ST31500341AS can be jumpered for 1.5Gb/s SATA

I’ve been struggling getting a 1.5TB Seagate ST31500341AS (CC1H firmware) to work on my ageing Mythtbuntu MythTV box (Gigabyte GA-8PE667 Ultra 2) to store TV programs on, it would just stop after the SATA BIOS for the onboard Silicon Image, Inc. SiI 3112 card had ID’d it correctly, before returning its size. So I went to Jaycar and bought a two port Silicon Image, Inc. SiI 3512 SATA card instead which seemed to work fine – the kernel booted and ID’d the card OK and I could partition it but then found that when I tried to make a filesystem I got lots of these:

ata3.00: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x2400000 action 0x0
ata3.00: BMDMA2 stat 0x86c1009
ata3: SError: { Handshk UnrecFIS }
ata3.00: cmd 25/00:08:28:7b:a8/00:00:ae:00:00/e0 tag 0 dma 4096 in
res 51/04:00:2f:7b:a8/00:00:ae:00:00/e0 Emask 0x1 (device error)
ata3.00: status: { DRDY ERR }
ata3.00: error: { ABRT }
ata3.00: configured for UDMA/100
ata3: EH complete

which caused I/O errors and the mkfs aborted. 🙁 Some nice people on the LUV list suggested jumpering the card for 1.5Gb/s operation, but I found a post on the Seagate forums saying:

The manual for Seagate SATA drives pretty clearly states (on page 22): “1.5Gbits jumper block only applies to ST3320613AS, ST3320813AS and ST3160813AS models” So it would seem that you can’t run your ST31500341AS in forced-1.5Gb mode (though the drive does support auto-negotiation – but I guess your controller does not).

I thought I was out of luck, and then I stumbled a post elsewhere that said:

I just called to Seagate. They insist that even though the product manual (At their website) says that using the jumpers to force SATA1(150mb/s) speed not supported for my HDD(ST31500341AS) and also on top of the HDD never print the label anymore, you still set the jumper and it’ll force SATA1 speed. According to the tech support dude.

So, having a jumper to hand I decided to give it a go, and it does appear to work! Not only can I finally successfully make a filesystem, but I can also run bonnie++ on it continuously without issues and then rsync all 200GB of TV shows onto it.