Dropped My Passport Successful Data Recovery

Data Recovery From Western Digital Drive

This Western Digital My Passport needed to be recovered after being dropped. Data Recovery for My Passports can be a little more involved than average drives due to the USB port that is soldered onto the printed circuit board (PCB) on the bottom of the drive. Most advanced data recovery tools need a SATA connection to perform some of the more advanced procedures, so swapping out the USB PCB for a standard PCB is usually necessary during the recovery process.

Our affordable data recovery services cover My Passports as well as other external and internal hard drives.

Dropped My Passport

In this case, a client contacted us to request data recovery on his 10 year old My Passport which had been working great until it was dropped. The My Passport had stopped working completely after the drop, and it had important photo catalogs and the photo media itself. The customer was further away, so they went ahead and mailed it to us for recovery. Our mail-in service is very popular as there are a lot of areas without an affordable data recovery option nearby.

Once I received the drive, I completed an inspection inside my cleanroom environment and found that the heads all appeared to be in good physical condition. There weren’t any visible scratches on the platters, so I continued on to the next steps utilizing the PC-3000.

Replacing the USB PCB

I replaced the USB PCB on this dropped My Passport with a compatible SATA PCB and transferred the ROM over using the PC-3000; no soldering required! Once that was complete I found the drive would get ready, but would not ID. Because this is a Western Digital, I backed up all firmware modules and cleared module 32. Module 32 on this series drive is notorious for causing problems with bad sectors starting to show up on the drive.

Once module 32 was cleared, the dropped My Passport drive ID’d and I was able to get access to the data on the platters. Running a heads test showed me that both Head 4 and Head 5 were weak. To be on the safe side, I disabled the weak heads and recovered all the data from the working heads first. I then went back and enabled the weak heads and ran imaging passes that had settings to not stress the heads out at all. Basically, having the drive skip over any areas that it finds difficult to pull data from for the first few passes.

Imaging the drive

I continued to run harder and harder imaging passes until I had gotten back over 99.9% of the sectors on the drive, no head swap was needed! Once the imaging process was complete, I mounted the image of the drive and ran recovery software to check if there was any corruption present. Everything looked good, so I moved the data to the new drive using Carbon Copy Cloner.

Because this dropped My Passport was being used on a Mac for a Lightroom Catalog, I wanted to try to make the replacement drive exactly like the old one. It can be a bit of a pain dealing with rebuilding a Lightroom Catalog if you are not accustomed to it, so by cloning the data and using the same drive name I was able to allow the customer to load up their old catalog referencing the photos without an issue!

Successful Recovery

Because I did not have to replace the heads inside this dropped My Passport, the recovery was covered under our affordable data recovery tier: Standard+. Due to the weak heads, the total time for the recovery was 5 days.

The client was very pleased to have all their important photos and catalog data recovered from their Western Digital My Passport. Remember that if you have a drive that has been dropped and you need the data from it, I am here to help!

Start the Recovery Process

I offer dropped My Passport recovery nationwide via my mail-in recovery services. Just contact me for a quote or to discuss your case if you have any questions. You can also just start the process by filling out our recovery form (click the blue start here link at the top right of the website).

Drive Info: WD10TMWV, WD P/N: WD10TMWV – 11BG7S0, R/N: 701675, DATE: 23 MAY 2010, DCM : HBBVJBBB, DCX : AB03G5R73

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