This Seagate ST9500325AS 500GB drive used to be a popular model that you would find in a lot of Windows-based laptops. This particular hard drive came in from a customer that said their drive just stopped working suddenly, and now no computer would recognize it at all. The customer even tried bringing it into a computer repair shop to see if they could get the drive to mount and recover some of his important data.
Seagate ST9500325AS Recovery
The shop they brought this ST9500325AS hard drive to said they could not access anything on the drive at all. The drive wasn’t making abnormal noises, but their data recovery equipment would just not recognize the hard drive at all. The shop recommended that they send the hard drive to us for recovery as we have had good success recovering drives for them in the past at an affordable rate.
If you have brought your computer to a computer repair shop or even a recovery shop and have been told your drive is not recoverable or will cost a fortune to recover, I highly recommend getting a second opinion! We recover drives every week that other companies have not been able to recover.
Bad heads recovery process
After filling out our quick data recovery form, the client mailed the drive in and it arrived the next day. I started the diagnosis right away and found that 1 out of the 4 heads inside the Seagate ST9500325AS drive was not responding. I could see that the 4th head was not physically damaging the platters, so I was able to run the other 3 heads and get back 75% of the data on the drive safely.
I was able to get the catalog file and checked what data was recovered with the bad head turned off. The 75% recovered from the good heads did not include a couple of the important files the customer was looking for. In particular, some of the photos and work documents (including an important Quicken file), so it was important to go for 100% and replace the bad head with a good head stack.
Swapping the ST9500325AS head stack
I continued with the head swap service to try to recover that last 25% of the drive. I had to order a donor drive as I did not have this exact head stack in stock. Once the donor part arrived I got the head stack swapped out and everything looked great physically. Turning on the drive revealed that it was clicking and not working properly. This was a different symptom from the original problem, so I knew it was an issue with compatibility with the new heads.
I imported the head adaptives from the original head stack, and then the donor’s heads read correctly! No more clicking and I had access to all the data on the drive. I plan on making a blog post or page about head adaptives in the future as they really are good to know about in the recovery industry.
Imaging the drive
Once the drive was recognizing and using the donor heads correctly, I was able to get the last 25% of the sectors from the drive, for a total of 100% recovered! This drive took 7 days to completely recover (including the time waiting for the donor parts to arrive), and the client was very pleased to get all their data back.
Start bad heads recovery process
Thanks for reading!
Drive Info: Momentus 5400.6 500GB, Model: ST9500325AS, Part Number: 9HH134 – 150, FW: 0002SDM1, WWN: 5000C5001F501B73, Site: WU, DATE: 10265