Dropped My Passport Data Recovery

My Passport External Hard Drive Not showing up

My Passport stops showing up after drop This Western Digital My Passport external drive was dropped and then stopped showing up on the client’s computer. The client initially took the drive to another recovery shop that was nearer to them but were told their My Passport drive could not be recovered by them. Thankfully, the shop referred the client to us for My Passport data recovery and I was able to successfully get back their important data at an affordable price! Swapping the PCB Once the My Passport was received I started with a recovery diagnosis. This particular My Passport had a WD10TMVW model hard drive inside. This particular hard drive has a PCB board with a USB port directly attached to the board. This means that the data recovery tools (which are designed to work with regular SATA connections) can’t connect to the drive directly. I started by swapping out the USB PCB with a donor PCB with a SATA connection. It can be very difficult to find the PCB with the SATA connection … Read more

Clicking Western Digital Hard Drive Surprising Recovery

Clicking Western Digital Desktop Drive

A customer contact me and reported that their Western Digital WD3200AAKS 320GB drive from 2008 had stopped working and was making a clicking sound. It would no longer mount on the computer, but did make an audible clicking sound before spinning down. Bad Heads Recovery? They first took it to a recovery shop that diagnosed the clicking Western Digital hard drive as having bad heads. The shop said that because the drive made clicking sounds then spun down, and was not accessible to their recovery rigs, they would not be able to recover the drive. The shop recommended they try us for an affordable clean room data recovery since the photos and music files on the drive were very important to the client. Diagnosing the clicking Western Digital Once the hard drive arrived I started with an inspection. The head stack appeared to be in good shape and there wasn’t any media damage present. This made me think there could be a weak head (a head that seems to be in good shape but does … Read more

Recover Data From WD My Passport External Hard Drive

My Passport Ultra for Mac

This 4TB My Passport drive was shipped in from sunny Burbank in Southern California. The reported issue with the drive is that the data was not accessible to the user on any computer. The client had tried connecting the My Passport external hard drive to a few different computers in an attempt to recover their data, but they could not access it via the USB connection. Recover Data From WD My Passport External Hard Drive When plugged in, the computer would not recognize the drive at all or would ask if they wanted to format the drive for use. This drive had important data on it, so formatting for use was out of the question. If you have important data on a drive and your computer asks you if you would like to format the drive, always say no! Testing the My Passport external drive The first step to recover data from WD My Passport external hard drive is to diagnose it for any hardware-based issues. Any hardware based issues need to be addressed before … Read more

Important Western Digital Hard Drive Making Noise

Western Digital drive that spins up, makes noise, then spins back down

The hard drive making noise was a Western Digital WD3200AAKS model that came to us from a lawyer in Goddard whose secretary’s computer stopped working. They reported the computer stopped working but they could hear some clicking noises coming from the machine when they tried to boot it up. The drive was the main drive inside the computer and held important data as well as the operating system and programs the firm needed to run smoothly. Recovering a hard drive making noise The symptom was reported as the hard drive making weird noises and not showing up on any computer. This drive did indeed go to a computer repair shop before us, and that shop told the client the drive would likely need a lab recovery due to the clicking noises it was making. Most computer repair shops will listen to a drive like this and automatically think it has an internal problem of some kind. It sounds like a motor issue, heads issue, or some other major issue requiring a platter swap or similar. … Read more

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

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

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

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

Quickly Recover Deleted Files From My Passport

Western Digital My Passport Drive

I received a Western Digital My Passport hard drive where I needed to recover deleted files. This drive was connected to a computer with some important Excel files open. The My Passport drive was then physically disconnected without being ejected (and the Excel program was still open). When the drive was reconnected to the computer, the files were no longer visible on the drive. This was a perfect storm situation; important files were open and in use when the drive is disconnected accidentally. Recover Deleted Files Although the files were not deleted, this type of recovery would still be called a deleted file recovery. The process to recover deleted files is the same as the process to recover missing files. The client had taken the drive to a local computer repair shop to see if they could get anything back. The repair shop attempted a deleted file scan and they found evidence of 2 of the important excel files, but they wouldn’t open and appeared to be corrupted. These 2 files were of no use … Read more