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 Post subject: Diagnosing issues after PCB swap - not in BIOS, but USB sees
PostPosted: August 28th, 2018, 10:31 
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Joined: August 28th, 2018, 10:21
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Location: United States
Luckily the contents of this drive aren't incredibly important. I'm mostly doing this process to learn, so I want to start with that. If I broke it, I broke it!

I have one of the infamous ST3000DM001 drives that had many, many issues. This drive never had a hiccup, had it for many years ... until last week, of course. The drive stopped powering on, nothing spun inside. I tested the diodes and both came back with good continuity. So I picked up the same model drive, with the same PCB revision, that was in good working order. With a friends help (he has all the fun soldering equipment) we used hot air to move the BIOS chip from the dead drive to the working PCB.

The drive now spins up, and I can hear everything engaging as I would expect (or as I'm familiar with on other drives at least) - no clicking, clunking, scraping, nothing odd sounding from inside. However, the BIOS doesn't see the drive at all. What is stranger to me, is that Windows sees the drive in my USB enclosure - the serial number displayed matches the drives serial, for instance - but it registers in Windows as a 0kb volume. To be honest, I'm not sure my enclosure can work with drives > 2TB, but I'm assuming that, since the BIOS doesn't see the drive, there's more to it than just the enclosure.

I'm having issue searching for any next steps or things to try, since when I include "USB" into my search I get a lot of irrelevant results. I'm sure the info is out there, but several hours of searching found me nothing yesterday.

Did I nuke the BIOS chip? Should we remove it, clean the pads/contacts, and try soldering it back on? Is this just hopeless at this point? I'm curious what would cause a USB enclosure to see the drive and read its serial number, but the BIOS doesn't detect the drive at all.

Thanks for all the information and resources you provide on this site - tons of great info!


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 Post subject: Re: Diagnosing issues after PCB swap - not in BIOS, but USB
PostPosted: August 28th, 2018, 11:15 
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Joined: April 3rd, 2011, 0:19
Posts: 1944
Location: Providence, RI
The drive probably has a firmware malfunction causing it to get stuck busy shortly after power up. The USB dock is probably just allowing it to read the ID before it gets stuck while the BIOS is waiting too long to read the ID.

It's a very common issue with this model and almost always relates to the bad sector reallocation or media cache functions. We typically do 2 or 3 of these recoveries each week.

If the data really isn't important, just dump it. If it's worth $400-500, send it to a data recovery lab.

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 Post subject: Re: Diagnosing issues after PCB swap - not in BIOS, but USB
PostPosted: August 28th, 2018, 11:16 
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Joined: August 28th, 2018, 10:21
Posts: 3
Location: United States
Is there anything I could do to address that firmware malfunction?


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 Post subject: Re: Diagnosing issues after PCB swap - not in BIOS, but USB
PostPosted: August 28th, 2018, 11:24 
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Joined: August 28th, 2018, 10:21
Posts: 3
Location: United States
I'd like to make a stab at fixing, just as a learning process. If there's something I can try I'd love to give it a shot rather than just dump it, but I won't be sending it off to any data recovery labs.

I'm familiar with firmware updates but all the processes I know require the drive to be recognized by the system. It looks like I might be able to flash a firmware update to it via a serial connection ... not sure if that will actually address the issue or not, but might be fun to try!


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 Post subject: Re: Diagnosing issues after PCB swap - not in BIOS, but USB
PostPosted: August 28th, 2018, 18:43 
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Joined: April 3rd, 2011, 0:19
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Location: Providence, RI
There's no option to "fix" the drive, no more so than you can fix a rotten vegetable that sat on the shelf too long.

That drive was garbage the day it was built, now it's rotten garbage.

Even to just recover the data is going to require some expensive equipment. Think in terms of hundreds of times what that stupid drive cost. And that's to just disable some functions and get it stable enough to image it once.

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 Post subject: Re: Diagnosing issues after PCB swap - not in BIOS, but USB
PostPosted: August 29th, 2018, 4:15 
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Joined: December 12th, 2005, 3:32
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Location: Belgrade
nloding wrote:
I'd like to make a stab at fixing, just as a learning process. If there's something I can try I'd love to give it a shot rather than just dump it, but I won't be sending it off to any data recovery labs.

I'm familiar with firmware updates but all the processes I know require the drive to be recognized by the system. It looks like I might be able to flash a firmware update to it via a serial connection ... not sure if that will actually address the issue or not, but might be fun to try!


You can send it overseas to some company that does not have overpriced service.

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