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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi i have a western digital internal hd 500g from a pc (windows xp) the drive stoped working long ago im not sure but i believe, the computer fell and then the drive no longer worked. i purchased a usb drive adaptor cable and it works great on other hd's but when i plug in this one it does not show, i tried it on my mac and the computer detects it but only in disk utility. In windows only the cable is recognized but the drive its not....how can i get my data back? i cant even get the drive to appear on either comp. and i checked to see if a heard any weird noises from the drive but it souds normal. any one know what might be able to slavage my stuff.. i had well over 200 gigs of actuall important data. but all data recovery ppl are asking for too much. im a little saby myself but here im drawing a blank. please advise
 

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Oooooo I'm not sure about that one, freezing is not a good idea, even in a 'moisture proof bag' there will be condensation on the platters surface and heads, that will freeze into ice - when the heads hit that, something has to give, and it is usually a head. Freezing may work on drives with bearing or spindle problems, where shrinking moving components may allow it to spin up for a while, but operational heat usually makes that a very short window before the metal expands again and the spindle seizes. Their theory that heat is the enemy of electronics is correct, and in a rcovery we always attempt to control the temp of the drives, but freezing isn't the way to do that. We use a 3 fan assembly cannibalized from a server to keep air movement on the drives, also an active cooler similar to what you would use on a high perfromance processor under the drive will help. Dry ice, or even the 'blue ice' freezer packs wrapped in plastic and placed under the drive will keep it cool without the danger of ice formation internally.

PCB replacement is not as easy as it used to be with todays drives. While the walkthru that link gives is pretty good from a mechanical standpoint, they fail to discuss how to select the CORRECT PCB for replacement. Merely matching model numbers is not enough. Each manufacturer has different information that needs to match, they all require the model, firmware, and place of manufacture to match. Dates must be close. But other information must match based on the manufacturer. Modern drives store drive specific adaptives on the ROM/NVRAM on the PCB that are specific to that drive, and are calculated and written when the drive is manufactured. A PCB swap may need that ROM/NVRAM chip swapped from the patient board to the donor board, some drives store that info in the MCU ( Basically the drives processor) which requires specialized hardware to read that microcode from the patient board and write it to the donor board.
Putting the wrong board on can cause additional damage to the drive. One of the pieces of adaptive information is th bias voltages for the specific preamp chip located on teh head stack inside the drive. Apply the wrong voltage, and the preamp is gone, which means you now have to locate a compatible head stack, open the drive in a clean room, swap the head stack and then realign the stack.

Ok now can get off my soapbox :)
Le's start with the basics...
Make and Model of HD
Does it spin up, you should be able to feel/hear the platter spin
You said no unusual noise, so I assume that means no clicking?
Can you mount the drive internally as a slave or secondary, rather than using USB? USB interfaces don't pass all the commands/protocols to the drive, and tend to be far less reliable for diagnosis of the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
well the make is Western digital. the size is 500 gb and i dont have the model with me just as i am at work, but ill post it as soon as i get home (5pm) also i forgot to mention a couple of things.. i tried this on a mac. and the drive was found but not recognized, so as i went into mac's disk utility it showed the drive and it allowed me to reformat...(i think i dont remember ill have to recheck but im pretty sure) but i didnt due to fear of screwing it up more. also something puzzled me ...the mac recognized it as a 2 tB drive but the hd is 500 gb..it says so on it! i thought it was odd, and i also tried downloading some trials of pcinspector but it cannot find the drive to recover(this was on the pc). the mac says that there are no partitions on the drive...so ...what does this mean...should i format it in order for it to be accessed then try to recover my data ???im very confused???
 

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Don't format it, sounds like one of two possible problems, have to try to pin it down.
1) Corrupted partition table
2) Firmware corruption

#1 you can fix
#2 will require professional recovery to get the data back
Granted it could be some other issue, but since the MAC recognized it let's get ready to trouble shoot and finsd out what is going on. First off, take a deep breath, and don't be in a hurry, as long as you don't do something wrong, the data is probably still there. Just may take some time to get it back, so let's work thru slowly and carefully.
Let's start by getting the disk out of the USB enclosure and mounted internally in a working desktop PC ( not mac) as a slave or secondary drive
Post the complete model number when you get home WD######-####
Is it recognized in BIOS by model number and correct size
Once more - does it spin up
Does it make ANY noise
Post those answers and we'll head for the next stap.
 

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Can you feel/hear the drive spinning?
Any other noises?
Is it on the first or second IDE port?
Any other devices on that cable?
What are the jumper settings for this drive and the other device?
 
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