STB Suite

May 2008

Command Compliance Testing for ATA & SATA disk drives

SCSItoolbox Suite

This paper will describe a command compliance test to be used on ATA and SATA disk drives. A command compliance test should issue any task register command to any serial ATA or ATA disk drive and record the results of the command. This method of ATA/SATA testing allows the user to confirm whether a given ATA or SATA disk drive complies with the published ATA specifications, as well as to test non-standard or vendor unique commands. For reference, ATA and Serial ATA documentation can be found at
Table of contents include:

  • Introduction
  • Requirements
  • Hardware Requirements
  • User Requirements
  • Test Methodology
  • Normal and error status
  • Note:
  • Exceptions
  • Idle and Standby
  • Sleep
  • Security Freeze
  • Determining the drive ’s capabilities and state
  • The STB ATA/SATA Command Compliance Test
  • Test Execution
  • Customizing the test source code
  • Opening the project
  • Adding your own commands
  • Defining ATA/SATA commands
  • Special command sequence issues
  • Commands issued during Non-Destructive test
  • Using BAM to confirm testing
  • The next step – automating ATA/SATA Command Compliance testing in the STB Suite Disk Manufacturing Module (DMM)
  • Summary
  • Further Information

If you are interested in this complete article. Please contact Jeremy Wolfe at 720.249.2641 or via our website here.




Hands-on training with a technical STB expert! STB Training

Here is a list of some recent customer training sessions that STB has conducted – live, interactive web sessions presented by STB programmers:

  1. Three stages of disk drive screening
  2. How to troubleshoot tape drive problems
  3. RAID issues in disk drive testing

Do you have questions about how to best use the STB Suite in your business? STB is happy to work with you in an interactive “live” environment to help you get the most out of your Toolbox. The cost? If you are a current Performa customer it is free! The commitment? Training sessions run between 30 and 60 minutes.

Contact Jeremy Wolfe at (720) 249-2641 today to schedule your own custom training session!




Ask Dr. SCSI – “Are there any SCSItoolbox Suite tests that can tell if my drive is about to stop working?”

The real Dr. SCSIQ. “Are there any SCSItoolbox Suite tests that can tell if my drive is about to stop working?”

A. “The Sequential Defect Map Test will read every block on your drive, and will show you any extra effort that the drive had to make in order to deliver your data correctly. Did it need to use ECC? Did it have to use retries? Were negative or positive offsets required? Up to twelve types of correction methods are shown by this test, with a counter for each method.

If your drive isn’t having an easy time reading data today, it may not be able to at all tomorrow!”



Did you know?Repair DLT directory

That DLT tapes keep a directory of the tape contents at the beginning of the tape. This helps the drive perform seek and positioning commands more efficiently. This directory is updated any time the tape is unloaded from the drive. But what happens if you are writing data to the tape, and lose power before unloading the tape? The tape directory gets corrupted is what happens! But not to worry, just use the Repair DLT directory function to fix it!

This function will tell you if the directory is corrupted, and if it is it will fix it. Depending on how much data is on the tape, this function can take a long time! But if your tape directory is corrupted, it’s worth the wait!>




SCSItoolbox Suite version 7.2 Available for immediate download

Performa The SCSItoolbox Suite version 7.2 is available for immediate download for Active Performa customers. If you have not received your download information already you can contact Jeremy Wolfe to receive your 7.2 upgrade. The feature list as well as the Release notes are available online and here. Release Notes 7.2 | 7.2 Feature List

If you would like to purchase the Performa upgrade for your STB License you can purchase online here: or you can call Jeremy Wolfe at 720.249.2641 or via email




Corporate Licensing for SCSItoolbox Suite Products

Could your company use more than a combined 20 licenses of the SCSItoolbox and/or Developer Toolbox? Are you tired of using the hardware keys that are required for the Toolbox Products? You might want to take a closer look at our Corporate licensing options that include features like:

  • Unlimited Corporate usage of SCSItoolbox Suite Products
  • Special OEM build of STB products eliminates hardware keys
  • Surprisingly affordable pricing structure
  • Onsite Training

Contact Sales to find out if a Corporate Site License for SCSI Toolbox Products is right for you.




Survey – April winner announced

Survey prize choices for April newsletterOur April 2008 survey winner is Wayne at ING, Wayne chose a $200 gift card at the Home Depot, congratulations Wayne!

We would like to thank all of our survey participants your feedback. We gathered some valuable feedback from the survey and we’re anxious to incorporate some new changes into the SCSItoolbox Suite.