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 Post subject: broken Seagate Blackarmor NAS 110
PostPosted: August 25th, 2018, 12:56 
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Joined: August 25th, 2018, 12:16
Posts: 11
Location: United States
This unit stopped being visible on the network. I took the drive out and put it in my system attempting to determine the issue and to back up the data to another drive. I dropped the project for a couple of years and I'm just getting back to this on my to-do list.

The drive is an ST32000542AS 2TB drive from Seagate. It's formatted with linux partitions.
My PC's boot sequence shows the drive model and serial number and reports there's a SMART event.
I can sometimes see the drive in the windows drive management snap-in.
I can sometimes see the drive in Ubuntu drive tools.
The drive is usually visible at first (after boot) in either OS, but later becomes invisible. I am not sure if it's for thermal reasons, if some diagnostic or repair event is occurring and I'm just not waiting long enough, or what. I only suspect thermal reasons because a reboot doesn't necessarily ensure I will see the drive, but shutting it down and waiting seems to be reliable.

When I was first working on it, I came to the conclusion that block zero was corrupted and that I might be able to somehow fix it.
I can no longer remember why I concluded that, so that's in question.

Can anyone provide guidance to do any of the following:

1. Obtain the SMART information that would tell me what's up with the drive. (Sea Tools did not work in Windows and the boot drive option did not work when I tried booting to it.)

2. Repair what might be a simple problem. This could involve a single reallocation, clearing some sort of SMART issue, recreating one of the non-data partitions on the drive, reformatting the drive (without overwrite) and using a low-level data recovery or some other strategy that hasn't yet occurred to me.

3. Clone the drive (I have a 3TB drive at the ready)

Thank you for any suggestions.


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 Post subject: Re: broken Seagate Blackarmor NAS 110
PostPosted: August 25th, 2018, 17:09 
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Can you retrieve a terminal log? You will need a USB-TTL serial adapter.

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 Post subject: Re: broken Seagate Blackarmor NAS 110
PostPosted: August 26th, 2018, 3:34 
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Clone the drive with DD Rescue, after that don't use the Seagate anymore...

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 Post subject: Re: broken Seagate Blackarmor NAS 110
PostPosted: August 29th, 2018, 17:07 
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fzabkar wrote:
Can you retrieve a terminal log? You will need a USB-TTL serial adapter.


Thank you fzabkar,

I have a brand spanking new adapter and jumper wires on the way, but it dawned on me that there are two serial ports on the drive. The SATA connector data side and the "jumper" block. While I'm waiting for my gear, which port has that data? Is there a sequence to enable the log or does it just vomit out data when the drive starts?


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 Post subject: Re: broken Seagate Blackarmor NAS 110
PostPosted: August 29th, 2018, 17:20 
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@funkytut, the terminal port is at the jumper block, and, yes, the terminal log is generated automatically during power-up.

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 Post subject: Re: broken Seagate Blackarmor NAS 110
PostPosted: August 30th, 2018, 21:15 
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mr_spokk wrote:
Clone the drive with DD Rescue, after that don't use the Seagate anymore...


Thank you, mr_spokk,

I'm afraid I don't have that much functionality yet. I get a lot of errors playing around with DD rescue, but nothing seems to be able to read the bad disc.


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 Post subject: Re: broken Seagate Blackarmor NAS 110
PostPosted: September 1st, 2018, 7:56 
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Joined: August 25th, 2018, 12:16
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Location: United States
I can access the serial port and even use the diagnostic commands. The documentation on those commands isn't that great, but I was able to retrieve some information. (the drive did not spit out more than 20 characters without me doing something first)
I finally got standalone Seatools working, the first attempt totally trashed my 16GB thumb drive, rendering it un-format-able.
attached pictures show some info and behavior.



^Z to get in

after typing ^L:
F3 T>

Hepburn VTPI/RAP16,128K dfcts,9K srvo,Yeti3,5900rpm DT
Product FamilyId: 40, MemberId: 01
HDA SN: 5XW2RWSB, RPM: 5893, Wedges: 160, Heads: 8, Lbas: E8FE5790, PreampType: 57 21
PCBA SN: 0000E1359GJL, Controller: YETIST_3_0(649B)(3-12-3-3), Channel: AGERE_COPPERHEAD_LITE, PowerAsic: MCKINLEY DESKTOP LITE Rev 91, BufferBytes: 2000000
Package Version: HE1DDB.CCD9.BZ602H.CC95 , Package P/N: 100615436, Package Builder ID: AT,
Package Build Date: 02/16/2010, Package Build Time: 11:48:22, Package CFW Version: HE1D.CCD9.00230739.AT00,
Package SFW1 Version: BD6C, Package SFW2 Version: ----, Package SFW3 Version: ----, Package SFW4 Version: ----
Controller FW Rev: 02161148, CustomerRel: CC95, Changelist: 00230739, ProdType: HE1D.CCD9, Date: 02/16/2010, Time: 114822, UserId: 00236537
Servo FW Rev: BD6C
RAP FW Implementation Key: 10, Format Rev: 0001, Contents Rev: A2 06 03 03
Features:
- Quadradic Equation AFH enabled
- VBAR with adjustable zone boundaries enabled
- Volume Based Sparing enabled
- IOEDC enabled
- IOECC enabled
- DERP Read Retries enabled
- LTTC-UDR2 compiled off

after typing ^x:
ATA 15 Cmds
Ts(ms) dT(ms) Op Cnt LBA
0 99999999 00 0000 000000000000
0 0 00 0000 000000000000
0 0 00 0000 000000000000
0 0 00 0000 000000000000
0 0 00 0000 000000000000
0 0 00 0000 000000000000
0 0 00 0000 000000000000
0 0 00 0000 000000000000
0 0 00 0000 000000000000
0 0 00 0000 000000000000
0 0 00 0000 000000000000
0 0 00 0000 000000000000
0 0 00 0000 000000000000
0 0 00 0000 000000000000
0 0 00 0000 000000000000

RW 32 Cmds
Ts(ms) dT(ms) xT(ms) Type Option Mode St EC Info
7987 99999999 288 02 002241 000000 2 43110081 XFR RD SYS LBA B 000060A4 L 00000006 BO 000000 BES 006D880.006DB7F.006D880
8275 288 3285 02 002241 000000 2 43110081 XFR RD SYS LBA B 000060A8 L 00000001 BO 000000 BES 006D880.006DB7F.006DA80
11561 3286 263 02 002241 000000 2 C3160080 XFR RD SYS LBA B 0002B615 L 00000006 BO 000000 BES 006D880.006DB7F.006D880
11824 263 3063 02 002241 000000 2 43110081 XFR RD SYS LBA B 0002B616 L 00000001 BO 000000 BES 006D880.006DB7F.006D900
14887 3063 5 02 005041 000000 1 00000080 XFR SYS LBA B 000055B4 L 00000008 BO 000000 BES 0061C8D.006208C.0061C8D
14893 6 10 02 005041 000000 1 00000080 XFR SYS LBA B 0002AB25 L 00000008 BO 000000 BES 0061C8D.006208C.0061C8D
14903 10 0 27 005041 000000 1 00000080 SND_SRV 0C01 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0001 BD6C 00D0
108E 0400 FFFF FFFF 0002 F820 F290 0000 0DF5 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000 0000
14904 1 299 02 002241 000000 2 43110081 XFR RD SYS LBA B 000060A4 L 00000006 BO 000000 BES 006D880.006DB7F.006D880
15203 299 3265 02 002241 000000 2 43110081 XFR RD SYS LBA B 000060A8 L 00000001 BO 000000 BES 006D880.006DB7F.006DA80
18468 3265 345 02 002241 000000 2 43110081 XFR RD SYS LBA B 0002B615 L 00000006 BO 000000 BES 006D880.006DB7F.006D880
18813 345 3122 02 002241 000000 2 C3160080 XFR RD SYS LBA B 0002B616 L 00000001 BO 000000 BES 006D880.006DB7F.006D900
21935 3122 3 02 002241 000000 1 00000080 XFR RD SYS LBA B 000075AA L 00000001 BO 000000 BES 0061B0D.0061B8C.0061B0D
21939 4 10 02 002241 000000 1 00000080 XFR RD SYS LBA B 00009067 L 00000014 BO 000000 BES 00C17F6.05FFFFF.00C17F6
21950 11 9 02 002241 000000 1 00000080 XFR RD SYS LBA B 000075AB L 00000001 BO 000000 BES 006198D.0061A0C.006198D
21959 9 4 02 002241 000000 1 00000080 XFR RD SYS LBA B 00008E54 L 00000001 BO 000000 BES 006D880.006DD7F.006D880
21964 5 10 02 005041 000000 1 00000080 XFR SYS LBA B 00008E54 L 00000001 BO 000000 BES 006D880.006D8FF.006D880
21974 10 10 02 005041 000000 1 00000080 XFR SYS LBA B 0002E3C5 L 00000001 BO 000000 BES 006D880.006D8FF.006D880
21984 10 299 02 002241 000000 2 43110081 XFR RD SYS LBA B 000060A4 L 00000006 BO 000000 BES 006D880.006DB7F.006D880
22283 299 3275 02 002241 000000 2 43110081 XFR RD SYS LBA B 000060A8 L 00000001 BO 000000 BES 006D880.006DB7F.006DA80
25558 3275 365 02 002241 000000 2 43110081 XFR RD SYS LBA B 0002B615 L 00000006 BO 000000 BES 006D880.006DB7F.006D880
25924 366 3123 02 002241 000000 2 43110081 XFR RD SYS LBA B 0002B616 L 00000001 BO 000000 BES 006D880.006DB7F.006D900
29067 3143 7 02 002241 000000 1 00000080 XFR RD SYS LBA B 00008A0C L 000000C8 BO 000000 BES 006210D.006850C.006210D
29079 12 6 02 002241 000000 1 00000080 XFR RD SYS LBA B 00008E63 L 00000002 BO 000000 BES 006D880.006DD7F.006D880
29085 6 10 02 005041 000000 1 00000080 XFR SYS LBA B 00008E63 L 00000002 BO 000000 BES 006D880.006D97F.006D880
29095 10 10 02 005041 000000 1 00000080 XFR SYS LBA B 0002E3D4 L 00000002 BO 000000 BES 006D880.006D97F.006D880
29105 10 10 02 002241 000000 1 00000080 XFR RD SYS LBA B 00008E63 L 00000002 BO 000000 BES 00C17F6.05FFFFF.00C17F6
29115 10 10 02 005041 000000 1 00000080 XFR SYS LBA B 000055EE L 00000001 BO 000000 BES 006EE00.006EE7F.006EE00
29125 10 10 02 005041 000000 1 00000080 XFR SYS LBA B 0002AB5F L 00000001 BO 000000 BES 006EE00.006EE7F.006EE00
29136 11 2 02 002241 000000 1 00000080 XFR RD SYS LBA B 000060E8 L 00000001 BO 000000 BES 0060162.00601E1.0060162
29139 3 5 02 005041 000000 1 00000080 XFR SYS LBA B 000055B4 L 00000008 BO 000000 BES 0061C8D.006208C.0061C8D
29145 6 10 02 005041 000000 1 00000080 XFR SYS LBA B 0002AB25 L 00000008 BO 000000 BES 0061C8D.006208C.0061C8D
29155 10 0 47 000000 000000 1 00000080 DISC_SLIP

after Level 2 N5 command
/2
N5
F3 1>N5
Att
Num Flgs normlzd worst raw
1 000F 78 63 0000000002CA84
3 0003 64 64 00000000000000
4 0032 64 5D 00000000000002
5 0033 3 3 00000000000F87
7 000F 4B 3C 00000000000000
9 0032 54 54 0000000000371B
A 0013 64 64 00000000000000
C 0032 64 64 000000000000A5
B7 0032 64 64 00000000000000
B8 0032 64 64 00000000000000
BB 0032 F F 00000000000056
BC 0032 5F 5F 00000600060008
BD 003A 64 64 00000000000000
BE 0022 4C 27 005D0B80800018
C2 0022 18 3D 00000F00000018
C3 001A 29 F 0000000002CA84
C5 0012 64 64 00000000000000
C6 0010 64 64 00000000000000
C7 003E C8 C8 00000000000000
F0 0000 64 FD 11BD63000038D6
F1 0000 64 FD 000000E692C2E4
F2 0000 64 FD 000000075BBCCD
0 0000 0 0 00000000000000
0 0000 0 0 00000000000000
0 0000 0 0 00000000000000
0 0000 0 0 00000000000000
0 0000 0 0 00000000000000
0 0000 0 0 00000000000000
0 0000 0 0 00000000000000
0 0000 0 0 00000000000000



fzabkar wrote:
Can you retrieve a terminal log? You will need a USB-TTL serial adapter.


Attachments:
4drive comes ready.jpg
4drive comes ready.jpg [ 158.79 KiB | Viewed 2319 times ]
3attempting to get info does not respond didn't wait too long.jpg
3attempting to get info does not respond didn't wait too long.jpg [ 182.34 KiB | Viewed 2319 times ]
2list of drives dev-sg4 is the bad device.jpg
2list of drives dev-sg4 is the bad device.jpg [ 165.53 KiB | Viewed 2319 times ]
1Attempting to load drives not sure how I got this.jpg
1Attempting to load drives not sure how I got this.jpg [ 194.77 KiB | Viewed 2319 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: broken Seagate Blackarmor NAS 110
PostPosted: September 1st, 2018, 10:04 
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Joined: January 29th, 2012, 1:43
Posts: 466
Location: United States
First, since I have not seen any mention of how important the data is, if it is important enough to pay for recovery, then seek a data recovery professional.

Quote:
Num Flgs normlzd worst raw
5 0033 3 3 00000000000F87

Smart ID 5 is reallocated sectors, the value is 0xF87 which is 3975 sectors that have been reallocated, indicating a failing disk. There is no "fixing" this disk. There may be some terminal commands that could help get the drive more stable for recovery, but not fix it. But if you do the wrong commands you can kill it and loose your data forever.

If you can still get it to be recognized, try HDDSuperClone instead of ddrescue. HDDSuperClone can detect when the drive goes offline (ddrescue cannot always detect this), which it sounds like yours is doing. It will stop when that happens, at which point you would power cycle the drive to (hopefully) get it to come back online, and then continue the recovery. If it is just a bad spot, you should be able to get through it with a few power cycles. If it is a bad head, you will not be so lucky.

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 Post subject: Re: broken Seagate Blackarmor NAS 110
PostPosted: September 1st, 2018, 15:43 
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Joined: September 8th, 2009, 18:21
Posts: 10952
Location: Australia
At level T, issue the following commands:

    F"READ_SPARING_ENABLED",0,22
    F"WRITE_SPARING_ENABLED",0,22
    F"OFFLINE_SPARING_ENABLED",0,22
    F"DAR_ENABLED",0,22
    F"DISABLE_IDLE_ACTIVITY",1,22
    F"BGMS_DISABLE_DATA_REFRESH",1,22
    F"ABORT_PREFETCH",1,22
    F"READ_LOOKAHEAD_DISABLED_ON_POWER_UP",1,22
    F"READ_CACHING_DISABLED_ON_POWER_UP",1,22
    F"MediaCacheControl",00,22

These commands should disable certain features, thereby making your drive more stable for recovery purposes.

Please see this warning:
http://www.hddoracle.com/viewtopic.php? ... =80#p15109

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 Post subject: Re: broken Seagate Blackarmor NAS 110
PostPosted: September 11th, 2018, 18:30 
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Joined: August 25th, 2018, 12:16
Posts: 11
Location: United States
Thank you, maximus. This is very helpful. I have some additional questions.

maximus wrote:
First, since I have not seen any mention of how important the data is, if it is important enough to pay for recovery, then seek a data recovery professional.
The data isn't going to sink a business or anything, but it would be nice to retrieve pictures. I'm willing to try retrieve it knowing there's a risk.

Quote:
Num Flgs normlzd worst raw
5 0033 3 3 00000000000F87

Smart ID 5 is reallocated sectors, the value is 0xF87 which is 3975 sectors that have been reallocated, indicating a failing disk. There is no "fixing" this disk. There may be some terminal commands that could help get the drive more stable for recovery, but not fix it. But if you do the wrong commands you can kill it and loose your data forever.

I think I had this drive spinning in my system for the last two years every time I powered up. (I stupidly didn't remove the power cable, but did remove the SATA cable) I don't think I had a head crash. (no scraping or clicking) If I'm going to lose data, I may already have lost it.
The response from fzabkar lays out commands to turn off background stuff. Is that what you were recommending?


If you can still get it to be recognized, try HDDSuperClone instead of ddrescue. HDDSuperClone can detect when the drive goes offline (ddrescue cannot always detect this), which it sounds like yours is doing. It will stop when that happens, at which point you would power cycle the drive to (hopefully) get it to come back online, and then continue the recovery. If it is just a bad spot, you should be able to get through it with a few power cycles. If it is a bad head, you will not be so lucky.


Talking to the drive with HDDSuperClone was not possible on your standalone (Lubuntu?) and I couldn't install minicom on it.
Installing HDDSuperClone is giving me troubles on my Ubuntu system, but I got minicom installed.

I want serial port capability so that I can set up without power-cycling the drive before switching to the HDD tools.
The message, when I attempt to run HDDSuperClone on Ubuntu is: hddsuperclone: error while loading shared libraries: libusb-0.1.so.4: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
I found a 6-year old thread with this message, but am reluctant to follow the instructions because they're so old. It appeared to be a compatibility package and I wasn't sure if I should install pacman if I already have a package manager. I'm fairly inexperienced with Linux.


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 Post subject: Re: broken Seagate Blackarmor NAS 110
PostPosted: September 11th, 2018, 18:38 
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Joined: August 25th, 2018, 12:16
Posts: 11
Location: United States
Thank you, fzabkar. I think I'm making forward progress, thanks to you and the other folks here.

fzabkar wrote:
At level T, issue the following commands:

    F"READ_SPARING_ENABLED",0,22
    F"WRITE_SPARING_ENABLED",0,22
    F"OFFLINE_SPARING_ENABLED",0,22
    F"DAR_ENABLED",0,22
    F"DISABLE_IDLE_ACTIVITY",1,22
    F"BGMS_DISABLE_DATA_REFRESH",1,22
    F"ABORT_PREFETCH",1,22
    F"READ_LOOKAHEAD_DISABLED_ON_POWER_UP",1,22
    F"READ_CACHING_DISABLED_ON_POWER_UP",1,22
    F"MediaCacheControl",00,22

These commands should disable certain features, thereby making your drive more stable for recovery purposes.

Please see this warning:
http://www.hddoracle.com/viewtopic.php? ... =80#p15109


Is the list of commands above sensitive to order? I am assuming that their effect is lost after power cycling the drive. Is that true? Also, if I can pick and choose among the suggested commands, which ones represent the most risk and are they strictly necessary in a staged attempt to retrieve data? I responded to maximus' post and asked if your commands were what he suggested. I'm going to ask you if your commands are contra-indicated with his tools. (It looks like he's associated with HDDSuperClone) I looked at the hddoracle link and found general caution was in order. Did you want to highlight any one of the commands in particular?


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 Post subject: Re: broken Seagate Blackarmor NAS 110
PostPosted: September 12th, 2018, 0:40 
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Joined: August 25th, 2018, 12:16
Posts: 11
Location: United States
fzabkar wrote:
At level T, issue the following commands:

    F"READ_SPARING_ENABLED",0,22
    F"WRITE_SPARING_ENABLED",0,22
    F"OFFLINE_SPARING_ENABLED",0,22
    F"DAR_ENABLED",0,22
    F"DISABLE_IDLE_ACTIVITY",1,22
    F"BGMS_DISABLE_DATA_REFRESH",1,22
    F"ABORT_PREFETCH",1,22
    F"READ_LOOKAHEAD_DISABLED_ON_POWER_UP",1,22
    F"READ_CACHING_DISABLED_ON_POWER_UP",1,22
    F"MediaCacheControl",00,22

These commands should disable certain features, thereby making your drive more stable for recovery purposes.

Please see this warning:
http://www.hddoracle.com/viewtopic.php? ... =80#p15109



Okay, after asking in my previous question, I see that the warning is really only about the Idle Activity setting. Is it acceptable to omit that change and try the rest first or is that integral?
Are the changes permanent or do they revert on a power cycle?
If they are permanent, is it safe to assume that most of them are binary settings, either 1 or 0, and that I can set them back with the complementary command?
One notable exception might be the Media Cache control, which is a double digit number.


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 Post subject: Re: broken Seagate Blackarmor NAS 110
PostPosted: September 12th, 2018, 17:25 
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Joined: January 29th, 2012, 1:43
Posts: 466
Location: United States
Quote:
The message, when I attempt to run HDDSuperClone on Ubuntu is: hddsuperclone: error while loading shared libraries: libusb-0.1.so.4: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

Well crap, I started working on some USB communications in the program, which I would say is causing that issue. What version of Ubuntu are you using? I will fix that in the next release.

For now you should be able to use HDDSuperClone version 1.99.3.beta, that was before I started the USB coding. On the site in the download page, expand the OLD VERSIONS to get it.

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 Post subject: Re: broken Seagate Blackarmor NAS 110
PostPosted: September 12th, 2018, 23:13 
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I'm using Ubuntu 14.04. I did manage to get your lubuntu online to download the serial port software.
It didn't help me connect but I still have some questions for fzabkar about his command list.


maximus wrote:
Quote:
The message, when I attempt to run HDDSuperClone on Ubuntu is: hddsuperclone: error while loading shared libraries: libusb-0.1.so.4: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

Well crap, I started working on some USB communications in the program, which I would say is causing that issue. What version of Ubuntu are you using? I will fix that in the next release.

For now you should be able to use HDDSuperClone version 1.99.3.beta, that was before I started the USB coding. On the site in the download page, expand the OLD VERSIONS to get it.


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 Post subject: Re: broken Seagate Blackarmor NAS 110
PostPosted: September 13th, 2018, 15:05 
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Joined: August 25th, 2018, 12:16
Posts: 11
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I'm now observing "Sim Error 1002" on the serial port after waiting for a period of time. (outside of diagnostic mode)


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 Post subject: Re: broken Seagate Blackarmor NAS 110
PostPosted: September 14th, 2018, 16:23 
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Joined: August 25th, 2018, 12:16
Posts: 11
Location: United States
fzabkar, Hi fzabkar, I had some questions about your command list and how the commands work. Can you comment?
In the command list you provided, you also linked to a discussion about the dangers. Is the idle activity setting the only big danger?

Also, it appears that the commands are mostly binary flags.
Do those settings persist between power cycles?
If so, is it safe to return them to their opposite setting on a subsequent session without further ado?
The final one "MediaCacheControl" is the only one that does not appear binary. Is there a default setting to which one could return it?


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 Post subject: Re: broken Seagate Blackarmor NAS 110
PostPosted: September 14th, 2018, 17:32 
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ISTR one thread where a user reported that he couldn't get the settings to stick. Otherwise I haven't heard of any other problems.

AIUI, these settings are written to sys file 93h in the System Area (SA) on the platters. That's how the professional tools do it.

Some reading for you ...

Read and Write F3 Arch Sys files with HyperTerminal :
http://www.hddoracle.com/viewtopic.php?f=83&t=1455

Seagate F3 Arch - Patching the 093 sysfile :
http://www.hddoracle.com/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=1842

Bypass InitiateMarkPendingReallocateRequest on F3 Arch :
http://www.hddoracle.com/viewtopic.php?f=83&t=557

To see the default settings, just type F at level T.

As for the "dangers", once your data are recovered, your drive should be taken out of service. Therefore any dangers are moot.

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 Post subject: Re: broken Seagate Blackarmor NAS 110
PostPosted: September 15th, 2018, 12:55 
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Joined: August 25th, 2018, 12:16
Posts: 11
Location: United States
Thank you, fzabkar.

I have made all but that one change already. Also, the media cache variable was not recognized.
I observed that a lot of clicking (similar to the head stack moving in and out of the latch) occurred afterward. This was not occurring before the changes and this behavior did survive a power-cycle.

The other behavior, which might have already been there, was the "Sim Error 1002" issuing in-frequently, but repeatedly, outside of diagnostic mode.

I'm not laboring under the illusion that the drive is going to be usable in the future, but I know there's a mode which prevents the head from sitting on one track too long in order to protect the head and media so I don't want to tempt fate with that unless I can restore it to its previous setting in relatively short order. Despite my statement that I'm comfortable giving it a try, if I can do this gently enough to find out whether or not I can truly access the drive before sending it in, I would like to retain the ability to send it in for as long as possible. (Which I grant may already be too late.)





fzabkar wrote:
ISTR one thread where a user reported that he couldn't get the settings to stick. Otherwise I haven't heard of any other problems.

AIUI, these settings are written to sys file 93h in the System Area (SA) on the platters. That's how the professional tools do it.

Some reading for you ...

Read and Write F3 Arch Sys files with HyperTerminal :
http://www.hddoracle.com/viewtopic.php?f=83&t=1455

Seagate F3 Arch - Patching the 093 sysfile :
http://www.hddoracle.com/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=1842

Bypass InitiateMarkPendingReallocateRequest on F3 Arch :
http://www.hddoracle.com/viewtopic.php?f=83&t=557

To see the default settings, just type F at level T.

As for the "dangers", once your data are recovered, your drive should be taken out of service. Therefore any dangers are moot.


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