External SATA Enclosure for drive with "Free Fall Sensor"? - Disk Drives (HDD, CD/DVD, Blu-ray) Forum - Disk Drives - Dell Community

External SATA Enclosure for drive with "Free Fall Sensor"?

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External SATA Enclosure for drive with "Free Fall Sensor"?

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Hi all, spinning off a new thread, as I think I narrowed down my E6400 issue.  The issue seems more generic than just E6400 XFR, so I'll ask more generally...

Anyhow, it seems like the internal hard drive with "Free Fall Sensor" technology requires that the interface it's hooked up to has support for the Free Fall Sensor.  And the only place I can find that is in the *internal* drive slot of my E6400 (incidentally, in both the ruggedized XFR model and in my standard corporate E6400 non-ruggedized model).

SO, I'd like to figure out a way to use these disks *outside* of the *internal* slot, via an external enclosure, or even in the CD/DVD slot.  The 3rd part CD/DVD disk adapter I have doesn't support it.  I wonder if the interface in the CD/DVD slot even supports it at all, and if it does, do I need a special adapter? 

OR, is there some kind of external enclosure that supports this?  Any Dell support folks here?  This has to be something that has been noticed before.  I need a way to "clone" one E6400 XFR to another.  And, to do that, one of the disks will have to be mounted outside of its normal slot...

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  • Hi buckyswider,

    Let me ask around.

  • The sensor is part of the Drive not the laptop.

    Momentus® 7200.2 SATA Product Manual:


    The ATA Set Features command defines a value of 41H to "Enable the Free Fall Protection feature".

    See "Table 8: Set Features command values" on page 30 (page 36 of the PDF.

    Section 4.3.1 details the meanings of each bit in the 512-byte block (=256 words) returned by the drive in response to an ATA Identify Device command.

    Bit 5 of word 119 indicates whether the drive supports Free Fall Protection.

    Bit 5 of word 120 indicates whether Free Fall Protection is enabled or disabled.

    In a Windows environment you can view the Identify Device data block using smartmontools:



    You can retrieve these 512 bytes in debug mode, eg:

    smartctl -a -r ioctl,2 -d usbjmicron scsi10

    The above example generates the following log file for my AMD K6-2 Win98SE box using a generic

    Microsoft USB mass storage driver, with a Seagate 320GB drive in an external USB enclosure, behind a JMicron USB-ATA bridge chip:



    You can run Set Features commands to PATA IDE drives in DOS mode using DOS's Debug.exe.

    I suspect you could do the same with a SATA drive if it were to be configured for legacy mode in the BIOS setup.

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  • Thanks Osprey, yes, I'm still trying to figure this out.

    Thanks SpeedStep.  But Dell is saying differently: