PATA drive can't run in level 5 in 6.1rc6, but can in 6.0

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segphault

New member
Feb 17, 2024
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I have a Western Digital 320GB PATA drive that SpinRite 6.0 is willing to run on level 5, but 6.1rc6 warns that the drive does not report when data was correctly written to the drive. If I ignore the dire warning and run level 5 anyway, I'll hear repeated chirping coming from the PC speaker (at least, I hope it's the speaker) and the comm/cable errs count goes up. If I run level 2, it goes through the entire drive just fine.

With 6.0, there's no such warning, and it successfully runs level 5 without an error.

The expected result is that if a drive can run in 6.0, then it can run in 6.1 too, but for this drive, level 5 only works in 6.0.
(The other drives are SATA drives and ran just fine on level 5 with 6.1rc6)
1000003144.jpg
 
start SpinRite 6.1 using FORCEBIOS switch (and don't start it before without the switch)

(edit autoexec.bat)

Spinrite FORCEBIOS

and see if the sound goes away (and the WD drive is not RED anymore)

(the switch disables Steve's IDE driver and uses BIOS instead)
 
Last edited:
6.0 uses the BIOS for data transfer, but 6.1 uses its own drivers for IDE and SATA. It sounds like you may have found a combination of drive and controller that 6.1 is not fully compatible with. It's also possible that your BIOS is unable to detect this drive's misbehavior.

I recommend running RC6 with the DIAGS parameter. Start a Level 5 scan, then cancel it. Share the DBG and LOG files here so Steve can take a look if he wants to investigate this. You'll need to add ".txt" to their names.
 
With 6.0, there's no such warning, and it successfully runs level 5 without an error.
The expected result is that if a drive can run in 6.0, then it can run in 6.1 too, but for this drive, level 5 only works in 6.0.
That's not really the case @segphault, because SpinRite's levels in 6.0 (beyond level 2) have very little resemblance to the levels in 6.1. So the fact that something worked at level 5 under 6.0 but doesn't work at level 5 under 6.1 has no significance. In many ways, 6.1 is a very different product from 6.0. Someone commented earlier that it really should not have been a “point release”... but that ship has sailed. It would, in retrospect, have been better named 6.5.

Those WD3200JB drives have been a problem. I have purchased several from eBay sellers so that I could see them for myself.
 
start SpinRite 6.1 using FORCEBIOS switch (and don't start it before without the switch)

Doing this, I was in fact able to run the WD3200JB drive at level 5 (however, it did pop up a notice saying SpinRite does not have access to SMART data for the run). You and @ColbyBouma called it!

One other interesting thing that happened when I started SpinRite 6.1RC6 in FORCEBIOS mode, and I'm hoping it was just some wacky coincidence, was that the WD3200JB PATA drive was detected and showed up just fine, but then SpinRite hung for several minutes, chirping, on the first of 4 SATA drives (all Samsung HD204UI 2TB drives), and after a couple minutes a progress bar showed up and would chirp, fill up, wait, chirp and fill up, and repeat. Eventually it got by this drive and the next 3 SATA drives breezed by and I was able to run the drive in Level 5.

I then exited SpinRite, but then, without restarting the machine, started SpinRite again but with DIAGS enabled (and without FORCEBIOS). However, that first SATA drive was causing SpinRite some issues: a window appeared saying something about how if I'm seeing this screen then "something something drive not detected something something" (I wasn't able to get a screenshot in time). Then it went to the drive discovery screen and had a 120 second countdown, try re-detecting, and repeat the countdown. At this point I figured it was stuck, so I turned my PC off and back on again via the power button and...

I recommend running RC6 with the DIAGS parameter. Start a Level 5 scan, then cancel it. Share the DBG and LOG files here so Steve can take a look if he wants to investigate this. You'll need to add ".txt" to their names.
...I did this (to be clear, it was just DIAGS, not with FORCEBIOS), but successfully this time. The logs from this are attached to this post. The WD3200JB PATA drive showed up red again, and the 4 SATA drives were detected fine.


SpinRite's levels in 6.0 (beyond level 2) have very little resemblance to the levels in 6.1. So the fact that something worked at level 5 under 6.0 but doesn't work at level 5 under 6.1 has no significance.
Ah, good to know that the levels are truly different. I noticed their names and descriptions had changed but I figured that the underlying idea of exercising the data was the same. Now I know otherwise :)

Those WD3200JB drives have been a problem. I have purchased several from eBay sellers so that I could see them for myself.

Whew, it's good to hear this is already known and is likely due to the HD. I wasn't sure if it was the drive or the mobo, or even a combo of the two, since I'm also using an Athlon II mobo, and I want to say I've heard some of the weird issues came from certain motherboards for that platform.

The reason I thought maybe it was the mobo was that I had a different PATA drive (a Samsung SP2514N, 250GB) that I tried before the WD, whose SMART was very unhappy, I'm pretty sure the drive had no more spare sectors to "swap in". If I recall correctly, I think it had some similar warning screen about how it wouldn't be able to verify the writes (but maybe I'm misremembering, maybe it was just a warning screen about how the drive is just barely holding on to dear life as it is). When I ran the drive in level 5 anyway, the display showed a series of black "B" boxes at the front of the drive, so I decided to cancel the rest of the operation since I figured I was doing more harm than good at that point.

Thanks for such quick responses, this is an incredibly responsive and helpful community. Let me know if I need to follow up on anything.
 

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  • 4.DBG.txt
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<snip> 6.1rc6 warns that the drive does not report when data was correctly written to the drive. <snip>
Others have already addressed a couple of reasons for this, with it largely coming down to the fact that 6.1 is a far different animal than 6.0. I've been testing the alphas and release candidates for over a year, and have seen some pretty strange results, although they've mostly been a product of pilot error or some hardware anomaly rather than Steve's brilliant coding.

After having been away from the Gitlab group for a couple of months, I was surprised to encounter the same red-screen report you did. In my case, however, it was with every IDE/PATA drive I connected, rather than a specific brand or size. These drives had all been tested with one of the alphas, going back to July of last year. But it was unclear whether this was a feature that had been added since that time, or if it was because I was now testing on a different system and configuration than was in place at that time.

I'll cut short the tedium by saying that it seems to have been a BIOS or motherboard problem, because none of these discs is tagged as having this problem testing them in the machine that had previously certified them as 'OK'.

At the moment, I'm unable to go back and try to sort the problem, whether by invoking the FORCEBIOS switch or any other means, because the troublemaker is in a state of partial disassembly. (punishment!) But I can't let issues like this go unresolved and will get back to beating on it as time permits.
 
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