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 Post subject: WD1600JB-00REA0 FW problem
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 13:14 
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Joined: December 16th, 2014, 12:22
Posts: 10
Location: Serbia
Hello everybody! I have a customer's WD 160GB ATA HDD with clicking noise and not visible in BIOS. On DFL-FRP it powers ON but fails to get details and size. Here is a image of autodetection window and a log file.

............................................... Head Count: 4
............................................... Platter Count: 2 platter(s)
............................................... SPT :500
............................................... ROM Size: 128(KB).
............................................... Sector Size: 512(B).
............................................... Servo FW Ver.: 00.92.
............................................... Ovl_fw Ver.: 20.A8M.
............................................... Failed to obtain the directory details.
............................................... Failed to execute the command.
............................................... Initialization completes.
Firmware Save Path:C:\DFL\STARLING\WD1600JB\unknown\


Modules can not be read. On DFL web site and help videos, there is no such case. The full story about this disk is that electronic was burnt and I've replaced it from donor disk with FW, too. Disk was visible, with no bad sectors. Client took disk and start cloning it on external HDD connected to USB 1.0! After few hours, it crashed and started to click. Now it's not visible. Do I have to replace heads? I can not test heads when disk is not visible in DFL. Any help is welcome, thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: WD1600JB-00REA0 FW problem
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 13:28 
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Joined: February 9th, 2009, 16:13
Posts: 1887
Location: Ontario, Canada
...a classic case of going cheap making a job expensive. I recommend that you send the drive to a data recovery professional, if you want any chance to recover the data, assuming that it isn't too late.

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 Post subject: Re: WD1600JB-00REA0 FW problem
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 14:01 
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Joined: April 3rd, 2011, 0:19
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Location: Providence, RI
Hi Alex,

You should never allow a customer to clone their own data, always do it for them. Even when the damage is in the PCB there is usually still areas of bad sectors caused by the same incident. That's why you always clone to a good drive first, then extract files to the customers media from the good drive. You never copy files from the repaired drive.

Yes, at this point you'll need to replace the heads to even attempt recovery. However it's possible that the drive now has damage in the service area which may make recovery impossible.

Take this as a lesson learned and be more careful in the future. Doesn't DFL have data extraction features? Why would you allow the customer to do it?

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 Post subject: Re: WD1600JB-00REA0 FW problem
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 15:10 
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Joined: December 16th, 2014, 12:22
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Location: Serbia
@data-medics, thanks for friendly answer! My client was in hurry, I fixed his disk after working hours, so I had no time to copy even data only, not to mention a disk cloning. I just checked health, it was 100% OK. I don't know if he dropped it after that. So, this is really not my fault, he admits that too.

I can replace the heads, did that many times, but first I'll try all other options. DFL-FRP is a good tool for fixing firmware, and data extraction is not included in this product.


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 Post subject: Re: WD1600JB-00REA0 FW problem
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 15:16 
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Location: Providence, RI
If you're going to offer data recovery services, you really should have some way of imaging drives after they are repaired. At the very least, buy an MRT pro or something that gives you some of those capabilities.

In the meantime, learn to use ddrescue in linux. At least it can handle drives with bad sectors without killing them like your client did. My guess would be that it got stuck on a file that had bad sectors and retried until it killed the heads.

You can try hot starting the drive to see if you can get it working and extract the data, but if your tool doesn't have imaging capabilities you'll probably be stuck anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: WD1600JB-00REA0 FW problem
PostPosted: December 16th, 2014, 16:17 
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Joined: December 16th, 2014, 12:22
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Location: Serbia
I am already using ddrescue with ignoring bad sectors, usually starting from end of drive when there are system and data partitions. As we know, most of bad sectors are at the beginning of disk, so it is good idea to start copying from the end. I have no special device for data extraction for now, because if I fix the drive by replacing heads or fixing firmware, I can usually copy data with software tools, but I'll buy one in the near future.

Btw, I recommend everyone to read the case studies from your web site and learn something from it, even from cases that couldn't be resolved.

Thanks a lot!


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 Post subject: Re: WD1600JB-00REA0 FW problem
PostPosted: December 17th, 2014, 6:35 
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Joined: January 28th, 2009, 10:54
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Alex381 wrote:
I can replace the heads, did that many times, but first I'll try all other options.


This is a Starling drive. Have you ever swapped heads again to a Starling? They are sensitive to head alignment.

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 Post subject: Re: WD1600JB-00REA0 FW problem
PostPosted: December 17th, 2014, 13:06 
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Joined: November 29th, 2006, 10:08
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northwind wrote:
Alex381 wrote:
I can replace the heads, did that many times, but first I'll try all other options.


This is a Starling drive. Have you ever swapped heads again to a Starling? They are sensitive to head alignment.


+1 Pretty nasty to change heads in :-(

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 Post subject: Re: WD1600JB-00REA0 FW problem
PostPosted: December 17th, 2014, 13:38 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
Alex381 wrote:
I just checked health, it was 100% OK.

The only way to know that the drive was 100% OK is to test every sector. As you didn't have the time to clone the drive (reading very sector), I sense that you really didn't fully test the drive.

With these drives with bad PCBs, almost every time there is media damage caused by the heads slapping onto the surface each time the PCB fails before the final blow that completely kills the PCB. Sometimes the media damage is minor, other times it is to the point where the heads are damaged too.

This is a tough lesson for you and your client to learn. If you are serious about becoming a data recovery professional, you must start by refusing to cut corners. If a client can't afford the price, let them go to Jimmy Joe's computer shop where they don't care if they lose the client's data.

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 Post subject: Re: WD1600JB-00REA0 FW problem
PostPosted: December 19th, 2014, 14:11 
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Joined: December 16th, 2014, 12:22
Posts: 10
Location: Serbia
@lcoughey

Sure, we have to follow the procedure, no matter if client is in hurry. Today I fixed a WD external hard drive and data is visible, but also I made a backup on my server and then I sent the disk by mail. Standard procedure, works every time.

At the end, I couldn't find the exact match of head assembly for my case, so I had to sent back the disk to my client. I have some tools from HDDSurgery, a bit expensive, but very good for replacing heads without any damage.


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