Bad hard drive In Siemens controller
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  1. #1
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    Default Bad hard drive In Siemens controller

    A few months ago I bought a used VMC for what seemed a really good deal at the time. I bought it from an auctioneer, they had an auction that several machines did not sell and the shop had to be cleared out. I offered a really low price and was surprised when they took the offer. Its a 2005 Huron KX8 with a Siemens 840D controller and a 24000 rpm spindle. The table size is just about perfect for the type of work I want to use it for and the high speed spindle could come in handy for some of the detail work I do with tiny cutters (I often use 3/64" and 1/2mm for raised lettering in aluminum).

    The controller booted up at the shop it came from. The machinery mover dropped the machine off just before Christmas and between my daughter visiting over the holidays and U being busy right after it was 3-4 weeks before we got power to the machine. When we tried to start it up the controller just hung up during boot up. After several tries and leaving for several hours we go a partial boot up of windows just enough to say there was a bad sector on the drive. I don't know if the machinery movers shutdown or the transport of the machine caused the damage but it's bad.

    I called a CNC repair guy who I have used in the past who has been pretty good. He told me no problem he had recently fixed a machine with a bad hard drive and it would be no problem. He took the controller out of the machine to take to a specialist to change the hard drive and recover the data. It took several weeks for the specialist to get back to the repair guy. They needed a "ghost" of the drive to copy to get me a new drive. I located an identical machine an hour away that was in the same auction as this one spoke with the owner of the machine copied the manual I had for him and dropped off some extra covers from my machine to him. He agreed we could copy his hard drive and I told him we would provide him with a spare hard drive as well.

    I gave my repair guy contact for the shop with the other machine and asked him to get it copied. After several weeks of chasing them about this I finally got a response last week. The specialist tells me there is a danger of damaging the drive in the other machine and he needs to get someone to sign off on absolving him of any liability on this.

    I cannot take the chance of wiping out the had drive on someone else's machine so I am back to square one. I called and emailed the dealer for Huron here in Canada weeks ago and had no reply. Siemens did get back to me pretty quickly and needed the controller serial number which I didn't have at the time because the controller was out of my shop. Now that I have the controller back I am going to have to email him back with the serial number.

    Will Siemens actually be able to help me in this situation as I assume the parameters are all on the hard drive? Maybe they can get the controller operating system working but will that do me any good? I am going to try contacting Huron but with the current situation in France I don't know if they will get back to me about a 15 year old machine. I am now worried that I bought an expensive boat anchor. Wishing I hadn't gone and bought a bunch of HSK toolholders for the machine before I had it running.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pattnmaker View Post
    A few months ago ...
    Oh c'mon. Direct copy of a drive is easy. Have a computer place do it if the other party is worried. He should have a backup himself as well, drives fail.

    It's not a big problem (except right now maybe), but a hundred thousand Loonix guys can easily do a dd so really ... quit freaking out. If you want to go crazed, there's a guy in ... Denmark ? Jan van der Wyck ? DFSee. Been doing low-level disk repairs for decades. Most likely there's a place near you, too. A search will probably find you ten reliable services.

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    markp just had to do what you did. you can search the threads to look him up, I don't think it was longer then 6mo ago. worst case if you cant find someone to copy the hd, get the other guys machine running and backup the mmc and plc. the hd should have copies made already but you can make current ones. transfer them to a pc for a backup. Siemens can make you a new hd, again they wont have mmc or plc files thats the machine builder. restore the mmc and plc and you should be good, the only wildcard on that if the builder made custom masks I don't think mmc or plc will have those. that would have to come from the builder. but if the other guy is up and going siemens should be able to tell you have to back those files backed up and transfered back over.

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    Default Bad hard drive In Siemens controller

    Quote Originally Posted by pcasanova View Post
    markp just had to do what you did. you can search the threads to look him up, I don't think it was longer then 6mo ago. worst case if you cant find someone to copy the hd, get the other guys machine running and backup the mmc and plc. the hd should have copies made already but you can make current ones. transfer them to a pc for a backup. Siemens can make you a new hd, again they wont have mmc or plc files thats the machine builder. restore the mmc and plc and you should be good, the only wildcard on that if the builder made custom masks I don't think mmc or plc will have those. that would have to come from the builder. but if the other guy is up and going siemens should be able to tell you have to back those files backed up and transfered back over.
    You might be lucky and all that is bad is the master boot record (MBR). Still backup is essential since Murphy and all his cousins are alive and well.
    After the backup you grab a new disk and in '_nix' dd the whole thing across. dd does a dumb copy (image) of the whole disk. If that won't boot the install a new boot record. Windoze will have equivalent programs. Worse case you are stuck with getting an image off someone else's disk. In todays world a thumb drive will probably hold the whole shebang. Good luck.

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    Yes. I had the same problem on a DMG DMC103V with 840D. First question, did you get the original system discs with the machine? Youll need these to replace any machine specific files from the MTB if those are now on corrupted sectors. Take photos of the error messages you see on boot. These relate to the files youll need to replace later.

    It is possible to repair a drive with corrupted sectors so that you can make duplicates of the drive. I found that it wasnt possible to make a copy of the original drive because of corruption, it would just hang at the bad sectors. The person who helped me was one of the top guys in IT at UC Berkeley for 20 years. Hed done this many times before and warned me that it could damage the disc, just from reading it to create an image. Youll need to find someone who really knows how to do this. Probably not your average cnc repair person.

    He used GNU DDrescue to create an image and repair the bad sectors. See some notes below:

    "study the man pages in detail before starting, but here's some ideas:

    'badblocks' scans a disk for bad blocks and outputs a list, which can be used to 1. see how bad this is before you start, 2. give hints to other programs when doing recovery. it is optimized for this task so it's the non-stupid way to do it. caution, it can also eat the disk if you use the wrong options.

    'dd' manual under 'invocation' gives hints on how to deal with failing disks, seach for "For failing disks" near the end of this page:

    <https://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/manual/html_node/dd-invocation.html>dd invocation (GNU Coreutils)

    the hints are, in short, some options to make it not quit on errors and to make it pad out zeroes correctly, some notes on handy signals treated specially by dd, and... a reference to ddrescue as a better choice of program for this task."

    We used an older laptop running ubuntu with the original drive connected through an IDE PCMCIA card. An image was created onto a thumb drive with most (not all) of the errors corrected. Then we made a copy to a new drive from this image. Drive size is an issue on older OS's. My machine was running on Win95 so drives of less than 8gb are required. System wont recognize larger drives. You can get these off of ebay. SSD,s might work but my OS being Win95 it seemed like a bad idea to introduce another variable so I didnt try that.

    Then I connected the drive to a MAC with a generic USB to IDE adapter (dont use a windows machine as some versions of that OS will overwrite the master boot directory). Then using the info about what parts of the system were not loading, I manually replaced the files that were not loading.

    The system now booted with no errors, but still had problems that were then resolved by reloading the MMC and PLC files from known good backups. (I copied the original files from the system discs and just used those). That fixed everything. Oh dont forget to make a bunch of copies of the drive. I have 6 copies now. For copies I used a Startech IDE duplicator. I got the one with error correction. Cheap on ebay mine was 75$. After that youll just need to battle the Siemens control...

    YMMV, I was lucky that the damage was not that bad and happened to be in places that didnt matter that much in the end.

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    The other question to ask is:- do you know what version of Windows the controller is running? The 840Ds at work were still based on Windows NT when I was there (which is very limited in repair capabilities), but yours might be on a newer base operating system. Cloning the disk is something that any disk data recovery company should be able to do without any risk to the data. Should cost less than $500 (based on what I paid in the UK to get disk data recovered at work up to 2016). The quicker you want the result, the more you pay!

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    I did not get the original systems Discs with the machine. It looks like it is the sector of the drive that has part of windows on it as I could not even boot up. Hopefully the rest of the drive is recoverable. We are going to look at it with a Linux machine now that I have it back.

    We have been really busy since before I bought the machine and I had hoped that I could just pay someone to fix it and concentrate on just keeping work flowing through the shop. Doesn't look that way.

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    I just went through all this a few months ago - good luck!

    I sent you contact info via PM for "my" Siemens guy who is in your neighborhood.

    Maybe it's the same guy that you are using, maybe not?

    We got it going, but the likelyhood of me buying another Siemens is very low and dwindling...



    However - I think that most of the machine specific info is stored on the card in the CCU. (CNC in the cabinet)
    You may get away with just getting used components that live in the pendant, and reloading the archives.


    --------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox


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