Recover.IT – HP EX490 MediaSmart Server – Part 3

Ok, where was I?  Yes, the faulty disk in my MediaSmart Server – eventually the removal process came to an end where there was only a few files left over – about 10 – which was old and unnecessary – I tried to delete them, but each time I deleted them, they came back. So, I had to log onto the server through the Windows console, and then run a chkdsk command on the disk. I had to run it twice and after that, was able to do the removal again, and finally the disk was blinking – indicating that it was ready for removal.

As this disk had some bad sectors in one area, sometimes we can do a security erase on the disk. The security erase is an internal function of the disk drive firmware and we have to go through a little process to do this. The security erase will effectively perform a factory format of the disk surface which in general should rewrite the entire data surface and we should (theoretically) end up with no bad sectors.


The first hdparm command is to interrogate the disk, and writes the output to a file, we need to check that it isn’t frozen. The second hdparm command sets a master password which I have called llformat (meaning low level format), then we check the drive again, to confirm that it is enabled for erasing – which was confirmed.

The final hdparm command tells the drive to commence a security erase, which would take approximately 322 minutes, so it was time to leave it and let it run and check it in the morning, which I did. Afterwards, I ran a diagnostic on the drive, but had some strange error – it seems that the drive now thinks that it is a 1TB drive and not a 2TB drive. I checked the hdparm output from the initial command.


Definitely it shows that it is 2TB (2000GB) as indicated by the device size with M = 1000*1000 – i.e. M = 1 million bytes.  The hdparm command I ran after the erase had finished is shown here.


Definitely, here again, it says it is a 1TB = 1000GB drive – what is going on? The serial number is the same, so I am not dreaming – and definitely, it thinks it is 1TB. I also ran a smartctl command to check the status of the SMART data on the drive.


It shows that parameter 184 End-to-End_Error is FAILING_NOW, so basically the drive is failing – so should not be used for anything critical as it could stop working at any time. A pity because a 2TB drive could still be handy to play around with, but now it is 1TB.

I performed an erase again, and it seems that it still is a 1TB afterwards, so definitely there is a problem somewhere – maybe in the firmware. Suspiciously, there is nothing like this when I do a Google search. Maybe if someone knows how this happened, they can let me know and we can try to reverse it. I have performed security erase on numerous drives without this happening, so it would be good to know.


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