Seagate ST31000528AS Data Recovery

This ST31000528AS model Seagate drive is notorious for having issues with its firmware. Usually, it only has bad heads when dropped. It can be rather picky when you are swapping heads and requires a very close match for the donor drive. If you need the data recovered from your drive, please consider my affordable data recovery service!

Seagate ST31000528AS Label Information

The ST31000528AS model number on this Seagate hard drive can be found on the top cover as highlighted in the photo. This particular model has a capacity of 1000GB. It is a SATA drive with the Apple Part number 655-1565H. The customized firmware developed for Apple is AP2E. This drive was assembled at the Site WU on February 9th, 2013.

Model Number

Connection Type

Apple Part Number


Assembly Information


097 – Sata CableConnection Type

SATA – This hard drive has a built-in SATA connection. This standard connection makes it easy to work with on the PC-3000, no PCB swap is necessary.

Drive Size

This is a 3.5-inch Drive. This is commonly referred to as a Desktop size. The height on this drive is 26mm.


1000GB. The number of sectors available on this drive are 1,953,525,168.

Assembly Information

Site: WU. This drive was assembled in China. The date code is 13322. The format is YYWD or YYWWD where Y is the year, W is the week number and D is the day number. This corresponds to February 9th, 2013.


AP2E. This hard drive’s firmware was created to work with the Apple iMac computers. In particular, it passes Hard Drive temperature data through to the iMac.

Commonly Found

This exact drive with this AP2E firmware is found in iMac computers. But versions of this Seagate drive were very popular and can be found in many other products.

Printed Circuit Board (PCB) 100535537 REV C Information

The printed circuit board is what provides the hard drive with power, as well as holds some of the firmware modules. If you have an issue with your PCB, you will need to back up the ROM to write to the donor PCB. Or you will need to physically move the ROM chip from the original PCB to the donor PCB.

PCB Model Number 100535537 REV C

ROM Chip

Opening Seagate ST31000528AS Drive for Data Recovery

This picture shows the cover of the ST31000528AS Seagate drive. Highlighted are the screws that need to be removed in order to work on the drive internally. Remember to only open these drives in a clean room environment. If you want to setup your own clean room environment, check out my clean room page for more information.

#TR9 Torx

Good Lifting point

#TR9 Heads screw

Internal Notes For Seagate ST31000528AS

Each model drive has a different set of things to think about when you are going to start a data recovery process. Below I highlight some of those items to think about. Included below are pictures of this exact model opened up so you can know what to expect when opening the drive.

Tools Needed

In order to open this drive and work on it internally you will need the following tools:

  • Torx TR#9
  • Torx TR#8
  • Pry tool

Platter Information

This particular 1TB model has 2 platters inside. Each platter holds half of the data, or about 500GB each. You can see in the internal pictures that there is room for 2 more platters, but there are just 2 platters installed.

Head Stack Information

With a total of 2 platters inside this drive, there is a head stack with 4 heads. One head per side of the platter. Note that Seagate used a head stack that could actually hold 8 heads, but left the top 4 empty as there are no platters to read data from.

I highly recommend HDD Head Tools for their Head Comb on this model. The SKU number for the correct comb is HDDHeadTools6.

Things to watch out for

Be sure to reassemble the drive before testing anything as the head screws need to be installed for the drive to work properly.

Noises and Failure Types

If your hard drive is making a noise that it usually doesn’t, you can listen to the samples below, or watch the videos below, to try to match up the noise your drive is making with the likely problem it has. Remember to always get a diagnosis on your hard drive as sometimes noises can be misleading.


Clicking on this model can be a heads issue, but often is a firmware issue.

Buzzing Or Beeping

Buzzing or beeping is usually stuck heads or a seized motor on this model

Spin Up and Endless Seek

This is usually a firmware issue on this model drive.

Video Examples Coming Soon

Soon we will have videos of this drive model.

Data Recovery Procedures

The Seagate ST31000528AS is a fairly straightforward drive to recover. They don’t seem to have catastrophic failures very often, are usually a successful data recovery, and donor parts are readily available. We see drives with bad sectors and bad PCBs (specifically bad TVS diodes). Motors wear out on these at a decent rate which causes them to seize. This is unfortunate because a platter swap is almost always needed. They usually have multiple platters, so you need to disassemble the entire drive, platter by platter, being super careful to not mess up the alignment, or the data will be unrecoverable.

Failure Rate

First of all this drive does not seem to have a very high failure rate. All drives fail eventually, but his drive is known as a pretty robust model. You can read more about how long drives usually last on my page dedicated to that subject.

Common Issues

Bad sectors, failed PCBs, Firmware issues like the LED CC error, and worn-out motors are common with this drive model as it ages.

Success Rate For Data Recovery

One of the only issues that can be present on this drive that makes recovery not possible is a damaged platter. Other than damaged platters, almost all issues with this drive can be addressed.

PC-3000 Procedures

The PC-3000 by Ace Labs is the standard in the Data Recovery industry. Below are some basic procedures you may want to use when dealing with the Seagate ST31000528AS.

Head Map Editing

This vintage of Seagate is one of the few models where head map editing works normally. Usually, click+spin down equals heads and nothing is recoverable without head swap, but partials are possible here.


FW issue with these is the LED CC error. This can be cleared using the PC-3000.

Affordable Data Recovery Pricing

We charge a flat rate fee based on what is wrong with your device. There are three main tiers for our data recovery service.



Bad Sectors

Partition Corruption

Standard Firmware Issues



Encrypted Drives


Larger Capacity Drives

Lab Recovery


Internal Parts Needed

Bad Read/Write Heads

Bad Preamp

Not sure what you need? We can provide you with a free quote. Just fill out our quick data recovery quote form and we will get back to you right away.

Past Recoveries of a Seagate ST31000528AS

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