WD10SMZM Western Digital Data Recovery Project

This 1TB Western Digital external drive came in with a WD10SMZM model hard drive inside. It had already gone to Geek Squad as well as another computer repair shop. Geek Squad was not able to get any of the data off the drive, and the computer repair shop recommended us after they were also unsuccessful in getting back any data.

These newer Western Digital external drives have a USB port built onto the PCB. This can cause some complications, so the first step was to swap out this PCB with an unlocked PCB. I did not have this particular model PCB in stock, so I had to wait for the part to arrive from China.

Once the PCB arrives I swapped it out and started the process of testing the WD10SMZM drive. I did find some issues with firmware which I was able to clear, then continued with testing the hard drive’s heads.

All heads tested good, so I continued with getting the drive ready for a full clone. Setting the firmware on the drive with the correct settings so it doesn’t interfere with the cloning process is a crucial step in professional data recovery. Knowing how to configure the drive for the imaging process is very important.

Imaging the WD10SMZM hard drive

Once the drive was configured, my PC-3000 made the imaging process pretty automated. I did a couple of passes to verify I got as many of the sectors as possible, just changing the settings a little between each pass. 

In the end, there were only a few areas where I couldn’t get some sectors, so overall I ended up being successful in getting back over 99.999% of the sectors on the WD10SMZM hard drive. With over 99.999% recovered, I was confident all the important files would be present.

Now that the data was all cloned onto a known good drive, I continued on to the software portion of the recovery. The software takes all the recovered data and reads the information so you can access the files themselves that are inside the data.

Thankfully the data recovery software found all the important Final Cut Pro footage that was needed, and I was able to move the important files onto the client’s new drive.

The cost of the WD10SMZM recovery

The main issues with this drive were a failing PCB, firmware corruption (likely caused by bad sectors), and bad sectors. Because of the extra work involved with recovering a hard drive with a USB port built-in, this drive fell under my affordable Standard+ data recovery tier.

Most other recovery shops would have charged at least a thousand dollars more than I charged to recover this drive, so the client was very pleased with the success at such an affordable price point.

How long did the recovery take

Because I had to order the needed PCB from China, the recovery took 7 days in total. Normally a recovery like this would take less time, but the PCB was not available from my vendor’s states side.

A lot of the larger recovery labs will quote multiple weeks for data recovery unless you pay a fee to expedite the process, we have found that most recoveries can be completed within a week, and the quoting of a super long turnaround is commonly used to upsell you an expedited service.

We do have an expedited service available if you need your data back ASAP, but generally, our clients are quite pleased with the quick speed of our standard service.

Start Recovering A WD10SMZM Hard Drive

If you have a WD10SMZM Western Digital drive that needs to be recovered, please fill out our recovery form to get the process started! We offer data recovery for all types of drives, so if you have a different model drive, please fill out the same recovery form and we will get back to you right away.

Thanks for reading!

Drive Info: Western Digital 1TB WD10SMZM, 1TB USB, IU CB500, 31 JAN 2019, Made in Thailand, WWN:50014EE2662C5AB2, MDL: WD10SMZM-59WKCS0, Internal Use Hard Drive

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