IBM PC AT Hard Drive issues

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IBM PC AT Hard Drive issues

Postby Gribnitz on Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:17 am

Hi, my first request for help :)

My IBM PC AT has an original Seagate ST-4038 hard drive. It spins up and the light flashes, but I evidently have some issues. I get an error that says something to the effect of "invalid media or track 0 bad". I can get the C drive to be seen, but I can't execute any commands to do anything with it. I tried to FDISK it and reformat, but it locks up the machine. I read this model has some kind of head park lock that can be initiated, but I don't know if it is a physical switch, or software lock? Could the drive be locked or is it toast?
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Re: IBM PC AT Hard Drive issues

Postby SpidersWeb on Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:42 am

It probably needs a low level format.
I recommend using SpeedStor 6.5. You'll be able to find it on under DOS Programs.

Select your drive model, and then use the Initialize function. After you should be able to partition it with FDISK, and then format it with FORMAT. SpeedStor can do those steps on your behalf too if you ask it nicely. If there is anything wrong with the hard drive, SpeedStor will tell you. Any kind of 'head lock' will return a seek error, but I honestly think it just needs a low level format (not a high level format, which is all DOS does).

99% of the time this is all it is. It's a good idea to refresh the drive every decade or so.

Any questions let me know.

Head Park just moves the head to the end of the drive, to reduce the chance of the used data surface being damaged during transport.
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