How to reformat HDD & SSD to 512B Sector Size

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Markess

Well-Known Member
May 19, 2018
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Northern California
Adding this in case anyone googling needs the info:

sg3_format worked on Netapp X446B-R6 (200GB Toshiba PX02SMF020, SAS 12G SSD) Took about a minute each using a SAS2008 HBA.
 

Elmojo

New Member
Apr 16, 2021
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Hi all,
I'm considering buying several of these drives (HGST 0F22794/HUS726040AL4210), and was wondering if anyone has had success in reformatting from 4Kn to 512b for use with a Dell T420 (PERC H310) server?
If so, which of the methods described in this amazing thread should I be using?
Is it doable with the H310 in my server, or will I need a different card?
If I do need a separate card, would an LSI SAS9207-8e be a good choice?
 

anemoiac

New Member
Jan 7, 2021
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I have a bunch of 520-byte-sector Seagate 3TB drives (Constellation ES.3 ST3000NM023 ST3000NXCLAR3000 GS18) which I am reformatting using setblocksize. It works but takes a huge amount of time (about 12h per drive).

Is there a way to run several reformats in parallel on the same controller? I am using an IBM H1110 converted to 9211-4i in the machine used for the conversion. I could attach 4 drives at a time and run setblocksize on each of them in parallel in separate virtual terminals (in Linux of course). It could save me a huge amount of time if I could do it this way.

Any reason why I shouldn't do that?
An easier way to run these jobs in parallel is to simply use GNU Parallel shell utility (GNU Parallel - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation). That's what I've used to reformat drives en masse.

An example command to reformat 12 disks with 520-byte sectors might look like:
Code:
user@ubuntu-server:~$ sudo parallel --bar sg_format -v --format --size=512 /dev/sd{} ::: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
 

bash

Active Member
Dec 14, 2015
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scottsdale
Hopefully someone can help. I ran into a batch of 6TB ST6000NM0034 FW: 7FA2 & 7FA6 ( SEAGATE DKS2F-H6R0SS)

I was able to change the sector size after 16-18 hours and lsblk now indeed showed the drive after spinning it down and removing and plugging it back in. However I am still not able to write to the drive as for whatever reason the firmware only allows via sg_write_verify. A couple of other people have come across this issue.

https://www.reddit.com/r/homelab/comments/9bu8tf


I was hoping to attempt to flash it with new firmware but I am unable to find anything suitable on seagates website. I am hoping someone has run into this in the past and has a link to the firmware needed.
 

bash

Active Member
Dec 14, 2015
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scottsdale
ok well after searching ebay+amazon for serial numbers I found one that coughed up TWO firmware downloads. "Z4D2PNT1"

The two firmware were E005 and E0G5 available for download. My only question is now should I flash the firmware then change sector size or change sector size THEN flash the firmware. Or does it not matter?
 

bash

Active Member
Dec 14, 2015
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scottsdale
It doesn't. did you notice if the drive was formatted with T10 protection before you reformatted it to 512 sector size?
I did not I will check now. I also am unable to flash the firmware on these with the ones I found on seagate. :(

Seagate Firmware Download Utility v0.4.8 Build Date: Feb 23 2016
Copyright (c) 2016 Seagate Technology LLC, All Rights Reserved
Mon May 24 19:18:51 2021
================================================================================
Searching for model: DKS2F-H6R0SS
Flashing microcode file E0G5.LOD to /dev/sg27
. . . . sense_key=0x05
!
FW Download FAILED

This is the error for both E005 and E0G5
 

bash

Active Member
Dec 14, 2015
131
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scottsdale
Yes we know this already: View topic - Stuck with a certain flashes
Try SeaTools for windows, sometimes it allows cross-flashing vendor firmware.
Also using sdparm take a look into control mode pages, the value of RWWP parameter:

RWWP 0 [cha: n, def: 0, sav: 0]

I believe I have 4 of the same exact model that do indeed have the E005 on them and that are currently working. I will look into JTAG as I have around 25 of these drives and I am willing to put significant effort into making them work.
 

fan4tix

New Member
May 20, 2021
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Since this cost me about a week to find out, I thought, I'd share some Info about the IBM-branded 300GB Seagate Savvio 15k drives and their problems. These are ST9300553SS drives with the IBM part number 45W9615 and they come out of a DS8000 storage system.

I got a few of these for really cheap (like 6€ a pop) and reformated them like described in the text. I pooled 8 drives together in ZFS but had problems with the pool degrading after it got filled above about 2/3.

After some trial and Error I found out, that some sectors in the range between 552343000 and 552345000 cannot be written to. My theory is that the firmware uses these sectors for storing some stuff and therefore it can't be reliably written to by the user. I am currently working around this issue by creating partitions that end at the sector 540000000 on each drive and use these to create the ZFS pool. So far, I had no issiues with degrading the pool anymore and apart from the about 7% of storage the pool is missing, I can't see any performance decreases by using partitions instead of the whole drive. I guess if you are really desperate for the capacity, you can create a second partition after the dead sectors and stripe the two together.

For now, I would advise to stay away from these drives but maybe I'll get bored and try to hack the drive firmware to move the affected sectors out of the space that can be accessed by the user.
 
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amp88

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Jul 9, 2020
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Since this cost me about a week to find out, I thought, I'd share some Info about the IBM-branded 300GB Seagate Savvio 15k drives and their problems. These are ST9300553SS drives with the IBM part number 45W9615 and they come out of a DS8000 storage system.
Very interesting, thanks for the write up.
 

azee

Member
Jan 7, 2017
43
8
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Stockholm, Sweden
hi, i got couple of HPE HGST 10 TB SAS drives, and what ever i try, i can't format them to 512 sector size.

HGST HUH721010AL5204 , they are HPE branded drives.


even the sg_readcap is not working
Code:
sudo sg_readcap /dev/sg7
READ CAPACITY (10) failed: Device not ready
sg_readcap failed: Device not ready
sg_format -v give bit more information

Code:
Format unit:
Descriptor format, current; Sense key: Not Ready
Additional sense: Logical unit not ready, initializing command required
  Descriptor type: Field replaceable unit code: 0x0
  Descriptor type: Vendor specific [0x80]
    f5 03
Format unit command: Device not ready, type: sense key
FORMAT UNIT failed
i tired to all the variant of sg_format shown here but no success.

i used both Dell Perch H310 in IT mode and Dell Power Edge HBA 330, but with same results.

any hint, or are the drives are vender locked?
 

azee

Member
Jan 7, 2017
43
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Stockholm, Sweden
sg_inq output:

Code:
sudo sg_inq /dev/sg7
standard INQUIRY:
  PQual=0  Device_type=0  RMB=0  LU_CONG=0  version=0x06  [SPC-4]
  [AERC=0]  [TrmTsk=0]  NormACA=0  HiSUP=1  Resp_data_format=2
  SCCS=0  ACC=0  TPGS=0  3PC=0  Protect=1  [BQue=0]
  EncServ=0  MultiP=1 (VS=0)  [MChngr=0]  [ACKREQQ=0]  Addr16=0
  [RelAdr=0]  WBus16=0  Sync=0  [Linked=0]  [TranDis=0]  CmdQue=1
  [SPI: Clocking=0x0  QAS=0  IUS=0]
    length=164 (0xa4)   Peripheral device type: disk
 Vendor identification: HGST
 Product identification: HUH721010AL5204
 Product revision level: C384
 Unit serial number:         1DG4xxxx
 

MrMrRubic

New Member
Jun 20, 2021
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Anyone have had any luck with EMC VNX SSDs? FCC-ID link These drives seem to be firmware locked, and I can seem to find any firmware for them. I have 9 I'd like to use in Storage spaces tiering, but life doesn't like me.
 

ccie4526

Member
Jan 25, 2021
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Anyone have had any luck with EMC VNX SSDs? FCC-ID link These drives seem to be firmware locked, and I can seem to find any firmware for them. I have 9 I'd like to use in Storage spaces tiering, but life doesn't like me.
Those are Samsung drives. Good luck with that. That's been an issue for a number of years.
 

MrMrRubic

New Member
Jun 20, 2021
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Those are Samsung drives. Good luck with that. That's been an issue for a number of years.
Yeah, i figured out they were samsung drives, and all their firmware update tools are for offical samsung branded drives (current one on top of that as well). I'd love to use these, but seems im out of luck, unless a rogue samung employee comes around and hands me the CD xD
 

eduncan911

The New James Dean
Jul 27, 2015
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I have 8 of the EMC 2tb drives that were 520 and I was able to make them 512 by the following commands flawlessly.

sudo chmod 777 /dev/sg1
sg_format --format --size=512 --six -v /dev/sg1

It appears the chmod 777 command is the key as my drives will never format to 512 block size without it.
Would you still have the model number of these EMC 2TB drives? There seems to be several different on eBay. :)
 

eduncan911

The New James Dean
Jul 27, 2015
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eduncan911.com
No, they are as dead as a doornail. You can't format a disk that is not spinning
I read through this thread.

Has anyone attempted the 3.3V Pin trick to get them spinning?