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Data recovery and disk repair questions and discussions related to old-fashioned SATA, SAS, SCSI, IDE, MFM hard drives - any type of storage device that has moving parts
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Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery

November 24th, 2011, 11:33

Hey, I too have a broken Western Digital drive and have not backed it up :( . Guess I kind of deserved this happening...
Anyway I just found this thread after doing a Google search and it seems a few people have managed to get the drives working again so I'd like to try too. My problem seems to differ from most other people here but I figured it wouldn't hurt to ask some questions as most people on this board seem really knowledgeable about hard drive recovery. I assume that a few people here do that for a living?

The issue is when I plug in my external WD My book it doesn’t turn on (spin) but the light comes on in the case. After noticing this I took the drive out of the case and plugged it into a dock. This was when I noticed smoke coming up from where it sits in the dock so I immediately unplugged it. I read numerous post around other forums and here and it seems like it might be something to do with the PCB and since you guys seem the most knowable I thought I'd have a crack at repairing the drive as it has/had a fair bit of data that I can't really get again.

As for my personal experience when it comes to HDD repairs and circuit knowledge, I have never done any soldering let alone repaired a hard drive in my life other than using software like test disk to recover deleted files and partitions. My dad however has done a bit of soldering and understands some basics about electronics so I am willing to give this a shot if anyone is able to help. I'm thinking it could possibly be the PCB after reading comments so I will try to get it off soon and take some photos if needed. I don't have any torx screw heads so I guess I'll need to get some of those too but I do have a soldering iron.

So in summary -
Internal light comes on in case - probably not important at all.
I have tried using the normal power pack supplied with the hard dive an external dock and also separate power and sata connector. None have worked.
Connecting power always causes smoke.
No disk spinning/clicking noises that I can hear however I have not left it plugged in more than 10 seconds to really notice. (The smoke is not instant it just builds up heat very quickly)
PCB says it’s a type 2061-701640-402-04PD2 http://www.hddzone.com doesn't seem to have any of that type but there is one on eBay that has all the same characters except for the last bit (2061-701640-402-XXXXX). Is it important that the last bit matches too?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/WESTERN-DIGITAL ... 0697038921

Finally why does everyone think of these guys? http://www.datarecovery.com.au/
The fact that they offer a free inspection to see whether recovery is possible makes them look like a great option to me. I'll defiantly be considering them if I can't manage to fix my hard drive.

Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery

November 25th, 2011, 6:34


The last part of your message seems like the best option for you at this moment.

I can understand from what you're saying that you have no experience whatsoever in handling hardware and -believe me- hdd's are COMPLEX hardware too.

But if you insist in trying this yourself, and i have to repeat that this is NOT a good idea if you value the data on your drive, then swapping the pcb would be straightforward for your drive. If i remember correctly, your pcb has external rom chip (U12) which needs to be transferred from the old pcb to the new one. Your new pcb must match 2060-xxxxxx-xxx (the ones printed on the board, not the white sticker).

Again, you accept the chances of doing DIY and if anything goes wrong, then... you will only have your self to blame. I'd take it to a pro.

Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery

November 25th, 2011, 9:09

Hey thanks for the comment. I can understand where you are coming from and I imagine alot of people here get frustrated when others come with no experience and expect mircales or they don't understand that attempting to fix the drive can nullify any chance of retrieving anything.

In my case the data is not that critical. If it was personal photos etc, I would be shipping it off imediatly to the place I mentioned previously. The data that I can no longer access is mainly just tv shows and program backups which are quite large. I can get most of this again but I will have a hard time rembering it all and aquiring it again will take many months as it's close to 1tb of infomation that I lost. In any case I don't consider the data to be worth spending $400 dollars minumum to retrieve and because I like learning new things and I have spare time I thought I'd give this a shot.

Anyway with the (u12) chip does that have to do with the hardware encryption that I've seen mentioned earlier? With the PCB number your saying that ALL number must match - I can only seem to locate one where all number but the last three match so looks like I'll have to send it to a pro if thats the case.

In any case when I get some time this weekend I'll take of the board and see what the number printed on the board are and upload some photos to see if there is any fried parts. Biggest thing I have learned so far is that it's due time to get a sever and make backup with RAID.

Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery

November 25th, 2011, 9:23

OK I see your point, so if disk gets completely damaged then it's not a big deal, ok.

If you accept these risks of DIY, then you can go on and order a spare pcb and transfer the U12 from the patient board to the donor.

You can see the pcb number without taking it off the drive. Just look for a number printed that starts with 2060-. It should be 2060-701640-003 REV A (or something similar). If this is the case, then you need to match 2060-701640-003 (sometimes 2060-701640 is also enough). If you can match REV A then even better, but usually it doesn't matter.

To help you further, post here a clear picture of your pcb in both sides.

Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery

November 27th, 2011, 5:30

Hey I have attached two images of either size PCB. I see on Image 1 the U12 (top centre) you refer to but I'm not sure what chip it's refering to if that makes sense? I also see that the numbers printed on the board are different to what is on the sticker so I'll see if I can locate a simliar board from the printed numbers.

If you need better images I'll try again tomorrow as I took these with flash cause I only just found some torx screw drivers to take it off and it's night time here in Brisbane.
Image 1
Image 2

Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery

November 27th, 2011, 9:22

Ok I am going to order 2 replacement PCB from here -> http://www.hddzone.com/wd-2060701640002 ... p-276.html
It seems to be exactly the same but the REV is not stated. Mine is REV A but I assume this does not matter?

Anyway I'll wait till next weekend to see if anyone spots anything but if not then I'll replace the board and remove the u12 chip from the patient board and replace on the donor as northwind suggested. I'm going to use this guide to solder it correctly -> http://www.diodes.com/pdfs/Ap02014_R1_Soldering.pdf

Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery

November 28th, 2011, 3:57

Yes the pcb on the link you provide would do for you.
You will need to transfer u12 from old pcb to new. Then keep fingers crossed and check your hdd.

If you see smoke again, and assuming everything was done right, then its game over.

Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery

November 28th, 2011, 8:01


a) You haven't said (anywhere that I could find) what actually happened to cause the problem, but I expect you plugged-in the wrong power supply.

b) TVS diode D4 looks burned. If you're accepting the risks of DIY, then searching for TVS on this forum will give you lots of info, including some measurements you can make to confirm that diode has sacrificed itself.

c) "Biggest thing I have learned so far is that it's due time to get a sever and make backup with RAID."

Not all RAID is the same, and RAID is not the same as a backup! I suggest you do some more research so that you understand what (redundant) RAID does, and does not, do for you, and also what management you still need to do.

P.S. I strongly recommend that you take ESD (anti-static) precautions when handling the PCB and HDA, if you are doing DIY.

Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery

December 4th, 2011, 1:05

Just a repeat of what's already been stated seveal times in this thread: The contents of the HDD are USELESS and UNOBTAINABLE without the original interface board due to the built-in encryption. I perform data recoveries on a weekly basis at my business and basically repeat the same process each time with these MYBOOK HDD's with broken USB ports (too common):

1. Remove the HDD from the enclosure
2. Remove the damaged interface board
3. Send damaged interface board to the following company:

Note: these guys do quality work, and are pretty reasonable

4. Re-connect interface board to HDD
5. Connect power and hook it up to PC
6. Data may still be hidden, unobtainable due to the temporary inoperability of interface, so here's where I use a pretty expensive data recovery program that actually does a deep cycle search for every data record ever configured on the drive
7. Recover data

This is the way I have done several of these drives successfully. The only drive I was unable to recover was a drive that was actually damaged, meaning that he HDD ITSELF was damaged along with the damaged interface board. If you want to DIY, make sure you take all the ESD precautions. This process is WAY more reasonable than the hardware-layer recovery specialist out there (think over $1000, for starters) All this is of course totally unnecessary if all you want to do is restore your MYBOOK back to functional status. BUT, if you have important data thats trapped, this s the best way to fix it. If WD would use an internal pigtail harness insted of a direct-mount port this problem would go away.

Hope this helps!

Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery

December 10th, 2011, 16:35

well finally had a new usb socket soldered on to pcb board plugged back in to pc still nothing accessable drive would show up but when opened wanted to be formatted oh dear, so i ordered a new pcb from america from centrix intl WD My Book Essential 4061-705059-001 PCB PCBA Control Board 4061-705059 cost of £16 + £3 postage. that arrived after a week fitted it to hard drive connected to pc and ,,,,,, drive would now show up on wd smartware but oh dear still nothing on it. so went with the disc needs formatting process and crossed fingers yeah i know not a good idea, but it wouldnt let me do it,, bog it so then ran R-Studio started at 8pm ran for over 10 hours mannaged to recover everything on the drive back to desktop phew result in the end, i can now reuse the drive again not sure if i can trust it again though . So if you have a WD MY Book with a dodgy usb connector you can fix it and recover your data, this has been a very informative and helpful thread without the help of your posts i would have thrown the hard drive away thanks colin

Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery

February 4th, 2012, 8:24

Hi naviag2007,

I read an old post of yours (from last October), concerning the controller board for a WD My Book Essential. I have a 2tb My Book that uses a 4061-705059-001 rev AA controller board (bar code sticker), with the timing crystal labeled I250A8696.

Would you be interested in selling your rev AA if it matches and if you still have it? All I can find on the net are AE rev's. Seems like I have the opposite problem from what you had.

I'm a University grad student who stupidly kept all my research on the WD and now can't read my data.

Thanks for any help or advice you can give.


Robert C.

Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery

February 27th, 2012, 22:52

kevin_ga, how did your fiasco with a Western Digital My Book turn out? Mine suffered a power problem and left a pretty black mark on the USB to SATA PCB. I bought an identical drive and have been thinking of using it just to get the data off. Did your chip revisions match between the new and the old drive?

Your last name isn't Crowley or Grogg is it?

Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery

March 5th, 2012, 2:57

theanalogkid wrote:Mine suffered a power problem and left a pretty black mark on the USB to SATA PCB.

Could we see a photo of the damage?

Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery

March 13th, 2012, 16:05

Hi guys,

I have a similar problem to most of the people here.
My WD Elements SE 1TB's micro usb socket is damaged.

If I look closely inside the socket, I could see that the plastic?? coating that usually protect and align the prongs are gone.
So I can't fit in my cable.

However after using a tweezer, my friend managed to straightened the prongs and get the cable plugged.
So I am in the process of backing up the data.

I would still like to keep my external drive as a working drive.
So to fix it, do you guys reckon the best way will be desolder the damaged micro usb and resolder a new one?
My electrical engineering friend will do the soldering for me. I hope it is not too difficult? It should be a micro-b socket?


Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery

March 15th, 2012, 14:32

HI Aussie Girl,

Please post the pic of your repair - you can do so by clicking the Img button when posting.


Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery

April 4th, 2012, 20:51

Hi! I need help. I think that images are more than words


can I connect through this?


Fuc***in' USB!!!

Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery

April 5th, 2012, 17:10

I don't recognise the product, but you should be able to connect it directly to your motherboard via eSATA.

Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery

April 5th, 2012, 21:58

The USB Port is broken or that I think so, more pics:


what I can do?

Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery

April 6th, 2012, 1:05

Is your product a My Book Essentials or a My Book Elements?

Re: Western Digital MyBook essential data recovery

April 6th, 2012, 2:22

Is My Book Essential. A friend recommended I buy a casket as it comes with the power connector and SATA connection.
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