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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,

I sent my 1 TB Seagate HDD (Model No: ST31000340AS) for Data Recovery to AVJ Infotech, a chip level repairing Company based in Kolkata, India. They also do Data Recovery as their site suggests.

The PCB in the drive has the following IDs:-

100466824, UJAJ-6, REV C

Firmware: SD15.

Even after keeping the drive for 1 month, they could not deliver the data to me. They missed several dates during this period & so I took my HDD back after the manager said that they cannot do the job. I did pay them the inspection charges.

Now, I am trying the DIY approach by reading the experiences of others like me with a No Spin HDD. It seems to suggest a PCB failure which results in no power supply.

From what I have heard, a PCB replace of the same model followed by a Firmware transfer should work (provided there is no physical media crash on the disk). So, I opened up the PCB by myself and found quite a few of the chips missing. The guys at AVJ seem to have taken them out and from what I have heard, its quite common with chip level repairing centres.

Is the firmware still intact on this PCB? I know that the Firmware is a 8 pin chip, two of which seem to be missing here, if I compare it with the one available on sale at UJAJ-6 100466824 REV B. I have attached a snap of the PCB.

If nothing else helps, I can go to the Stellar Data Recovery who have Class 100 clean rooms to do the recovery from the platters. That does not require the PCB to be intact, does it? I am pretty sure that AVJ did no tampering with the disk enclosure.
 

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I don't see any image provided to compare it to. I did a search and if I found the same one it does look as some components were removed. I see the pads for the heads to connect and the spindle motor this is normal if you compare where the board mounts to the drive you can see the relationship that I am speaking about. The 8pin small chip is most likely ( I am not 100% certain) the rom chip that would be moved to a donor board. It takes so good soldering equipment and skill to do the job and not fry the chip. Sending it for a 2nd opinion is a good idea a this point they will have to get a donor drive. It's also possible the spindle motor is frozen up on this one as well. Did it get dropped ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No, it was just fine. I did not use the drive for 6 months as I use external HDDs with my laptop now. Previously, I used the SATA to USB bridges to connect to the HDD on my laptop. So yeah, no instance of a voltage surge or any physical shock to the disk from my end.

There was some kind of deposit on the board's opposite end when I first tried to get it running. Although, I was able to easily remove it.

The image for a REV B of the same model is located at UJAJ-6 100466824 REV B.

I was unable to save/extract the image which seems to magnify on mouse hover.

Thanks for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I will get the Firmware transfer done by hddgeek, who will also be providing the donor PCB.

I have attached an image that marks the missing chips along with a shot of the actual chip from the REV B model.

Can anyone amend/correct the legend?

Here's the list from what I have gathered (http://hddscan.com/doc/HDD_from_inside.html):-

4 - TVS Diodes
13 - Shock Sensors
14 - Firmware

What I am scared about is that 1 & 12 also have 8 pins and could potentially be the firmware (missing). So knowing their roles would be a major plus.
 

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