WINCHESTER:Error during Disk Format:Response = 4

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Convergent MightyFrame

Jan 11, 2021, 1:01:56 AM1/11/21
To all, (especially DoN),

I've seen this discussed with a different response number just a few months ago, but I'm hoping to understand this "Error during Disk Format" response system as a whole, meaning all errors. With my experiments and tests, I'm getting different ones, and want to learn to look them up for myself.

In the UNIX PC Technical Reference Manual, I find "Error during Disk Format: Response = XX" discussed on page 3-14 (or PDF page 157)

All it says about this error is:

(XX is the hexadecimal contents of the status register.)

OK, that's great, but how do I interpret that? DoN, in your response last October to Jonathan about this error where Response = 1, you immediately knew that this means that " the drive's heads are stuck to the
platter, so the platter can't spin".
(See )
But, how did you know that in this case when the hexadecimal contents of the status register = 1, that it means the platters can't spin (drive RPM=0)?

I've gotten all kinds of these errors in my tests, most commonly 4 and 10, but if I can learn how to interpret this enigmatic "status register content", I believe I'll be better ahead to more fully understand the entire system.

Also, for reference, I've OCRd the UNIX PC hardware manual, so it can finally be text-searched. It can be downloaded in the new OCR state from

Thank you all, again, and DoN, I always appreciate this group!


J Booth

Jan 11, 2021, 2:45:31 PM1/11/21
Hey AJ.

Status reg sounds like the WD2010 status reg:
Bit 7 - Busy
Bit 6 - Drive (not?) Ready
Bit 5 - Write Fault
Bit 4 - Seek Complete
Bit 3 - Data Request
Bit 2 - Data Was Corrected
Bit 1 - Command In Progress
Bit 0 - Error

So 0x04 would be: "Data was corrected":
"indicates an error has been detected during the ECC mode of operation and the data in the Sector Buffer has been corrected. This provides the user with an indication that there may be a marginal condition within the drive before the errors become uncorrectable."

and 0x10 would be: "Seek Complete":
"reflects status of SC. When a seek or implied seek has been initiated by a command, it pauses until the seek is complete. This bit is latched after an "aborted command" error."

You can get more details in the WD2010 datasheet. I'll send it to you.

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