dslreports logo
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery


how-to block ads

Search Topic:
share rss forum feed


Elgin, QC

[hard drive] The infamous Seagate 7200-11 BRICK problem

OK, this is NOT specifically about the Seagate 7200-11 hard drive problem (if you have never heard about this, you can google details on the internet HERE or detailed intense verbiage HERE ), but just about ONE piece of equipment - a part that I need to fix this problem, which one of my Seagate drives has.

On the disk drive there are 4 jumper ports. In the old days we used them to signify "master", "slave", "cable-select", etc. Now they do not seem to be used for much, but-

You can actually communicate through them with the firmware ON THE HARD DISK via RX and TX, which is what I must do to fix the problem.
Unfortunately these four little pins don't seem to allow much to be fitted to them except those eensy-teensy small jumpers that I'm always mistaking for cat fleas...

My female jumper wires are too big to fit in there. Is there some 4-pin plug that will fit this port?
What is the name of this 4-pin array on the disk anyway? (so I can google for the necessary wire or plugs to fit this port)
I have all the other equipment (spent $35 so far) and am now ready to debrick my Seagate drive.

Oh yes- NOW, I've just discovered there is an actual debricking kit available! - but it's $50 plus shipping! Wish I'd seen this earlier!
- The Fibe 0.037 guy

Mountain View, CA

There is no name for this "4-pin array" other than the term "serial header" or "serial port". This is what the pins are: TX, GND, GND, RX. The serial port is rated at a very different voltage than what your PC uses, which is why a voltage converter chip is needed (and that's all the kit is, actually: it's a USB-to-serial adapter, with a chip that converts the voltage, as well as a convenient plastic header that you can plug into the drive without complications). You can build this entire thing yourself if you want, but my recommendation to people is just to buy the kit. You can find these kits on eBay too.

Three further points (#1 is the most important):

1. When using the kit and entering the commands the instructions tell you, DO NOT MAKE ANY TYPOS. Literally triple-check every single keypress. Again I will repeat: DO NOT MAKE ANY TYPOS. You can absolutely destroy all data on your drive or permanently brick your drive issuing a typo.

2. The serial headers on Seagate drives vary in size -- yes really! Some of those kits are intended for specific models of drives and will not work on others (the headers themselves are either smaller or larger). So make sure you get the kit that works on your model of drive!

3. Jumpers are still available on some SATA drives. Do not think even for a minute that "a bunch of pins on a SATA drive" means there's a serial port. Some drives offer both (jumpers and a serial port), while others offer only one, and some offer neither. For example, here's a WD drive that offers a jumper block but no serial interface, where the jumpers are used to control features like SATA150 PHY limitation or SSC, and here's one which might look like a serial interface but actually isn't.
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.


Elgin, QC

3 edits

Thanx, Koitsu. Much appreciated.
And yes, I know about the "Don't make typos" - I'm already sweating bullets about recovering my 500Gb of data.
There's a few suggestions out there about shaving female jumpers down to where they may safely be fitted onto the Serial header. Perhaps I'll try this.
I already have a DB9 RS232 to TTL converter board DTE (3.3 to 5.5V) for the Rx-Tx

Otherwise I may bite the bullet and buy the $50 kit. EBAY! Of course!

Thanx for the Ebay suggestion - I just realized there must be a lot of these 2nd hand kits out there on Ebay.
I mean, how many idiots could there be out there, who would actually keep a repair kit just in case another Seagate drive with the old SD15 faulty firmware dies?
Flash, baby FLASH! (but only after you've saved your data of course!)
- The Fibe 0.037 guy