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Thread: SATA-PATA converter trashes drive firmware??

  1. #1
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    Default SATA-PATA converter trashes drive firmware??

    OK this is weird.

    The internal ATA bus in my Rev 2 B&W has a 40GB IBM 60GXP (set to master) and 60GB IBM 120GXP (set to slave). They've been running without problem.

    I got a a SeriTek 1SC1 PATA-to-SATA converter, took the 120GXP off the internal bus, changed it's jumper to master (as instructed in ther 1SC1 manual), plugged the converter into the drive, hooked up power, connected drive to a SeriTek 1S2 SATA card, and rebooted (OS 10.3.5).

    The drive didn't mount, and wasn't visible to Disk Util. System Profiler couldn't see the drive, although it could see the SeriTek card.

    Shut down, reconnect drive to internal ATA bus, reboot.

    Still nothing. Uh oh.

    Restarted in 9.2.2.

    Disk Warrior can't see the drive.

    Drive Setup says:

    Hard Disk Speedtools 3.5 sees it as a 1081.270 GB (yes GB) hard drive and the vendor is shown as (and I quote) "...C>=50?0 iVA?7!=0 "

    Apple System Profiler:
    ID = 1
    Hard drive
    Driver version: Not available
    Mac OS partitions: 0
    Removable media: No
    Vendor: C>=50?0VA?7!=0
    Revision number: A>=O5<=A
    Product ID:
    Serial number: N?3?23D0A
    Size: 1266873851.67 GB (1K = 1000)
    Capacity: 16777215.2556004 TB (1K = 1024)



    Wow, that looks like firmware corruption or something. The other PATA drive displays all its normal values as usual.

    Luckily the drive is backed up. And I have a feeling the data may even be OK, but the controller is hosed somehow. No clue how to fix that, and right now it looks like a $25 converter has cost me a drive.

    Ideas?

  2. #2
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    Default

    And if you check the drive with it hooked to a standard ATA bus?
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  3. #3
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    Everything in the above message, from the line

    "Shut down, reconnect drive to internal ATA bus, reboot."

    was done on the standard ATA bus.

    For completeness, here's the OS X System Profiler report for the ATA bus (the previous one was from OS 9 System Profiler):

    You'll note that the second drive's is "C500VA7*0* * * * * * * * * * * *:" and that it returns similarly bogus values for model, revision, serial #, capacity, etc.

    I understand how data on can be trashed, but the model and serial number??? That stuff doesn't live on the disc platters.

    ===================================
    ATA Bus:

    Name: pci-ata
    Vendor ID: 0x1095
    Device ID: 0x0646
    Revision ID: 0x0007

    IC35L040AVER07-0:

    Capacity: 38.35 GB
    Model: IC35L040AVER07-0
    Revision: ER4OA44A
    Serial Number: SXPTX1X8868
    Removable Media: No
    Detachable Drive: No
    BSD Name: disk0
    Protocol: ATA
    Unit Number: 0
    Socket Type: Internal
    OS9 Drivers: Yes

    40 GB Drive:

    Capacity: 38.35 GB
    Available: 7.86 GB
    Writable: Yes
    File System: Journaled HFS+
    BSD Name: disk0s6
    Mount Point: /

    C500VA7*0* * * * * * * * * * * *:

    Capacity: 1.06 TB
    Model: C500VA7*0* * * * * * * * * * * *
    Revision: AO5A
    Serial Number: * * * N323D0A
    Removable Media: No
    Detachable Drive: No
    BSD Name: disk1
    Protocol: ATA
    Unit Number: 1
    Socket Type: Internal
    OS9 Drivers: No

  4. #4
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    I have something for you to check. First let me say that the connector pins on PATA drives are much more fragile than SCSI drive pins. Second, the SATA to PATA converters, whether the SeriTek or the model that is on the Gurus store, must be pushed onto the PATA drive evenly, both end to end and sideways. otherwise those PATA drive pins can be either bent nearly flat or pushed into the drive itself.

    I use a magnifying glass and a flashlight to check those drive pins, straight and fully extended. Then I turn the drive over and look at the solder joints for those pins. If any solder joints are loose, you have some soldering to do after getting the joint back in place. Just a start anyway. k

  5. #5
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    You rock. That was it exactly - two pins (bottom row, center) pushed back into the PATA connector and their surface-mount pins bent and bowed up on the board side of the connector.

    > the connector pins on PATA drives are much more fragile than SCSI drive pins

    Well worth knowing. It's clear I caused this myself. Not that I was rough or anything, and it didn't feel like abnormally difficult plugging it in, but it's also true that I've connected WAY more SCSI ribbons than PATA. Have seen a few crumpled SCSI pins over the years and thought "that took a bit of doing" and now I've done it to myself.

    Gently pulled the pins back out, but the solder joints broke (as I expected them to after taking a good look at it). Fixing it won't be easy, but I think I can do it with a little time.

    Just knowing what the problem is, that's a huge relief. Thanks again, and I owe you a 6-pack of your preferred adult beverage.

  6. #6
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    I'm sure you did not cause it. Those SATA/PATA converters want to rock back and forth as well as sideways. Like being on the pointy end of a "pin". Even a PATA connector onto a PATA drive can be that way. Same as SCSI only more fragile. From my SCSI days, I lube the connectors with Silicon lube. Spray a small amount onto a folded paper towel and then get some on my finger. Run my finger on the outside of the connector on all four sides. Do it twice. May have to spray more on the paper towel. Result is an easier to connect or disconnect connector. I do the same for the 4-pin Molex power connectors. Once done, you will not have to do it again. And the more times you connect or disconnect the easier it gets.

    I have been very fortunate in not breaking solder joints and I'm sure fixing it won't be easy as you say. You will need a low power pencil iron or gun, patience, good grounding, and three or more hands.

    My pleasure and that is what we are here for. Luck. k

  7. #7
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    No, it won't be easy...the connector housing kind of gets in the way of where you need to work. The pins are soldered directly to the board, and the connector is just a guide that they pass through (what happened to edge connectors that had their own right angle soldered-on pins?). So if the repair isn't stiff enough, they will just fold up again. Therefore it may not work.

    (Another reason to like SATA drives - the pins are part of an edge connector and are supported, not just hanging out there in space waiting to get bent.)

    As a last ditch, I could solder thin wires to the two drive pads. Then strip the correct traces out of a short PATA ribbon and solder the wires directly to them. Leave the short ribbon (with the two bypass wires) in the drive permanentyly and connect the ATA bus to the other end of the short ribbon. Should work, at least long enough to get off the few things that changed since last backup.

    A 2-year old 60GB drive probably isn't worth that much trouble, but what the heck. Insulate the wires well and never unplug the short ribbon, and it may be fine.

  8. #8
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    Glad you got it figured out. Sorry I missed the ATA part..... I don't know how I missed it, but I certainly did.

    Not my fault. I was dropped a bunch as a kid

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  9. #9
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    >Not my fault. I was dropped a bunch as a kid

    :-)

  10. #10
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    Default Fixed it

    Thought someone might get a kick out of this...

    After breaking those two pins, as described in posts above, I set the drive aside. Knowing the data was fine, and *mostly* backed-up, but with a few things that would be nice to get off it, it seemed like the best idea was to just leave it alone for a little while, until the pain of breaking it in such a silly way wore off a little.

    Well, it's been sitting in a closet all this time. Broken-off pins safely in the plastic box.

    For some reason, the other day the urge hit. Using a small soldering pencil, and only -two- hands, I slipped the pins through their holes in the connector bracket and soldered them back to the drive motherboard.

    They were a little shorter than the undamaged pins, but it looked like they might be just long enough to make contact. -Carefully- I pushed in a ribbon cable, popped it in a machine, and booted.

    The drive mounted!

    Copied off those long-lost files, and just let it run. Worked fine for several days, and just for fun I started using it for scratch space. One day it disappeared from the bus, maybe because the replaced pins just *barely* made contact with the ribbon cable connectors, and for whatever heat-related reason something moved just enough to lose the connection. Reseating the ribbon connector didn't help, but hey, it worked long enough.


    With some unbroken, full-length replacement pins (hmm, maybe desolder some from a dead drive?), you could probably bring that 60GB back again.

    I'll post back here in a few years if it happens.
    Last edited by BMonk; 07-20-2007 at 01:06 AM. Reason: spelling

  11. #11
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    Wow, good to know. I have trashed a few drive for busted pins; looked to small and too tight to fix. Good work!
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  12. #12
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    I had that happen once too. Resoldered a couple of pins, got the data, then trashed the drive. The pins on PATA drives much more delicate than SCSI drives, just one of the reasons SCSI drives are much more spensive. k

  13. #13
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    Also, I meant to post thanks to kaye and all others who helped with the original diagnosis...

    Also worth mentioning, in case it helps someone avoid this, on the Firmtek SATA-PATA adapter I was using, the connector did -not- have the 'key' (square bump in the pastic) that mates with the parallel connector on the drive.

    That is a very silly ommission IMO, because it allows the connector to fit into the drive but offset to the right, towards the jumpers. Of course it was also very silly of me to be trying to plug it in by feel, which is how the pins got crushed: in the center of ATA connectors, below the key, there's that place where a pin would be, but it's solid plastic instead. Pressing that in, in the wrong place, quite naturally tends to press pins back into the drive...

    Anyway, Firmtek doesn't seem to sell these anymore, but that missing key 'bump' is something to watch out for.
    Last edited by BMonk; 07-20-2007 at 12:23 PM. Reason: spelling

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