How to boot machine with failed drive to run SeaTools diagnostics

hard drive

I have a failed 750GByte SATA Seagate drive which has failed within the first year of it's 3 year warranty.

The Seagate warranty site stresses the importance of testing the drive with "SeaTools" (and obtaining some diagnostic error code) before returning it.

If I attempt to boot up a machine (Dell T5400, XP64) with the drive connected by a SATA cable, the machine doesn't get past POST (waited 5+ mins to see if there was a timeout… maybe should have waited longer?). If I disconnect the drive, disable that SATA channel and reboot it still doesn't post. If I disconnect the drive I can boot, but if I hotplug the drive once past POST SeaTools doesn't detect it.

Is the drive just very dead (too dead for SeaTools to even notice it) or is there some way I can get it to be visible to SeaTools ?

I've tried the drive in 2 machines. The other one does eventaully POST after a couple of minutes (and there's no hint of the drive in the BIOS's view of drives), but is a Linux box (so no SeaTools).

Best Answer

I'd tend to agree with your "very dead" assessment-- especially if you can get the same behavior out of another machine.

I have seen the failure mode you describe with failed SATA and PATA disks on various machines going back into the late 90's. I don't know the specifics of the communications protocol used by ATA devices, but it certainly seems to be a lot more prone to a "crazy" device causing the kinds of issues you're seeing than, say, a SCSI device.

Seagate has taken returns from me, in the past, with a trouble reporting indicating that SeaTools could not be run because the BIOS either did not detect the drive or would not POST with the drive attached. Your luck, obviously, may vary.

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