Western Digital Click of Death Fix

WD20NMVW 2TB Drive

A teacher at a local college said she needed a “click of death fix” on this 2TB external My Passport Western Digital drive. A click of death issue is normally associated with a heads problem, but that is not always the case. I recover drives with clicking issues that end up having something else wrong other than heads all the time. In this case, the heads would end up being the issue, but be aware that if the drive has not been dropped and is clicking, there is a very good chance it is a problem other than the heads causing the noise. Click of Death Fix This particular WD20NMVW drive had the USB port built onto the printed circuit board of the drive. So instead of being able to connect it to my PC-3000 and diagnose the drive, the first step was to get a new printed circuit board (PCB) with a SATA connection that was compatible. Once the donor board arrived I moved the ROM over from the old PCB to the new. … Read more

Recovering Failed Time Machine Backup – Crisis Averted

Seagate ST4000LM016 4TB

This failed Time Machine backup drive was mailed in from Burbank in Southern California for data recovery. The reported issue was a buzzing sound when you first plug it in for a split second, then another short buzz sound, then another, then silence. The drive would not spin up and would not be recognized by any machine. The client had been using the drive as an archive drive as well as a backup drive, so it was important that the data be recovered. Recovering A Failed Time Machine When you are recovering a failed Time Machine backup, it is best if you are able to get 100% of the sectors imaged and then work on getting the image to mount. A mounting Time Machine drive should work to continue using with Time Machine, whereas a drive that you have to recover with data recovery software will have the files present, but you will have to start your Time Machine backups fresh. Diagnosing the failed Time Machine Backup The first step is to open the drive … Read more

Western Digital Data Recovery – Disoriented Module 32 Slow Fix

Western Digital Data Recovery 500GB WD5000BPKT

This Western Digital data recovery was referred by a shop near Partridge, Kansas. The hard drive was thought to have some kind of heads issue as it wouldn’t read on a computer, but you could hear it spin up and start seeking. The repair shop told the client they figured the problem must be internal since the recovery computers they had wouldn’t even recognize the drive at all. This particular shop has recommended us over the years for affordable lab data recovery when they are not able to recover the drive themselves. Western Digital Data Recovery – Slow Fix This particular WD5000BPKT model is known to have a firmware issue called the “Slow Issue”. The fix has been used so much that it is now called the “Slow Fix”. It is a fairly widespread issue on Western Digital hard drives. The issue with the firmware is that a particular firmware module gets corrupted. This module is almost always module 32, but sometimes module 2 is involved as well. These modules must be read by the … Read more

Hard Drive Makes Clicking Noise and Won’t Boot – Surprising Seagate Data Recovery

Seagate Data Recovery

There are some times when recoveries just work out better than you expect! This Seagate data recovery project came in as a referral by a local computer repair shop which had diagnosed the drive as likely having a heads issue. They reported the hard drive makes clicking noise and won’t boot. During diagnosis I confirmed that while there wasn’t any platter damage and the heads looked good physically, one of the heads would not read. Hard drive makes clicking noise and won’t boot This Thin model ST500LT012 of the Momentus 500GB drive only has a total of 2 heads, so the most I can get without swapping the head stack is 50%. Basically, the drive was created with a single platter to allow the drive to be super thin. Each side of the platter has a single head reading and writing information. So with one of the heads not working, I could only recover one side of the platter. Because the non-functioning head wasn’t causing any damage, I was able to image 50% of the … Read more

WD Data Recovery From My Book – Quoted $1500 From Other Recovery Shop

WD MyBook WD40EFRX 4TB Drive Recovered With Multiple Issues

A local customer came to us with a 4TB My Book that had been mailed to another data recovery company that had quoted $1,500 for the WD data recovery. The customer declined that fee and had it returned so they could bring it in to us for a second opinion. They needed the data back at a more affordable price point and hadn’t been aware we existed locally when they first sent it into the other recovery shop. Second Opinion Recovery From My Book I am going to do a quick aside on how to get a drive back from a data recovery shop after getting a quote. I write in more detail about this on my page 5 things an expert knows. I recommend telling the recovery shop that you need to save up for the recovery, or you need to consider if the data is worth the recovery price, and ask for your drive back so you can store it until you decide. I don’t recommend saying “I am going to get a … Read more

Hitachi Hard Drive Makes Clicking Noise And Wont Boot

Hitachi HTS725050A9A362 500GB Hard Drive With Bad Head

When a hard drive makes clicking noise and wont boot, the most likely cause for this behavior is usually said to be bad heads. In my experience, clicking drives that won’t boot sometimes have heads issues and other times have issues like firmware corruption or a bad PCB. If your drive is clicking, it is important to have it looked at by a reputable data recovery shop because many times shops will quote for a head replacement, even if it is not necessary. Hard Drive Makes Clicking Noise And Won’t Boot This drive arrived with the client reporting that it was spinning up but not accessible with their recovery equipment. They mentioned clicking noises during use so I started with a visual diagnosis in the clean room. The heads did look good inside, and I couldn’t see any physical damage to the platters. I connected the HTS725050A9A362 hard drive up to my PC-3000 to diagnose the issue and I found that 1 of the 4 heads inside the drive was not working properly. In this … Read more

Seagate External Hard Drive Beeping

Stuck Heads On A Seagate ST3500413AS

This beeping Seagate external hard drive came to us as a referral from a local computer shop here in Hutch. It was making a beeping or buzzing sound when power was applied and was not recognized at all by any computer they had tried it on. Beeping or Buzzing Drive Recovery Usually beeping or buzzing on a hard drive is caused by the motor not being able to spin the platters. I would say about 80% of the time this ends up being caused by the heads being stuck on the platter. The other 20% of the time it is a different issue like a bent spindle, failed PCB causing not enough power to reach the motor or other issues. Seagate External Hard Drive Beeping Diagnosis Opening the drive in my clean room environment revealed that the heads were indeed stuck on the platter and the drive motor was not able to spin. The next step was to “unstick” the heads from the platter and inspect for head stack assembly for damage. DYI Beeping Drive … Read more

Unusual Western Digital Elements Data Recovery

Unusual Western Digital Elements Data Recovery Head Stack

This was an unusual WD Elements data recovery. The heads had broken inside the drive and there were actually missing parts to the head stack that were found inside the drive! Western Digital Elements Data Recovery During the initial inspection of the Western Digital Elements drive, I noted there was some platter damage visible on the top platter, and the head stack was not parking on the ramp as it should. This client needed the data recovered from the drive so I found a suitable donor and waited for it to arrive. USB to SATA Conversion While I waited for the donor heads to arrive, I used the SATA PCB I had in stock to swap out with the USB PCB that was on this drive originally. Swapping the USB PCB to a SATA PCB gives me full access to the drive firmware with my PC-3000 data recovery rig. This connection only takes a while to swap out, and it really helps make the subsequent steps easy. A lot of the newer drives (like this … Read more

How To Recover Deleted Photos Best

Baby Photos Recovered From Accidentally Deleted Drive

Accidentally Deleted Data We get asked how to recover deleted photos pretty frequently. This deletion is commonly caused by accidentally formatting a hard drive that has important files stored on it. It seems the most common of these accidental formats are husbands accidentally formatting a drive that contains family photos (particularly baby photos). Unfortunately, it is easier to do than it should be to accidentally delete data, but we can usually help! How to recover deleted photos The first step with any recovery is to make an exact clone of the media you are trying to recover from. You want this image of the drive to be 100% complete, even copying over the areas of the drive that supposedly don’t have any data on them. To complete this you can use a free Linux-based tool like Clonezilla. Note that this is just the first step in the process, so don’t leave quite yet! Once you have cloned or imaged your drive completely to a different hard drive, you are ready to start scanning for deleted … Read more

Exploring Our City – Reno County Museum

A shelf of history books on Kansas

Reno County Museum We recently decided to visit our local Reno County Museum here in Hutchinson. It was completely on a whim, and I feel that those kinds of outings are usually the most gratifying. It must have something to do with having low expectations and being pleasantly surprised. The boys really immersed themselves in the experience, which is always wonderful to witness. This little outing ended up a perfect homeschooling field trip, and we will definitely be back. Location Reno County Museum is located in downtown Hutchinson. It is a free museum, though they do ask for a small donation. It is just steps away from restaurants like R-B Drive-In and Anchor Inn, and a short stroll away from Main St. which is lined with quaint boutiques, book stores, and cafes, among other things.  We have been deliberately taking time as a family to explore the multitude of city parks here in Hutch. We had a picnic and played for a while at George Pyle Park Playground, which just so happens to be located … Read more