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Thread: Seagate ST-4038 MFM hard Drive Ressurection or Burial?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan8086 View Post
    Sorry - them voices in ma head again. Can you suggest some tools?
    Spinrite comes to mind but there are many others; maybe some of the folks who use them regularly (Stone, are you reading this?) can make some suggestions.

    Maybe something here:
    https://www.lifewire.com/free-hard-d...ograms-2626183

  2. #12

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    SpinRite requires a valid partition to function. It can't format or even access an un{Low Level}formatted drive. For that matter it requires a DOS format, as well. It can only access a drive by its valid drive letter.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    SpinRite requires a valid partition to function. It can't format or even access an un{Low Level}formatted drive. For that matter it requires a DOS format, as well. It can only access a drive by its valid drive letter.
    I thought I remembered something like that... any other suggestions? I use a non-PC OS for this sort of thing.

  4. #14
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    A formatting/diagnostic tool? Have you tried SpeedStor? http://minuszerodegrees.net/software/speedstor.htm

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeS View Post
    I thought I remembered something like that... any other suggestions?
    Hey... he asked you for suggestions, didn't he?

    I'm curious as well.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by SomeGuy View Post
    A formatting/diagnostic tool? Have you tried SpeedStor?
    The main problem with SpeedStor is that while it can access, diagnose and mark as bad all those unformatted sectors all right it can lead you to believe (inadvertently) that the disk might be OK otherwise. But, for some reason it seems to miss track zero problems which can lead you to go down a rabbit hole with no end. I've had it successfully format a disk's data area too many times only to have it fail at the end and then be unable to write a valid partition in the MBR. I think track zero issues are the major problem with MFM drives.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  7. #17
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    Ah, a possible track zero error then? Speedstor does have a destructive testing option, and I *think* that would test the track the same as the others.

    What I would do if a track zero error is suspected, is use the controller's built-in formatter to low level the drive. This usually will NOT verify the media, but all tracks should get formatted. Then use Norton Utilities 4.5 to manually examine the "physical" disk - no partition is needed, it can be all zeros. Scroll down through each sector and note if there are any read errors. If track zero is dead, you should still be able to scroll down through the sectors until you eventually reach something that is readable. If nothing anywhere is readable, then either the drive is totally bad or there was a cabling error.

  8. #18
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    Sometimes you waste far to much time trying to sort out old drives. I know I have but not any more. better of with a xt-ide setup in the long run.
    Thomas Byers (DRI)- "You'll have a million people using the A> [MS-DOS prompt] forever. You'll have five million using [nongraphic] menu systems such as Topview, Concurrent PC-DOS, Desq, and those types. But there'll be 50 to 100 million using the iconic-based interfaces."

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    Hey... he asked you for suggestions, didn't he?

    I'm curious as well.
    Like a good GP I'm referring him to a specialist

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeS View Post
    Like a good GP I'm referring him to a specialist
    I have a Western Digital diagnostic program that might reveal the issue here. I'm not positive if you actually need a WD controller (which the OP does have) to avail yourself of its usefulness. It claims to be able to indicate a possible track zero problem. I also have one or two LLF programs specifically for WD controllers.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

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