Dec 112017
Common problems, with solutions, from Seagate concerning their controllers, and hard drives.
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Common problems, with solutions, from Seagate concerning their controllers, and hard drives.
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6.0 Drive Installation Trouble Shooting

The information presented in this guide is for general reference. It
is not intended to be a complete reference of computer or hard disc
drive troubleshooting information, however, the solutions given below
account for the vast majority of questions received by Seagate
Technical Support.

Please read this entire section before contacting your dealer or
distributor for additional technical support.

Comments about this guide may be left with the system operator on the
Seagate Technical Support Bulletin Board service. International phone
numbers are listed on page 2.

Before checking for specific problems with the installation, please
verify the following:

* Check the Setup and Configuration sections in the drive and
controller Installation Guides for possible oversights in
user configuration.

* Interface and controller cables are fragile and should be
handled with care. Make sure all cables in system are
functioning properly and connected as specified.

* Make sure all cards are firmly seated in their slots.

* Make sure system power supply has adequate power for all
installed devices.

* Always have current backup of your data.

6.1 Power On Failures

1. System doesn't recognize the presence of the drive.

i) Check all cables for pin-1 to pin-1 orientation.

ii) Verify that the drive spins up. Keep in mind that many
drives are very quiet and hard to hear.

iii) Check power supply for adequate output.

iv) Make sure controller is the correct type needed for the
interface of the drive and that the controller is correctly
configured for your drive.

v) In AT systems, confirm that the correct CMOS drive type is

vi) Check drive select or drive ID jumpers.

vii) Check the drive select jumper is correct for the number
of drives in your system and/or for the type of controller
cable being used.

viii) Check for either BIOS memory address, port or interrupt
conflicts with controller from other devices. Go to a bare
bones system and add one device at a time until the conflict

ix) Verify that you are using a hard drive 34-pin control
cable. If using twisted control cable and 7 wires are
twisted, then you are using floppy drive cable.

x) Check to see if a warm boots works.

xi) Try slowing down the system speed or bus speed.

2. Dealer formatted the drive in his shop. You installed drive but now
it doesn't come up at all.

Refer to 6.1.1, then:

i) Make sure that the DOS version used to partition and
high-level format the drive is consistent with your system.

ii) If partitioning software was used, make sure that the same
drive type in CMOS is used by using the software in the
manual mode.

iii) If using an AT Bus drive in translation mode , make sure
the same translation parameters are used.

iv) Check that the same controller was used by the dealer as
the one in your system.

v) Verify that the same kind of cables were used at the

3. The screen goes blank whenever I power up the system.

Immediately on power up:

i) Check that the power supply can handle drive power

ii) Try removing the new controller or host adapter to see if
problem resolves; indicating a defective adapter or hardware

iii) Check that monitor is plugged in and turned on.

iv) Check that the video card is operational.

After P.O.S.T. (Power On Self Test):

v) Boot from a floppy disk and verify that the primary DOS
partition is active and that the high-level FORMAT has been

4. In an AT class system, the drive LED is always on.

i) Not a problem if drive is working. Check controller
documentation for latch/non-latch jumper if available.

ii) Drive not working: check that pin1 on controller matches
pin1 on drive.

5. 1701 ERROR

i) Refer to 6.1.1

ii) If in an XT system, perform the low-level format if drive
is new to this controller.

6. 1780 or 1781 ERROR

Refer to 6.1.1

7. 1790 or 1791 ERROR

i) Need to low-level format the drive (then partition with
FDISK and DOS high-level format).

ii) Try substituting another 20-pin data cable.

8. AT interface drive spins up after power, then it spins back down.

i) Substitute the ribbon cable.

ii) Try a different system with a different BIOS.

9. AT interface does not spin up after power.

i) Check to see that the ribbon cable is not reversed.
Sometimes the colored stripe on the cable is pin-40.

6.2 Low-level Format Errors

1. Low-level format takes too long or hangs. Excessive errors.
Code 20 or 80. (controller codes) or Unsuccessful format.

i) In AT systems make sure CMOS drive type is correct.

ii) In XT systems make sure dynamic configuration is correct.

iii) Check the drive parameters used in the low-level format.

iv) Check/substitute 20-pin data cable.

v) Check that you have data cable plugged into correct
connector on controller.

vi) Verify that the performance capability of the controller
matches the performance of drive and matches the speed of the

2. Entering the DEBUG address fails to obtain the low-level format

i) Check if controller even has an onboard BIOS and confirm
that it is enabled.

ii) Check DEBUG address used against the memory address
jumpers on the controller (refer to controller

iii) Some systems require removing the drive type from CMOS.

iv) Look for conflicts with other controllers or adapters
which have onboard BIOS; video, etc..

v) Check with controller manufacturer about the use of special
formatting software on diskette that needs to be used with
the controller card (Seagate controllers and host adapters do
not use special diskette software).

vi) Try using the following addresses for DEBUG:

G=C800:5 or
G=CC00:5 or
G=C800:CCC or
G=C800:6 or
G=D800:5 or

3. "Drive not Ready" error message.

i) Check all cables for pin-1 to pin-1 orientation.

ii) Check power supply for adequate output.

iii) Verify that the drive spins up. Keep in mind that many
drives are very quiet and hard to hear.

iv) Check the drive select jumper is correct for the number of
drives in your system and/or for the type of controller cable
being used.

v) Warm Boot; could be controller, power supply, system BIOS
timing, or, relative spin-up time in two drive systems.

vi) Consider the use of diagnostic hard drive maintenance

vii) May need to low-level format the drive.

4. "Sector not found" error message.

i) Substitute the 20-pin data cable.

ii) Usually a media error or the drive not with original
controller, may need to re low-level format.

5. Low-level Format hangs on a specific Head/Cylinder/Sector.

i) Check that the hard error list was entered. (bad track

ii) Check that the parameters and/or correct drive type in
CMOS setup is being used and matches those of the drive.

iii) Mark the location of the problem area out in the defect

map and restart the low-level format.

6.3 Partitioning (FDISK) Errors

1. "No Fixed Disk Present"

i) Refer to 6.1.1

ii) Check for too loose cable.

iii) In two drive system, check that the terminating resistor
has been removed from the drive in the middle of the daisy

iv) May need to re low-level format.

2. Hangs in FDISK or fails to create or save partition record.

i) Swap or check the 20-pin data cable.

ii) Verify that the low-level format actually took place.

iii) Check that the drive parameters have been entered
correctly (re low-level if not).

iv) If AT bus interface drive, try an alternate translation

v) Substitute the cables.

vi) Try a different DOS and/or DOS utilities diskette.

vii) Try changing the partition size.

viii) Run a surface scan utility to check for defects at the
beginning of the drive.

ix) If using ST07 or ST08 AT interface host adapter, check

3. "Hard Disk Controller Failure" or very many defect in last logical

i) Confirm that the drive type definition used in the CMOS
setup does not exceed the capacity of the drive. Seagate disc
drives use 1 megabyte to equal 1,000,000 (10 to the 6th
power) bytes. In CMOS a megabyte may be calculated as
1,048,576 (2 to the 20th power) bytes.

6.4 System Format

1. High level format takes too long.

i) Normal operation with DOS 4.x to keep retrying hard errors,
giving "Attempting to recover allocation units" message.

2. Drive doesn't format to full capacity (DOS partitions only).

i) Check the drive parameters used in the low-level format.

ii) DOS has a 1024 cylinder limitation, alternate translations
or third party partitioning software may be needed.

iii) Verify that the controller is the proper type for drive
interface and performance.

iv) Confirm that the parameters reported by FDISK match those
of the drive.

v) Older DOS has a built in limitation of 32 megabytes. You
may need to upgrade your DOS.

vi) All DOS has a limitation of reported drive parameters. You
may need a controller with BIOS, partitioning software, or a
system BIOS upgrade.

vii) Some controllers use disc space for defect management,
refer to controller manual for explanation of default sparing

3. Do not get full capacity from large capacity drive, using
partitioning software.

i) Likely due to a geometry mismatch in CMOS. Try creating a
very small (.8 meg) DOS boot partition and then partitioning
the rest of drive with write/read partitions.

4. Formatted with Disk Manager, cannot recognize D, E, F (drives above

i) Be sure you booted from the hard drive.

ii) Verify that the Disk Manager DMDRVR.BIN device driver file
is in the root directory of the C partition or boot drive.

iii) Verify that the CONFIG.SYS file on the boot disc has the
statement DEVICE=DMDRVR.BIN and that it is loaded before any
other memory management device drivers.

iv) Confirm that all partitions have been "prepared".

5. "Disk Boot Failure", "non system disk", or "No ROM Basic - SYSTEM
HALTED" error messages.

i) Try using the DOS utility SYS.COM (i.e. At the A:\ prompt,
with the same version of DOS as on the hard drive, type "SYS

ii) When Using FDISK, make sure that the primary partition is

iii) On AT systems, check for the correct CMOS drive type,
check the system battery.

iv) Check all cables.

v) Open floppy door.

vi) Scan for virus infections.

vii) On XT systems, back up files then reformat from the low

6.5 General Errors

1. Random data, seek, or format errors.

i) Check power and grounding.

ii) Try re-routing the cables.

iii) Controllers are susceptible to noise, do not install next
to power supply or some monitor cards.

iv) Try slowing down the system speed or bus speed.

v) If drive works outside of the system, it is probably ground
or RFI problem.

vi) Do a thorough media scan and reformat, sparing out all
previous and new hard errors.

2. Error while installing a second drive of a different interface, or
system doesn't boot after installation of second controller.

i) The controller must match the interface of the second drive
and will need to have onboard BIOS that must not require a
CMOS drive type.

ii) The BIOS memory address of the new controller must be set
to a different address than that of any other devices.

iii) If new drive is an AT interface drive, the existing drive
will need a controller with BIOS that does not require a CMOS
drive type setting.

iv) Verify that you have only a single enabled floppy
controller in the system.

v) Verify that your second controller is at a different BIOS
memory and port address than any other installed devices.

3. "Bad or Missing Command Interpreter" error message.

i) Do not mix DOS versions.

ii) Make sure COMMAND.COM was transferred.

iii) Scan for virus infection.

iv) Reformat the C: partition using the /S option for
transferring the system files.

4. Should I park my drive?

i) Only if drive is not autoparking.

5. CheckDisk reports bytes in "Bad Sectors".

i) This is not a problem. Some controller formatting schemes
spare an entire track for each hard error found by the
low-level format. A hard disc drive is within spec if the
drive has up to one error per megabyte of formatted capacity.

6. "Error reading Drive C:" type error message.

i) Scan the disc drive for defects.

ii) If excessive or intermittent, may be caused by faulty

iii) Scan for Virus infection.

iv) Consider the use of diagnostic hard drive maintenance

v) May need to be re low-level formatted (especially if the
drive orientation has been changed).

7. "Track 0 not found" error message.

i) Substitute the 20-pin data cable.

ii) Change the CONFIG.SYS file to include buffers=99, or
upgrade DOS software to version 3.3 or higher.

iii) May need to low-level format drive.

6.6 Transfer rate and Seek time Access time Problems

1. Average access time test longer than specified.

i) Verify drive model specifications.

ii) Optimum step pulse rate is 10 to 35 microseconds, set in
dynamic configuration of low-level format on XT type system.

iii) Different software will measure access time differently.
Make sure that the software subtracts system overhead from
the calculation.

2. Slower data transfer rate than specified.

i) Test the data transfer rate with different diagnostic

ii) Experiment with different interleave settings during the
low-level format to achieve best data transfer rate. Start
with default setting.

iii) Controllers vary widely in their interleave capability. A
1:1 interleave controller should always be set for 1,
regardless of the drive model. An interleave of 1 to 1 is the
fastest. Consult your controller specifications. Setting
interleave too fast will degrade performance.

iv) AT Bus interface drives: Verify that a low-level format
was not used previously, as this may remove the head and
cylinder skewing optimization.

6.7 SCSI Specific Problems

1. No ROM ID message to screen on boot up.

i) Check for memory address conflict with other adapter BIOS.
ST01/ST02 must be at highest address.

ii) Bad Host Adapter

2. 1780, 1781, 1790, 1791 errors.

i) Check cables.

ii) Remove the drive type from CMOS in AT systems.

3. No SCSI device found.

i) Check for host adapter BIOS memory address conflict.

ii) Make sure no drive number is set in CMOS setup.

iii) Check installation

iv) Check cable and power output.

v) Check SCSI ID number.

vi) Verify if Parity jumper on the drive is needed.

4. SCSI drive type for my AT system.

i) None or "Not Installed"; SCSI does not work if a drive type
is entered in CMOS.

5. Series of 1 to 7 drive LED flashes at power-on and drive doesn't

i) Remove the SCSI interface cable from the drive and apply
power. If drive LED still flashes, record the number of
flashes and call for technical support.

6.8 Software

1.. Newly installed software causes problems or doesn't operate

i) Call the software manufacturer.

2. Need device driver for the drive.

i) Device drivers are written by the controller manufacturer.
Seagate does not offer any device drivers.

3. DOS works OK but other Operating System doesn't.

i) Call the operating system manufacturer.

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