External hard drive issue with ST (can't write to drive after power down)

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Chandler
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External hard drive issue with ST (can't write to drive after power down)

Postby Chandler » Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:14 pm

Can anyone throw any light of this?

I have an early Supra external hard drive (from 1989 era) which has a 200mb HP (C2233) SCSI hard drive inside

Using a 4mb STE with TOS 1.62

I can set up the ST to see the drive and boot from it using HDriver (i have used other software too) but the following day or week when i power everything back up it boots but cannot write anything to the drive, or sometimes it can't close or open a program

I can hear the drive clicking and then a message comes up says something liike "data on drive C could be damaged / corrupt root file"

I have had this problem on other partitions on the drive, i have re-formatted and re-partioned the drive, i have also used a completely different drive and i still get this problem

If i use these drives in a TT for example, there is no problem, i have used another known good STE AND another Supra drive

same problem

SO it has to be something to do with the STE talking to the Supra

does anyone have any ideas? i'm sure years ago i had and heard of similar problems with Megafiles

:)

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Re: External hard drive issue with ST (can't write to drive after power down)

Postby joska » Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:58 pm

Sounds like the old STE DMA problem... Which DMA chip does your STE have? C025913-38 is the "bad" one (not working correctly in STE), C398739-001A is the good one.
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Re: External hard drive issue with ST (can't write to drive after power down)

Postby mpattonm » Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:23 am

My bet would be just failing drive. Lose head, dry bearing or issue on motor power rail.
Does the sympthom dissapear if you leave the drive on for some time and try again?

Chandler
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Re: External hard drive issue with ST (can't write to drive after power down)

Postby Chandler » Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:13 pm

The STE has a C398739-001A good DMA

If the drive was failing then why does it work fine in the TT? i have 2 x HP C2233 drives and they both do the same thing with the STE / Supra set up

Both drives are OK with the TT (TT has proper SCSI interface remember not STE ACSI)

I have used another STE, same issue, then used another Supra drive, same issue!

I personally believe it's something to do with the Supra ACSI interface board, not a failure problem as such because if i use an original Seagate ST517N SCSI drive then it will work ok

So basically the Supra ACSI PCB doesn't like the HP C2233 drive or something like that and that is what i'm trying to work out

The Supra ACSI PCB will work ok with certain early SCSI hard drives but you can't find them now...

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Re: External hard drive issue with ST (can't write to drive after power down)

Postby joska » Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:37 pm

Maybe it's a termination issue? Or too long cable from the interface to the drive? Have you tested with a different ACSI cable?
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Re: External hard drive issue with ST (can't write to drive after power down)

Postby Chandler » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:32 pm

The drive is terminated, the cable from the Supra drive is fixed to the PCB (wires soldered) and cable is original from Supra

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Re: External hard drive issue with ST (can't write to drive after power down)

Postby joska » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:38 pm

What happens if you don't terminate the drive?
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Re: External hard drive issue with ST (can't write to drive after power down)

Postby mpattonm » Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:42 pm

Chandler wrote:Both drives are OK with the TT (TT has proper SCSI interface remember not STE ACSI)

Oh sorry, I missed that part. In that case, power rail would be my next focus. Is STE PSU OK? Are polarized capacitors on motherboard still good?

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Re: External hard drive issue with ST (can't write to drive after power down)

Postby joska » Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:06 pm

I think you also missed that the drive behaves the same on two different STE's. I would suggest to look at the host adapter/disk first, especially since it looks like Chandler has swapped the original drive for a "new" drive and that only the "new" drive has problems. My suggestion is to experiment a bit with termination and maybe a shorter SCSI cable.
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Re: External hard drive issue with ST (can't write to drive after power down)

Postby siriushardware » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:11 pm

Many years ago I started to have issues with the original Sony SCSI drive fitted in my 'Power Computing 900' HDD, which was powered by an unbadged Amiga power supply supplied with the drive.

Since it seemed like a drive problem I replaced the drive with a more modern one and that worked for a while until the drive again started to give trouble and I fitted a third, newer model of drive, which worked for a while, until...

After the third drive started to play up I finally looked at the problem properly and realised that the problem was actually the power supply gradually failing. Each successive, newer drive I fitted, being more modern, needed less power than its earlier replacement and so the power supply could work with that one for a little bit longer before it deteriorated further and could no longer supply enough current.

After servicing the power supply (capacitors) I refitted the original drive which probably drew twice as much current as the third drive: Of course it was working perfectly. On the plus side, this meant that I had plenty of backups of all of my earlier work.

While this does not exactly match chandler's problem (because it appears to be a newer, in theory more power-economic drive which is giving trouble) it may still be worth observing the behaviour of the +12V and +5V supplies at the drive's power connectors, ideally with a scope, while the drive is trying to work.

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Re: External hard drive issue with ST (can't write to drive after power down)

Postby Chandler » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:23 pm

If i don't terminate the drive it won't boot and the busy LED stays on lightly flickering

The PSU is fine, solid 5V always and 12v

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Re: External hard drive issue with ST (can't write to drive after power down)

Postby Chandler » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:10 am

Also this Supra PCB has a back up battery in the form of a Dallas chip (DS1287) which i guess is dead by now

Would this be the problem?

There is a link on the PCB (J1) which disables the battery back up option, if i do this it makes no change


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