Case study: Broken Western Digital My Passport 500GB

At EADR our knowledge of hard drives means we know how to recover data from all brands of HDD. (27 Aug 2015)

Love your data

Data not accessible on hard drive

We work in partnership with many computer stores and repair centres who carry out data recovery themselves using mainly software recovery programmes. This particular portable hard drive was sent in to us for inspection as the symptoms being exhibited by the hard disk were that it was powering and spinning up OK, but there was absolutely no access at all to the data.

Our testing and diagnostic process here is very thorough, and once complete we established that the hard drive had one failed read/write head, together with some associated firmware issues. The steps which were taken to solve this case were as follows:-

  1. As this is A My Passport Drive, we first needed to replace the PCB with built-in USB 3.0 interface with a SATA interface PCB, transferring the adaptive data to the new PCB for compatibility.
  2. Address and fix the associated firmware issues using only Head 0
  3. Once full LBA is reached, Image the drive with the one good head whilst also addressing the self-encryption that typically all of these My Passport drives have, as we don’t have the USB Bridge/ interface in place needed to decrypt the data, we need to address this on the fly during imaging using advanced technology tooling.
  4. Once head 0 was successfully imaged (50% of the total LBA), the drive was then placed into the clean chamber to replace the head stack assembly, once this was fitted and tested the drive image was then completed with the new Head 1 fitted.

Results = 100% client data recovered

As you can see, specialist data recovery is a very entailed process, requiring in-depth knowledge of hard drives and how to get around specific issues with different brands. It is definitely not a one size fits all situation.

Just a snippet of what is required and the lengths we go to, to reunite our clients with their lost data. If you have questions or wish to discuss recovering data from your own device, please contact us and we'll be happy to advise.

Get in touch

To find out if we can help recover YOUR data, call us on 01953 667 977 or email us at to arrange an inspection of your faulty device. We will be able to provide you with a no-obligation quotation within 24 hours of receipt.