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Dan Nelson
Attended North Central College
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Dan Nelson

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Regarding the recent hyperinflation in Diablo III
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Wanted:  The last sector of a Seagate Backup Plus drive.

Note that the last sector isn't accessible through the adapter :)  You'll want to follow this video to extract the drive, then plug it directly into a SATA cable, or a plain SATA->USB adapter: Opening a Seagate Backup Plus external hard drive

Back story:

I bought two Backup Plus 3TB units, because for some reason they cost the same as a bare drive, and hey, a free SATA->USB 3.0 adapter!

After sticking some old Samsung SATA disks in the enclosures, I noticed that changing the idle spindown or LED on/off settings in the Seagate Dashboard tool caused an audible click-click from the drive.  That's a sure sign that the adapter was storing metadata somewhere on-disk (as opposed to NVRAM or flash in the adapter itself).  I plugged a cheap SATA->USB adapter right next to the Backup+ adapter so I could easily swap a drive between both, and verified that both the idle time and LED state are stored on the last sector of the drive.  Turns out that the Backup+ adapter reduces the reported sector count by one to hide the metadata from the end-user.  I also noticed that when I swapped the Seagate drives out and put the Samsungs in, the USB drive identification had changed from "Seagate Backup+ Desk" to "Seagate USB".  It's possible that the USB vendor/model strings are stored in the metadata block, which would let the user customize their drive's info.  Unfortunately, when I removed the Seagate drives, the first thing I did was format them with GPT labels, which overwrote the last sector :(  Which is why I'm asking for someone that hasn't yet repartitioned their disk to extract the last block and post its contents somewhere.

It's also interesting to note that even though the drives are AF 512e drives (4096-byte native sectors, but reporting 512-byte sectors to the host), the adapter reports a 4096-byte sector size to the host, "undoing" the 512e emulation.  This unfortunately makes it impossible to transparently use an AF disk with and without the adapter, since both MBR and GPT layouts use LBA offsets, and when the sector size changes, "LBA 10" becomes "LBA 80".  It's possible that the sector size to use is also stored in this metadata block somewhere, which if changed could let the user decide whether to report 512 or 4096-byte sectors.
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Sent to the crusher, or precious metals dissolver, or whatever they do to old equipment: 2 C-64's, 1 C-128, 1 Amiga 2000, and 1 MPS-801 printer.

Kept the Osborne.
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They don't even hide it anymore...
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Keith Burgun, founder and designer at 100 Rogues developer Dinofarm Games, argues that some video games are not
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Latest News. View All. November 13, 2011. GDC China: Canabalt's Saltsman On Why PC, Mac Rules For Indies. Indie Royale 'Difficult Second Bundle' Hits 25000 Sold, Adds Two New Games. GDC Ch...
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