wd1501Fass reports wrong model,and different size?!-is there a way to flash/write the firmware?

Hello, i have a wd1501Fass here(00w2b0), it identifies itself as a WD1800Fass-00w2b0, and it shows a capacity of 175.11Gb…in the bios of the computer, and also with HDAT2…the smart attribuites are all o.k.,no HPA is set, or any changes in the dco are present…under windows, one can create and delete partitions without problems…but you can’t format them.any surface testing will fail.

I have heard about that wd harddrives tend to have problems with their firmware(corruptions) but it seems to be strange to me, that the drive model would change to exactly something that sounds like a wd model(former times there were as example wd1600bb…with a capacity of 160Gb) this one would sugest therefore a drive with a capacity from arround 180Gb ,which it actually shows(175Gb)…i thougfht that corruptions are random, but this doesn’t seem to be random…what could be the cause for this?

so my idea is,that in order to solve the problem is to simply write the correct firmware into the drive…what utility could i use to write the firmware into such drive,and where to find it?

and then,yes there is the problem to get the firmware itself … were do i get a firmware for this drive? - i wouldn’t mind if it is a firmware from dell,hp &co (OEM),i just want to see the drive working again…also i don’t care about the data on the disk, i have it saved on another disk,before that happened.

so is there anybody here who can tell me how and where to get the firmware(maybe someone has it), and what utility i can use to flash/write it into the disk…

@Gandusus, with respect, you have a fundamental misunderstanding of HDD firmware.

I suggest you read http://forum.hddguru.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=29187 and follow up the links provided by “michael chiklis”.

You sir are amazing

I am amazing…? Why is that so?-did i miss something?

Yeah…i am very sure that i have a missunderstanding of HDD firmware, thats maybe because i just startet to think about HDD firmware…about a week ago, i thought the whole firmware is in a rom on the board of the HDD…now i know that the mainpart is on the platters,and it can get damaged by bad sectors and many other things.

So, t thought by rewriting the complete firmware i could restore this drive, if i can only write successful into the service aerea(if no head damaged,or bad sectors are really so bad).

My post here is to try and get more knowledge about firmware of HDD’s,specially of that of WD HDD’s.

I just checked on the link you gave me, and i am sure i can find lots of desired informations.-thank you for this.

But please,BEFORE  i read all informations i can get, i would like to know how a drive can change from WD1501FASS to WD1800FASS. - i would expect a change to like this: WD9$%!FA?+ for the case of corruption.

And i would like to find programs that would enable to read out the SA complete and detailed into its modules…not demo programs that can do it,and read out half way to show that it is possible…and then i can’t get or afford to buy the whole software.The same to writing it into the service aerea back again. I know its possible-at least with a PC3000 &co …but i want to do it without to buy that stuff.

And really i don’t care about the drives, i want to try and see…i have more WD drives than that one, i have a lot of 40 and 80gig drives,that i would discard,but now to try those kind of things they will serve very good…for me its “learning by doing”…so i have to start from somewhere.


A few bit flips perhaps? Have you tried changing the cable?

@Gandusus, if you had followed up the links in the HDD Guru thread, then many of your questions would have been answered.

For example, the demo version of SeDiv will read ALL the modules, both ROM and SA. It just won’t allow you to write them. There are ways to read AND write the SA, but I know of no freeware to do this from a clickable interface. Instead you would need to write your own software, or you could write an MHDD script to do it. I could help you with the latter.

As for why the drive is reporting the wrong model number, it could be due to a damaged firmware module which itself could be the result of a bad head. However, your original description of the problem is somewhat confusing. You say that “one can create and delete partitions without problems”, which means that you can write to sector 0, yet you then say that “you can’t format them.any surface testing will fail”, which suggests that you can’t write to the drive, or at least a large part of it.

As for the model number and capacity, this information should be recorded in MOD 02. Sometimes the drive will identify itself with a factory alias (eg ROM MODEL HAWK), but this points to a different kind of firmware problem. The bogus model number is one of a long list of model numbers in a particular SA module, but I have no idea why the drive has chosen to use one of these alternatives to identify itself. Are we to assume that this is your drive, and that it spontaneously developed this fault, without any intervention on your part or on the part of others?

BTW, IDE drives sometimes report a corrupt model number, but this is most often due to a stuck data bit on the IDE interface. SATA drives don’t suffer from this problem.

Bad model number due to stuck bit in IDE interface:

According to “michael chiklis” at HDD Guru, the demo version of WDR will allow you test the drive’s heads. Hopefully this is not data destructive. I expect to receive a faulty drive in the near future, so hopefully I’ll be in a position to do my own testing.

BTW, many of the firmware modules are “dynamic”. That is, the data changes on a regular basis. Such modules include SMART, defect lists, and translator. Many failures are due to firmware corruption resulting from a damaged head’s inability to read or write these critical modules.

Here is a description of some of the modules (from WDMarvel demo version):

Note that the function of each module may not be consistent between different models. For example, MOD 25 is listed as a SMART module, but in some drives (eg My Book Essentials) it stores the “key sector” that is needed for encryption.

In the module list you will see many references to SelfScan. SelfScan refers to a battery of factory tests that are used to calibrate the drive and to determine its defect lists and its optimal head/preamp characteristics. If your drive has a bad head, then you can sometimes recertify it as fully functional model by running a SelfScan against it and disabling the bad head. The drive will then get a new model number and a reduced capacity.