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Fix of damaged Seagate 5400.2 and 5400.3

Artem Makarov aka Robin

Joint efforts of Sherwood Team HDD Repair and Research Group participants resulted in development of new methods of data recovery from Seagate Momentus notebook storage discs.

It is not a secret that a great number of failures in work of mDeformation traces on the upper coverodern storage discs are connected with reading/recording heads mortality. Classical way of data recovery from such hard drives consists of search of a donor disc for replacement of head assembly.

Unfortunately, this way has a range of drawbacks, the main of which is necessity to have a fitting storage disc as a donor of MHA. In spite if constant enlargement of spare parts the task of searching for a suitable disk sometimes is still rather difficult.

If a new hard disk is in question it is to be bought for a full cost. If it is a laid off HDD model, sometimes it costs several times more than a new one. Rather often colleagues from other cities of Russia and CIS are involved into such a search, and a donor disc is delivered via mail and messenger service. It influences final cost of data recovery from a damaged hard drive towards the sum growth. In the light of premises, Sherwood Team experts constantly develop new ways and methods of access to users' files without heads replacement in all possible cases.

How is MHA failure defined in the Seagate HDD? For example, at power on a spindle engine is accelerated, and then even taps of a head actuator against a stop are heard. In other case a spindle engine is accelerated, heads are unpacked, and then the disc buzzes on ATA interface and sends messages about error in loading of some part of a microprogram to the technological port.

Undoubtedly, if mr-elements fail because of their physical destruction (e.g., on account of plates scratches) the only way of data recovery is head assembly replacement. The point is that very often mr-elements are good but the heads fail either because they are just soiled, or tuning drift owing to HDD design microdistortion during its use, as it is heated when on and cooled when off.

In fairness, I should mark that fight against MHA soiling is held for a long time, and many experts clean heads with different dehydrated solutions, watching the process in the microscope. But Sherwood Team engineers found another way; they developed methods of engineering change for storage printed circuit boards to increase signal of the preamplification/commutation chip and to the same chip. Methods of stud change for a spindle engine and MHA control chip for Seagate 7200.7-7200.10 formfactor 3,5" storage was developed long ago, and now excellent results for Seagate Momentus 5400.2 and 5400.3 2,5" storage discs are obtained.

HDD Seagate 5400.2 and 5400.3

HDD Seagate 5400.2 and 5400.3

Example: information recovery from Seagate ST9120822AS Venus storage disc. It is not defined in BIOS. At the start it sends the following messages to the technological port:

Reset 4096k x 16 DRAM VENUS - 1_Disk S-0C 12-12-06_13:23

Buzz HM SFI ! ERR Read App Code


Reset 4096k x 16 DRAM VENUS - 1_Disk S-0C 12-12-06_13:23

Buzz HM SFI ! ERR Read Boot Adt



Reset 4096k x 16 DRAM VENUS - 1_Disk S-0C 12-12-06_13:23

Buzz HM SFI ! (P)Not Interface Age! DiskAccess ReadSector EC=43 at ffffffff.00.000c DiskAccess ReadSector EC=43 at ffffffff.00.0000

It means that the storage system head is unstable, and there is no access to the user area. A small printed circuit board modification results in:

Reset 4096k x 16 DRAM VENUS - 1_Disk S-0C 12-12-06_13:23

Buzz HM SFI ! (P)SATA Reset

and readiness on ATA interface without hermetical zone opening! It is clear that the disc cannot work as well as a new one, but necessary data are copied. The method has been tested on Seagate Merc2, Mustang, Mercury and Neptune storage.

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