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Matching Hard Drive Serial Numbers

Mon 6 Dec, 2010

This link is where I keep track of documentation on how each hard drive needs to be matched for a working donor drive.  I get this any where I can, use it if you can, and if you happen to find something out please let me know so I can add it to the collection!


Drives with the same model number can still have different numbers of heads, therefore the board is different. It is possible to identify the number of heads in a drive: Maxtor, Quantum, Seagate from the serial numbers:


  • The second number of the serial number represents the number of heads
  • Maxtor needs the 2nd and 3rd char to match

DiamondMax Plus 9
For the following Maxtor hard drive models: Fireball 3, DiamondMax 16, DiamondMax Plus 8, DiamondMax Plus 9, Diamond Max 10 and all MaxLine products there is also a GTLA Number on the model (next to barcode on the bottom of the drive). Format 1Y222J2223322. 1, 2 and 3 stand for numbers, Y and J for letters.

The numbers 1 and 3 as well as the letter Y need to be identical to be able to replace the PCB on these drives.

This number can be found on the large sticker on the top of the drive.

Unfortunately we can not give you any more information than this. Any of your DiamondMax Plus 9 drives could possibly have a matching PCB, however it is most likely to be an older one as the drive in question is almost 3 years old.

Kind regards,
Gisela Schubert
Technical Support
Maxtor Ireland Ltd.

copied from:


  • Quantum – the third number in the serial number shows the heads
  • Quantum = HA code must match


  • Seagate – the third SYMBOL in serial number represents the heads.
  • Seagate’s sometimes have extra heads and when one is refurbished it is possible to turn off a bad head and turn on an alternate one and then the firmware number revision might change.


  • Fujtsu needs the first xx-Xxxx to match

IBM and HITACHI DRIVES - Usually the same drive

  • IBM MLC codes have to match


  • Hitachi ATMR 80gigs fails most
  • Hitachi 3.5 – Firmware code needs to match
  • Hitachi 2.5 – pcb rev has to match


  • DCM codes for the (5th??? And) 6th numbers must match.
  • No Western Digital drives with the letter R in the code. EB and BB models.
  • Western Digital Drives EB and BB have the head stack affixed from the lid.
  • Western Digital the sixth char in the model is the cache. U = 2meg V=8meg


  • Samsung the 4th Char in the alpha code on the label on the rear side needs to match
  • Samsung the 7th char in the model is the size of the buffer H=8megs

Serial Number on Hard Drive

The boot sector in the FAT32 partition
43h    4    The serial number, the serial number is stored in reverse order and is the hex representation of the bytes stored here.

The boot sector in the FAT partition
The data contained in the boot sector after the OEM name string is referred to as the BIOS parameter block or BPB

27h    4     The serial number. The serial number is stored in reverse order and is the hex representation of the bytes stored here.


  • REFIRBUSHIED drives can not be used as a donor drive.
  • Head 0 is the bottom head and could be bad.