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Old 07-02-2012, 06:52 PM   #16
westom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
The most common thing that fails is the motor, but it could be anything.
I've seen most anything fail on a disk drive including defective heads, misalignment, failed semiconductors (identified with a scope and replaced to make that drive working again), bad motor that shorted out its drive transistors, bad drive transistor, defective interface, onboard computer what would fail at higher (but still normal) temperatures, and ... well I even worked on disk drives when one even used motor oil to move the heads. And yes, even fixed disk drive controller when they were separate controller boards.

Observation alone is classic junk science. Other requirements as taught in junior high science are required to separate speculation (junk science) from reality. Observation usually results in wild speculation. I deal with how hardware works both in theory and by even confirming it with test equipment (ie oscilloscope).

So what in the OP's system has failed? Based upon what was posted, answers will be mostly wild speculation. Execute the manufacturer's disk diagnostics. Then a next reply is based in hard facts. Might say if and how data might be recovered. May even report SMART information from the drive’s computer.
 
Old 07-02-2012, 08:50 PM   #17
granth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westom View Post
No controller exists. Just some interface chips so that the motherboard computer can talk to a disk drive computer.
This is technically correct, but you're splitting hairs. Many chip manufacturers, including Intel, refer to the SATA host bus adapter chip as a Serial ATA controller.

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/...ta-manual.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Host_adapter#ATA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advance...ller_Interface

A chip which is integrated into the motherboard or expansion card is considered a Host Bus Adapter, which is often referred to as an IDE/ATA/SCSI/SATA/SAS controller. The other "disk controller" is integrated into the storage device.
 
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:03 PM   #18
granth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogzab View Post
On initial boot from CD (Slackware installation or various live CD rescue setups) a partition table is seen by tools like cfdisk and parted. It shows my main ext4 partition as the second partition on the disk (1st is an NTFS and 3rd is a linux swap), but as soon as I try and do anything with it (like mount it) I get read errors and subsequently all the disk utilities say there is no partition table - it is all unallocated space.
TestDisk is a great utility for recovering/repairing partition tables. Of course, this is assuming your drive is otherwise in good health.

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk


When you attempted to mount the partition, what was the exact error? Did anything show up in 'dmesg'?
 
Old 07-02-2012, 09:07 PM   #19
westom
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Originally Posted by granth View Post
Many chip manufacturers, including Intel, refer to the SATA host bus adapter chip as a Serial ATA controller.
As posted previously, it is a legacy of MFM technology. Best is to just use same expressions so as to not confuse the many.

CMOS was originally because that integrated chip used CMOS technology. Today, all other chips are also CMOS. But we still refer to that specific memory as CMOS. Again, legacy.

What is relevant to the OP? If a disk controller problem exists, then that problem is on the drive. Not in interface (transceiver) chips on the motherboard. More assistance is obtained if manufacturer diagnostics are executed. That (and not continued confusion about the controller) is most relevant. Bad technician practice is to try to fix something before learning what is defective. Do not to fix any disk until information from diagnostics is learned.

Last edited by westom; 07-02-2012 at 09:11 PM.
 
Old 07-03-2012, 12:59 AM   #20
vdemuth
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All getting a bit technical isn't it. While there is undoubtedly a platform for technical discussions, is this really it? Surely the OP just wants to get back to some sort of starting point with a working machine.
@westom: while you give a good argument for the technical investigation of the problem here, perhaps you should keep in mind the need to keep within a sensible timescale and cost analysis to. Not everyone has the ability to diagnose the results of digital storage scope traces, nor indeed the time or money to do so.

In this disposable throw away society, it is often far more prudent and certainly quicker to run a few basic tests with the readily available tools to hand, including substitution, then cut losses and simply replace the faulty item in its entirety. The lesson to be learned of course being to backup
 
Old 07-03-2012, 04:20 AM   #21
H_TeXMeX_H
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I detest trolls, and westom joins the list. All he wants to do is argue on technicalities rather than focusing on the OP, he asks me for hard proof and science and yet provides only nonsense drivel. I think the troll infestation will only get worse. Come on troll hunters, where are you ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by granth View Post
This is technically correct, but you're splitting hairs. Many chip manufacturers, including Intel, refer to the SATA host bus adapter chip as a Serial ATA controller.

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/...ta-manual.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Host_adapter#ATA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advance...ller_Interface

A chip which is integrated into the motherboard or expansion card is considered a Host Bus Adapter, which is often referred to as an IDE/ATA/SCSI/SATA/SAS controller. The other "disk controller" is integrated into the storage device.
Indeed I visited those sites even before they were posted, and so I am right.

Last edited by H_TeXMeX_H; 07-03-2012 at 04:22 AM.
 
Old 07-03-2012, 06:14 AM   #22
bogzab
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OK. New disk drive on order. The failed one behaved exactly the same when put in my server box as it did in the desktop PC box. The utilities (testdisk, parted etc) could see some partition information on first access after boot and then subsequently reported no partition at all. testdisk, when asked to look for partitions runs through the whole disk reporting a "read error" on every cylinder. Planning to source the manufacturer's (Seagate) diagnastics as advised by westom, but not holding out much hope for datra recovery at the moment. Last backup? 3-4 months ago. I know, Iknow.

Thanks for the advice.
 
Old 07-03-2012, 10:20 AM   #23
westom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bogzab View Post
Planning to source the manufacturer's (Seagate) diagnastics as advised by westom, but not holding out much hope for datra recovery at the moment.
What temperature is the room? Your errors are beginning to point to electronics that read the disk. Use heat to find defective semiconductors long before they are really failing. If you can operate the drive in a cooler environment (ie 40 or 50 degrees F), then you might be able to recover that data.

Heat is a diagnostic tool that identifies defective parts. Many will hype more fans to cool hardware rather than understand what that heat is reporting. An outside chance: cooling may get a semiconductor working sufficiently to temporarily read data. Not likely. But I have had some success.

The CD-Rom from Bootdisk.com has most all drive manufacturer diagnostics on it. A valuable resource.

Last edited by westom; 07-03-2012 at 10:23 AM.
 
Old 07-03-2012, 10:22 AM   #24
vdemuth
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Actually, the company I work for have had several serious problems in and around Caerphilly following a power outage, including the almost catastrophic destruction of a server with an Orrible Oracle database on it around the same time as you had problems. Don't know where you are in realtion to there, but seems quite coincidental.

Glad you got to the bottom of it though.
 
Old 07-03-2012, 10:36 AM   #25
ttk
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Westom gives good advice, but I need to ask: When you tested the old SATA drive in the new machine, did you use a new SATA cable or the old one? I have seen symptoms similar to what you describe from a failed cable.
 
Old 07-04-2012, 01:15 AM   #26
bogzab
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Used two cables when trying with the first box - same behavoiour with both. Used only one in the second box, not sure which one it was (original or spare), but I think the problem resides in the drive rather than in the cables.
 
  


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