Seagate SeaTools Problems Resolved

12/23/2012

In what felt like a one-two punch, I recently had a Seagate 3 TB internal drive fail, then the manufacturer’s “SeaTools” diagnostic software wouldn’t boot. I used the Windows XP version of SeaTools, and the software then recommended using the DOS version. Further complicating the diagnostics, to use the software you have to burn a “disk image” of the software on a CD or floppy disk. I opted for the CD, not so surprisingly, and used “Alex Feinman’s ISO Recorder.” That Freeware is recommended on the Seagate website, if you don’t have programs like Nero, EasyCD Creator, etc., but it didn’t work for me.

Upon reading carefully through the instructions and creating the ISO disk, I rebooted the computer and it froze on a message reading “Error reading from drive A: DOS area…. Ignore (I) Retry (R) Abort (A).” Hitting “I” did nothing, so I then moved on to try all kinds of fixes to get past that. Turning off the “A” drive in the BIOS settings didn’t solve the problem, and changing the boot sequence order, -making the CD/DVD drive the priority – didn’t help either.

What DID work was using a different program to burn the disk image. I fired up my Mac, downloaded the DOS ISO image, and burned it to a new CD using the Disk Utility program. To do that, you open up Disk Utility, click “File” at the top, select “Open Disk Image,” and navigate to and open the Seagate “SeaToolsDOS223ALL.ISO” file you have downloaded.

Then, still in Disk Utility, select the ISO filename that shows up in the bar on the left side of the utility. Go up and select the “Burn” icon, and the ISO disk should soon be ready.

From there, I put that disc in the Windows computer, and it booted straight to the “SeaTools for DOS” software. The Long Test is the way to go, as it discovered a whole page’s worth of bad sectors on the drive. Based on the test results, the problems are apparently fixed, though that still needs to be independently verified.

If you have any questions about this process, feel free to let me know in the comment section below. Additionally, if you have benefited from this post, leave a little note or consider sharing this page. Thanks!

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