Self Test in Seagate drives performs adjustment of adaptive drive settings and scans disk surfaces detecting and
reassigning revealed defects. It works as a very sophisticated tool because a large part of factory diagnostics and HDD fine-tuning is accomplished using Self Test . Until now there was a really serious obstacle preventing Self Test use in Seagate drives belonging to Barracuda family: during the process the Self Test routine erases in a drive some service data blocks essential for HDD functioning in user mode, namely, ATA overlay (the actual program processing ATA commands and S.M.A.R.T.) and HDD ID module (in some drives it also handles the App code as well). This version of our suite provides opportunities for using terminal to write the service data areas and initialize or edit HDD ID.

In addition to cylinder numbers the tables contain offsets of object tracks relatively to the service area beginning. That, in particular, allows identification of object locations in drives of the 7200.7 and newer families, where the SA may “drift” and occupy various cylinders. If you have encountered a situation, when a drive’s SA is located in a different place, you can follow the tips here “Identification of parameters for SA objects to identify the coordinates of SA objects.

Prior to running Self Test you have to copy from the drive at least the data that the procedure may corrupt (ATA
overlay, Stuff sector and see peculiar drive family features for other objects) or create a loader from the drive. The Self Test procedure can be started manually or from the “User commands” menu. Prior to selection of the “Self Test ” or “Extended Self Test” command, you should connect the drive to an individual power supply unit. A complete Self Test cycle usually takes approximately a few days. In case of serious surface damage the process may take considerably more time or even cause emergency Self Test termination. You will be able to monitor Self Test progress via terminal connecting the drive to COM port.

ATTENTION! If you are using the “PC-USB TERMINAL” adapter, do not disconnect it from USB cable because it
will disable the virtual COM port resulting in the need to restart the utility after reconnection! Just unplug the cable
connecting the adapter to the drive or  disconnect PC Seagate (PC Sega SATA) adapter from the HDD.

After Self Test completion the drive will enter level 50 or, if an error occurs, e.g., 4F. In case of an error, you will have to analyze Self Test logs to identify its cause.  You can view the logs beginning with level T one by one (the
E command), or in a chain beginning with a selected log (the T>D command).

During analysis you should first check the test logs:
– 4 – shows heads status
– 4D – log containing summarized information pertaining to the processing of drive defectoscopy tests
– 4E – log containing summarized information about health status of the drive during Self Test procedure.
If the error is not fatal, you can switch the drive to Age 50 of the ATA interface (e.g., from the user command
menu) and perform final flaw detection within the utility using logical scanning with enabled recording. When Self Test completes, you will have to write to the drive its ATA overlay and Stuff HDD ID template and some other SA objects, if necessary (please see family-specific information).

A situation is possible, when after Self Test completion you see that an error has caused erasing of some other areas in addition to ATA overlay and HDD ID tracks. In that case the drive will report to terminal the missing objects.
ATTENTION! Once you have launched Self Test do not disconnect HDD power supply  until the second test
completes (for some drive families its number is 99, please see family-specific details). During that test the Self Test
routine reformats the service area. Therefore, if you interrupt Self Test before completion of the second test, you will
have to rewrite the service data. You can identify completion of the second test by entering the “.” command that
outputs the current Age.

ATTENTION! If you are planning to launch Self Test, make sure that your HDD is connected to an individual power
supply unit. Doing so will help you avoid some inconveniences.

HDD repair tools recommended: PC3k UDMA version, HD Doctor for Seagate

More HDD repair tools or data recovery tools here

Data recovery Salon welcomes your comments and share with us your ideas, suggestions and experience. Data recovery salon is dedicated in sharing the most useful data recovery information with our users and only if you are good at data recovery or related knowledge, please kindly drop us an email and we will publish your article here. We need to make data recovery Salon to be the most professional and free data recovery E-book online.