Western Digital Click of Death Fix

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. This allowed me to see that 1 out of the 8 heads was not responding. A visual inspection showed no damage being caused to the platters, so I continued with recovering as much data as possible on the drive. The total recovered with the single bad head was 88%.

I gave the customer the option to stop at the 88% recovered mark for the Standard+ Rate, or continue with a head swap to go for all the data. Because the data was important, they decided to continue with the head swap and get as much data back as possible. I placed the order for the donor drive that I would get the heads from and waited for it to arrive.

Swapping the heads

Once the WD20NMVW hard drive arrived that contained the donor heads, I found that although everything seemed to match, the heads were not compatible due to a difference in the pre-amp. You can view the pre-amp information using the PC-3000 and viewing the ROM module 0a. You can see that the pre-amp is different in the pictures below.

Here are two 0A rom mods – patient and donor. The 4th character in the line after the model is the pre-amp. So in this case the |N| S J M, and |N| S S R

0A rom mod on Western Digital Click of Death Fix
0A rom mod for Western Digital Click of Death Fix

I had to order a second WD20NMVW donor hard drive and requested the pre-amp be double-checked before shipping. The second donor arrived and everything was in order and I continued with the head swap. Swapping the heads in the My Passport drive went flawlessly and I connected the drive back up to the imager to see how much more data I could get.

I did a very gentle pass with the imager to see how well the sectors would respond and ended up with 100% of the remaining portion of the drive after that first pass. This means I was able to recover 100% of the sectors on the drive.

Successful My Passport Data Recovery

The final step in the recovery once the imaging is complete is to run data recovery software to read the data in the recovered sectors. Thankfully there wasn’t any corruption on this drive, so all the data was easily retrieved with folder structure and file names.

I moved the recovered data to a new hard drive and I was able to meet the client at the coop in Arlington to drop it off to them! They were pleased to get all their data back at a fraction of the cost they had been quoted at another recovery company for the click of death fix.

Affordable Data Recovery Services

I am proud to offer affordable data recovery for the My Passport line of drives. If you need help recovering your drive, please request a quote and I will get back to you with what I think would need to be done to get the data off your drive.

Thanks for reading!

About Author

Leave a Comment