Hard disc drive contains a set of service data, called firmware that controls its hardware and is vital for its proper functioning. The firmware can be compared to the Operating System installed on your computer.
Just like Operating System allows your computer to run a certain application, the firmware allows all parts of a hard drive to operate smoothly and provides an access to disc contents.Some common symptoms indicating firmware corruption are;
- If the hard drive cannot read the service area modules this can result in a Clicking noise
- The hard drive spins up , no clicking, but cannot be detected by your computer.
- The hard drive spins up , no clicking, but is shown to have 0GB capacity.
- The hard drive spins up but cannot read your data
List of the modules contained on the SYSTEM AREA of modern Seagate F3 (7200.11 and above)
|Module||Sys. file|| Description
||Module||Sys. file|| Description
|00||Defect list of SA|
|01||0x001A||Drive information file||02||0x0019||Performance parameter file|
|03||0x001B||P-List||04||0x003F||SAP (Servo Adaptive FParameters)|
|05||0x0300||Manufacturin information file||06||0x0001||RAP (Read Adaptives Parameters)|
|07||0x0208||CAP (Controller Adaptives Parameters)||09||0x0133||SMART config (filling by pattern)|
|0A||0x0134||SMART Frame||0C||0x0139||Self scan log|
|0E||DIC (Data integrity check), Head 0||0F||DIC Dummy file|
|13||0x030A||Disk reestr (Security settings)||15||0x0306||Offline selfscan of surface (DOS)|
|1D||0x0100||Overlay 0||1E||0x0101||Overlay 1|
|22||File selfscan surface, head 0||23||File selfscan surface, head 1|
|24||File selfscan surface, head 2||25||File selfscan surface, head 3|
|26||File selfscan surface, head 4||27||File selfscan surface, head 5|
|28||File selfscan surface, head 6||29||File selfscan surface, head 7|
|2A||0x0093||Saved Mode pages (Edit HDD ID)||2B||0x0028||RW operations, (Translator)|
|2C||DIC (Data Integrity Check), Head 1, pattern||2D||DIC (Data Integrity Check), Head 2, pattern|
|2E||DIC (Data Integrity Check), Head 3, pattern||2F||DIC (Data Integrity Check), Head 4, pattern|
|30||DIC (Data Integrity Check), Head 5, pattern||31||DIC (Data Integrity Check), Head 6, pattern|
|32||DIC (Data Integrity Check), Head 7, pattern||33||Service file FDE|
|34||0x032C||Packed structure descriptor COUGEN||35||0x0135||SMART|
To repair firmware problems specialised tools are required to access and modify the System Area of Western Digital, Seagate, Hitachi, Fijitsu, Samsung drives.
Here at dig IT we use the Dolphin Data Labs FRP tools ,see pic right, to perform these repairs and diagnosis of hard drive problems.
Dolphin Data Labs Firmware Repair Tools include fixes for common firmware problems
Seagate drives also have a Terminal Mode which allows the Firmware repair tool to initiate commands directly to the firmware of the drive. In terminal mode the drive also displays errors that have occurred during the drives spin up sequence and the following are some common errors for Seagate drives;
- Failed to load overlay 00000004 - This is usually associated with some hardware error and can be caused by non-native adaptives (i.e non-original ROM).
- SIM error 1002 - This message alerts us to some error with one or more defect list. Potentially P-list or NRG list can be bad.
- SIM error 2044 - Translator tables cannot be read or are damaged.
- SIM error 1009 - Module 17A is damaged.
- SIM Error 203F / SIM Error 2040 / SIM Error 2044 / SIM Error 3005 - Also seem to be damaged or unreadable translator related errors.
- LED:00000047 FAddr:FFFFFFFE - Usually this relates to Media Cache.
- LED:000000BC FAddr:00006220 - Usually this also relates to Media Cache or some relocation parameters.
- SIM ERROR 3005 - Mean that “format corrupted flag” in on and Translator is not loaded in RAM.
- "No HOST FIS-ReadyStatusFlags" - (reason message: why translator is not loaded).