Diskpart Clean! (When USB Stick and ESXi want to part ways)

I've been doing a lot of work lately in virtual environments, trying new hardware, configuring, testing, reconfiguring, testing again. Anyhow, I picked up a few SanDisk Cruzer Fits recently to make the whole test deployment go a bit faster, these things rock by the way 16GB for around $10 on Amazon FTW!

Now that my testing has concluded, I'd really like to use these for storage or some other purpose and remove my demo installs of the latest and greatest ESXi, easy right? pop it in, format...not so fast! If you're running Windows you're in for some fun. You can't format it, you can see the partitions in Disk Management, but you can't delete them, the OS will give you several nasty messages, you're screwed right? Never fear!

  1. Fire up a command prompt as administrator
  2. Run DISKPART
  3. LIST DISK
  4. SELECT DISK # (Where # is the number of the USB disk you want to wipe)
  5. CLEAN ALL
It will take a few minutes, but when it's finished, your USB disk will be squeaky clean and zeroed out. Just format to your desired file system and go play!

Pelican + Data Backup...mmmm

After going through another hair pulling data disaster a few weeks ago, (from which I recovered 100%) I decided to invest in a backup solution. Taking a hard look at all of my data, I concluded that I have just over 1 TB of data that can never be replaced, photos, source code, documents, etc...

My solution? 2x2TB hard drives each containing an exact copy of the other. If you've ever seen my home office, you'd know it would be a bad idea to leave these drives just laying around with the rest of the techno-junk (valuable treasure), as it would only be a matter of time until they were scavenged for one of my projects :) I looked at data vaults, fire safes, and other such items and decided that for the price and ease of portability that a Pelican 1400 case with anti-static foam would fit the bill.

This setup allows for ease of transport to an off-site location, while keeping the drives nice and snug in a water tight, pressure regulated, anti-static environment. If one drive happens to fail for any number of reasons, there's its buddy to save the day.

Another Disk Failure

I swear, you give me a hard drive that promises to be reliable and stable and it'll croak faster than a (fill in your choice of colorful euphemism here)

Time to break out the cold pads and crank down the freezer...again. This time for a western digital passport drive. Apparently it liked where it was and didn't appreciate being moved.

Eat it Seagate!

About a week ago I was told by Seagate support that, and I quote

"Sir, I doubt it's anything you could possibly fix yourself."
This in regards to my failed 7200.11 1.5TB ST31500341AS that was exhibiting the symptoms of a firmware BSY error. Well, I just got my toy from China via Aussie eBay...in the states... (weird ya?) About an hour, a spare power supply, creative wiring and some help from Hyperterminal (if you don't know what that is you're too young) and I'm back in business baby!

To anyone that has a similar failure, don't let tech support at Seagate tell you that your serial number is not among the effected drives. IF your BIOS reports that the "Drive is not accepting commands" this is fixable!

Special thanks to a talented individual by the name of Gradius. Much respect!

http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=128807 Check the link for walk-through.

Seagate Recovery!

Rst 0x20M ASCII Diag mode

F3 T>/2

F3 2>Z

Spin Down Complete Elapsed Time 0.124 msecs F3 2> ASCII Diag mode

F3 T>/2

F3 2>U

Spin Up Complete Elapsed Time 8.507 secs F3 2>/1

F3 1>N1

F3 1>/T

F3 T> Rst 0x20M ASCII Diag mode

F3 T>i4,1,22

F3 T>m0,2,2,,,,,22 Max Wr Retries = 00, Max Rd Retries = 00, Max ECC T-Level = 14, Max Certify Rewr ite Retries = 00C8

User Partition Format 2% complete, Zone 00, Pass 00, LBA 00004AA5, ErrCode 000 00080, Elapsed Time 0 mins 30 secs User Partition Format Successful - Elapsed Time 0 mins 30 secs Zone re-format was skipped. F3 T>