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Data recovery and disk repair questions and discussions related to old-fashioned SATA, SAS, SCSI, IDE, MFM hard drives - any type of storage device that has moving parts
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Re: WDC AC31600H firmware issue ?

January 10th, 2018, 18:21

Forget about the bad sectors on my other post.

I did write to the drive by I/O operations a file that you send me long time ago that would fill each LBA with it's LBA Value. In other words is an "image file" divided in "sectors" that would write to the drive that pattern with LBA number. Remember that ? Ok, so i did write it to my test drive and then when i go to the operations to read by HEAD and select only head 0 and select only track 0 or cylinder 0 at a physical place (i'm not talking about reading C/H/S notation i'm talking intro reading what is indeed on that specific track at drive level without using translator sub-system) i can read on that physical track up until what would be LBA 170 (Sector 171 as LBA 0 would use one sector) so on that specific track i can read the pattern that i've written with the image file up untill that sector 171 and reading anything that goes past it will produce error on HRT that would then write that !BAD pattern on the output.

Re: WDC AC31600H firmware issue ?

January 10th, 2018, 19:17

Is it possible that one of the heads is failing during calibration? Can you determine if your bad sectors correspond to one particular head?

Re: WDC AC31600H firmware issue ?

January 11th, 2018, 17:39

fzabkar wrote:Is it possible that one of the heads is failing during calibration? Can you determine if your bad sectors correspond to one particular head?


There are bad sectors across ALL heads ... I don't think that a particular head is completly gone as i can at least read some data with each of the heads .... But the drive might detect that the heads are no longer working properly. Also the end of the drive can't be read ....

1.jpg


Also i don't know what i've done yesterday, if it was because the regen translator experience (i tested super format with all options that i could think of) or if it was because i ws messing with that SET command to attempt to turn on re-location but now the G-List do have entries !!!!

Re: WDC AC31600H firmware issue ?

January 11th, 2018, 18:06

Here :

2.jpg
2.jpg (41.02 KiB) Viewed 1751 times


3.jpg

Re: WDC AC31600H firmware issue ?

January 11th, 2018, 20:02

Why are there numerous duplicate entries in the Glist? Where and how does the firmware keep track of the pending defects? Have any of the modules changed since you began experimenting?

Re: WDC AC31600H firmware issue ?

January 12th, 2018, 18:42

fzabkar wrote:Why are there numerous duplicate entries in the Glist? Where and how does the firmware keep track of the pending defects? Have any of the modules changed since you began experimenting?


I don't have a clue about why there are duplicate entries on the G-List. I don't even think that this old drive would have a Pending List. Some old drives only have G and not "pending". Other will have Pending and G as one list and some "flag" to mark a pending sector on the same G-List.

Some modules did change including translator ones. Here you have the modules NOW :

Modules.rar
(85.57 KiB) Downloaded 36 times


You can compare with the ones i uploaded at the start of the thread. Also i did found this inside an older version of HDD.exe (tool for WD OLD drives) :

[BLOCKS]
ID40=Translator SA
ID41=Road Map
ID42=Passport
ID43=P-List
ID44=G-List
ID46=Adaptives
ID47=SysTracks Adaptives
ID48=Adaptives
ID01=Overlay
ID02=Overlay
ID10=Overlay
ID11=Overlay
ID12=Overlay
ID14=Overlay
ID19=Overlay
ID36=Hardware-Oriented Functions
ID61=Overlay
ID20=Translator
ID22=Translator
ID23=Translator
ID25=Translator
ID29=SMART parameters
ID2A=SMART Logs
ID2B=SMART Logs
ID2D=SMART parameters (copy 29)
ID21=SMART Logs
ID2F=SMART
ID2C=SMART
ID2E=SMART
ID26=SMART
IDE1=SelfScan

Re: WDC AC31600H firmware issue ?

January 12th, 2018, 18:45

So my module list will be like this :

a.jpg
a.jpg (49.44 KiB) Viewed 1696 times


(But i guess it's good to the trash !!!)

Re: WDC AC31600H firmware issue ?

January 12th, 2018, 19:24

FWIW, I notice that Toshiba's Glist consists of several parts, with flags for pending sectors as well as reallocated ones (as you say). However, your WD Glist doesn't appear to contain anything other than reallocated sectors.

Maybe the pending sectors are stored in RAM? If the host writes to one of these sectors, then it would be added to the Glist. Otherwise the list of pending sectors would be discarded after a power cycle, in which case these bad sectors would be rediscovered only when the host next attempts to read them.

Re: WDC AC31600H firmware issue ?

January 12th, 2018, 19:48

You could test my RAM-resident relolist hypothesis by writing to a bad sector before and after a power cycle.

Scan a bad area with Victoria. This should result in bad sectors being added to the RAM-resident relolist.

Choose one of these pending sectors and overwrite it. Check whether the Glist has been incremented (Yes?).

Read back the pending sector. Is the sector now readable (Yes?)? If so, then it was reallocated.

Power cycle the drive.

Now choose another of the pending sectors which were previously found by Victoria and overwrite it. Was the Glist incremented (No?)?

Read back the pending sector. Is the sector now readable (No?)? If not, then it was not reallocated (because the RAM-resident relolist was empty).

Overwrite and read that same sector again. This time it should be reallocated (because the first read error should have added it to the relolist).

Re: WDC AC31600H firmware issue ?

January 13th, 2018, 10:10

fzabkar wrote:You could test my RAM-resident relolist hypothesis by writing to a bad sector before and after a power cycle.

Scan a bad area with Victoria. This should result in bad sectors being added to the RAM-resident relolist.

Choose one of these pending sectors and overwrite it. Check whether the Glist has been incremented (Yes?).

Read back the pending sector. Is the sector now readable (Yes?)? If so, then it was reallocated.

Power cycle the drive.

Now choose another of the pending sectors which were previously found by Victoria and overwrite it. Was the Glist incremented (No?)?

Read back the pending sector. Is the sector now readable (No?)? If not, then it was not reallocated (because the RAM-resident relolist was empty).

Overwrite and read that same sector again. This time it should be reallocated (because the first read error should have added it to the relolist).


This wouldn't work.

I have to test more later today and post the picture of the PCB but this experience wouldn't work.

- First i don't think that any sector was indeed swapped by spares. I see the exact same pattern with Victoria at the start of the drive with the same bad blocks on the same spots. I don't even think that my drive is using those lists because the drive is only accessible when setting the super on. The drive is not operating at normal mode. Super On is allowing user access access to extract the data as "emergency" measure but drive is not working at all as it would. Experimentation would have to be carried with a known good drive working in normal mode.

- If you READ a bad sector it should be added to Pending (on normal modern drives). If you write it directly it should be swapped by a spare. It doesn't matter if it's on re-lo / pending list or not. Get a drive with bad sectors and try to zero fill it with something like MHDD erase procedure that actualy use write command or use Victoria or whatever to WRITE to the entire drive or even if you use internal Secure erase, bad sectors will be swapped by spares. Even if there is no read/verify operation and RE-LO/ Pending is empty. As soon as drive checks that it can't write properly it should attempt to swap the sector by a spare. On older drives with specific firmware (very old drives) even reading directly would swap the bad sector by a spare !!! This is not acording to standard so they change behaviour but i do have a drive that if i make a bad sector with write long using wrong ecc and if i power it off/on and if i attempt to read that same sector it's swapped by spare directly ! On any modern drive writting to bad sectors should swap them by spares directly.

I will check the drive again later today. I will restore original FW dump and try again.

Re: WDC AC31600H firmware issue ?

January 13th, 2018, 11:25

Ok, the pattern is exactly the same with the "new" defect list (G-List) or with the original one (i did restore modules and power off/on the drive and confirm changes) :

1.jpg


It looks like original P-List does have duplicated entries as well.

At any rate to place defects on the G-List i can run a HRT WRITE operation. When it reaches a certain point of the start of the LBA space the drive start to make scratching sound. Then it's stuck on BSY. Some duplicated dfects are added but the drive will not stay out of BSY even with soft reset and have to be re-powered....

So .... Heads/surface are gone ...

Re: WDC AC31600H firmware issue ?

January 13th, 2018, 17:13

Spildit wrote:If you READ a bad sector it should be added to Pending (on normal modern drives). If you write it directly it should be swapped by a spare. It doesn't matter if it's on re-lo / pending list or not.

My point is that, if your drive is power cycled after a bad read, it does not remember that a particular sector was bad (because there is no pending list). So, if you now write to this previously identified bad sector (without reading it again beforehand), the drive should treat it just like a good one.

BTW, I can't see any duplicate entries in the P-list. :?

Re: WDC AC31600H firmware issue ?

January 13th, 2018, 18:58

Yes, there are NO duplicates on the P-List, only on the G-list, you are correct.

Also if i power off and on the drive now and do a WRITE operation it now detect the defects even if i don't do any reading / verify first.

Adding those defects to the G-List works for some defects.

I think that the duplications on the G-List might be caused by a firmware bug that adds multiple times the same bad sectors when several attempts are made to write to it.

If you write with 4 retries for example the same sector is re-tryed (to write) and the firmware adds it several times ? I don't know i'm just trying to guess but that doesn't make much sense.

Those sectors apear as duplicated on the G-List even with a normal "write" operation outside HRT without trying to "recover".

1.jpg


2.jpg
2.jpg (39.87 KiB) Viewed 1613 times

Re: WDC AC31600H firmware issue ?

January 13th, 2018, 19:00

Pc3k Isa V14?

Re: WDC AC31600H firmware issue ?

January 13th, 2018, 19:08

helpdisc wrote:Pc3k Isa V14?


helpdisc wrote:Pc3k Isa V14?


Nope. I'm using HDD48.exe / HRT 3.0 .

I can try with PC3K ISA but i'm not very good with Russian...

:oops: :oops: :oops:

Re: WDC AC31600H firmware issue ?

January 13th, 2018, 19:32

Ok .... I guess that the drive just "detects" that something is not fine with heads, maybe it tests heads resistence or whatever and fails and it goes intro a special mode where translator is not loaded to prevent even more damage. Super On unlocks that state or loads the translator and that's it.

The drive is too bad to recover or "fix". Even if i could use Self-Scan there would be way more defects than the P-List and G-list capacity could fit ...

Re: WDC AC31600H firmware issue ?

January 15th, 2018, 3:17

I think they had one ISA verios on english.

Re: WDC AC31600H firmware issue ?

January 15th, 2018, 15:08

helpdisc wrote:I think they had one ISA verios on english.


Yes they have. But i don't think that i would buy one just to attempt to Self-Scan this very old drive if possible at all (with PC3K ISA) ....

:D :D :D

And most likely it can't be "fixed" at all as there are bad sectors everywhere in all heads/platters ....

:cry: :cry: :cry:

Re: WDC AC31600H firmware issue ?

January 15th, 2018, 18:28

fzabkar wrote:Is there any chance you could add hires photos/scans of the PCB to your HDD Oracle database? I'm curious to see how your WD MCU differs from later ones.


I will scan the PCB later and post a better quality photo to the Oracle, maybe during the next weekend.

For now i'm posting a smart phone photo. Should at least provide a better idea about the drive :

1.jpg


2.jpg


(Not the best quality in the world but better than nothing) !

Re: WDC AC31600H firmware issue ?

January 15th, 2018, 18:35

ISA Had no self scan for pre AA/BB.Even with HDD48.exe you cannot use it to start SS on that WD, there is no push button start SS.
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