Unbricking my Seagate 7200.11 1T

August 17th, 2010

Last week, my Seagate 7200.11 1T bricked suddenly without any notice. I had bought it (At Grosbill. I’ll never buy anything from them again) in the very beginning of 2009 after my two raid0 HD had bricked as well. It disappeared so suddenly that my first thoughts were that an HW error had occurred, such as a cold soldering problem.
Nevertheless, I was convinced that every piece of data was still available somewhere, somehow.
Surprisingly enough, this kind of problem occurs everytime that I find myself in the middle of a balance sheet establishing.
After a day of sorrow, I began to try to deep freeze that bloody brick. Nothing happened. What about the oven ? (same temperature as for snails…) no better results. Back in the deep freeze, and again such a warm-cold cycle. Slight hammering on the side of the brick did not awake it, either.
Then, I discovered on the internet that I was the owner of a splendid Seagate ST31000340AS, which had some special features such as bricking randomly due to software bugs (Firmware SD15).
I even discovered a youtube video ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29FztWJVxbM) and a site (http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/128807-the-solution-for-seagate-720011-hdds/) whose only purpose was the unbricking of this HD.
Magic formulas were to be entered over an RS232 TTL link, available on the HD.
Then, I began to dig my personal electronics archive at home, looking for a MAX232, or a transistor, or some Schmidt trigger to make a connection with a true RS232 interface I had on one of my very old PCs. Found nothing, so I purchased a Nokia CA-42 cable on Amazon as they recommend on the video. After that I was very agitated, because I did not know if my cycles in the fridge and the oven had completely finished the HD. Digged again in the appartment. Found a lot of 74HC00s, a couple of LS07s, but nothing useful. Then found a nice MC1488… Well what’s that exactly? It actually reminded me of something related with RS232, but why? So back on Internet… Datasheet… Yes. But I need its brother MC1489… Found as well (after 1 more hour of desperate research).
Breadboard, soldering, bought 4 4,5V batteries to make -9V, +9V and +5V supplies (On a Sunday… 4 batteries at the corner’s chink… not given). And guess what… Applying the method of the video, I recovered my HD. I am very proud of myself. So if someone needs a Nokia cable? I should get one tomorrow or the day after.

Stereo mix on a Dell Dimension 9200 with Vista

June 24th, 2009

You have got a Dell Dimension 9200 with Vista and you are fed up with Stereo mix missing from your sound control panel.

You have read a lot about using XP drivers, and running their installer in XP compatibility mode. It did not work.

You have read a lot about how to modify .ini files to make things work, but your computer ended up not muttering a single sound.

You tried to add keys in the registry with no better result.

All you know is that sigmatel+Dell is a nice piece of crap. You are suspecting that Realtek+Sony is not better, but this is another story.

Eventually, you will find the solution: Load the IDT driver here and just install it (IDTv087.zip, 20.31MB). That’s it. No mod, no nothing. You’ve just lost one week to sort this out, and to be able to record rubbish music on deezer…

Concerning Sony (mine is a VAIO VGN-FW21M), same problem (maybe more complex, because SONY specifcally asked driver makers not to implement stereo mix on their machine). In that case, you will have to try every driver from Realtek and pray, until it is OK. V1.65 works, while V1.99 does not. V2.27 does not either. I had not enough courage to check out versions in between. If you want, give me a feed back.

The V1.65 is available on the ftp site of Realtek. I found it on (/pc/audio). It took a while. Their site was terribly slow. Was it temporary? DOn’t know.


March 31st, 2008

This is Beirut in my dear 15th Precinct

March 31st, 2008

7 cars burnt. I had never imagined that this kind of event could ever happen in Dutot street.
It is still impossible to figure out.

There are flaws in Dr House’s scenarios

March 13th, 2008

I discovered a problem in the last Dr House’s episode I watched yesterday.
A youngster arrives at the hospital. He was poisoned by some substance. The rationale is: One can save is life, provided that the very substance that caused his illness is precisely identified. Then, one can give him the corresponding antidote. One shall not make a mistake in the identification, because any antidote for the wrong substance might kill him.
At first glance, it is obvious, because the House’s team is immediately told about some sort of round-up he had used recently. They intend to cure him with the appropriate antidote, the one which cures poisoning with the formula that is indicated on the bottle. But they change their mind, when a second youngster arrives with the same symptom, though he surely did not use the same weed-killer.
The team thinks it must be something else they have in common. Bingo, they were in the same school bus. This school bus had crossed a truck in the morning, and that truck had been spreading another weed-killer. Thus, they get the formula of this new agent, and cure both young guys with the antidote they believe appropriate. But, this is a big disapointment, because, their condition deteriorates, and they nearly kick their bucket on that.
So, it must be something else they share. Re bingo: new clothes they both did not wash.
And there we are: Doctors get samples of these clothes and analyse them to find the substance. So they could have done it on blood samples, if it was so simple ! Discrepancy !

Not the same pole position

August 24th, 2007

As a former F1 engineer, I can’t help wasting my time at watching GPs. I vaguely think I am more legitimate than the vulgus pecum to give my opinion about this world, for I once was a part of it… Poppycock ! I don’t understand no nothing.

Anyway, the motto of the day:
In the past, Renault F1 used to get the pole. Now, the Renaults are just “behind the Pole” (Kubica, the Polish).

Wouarf wouarf wouarf.

Arnaque à la Touche-Thébault

August 20th, 2007

In July, I spent 2 weeks in Britanny. Dealing with availabilities, high prices, last minute reservation, references and reliability of the lodging services, I finally ended up at la Touche-Thébault, near Rennes. I thought I was smart and all.
Look out! It was an appaling stay, the weirdest thing being the presence of dead pigs under a clutch, at less than 30 yards from the doorstep of the gite. They were laying there for a couple of days, concealed under a clutch made of a semi-barrel. Then they were removed. I was not early enough in the morning to learn how… The semi-barrel would stay there, turned-round, for a day or so, and a new cycle of dead pigs would start over.
Among other things: high voltage lines just above your head. Contemptuous and aggressive landlady. No key to lock the door. Nice kitsch fridge (probably as old as myself), but totally ineffective for keeping stuff cool. Dirty, stinky oven. Looking at the current’s consumption of the drier, you’ll understand why they need high voltage lines straying all around the sky… And actually, you’ll pay an extra charge for using it, even once.
Don’t go at la Touche-Thébault. They are big crooks.
They are the kind of landlords who dislike people. They merely tolerate your presence, because they have to. But could you die during the travel and never come over, they’d greatly appreciate.
That is garzol.

Dead of the day

March 14th, 2007

Is not it time to speak about my latest new feature available on the site: The dead-a-base ?
Yes it is !

Let us begin with names I was about to put in the base. But Oh my God ! they are still among us. I will update that list depending on my other future mistakes (and remove names, should they suddenly comply with the dead-a-base criteria) :

  • Danielle Darrieux(May 1, 1917)
  • Micheline Presle(Aug 22, 1922)
  • Jean Ferrat(dec 26, 1930)
  • Henri Tisot (June 1, 1937)

There are also people I’d like they’d have the quality to enter the list, because I love their work and I’d like to speak about them such as Romero, Carpenter, etc… This reasoning is such a paradox.

Folio contest

December 26th, 2005

Time flies by.

I have the remembrance of a contest that a pocket book editor, named Folio, organized in the late 70’s.

It could have been in 1976. The editor had organized this contest for the celebration of its 1000th title.

The contest consisted of 50 titles to identify from 50 words you had to collect in a big cross-words game. Once you had determined the words, you had to find out the corresponding titles and authors in the collection.

Those 50 titles had been chosen by a Jury composed of a Pleiad of big personalities; Some references in literature.

We were sure, my best friend and I, of a certain victory. For once, we thought it was not a question of just being lucky, and that it would be easy for clever people like us.

Unfortunately we missed the big prize by a hair, making a mistake on 2 titles, which was the limit to get a big nothing as a compensation. The first one was “les inconnus dans la maison” by G. Simenon. The keyword to find was “maison”, and we had been puzzled because of an other title containing this word, I can’t remember which it was. I can’t remember the second mistake whe made, either (or was it “la vie mode d’emploi” ? ).

Anyway, this had been the opportunity for taking the piss out of one of our comrades. We made him believe we had played in his name to maximize the chances of winning in a potential draw, and that he was lucky and won the big prize…

He told us he would keep everything, and that we could go to hell. He got to the editor’s and claimed for his well deserved price. What a disappointment for him when he understood he had been rolled in the flour.

Anyway, thank to this contest, I opened my mind to literature and read almost every title in the list, letting down “Pif gadget” for ever.

Please help me to rebuild this legendary list. The following is all I can remember (no specific order) :

1/ Le bruit et la fureur. W. Faulkner.
2/ Belle du seigneur. A. Cohen.
3/ Le hussard sur le toit. J. Giono.
4/ Voyage au bout de la nuit. LF. Céline.
5/ L’homme pressé. P. Morand.
6/ Les inconnus dans la maison. G. Simenon.
7/ xxx. L. Aragon.
8/ Les nourritures terrestres. A. Gide.
9/ xxx. F. Kafka..
10/ Au dessous du volcan. M. Lowry
11/ Fictions. JL Borges.
12/ Zazie dans le métro. R. Queneau.
13/ La vie, mode d’emploi. G. Perec.
14/ La plaisanterie. M. Kundera.
15/ Ulysse. J. Joyce.
16/ xxx. J. Dos Passos.
17/ Les raisins de la colère. J. Steinbeck.
18/ xxx. E. Hemingway.
19/ A l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleur. M. Proust.
20/ xxx. JP Sartre.
21/ Paroles. J. Prévert.
22/ 1984. G. Orwell.
23/ Mémoires d’Hadrien. M. Yourcenar.
24/ xxx. HG Wells.
25/ L’homme sans qualités. R. Musil.
26/ Lolita. V. Nabokov.
27/ L’étranger. A. Camus.
28/ La condition humaine. A. Malraux.
29/ xxx. FS Fitzgerald.
30/ xxx. G. Bernanos.
31/ Le soulier de satin. P. Claudel.
32/ xxx. H. Böll.
33/ xxx. M. Tournier.
34/ Le rivage des Syrtes. J. Gracq.
51/ J.E. Garzol.

Who can help to complete this list ?

This has nothing to do (even though most titles are in common) with the contest by Le Monde (1999). See
for a complete list on this.

The 10 plagues of Egypt

July 15th, 2005

I have always been wondering how many plagues of Egypt there were.

Could be a question for “who wants to earn millions ?”

So, this Morning, having nothing else to do for the first time in 6 months, I decided to get the answer on the Internet.

The answer is far from trivial…
Could be 10. http://perso.wanadoo.fr/hlybk/question/reponse/dix-plaies.htm
or 12. http://www.bibliquest.org/Bibliquest/Bibliquest-Tableau_plaies_d-Egypte.htm

Anyway. It is not important after all. It was a long time ago.

There is funnier on earth… For example, I discovered that the Bible is available in mp3 format ! Very funny, indeed. I downloaded a chapter and began to listen to it. Can one find something more boring than that : “xxx engendered yyy, who engendered zzz, who…” endlessly the same genealogy depiction.

Who said that the Bible was the only book on earth with absolutely not a single joke in it.

Actually, there is something very similar to it, I thought : A telephone directory.

So to make fun, I got one of my phone directories in a cupboard, opened it randomly and began to read, imitating the emphasis of the mp3 bible’s file we’ve just downloaded.

Guess what ? The directory was open at a page full of Mr Chretien.

From today until my last day, I will believe in God.

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