Handycam hard drive rehabilitation

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Earlier, in rec.video.desktop, I had a problem recovering data from a
Sony Handycam's 1.8" hard drive.  With some excellent advice, I've
managed to collect those video files and my client is happy.

Now, though, I would like to put that 1.8" hard drive back into working
order, if possible--though not necessarily as a drive for that
camcorder.  The drive is marked:

Disk Drive   MK6014GAL   40GB
HDD1801 H ZQ01

I've found a product page that identifies the drive as *60GB* with 1KB


I have this 40-pin ZIF drive hooked up by means of a cheapie USB adapter
purchased off of Amazon.

(Amazon.com product link shortened)

The camera was billed as a 30GB drive, and that is the extent that
PartEd, disktype, testdisk or any windows tools can see.  Attempts to
write a new partition table or format partitions will produce I/O
errors.  PartEd ultimately claims to do as I ask, and even shows it as
having a 30GB FAT32 partition, but it's unrecognizable to Windows and
kicks I/O errors when I attempt to mount it in Linux.

I've tried analyzing the drive with a Toshiba advanced format tool.  It
kicks I/O errors, but eventually shows it in its drive list as a 40GB
drive.  The tool is just for aligning partitions, so it reports there is
nothing it can do to the drive.


Currently, I am zero filling the drive to see if that has any effect.
There are a lot of questions to be asked, but I thought I might as well
dump it in here to see what you guys think.

Re: Handycam hard drive rehabilitation

I zero-filled the drive with this command:

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb bs=1024

It failed out on the 29302556th record with an Input/output error.

If I attempt to create a partition table with parted, the operation
fails with an input/output error, but retrying it succeeds.  If I
attempt to create a new FAT32 partition in the unallocated space, it
fails out in the last step where it tries to create the file system.
Formatting the unknown partition to FAT32 succeeds, but attempting to
mount the partition produces Input/output errors.

It seems odd to me that I can write zeros to the drive, but apparently
not format it for use.

Re: Handycam hard drive rehabilitation

Grinder wrote:
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A drive could be trimmed down, with a HPA (host protected area).
I've not played around with those, because generally the tools
to do so, are command line based, and not very convenient.

You'd think there'd be some info on the drive physical label, to confirm
what it is.

I vaguely remember reading something about working on HPAs with Linux,
so maybe you can see it in there. With the disk connected, go over
the "dmesg" log and see if there is any mention of properties of
the hard drive during LiveCD bootup.


   "dmesg | less
    hdb: Host Protected Area detected.
        current capacity is 12000 sectors (6 MB)
        native  capacity is 120103200 sectors (61492 MB)"



It claims the model number "MK6014GAL" is a "related item". And
when you click on it, there is no info. Since the MK6015GAA
is 60GB one platter two surfaces, you could make a 30GB drive
from it, by using only one good surface. And the hard drive should
have a hard defined limit to prevent access past that point. If
you wanted to make a 40GB drive, that would be two surfaces and
short stroked (not full surface used).

And I couldn't look backwards on www.archive.org, to see
if there was an entry for that drive, earlier in time.


Re: Handycam hard drive rehabilitation

On 10/15/2012 10:12 AM, Grinder wrote:
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Quoted text here. Click to load it

Correct. There is *nothing* that can make the drive useful. Time to toss it

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