off Restore Points, or if any of the utils did it for me, so I don't know much about the "filter", but it does sound like that's when the issue might have started. Funny it only mentions the filename as (") - that looks a little suspicious to me...

Joe

PS I do remember running Defrag at one point on the C drive, and I may have done the G and/or L drives, if they had been analyzed as needing a defragment. Is there a Defrag log somewhere that might give us some dates & the actions performed recently?

Edited by JMK2012, 05 August 2012 - 02:07 PM.


#6 James Litten

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 02:29 PM

Had a break in the action here (lots of data recovery jobs this week, must be the heat :) ) and I looked into the specs and that system seems a little weak for that drive.

Check out section 3.2 of this PDF to see how to slow the drive's data down by setting a jumper...
http://www.seagate.com/staticfiles/support/disc/manuals/desktop/Barracuda%207200.11/100452348g.pdf

Do you already have that jumper set? If not, give that a try.

James

#7 JMK2012

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 03:08 PM

I checked, and I do have the jumper installed at the correct location on the jumper block.

My son is at Radioshack, but they don't have a SATA -> USB data cable at that store or another one nearby. I might have to hit a computer shop tomorrow if I still need to try running the drive via USB.

I did try to move the problem Seagate drive over to my other HP desktop, but that computer only has a single power cable adapted for SATA drives, so I'm having my son pick up a Radio Shack adapter so I can maybe test the drive in the second machine.

Back to my problem drive/machine, I'm wondering if Seagate's SeaTools or DiskWizard can do anything for me, considering the drive is not even being recognized in BIOS?

Thanks again James,

Joe

5:03 PM - just tried moving the drive over to the other HP - same thing. It powers up, but is not recognized by the BIOS in that machine either.

Edited by JMK2012, 05 August 2012 - 04:04 PM.


#8 James Litten

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 05:55 PM

Try taking off the jumper (power down and unplug the computer first). Then try booting without the jumper. Then power down and unplug the computer again and put the jumper back on and try booting and see if the drive shows back up.

That's about all I've got left for you to try.

Maybe someone else has something different to try and will hop into the thread.

James

Edited by James Litten, 05 August 2012 - 05:56 PM.


#9 JMK2012

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 07:12 PM

Powered down - pulled plug - removed jumper - plugged back in - powered back up - no change

Powered down - pulled plug - added jumper back in - plugged back in - powered back up - still no change...

#10 AustrAlien

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 07:27 PM

5:03 PM - just tried moving the drive over to the other HP - same thing. It powers up, but is not recognized by the BIOS in that machine either.

The hard drive is dead dead ... unfortunately.
  • Professional data recovery whereby the hard drive is dismantled in a clean environment is likely the only means to retrieve data from it:
  • It is possible that a simple PCB (Printed Circuit Board) replacement might do the trick though: But again, that is beyond my experience.
    Note: Professional data recovery is likely to be big$ expensive.
You wrote: "I might have to hit a computer shop tomorrow if I still need to try running the drive via USB."
If connection via SATA cable is not working, then there is no need to waste your money and time trying with a USB-SATA adapter: It will not work when a direct SATA cable connection won't work.
AustrAlien
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#11 James Litten

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Posted 05 August 2012 - 07:32 PM

Okay, I didn't want to mention this but I guess it's probably better coming from me than someone who isn't as careful because this may not be your issue and trying to repair this can hose some or even all the data on the drive. It is as dangerous as it gets next to opening the drive up in a non-clean environment. So please don't try anything for it. Maybe have a repair shop that has successfully done this before do it or better yet get Seagate to repair it.

There is a known firmware problem with some models of that drive. I've only seen it once before in person but there was a lot of buzz about it in the forums and blogs awhile back.

Here is an example of someone else with it and Seagate has apparently offered to fix it for free.
http://forum.hddguru.com/seagate-barracuda-7200-failure-t23073.html#p156914

I'll see if I can find the info that lets you identify if you may be affected.

James

EDIT: Can you tell me the model# (it is on the label under the serial# and probably starts with ST) and the Firmware (also on the label)
Date code and Site code might help too if you see them on the label.

Edited by James Litten, 05 August 2012 - 07:47 PM.


#12 JMK2012

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 12:05 AM

Here's the stats:

Barracuda 7200.11 1000GB
Model Number: ST31000340AS
Firmware: SD15
Date Code 09125
Site Code: KRATSG
Product of Thailand

Edited by JMK2012, 06 August 2012 - 08:02 AM.


#13 James Litten

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 12:22 AM

That's your problem.

Contact Seagate and tell them that your drive is not recognized by the BIOS and you suspect it is because of a firmware error.
Give them the info you just posted.

They should fix the firmware for free. If that is the only problem then your data should be okay. Make sure they know that you want the drive back and do not want them to destroy it even if it can't be fixed by the firmware update (unless you want a new replacement).

I am surprised and did not expect this. I really believed all of these had crashed well over a year ago but looking around the net, I see there are a few still out there and just crashing now.

James

EDIT: Please remove your serial# from the post.

Edited by James Litten, 06 August 2012 - 12:23 AM.


#14 JMK2012

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 08:27 AM

Thanks again, James. I'm online with their support Chat specialist right now. He's checking to see if there's a firmware update for it (but I already searched through their support forums and found out there was).

We'll see what's next. I'm hoping for a Hail Mary!

I'll post back when I know what's happening.

Joe

PS Serial # removed from the previous post - thanks!


11:45 am - It's packed up and on its' way back to Seagate for a Firmware Evaluation by the Data Recovery Team. Thanks again!

I'm still very suprised that this all occured right in the midst of the malware issue. Co-incidences do happen, I guess, and this is a good example. Who would have guessed?

Edited by JMK2012, 06 August 2012 - 10:48 AM.


#15 James Litten

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 10:14 AM

Thanks, Joe.

There will probably be other people who will find this thread via Google and letting us know what happens will help them a lot.

James




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