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  • Seagate Backup Plus drive partition table

    My friend has a Seagate Backup Plus 4-TB backup drive that somehow got the original partition table whacked and changed from a GPT (I think) to an old style MBR.

    I was able to use dd to make a copy of the drive to a spare drive that I have so I'll be working off a copy and not the original. The Seagate drive seems to be in good physical shape. I'll be trying several techniques to recover the drive but I'm wondering if anyone has one of these drives and can tell me how it is originally partitioned. The drive model is SRD00F2 and part number 1KBAP3-500. The actual hard drive inside the case is a Seagate ST4000DM000 4-TB desktop drive spinning at 5900 RPM.

    The drive is (was?) formatted as NTFS. I'm trying to use gpart to see if it can locate the partition but the program seems to be pretty useless. It only reads the disk at about 5 MB/s while the disk is capable of 120 MB/s. And this is on an Intel i7 with 32GB RAM. Plus the program wants to work with CHS instead of LBA. This is the program that GParted runs when you ask it to check for partitions.

    I used testdisk to find a partition starting at 16384 sectors (about 8 MB) into the disk but I don't know why there should be so much slack at the beginning of the disk. Maybe Seagate hid some software there?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Respectfully,

    paleo-tech

  • #2
    It might not be the partition table, if he's moved it between cases. Most of these big drives use 4K physical sectors; I'm pretty sure most OS' running today can handle that. But some enclosures invisibly pretend the drive has 512-byte sectors, and when that happens, the sector offsets are off and while you can see you've got the partitions, the mapping is all off. Perhaps this is the issue?

    I had this problem when moving a couple of 6TB drives from one set of enclosures to another and sent back a few enclosures thinking there was something wrong with them, when in fact the original enclosure I'd formatted them with was doing the right thing (exporting the actual 4K sector size). I'd googled a way to fix it with "gparted" on Linux.

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    • #3
      The drive is inside an external enclosure with a USB 3.0 interface. It is sold as a unit that is not intended to be opened by the end user. I opened it anyway just to see what was inside

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      • #4
        Originally posted by paleo-tech View Post
        It is sold as a unit that is not intended to be opened by the end user. I opened it anyway just to see what was inside
        You're not alone- I "shuck" drives as a matter of course as for some bizarre reason I can often get drives in a case with a power-supply and internal SATA-USB controller cheaper than a bare drive itself. But many times those enclosures either don't support UAS, 4K physical sectors w/o translation, or have the "flat" (micro-B) USB 3.0 connector which falls out far easier than the USB 3.0 "house" (type B) connector, so I keep a few bare enclosures around that do all that and put the extracted drive into one of those.

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        • #5
          ... but so I'm clear, your partition troubles occurred in the manufacturer-supplied enclosure?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by kcrudup View Post
            ... but so I'm clear, your partition troubles occurred in the manufacturer-supplied enclosure?
            Yes. The trouble occurred when using the drive with a Windows 10 laptop. I personally run Linux and am trying to do him a favour. Also since I'm stuck at home it seems like an interesting project.

            A little further investigation using hexdump on the first 8MB, I saw some strings that indicate it may have been used for a UEFI partition. Although why there would be a UEFI partition on something that is supposed to only be used for data is a mystery.

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