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Old 03-02-2015, 09:07 PM   #1
mmartell
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Default Western Digital Hard Drive Not Bootable

This is a Western Digital Caviar SE (WD2500) 250GB Sata hard drive that was removed from a Dish Network (US Satellite) PVR. If I plug it into Sata to USB enclosure the drive is fully functional, even bootable plugged into an iMac. When plugged internally it is sort of seen but registers as "unknown" in my Dell or pretty much invisible in the iMac.

I've read of the standard problems for this and none apply. Tried new sata cables, format, erase etc etc.

Is this a drive firmware issue and can it be resolved ?
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Western Digital Hard Drive Not Bootable

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmartell View Post
This is a Western Digital Caviar SE (WD2500) 250GB Sata hard drive that was removed from a Dish Network (US Satellite) PVR. If I plug it into Sata to USB enclosure the drive is fully functional, even bootable plugged into an iMac. When plugged internally it is sort of seen but registers as "unknown" in my Dell or pretty much invisible in the iMac.

I've read of the standard problems for this and none apply. Tried new sata cables, format, erase etc etc.

Is this a drive firmware issue and can it be resolved ?
I had a Western Digital Sata Drive 500GB that did that also. Fixed it by wiping the drive with zeros using [email protected] It showed the first one sector as corrupt before the repair.
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Old 03-02-2015, 10:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: Western Digital Hard Drive Not Bootable

invisible to mac firmware? sector 1 (0 in POSIX) is unreadable. i would zero the thing and go digging for any signs of HPA being enabled.
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Old 03-03-2015, 08:48 AM   #4
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Default Re: Western Digital Hard Drive Not Bootable

I used WD Drive Agent or whatever it's called to zero the entire drive. Still unreadable to the Dell desktop at Sata0 - didn't try it in the iMac at that point, perhaps I should.
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Old 03-03-2015, 08:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: Western Digital Hard Drive Not Bootable

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invisible to mac firmware? sector 1 (0 in POSIX) is unreadable. i would zero the thing and go digging for any signs of HPA being enabled.
Ok THIS is interesting. I looked up HPA, need to find a program to use. Looks like something I could destroy the drive with lol.

Last edited by mmartell; 03-03-2015 at 08:56 AM..
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: Western Digital Hard Drive Not Bootable

First I would connect the drive directly to a computer SATA interface and not go through the USB.
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:36 AM   #7
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Default Re: Western Digital Hard Drive Not Bootable

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First I would connect the drive directly to a computer SATA interface and not go through the USB.
That's the point. When connected directly it's not working. When connected in an enclosure it works fine so I'm not understanding what you mean.
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Old 03-03-2015, 09:55 AM   #8
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Default Re: Western Digital Hard Drive Not Bootable

Doh! I'm sorry I missed that. There are some very good utililties on Ulitimate Boot Cd that may help. I'm thinking you may need to erase track 0 on the drive.

https://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
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Old 03-03-2015, 10:04 AM   #9
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Default Re: Western Digital Hard Drive Not Bootable

Ok thanks will have a look ! Is track 0 the HPA ?
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Old 03-03-2015, 10:48 AM   #10
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Default Re: Western Digital Hard Drive Not Bootable

No, but we don't know that HPA is involved.

Track 0 is the 1st tack in LBA, which is what the BIOS and OS look to first for disk info and boot info. If that is munged then the disk won't be seen properly. Zeroing it should make the disk appear to be raw, unpartioned, and unformatted to the OS.

Last edited by SteveNielsen; 03-03-2015 at 11:08 AM..
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Old 03-03-2015, 12:33 PM   #11
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Default Re: Western Digital Hard Drive Not Bootable

When you zeroed the drive with WD it should have zeroed everything, unless they have a lousy zeroing program.
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Old 03-03-2015, 12:47 PM   #12
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Default Re: Western Digital Hard Drive Not Bootable

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When you zeroed the drive with WD it should have zeroed everything, unless they have a lousy zeroing program.
WD is crap for HDD utilities, too safe. SpinRite is good. As is Killdisk paid version.
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Old 03-03-2015, 01:43 PM   #13
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Default Re: Western Digital Hard Drive Not Bootable

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdX
syntax is diferint by a slight bit for OSX, but its Unix and has it all.
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Old 03-03-2015, 02:51 PM   #14
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Default Re: Western Digital Hard Drive Not Bootable

Awesome info guys, I have hope yet ! Will do some testing later on tonight hopefully.
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Old 03-03-2015, 06:33 PM   #15
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Default Re: Western Digital Hard Drive Not Bootable

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Ok THIS is interesting. I looked up HPA, need to find a program to use. Looks like something I could destroy the drive with lol.
HPA is a neat trick on spinners! You can use HPA to short-stroke a hard disk drive.
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Old 03-03-2015, 08:17 PM   #16
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Default Re: Western Digital Hard Drive Not Bootable

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Originally Posted by Sparkey55 View Post
WD is crap for HDD utilities, too safe. SpinRite is good. As is Killdisk paid version.
Thank for the info. It is a sad state of affairs when the people who make the drive do not good utility programs to take care of them.
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Old 03-04-2015, 08:54 AM   #17
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Default Re: Western Digital Hard Drive Not Bootable

Ok I ran hdparm on a linux laptop with the drive in question hooked up to usb via an enclosure. Would this negate the results or can the program accurately query the drive in this fashion ?

With the -N switch the result was NO HPA.

With the --dco-indentify switch the result was DCO Revision 0x0001 followed by some other data.

Is this relevant ?
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Old 03-04-2015, 09:10 AM   #18
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Default Re: Western Digital Hard Drive Not Bootable

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Originally Posted by mmartell View Post
Ok I ran hdparm on a linux laptop with the drive in question hooked up to usb via an enclosure. Would this negate the results or can the program accurately query the drive in this fashion ?

With the -N switch the result was NO HPA.

With the --dco-indentify switch the result was DCO Revision 0x0001 followed by some other data.

Is this relevant ?
some USB interfaces can cause SMART to have problems querying since SMART over USB is, well, problematic. if you can get to a computer with a hot swap bay, try it in there. if it at least tries to see it, issue the secure erase command. DO NOT issue the secure erase over USB, it WILL brick the drive.

if its none of that then i would look into what firmware it actually has. it may be like the old original XBOX drives.....

Last edited by goontron; 03-04-2015 at 09:24 AM..
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Old 03-04-2015, 09:45 AM   #19
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Default Re: Western Digital Hard Drive Not Bootable

One of those commands showed the firmware version but where do you get updated firmware from cause I don't see it on WD's page.

Will hook it up internally on the Sata bus.
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Old 03-04-2015, 09:51 AM   #20
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Default Re: Western Digital Hard Drive Not Bootable

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One of those commands showed the firmware version but where do you get updated firmware from cause I don't see it on WD's page.

Will hook it up internally on the Sata bus.
paste the output of smartctl -ax /dev/sdX
it should show any signs of an Echostare/Disknetwork modified firmware.

Last edited by goontron; 03-04-2015 at 10:08 AM..
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