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have u replaced pcb in wd800 eide?

By sgt_shultz ·
I have an opportunity to try that 'trick' of replacing the electronics in western digital special edition 80GB eide. but i don't think it will work. but i hate to pass up opportunity. have you ever done this and succeeded at recovering data? or even getting drive running again? (smile)
customers drive worked for 30 days, when i arrived it was operating loudly and system was really slow. quickly degraded to that stuck sounding clicking noise (argh). BIOS detects it(as WDC600BB). but any version of wd diags can't talk to it (command error 0132) before total failure, sounded like big haul on power supply when it was trying to move heads maybe?, maybe like something in there drawing more current? please any comments about this drive and what makes clicking noise, causes this type of failure. do you guys routinely test/burn in new drives on non-servers? got any guesses about probability of fixing this with new pcb. will cost about $800 to send to data recovery but his data is not worth that much to him, mostly backed up. my sense is this is mechanical and new pcb won't help. may i have your opinion. thanks.

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by Oz_Media In reply to have u replaced pcb in wd ...

Other than the old freeze and drop to get the data copied over to a new drive, I've made a few key rings and coasters from opening up old drives.

If the data is an issue, you say it's MOSTLY backed up, i assume you've heard of freezing it and dropping it on the counter. This generally frees it up enough to do a quick data copy to a new drive or POSSIBLY long enough for a disk image, but I wouldn't put too much faith in getting a decent image done on an 80 gig drive.

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by sgt_shultz In reply to

i am suspicious of that dropping thing. actually the most if could muster was some moderate tapping on various places. in the old days, some old Quantum hard drives used to have grease on the axle thingy that would gum up over time and a good smack at boot would yield the happy face. hard for me to think that hitting a modern drive would do anything but further damage it. so you actually successfully used freeze/drop on newer drives and lived? that is good to know. thanks for your input.

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by Cactus Pete In reply to have u replaced pcb in wd ...

Not to deprive you of the adventure, but how much more is the $800 fee than what it would cost you to keep trying things on it?

As Oz says, freezing it may be an option, just make sure there's no moisture!

I think last month's MaximumPC had something on this - I'll look it up when I get home.

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by sgt_shultz In reply to

thanks for understanding about adventure. didn't get to play with boy's tools until i was grown up so am pent up. you know, i bet the moisture is not a grave threat. just my opinion. freezing did seem to have very faint non-helpful effect, got the thing recognised briefly as 'removable drive'! i like Guru and Chas approach: put this in spares box with symptoms labelled and hope to use it to help pull a rabbit out of a hat in future...

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by sgt_shultz In reply to have u replaced pcb in wd ...

yes, excellent point about my time being worth something. this is good customer and i feel bad he lost some pictures. besides, i look at it as something new to learn. if it actually works, it'll be worth my time to have in hip pocket. i froze the thing and smacked the thing (yikes!). frankly, you guys, please don't take this wrong, but i don't think we know what we are talking about with these new drives and freeze, change electronics etc etc. i think it is wishful thinking and i will be amazed if i get anyone responding who has actually swapped electronics. think it is urban computer myth. like magnetic screwdrivers being bad around computers. thanks for your responses, everybody gets points! let me see if i can get any more comments. thanks guys. btw think data recovery is highway robbery and wonder what it would take to do it homestyle...guess i'll be getting me some coasters also OzMedia. hey you are from west coast are you?

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by TheChas In reply to have u replaced pcb in wd ...

The clicking noise comes from the drive mechanism for the heads on the drive.

If the motors inside the drive have failed and taken out the drive controller electronics, swapping the board is ONLY going to fry the board you swap in.

Changing the drive electronics is ONLY valid when the failure has clearly been in the drive electronics.
Such as:
A power supply failure.
A power surge that takes out the IDE controller.
ESD damage to the drive electronics.

As OZ stated, your only real hope to recover any data is one of the techniques from the 200 ways article.

Chas

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by sgt_shultz In reply to

thank you for your usual kind and helpful answer. those bullets for evaluating problem exactly what i was looking for. if i understand you correctly, you are saying changing pcb only worth a shot if symptoms=dead. but seems to me my symptoms don't suggest that as high probability of success fix. and don't remember any of the 200 that will fix drive if it can't move head (except send to Ontrack). not much impressed by that 200 list if i may be permitted to say. thanks very much for answering. you are great!

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by GuruOfDos In reply to have u replaced pcb in wd ...

Yes, it's possible...yes, I've done it and yes, it may cure your problem. But, before you rush off to attempt this...several warnings:

1) Ensure that the drives are IDENTICAL and preferably from the same batch. Even with one model of drive, there are often several revisions of both the mech and the PCB, as well as the firmware. If you swap an incorrect version it may not work at best, or at worst you have TWO dead drives.

2) WD drives are known for the failure you describe. The 2Gb Caviar in particular was prone to it and many an HP Pavillion went to an early grave because of this model of drive. Electronics swapping got me four readable drives from six dead ones.

3) The knocking noise you hear is the head armature hitting its endstop. This is usually a controller failure and swapping the pcb WILL allow you to read such a drive with one proviso...if the drive has only just started to fail, the success rate is higher. The longer the armature has been knocking, the more likely the heads will be out of alignment...you may restore function but will have a pile of swarf in the drive and bad sectors to match.

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by sgt_shultz In reply to

wasn't it the 2gb caviar that had a software fix posted from western digital that actually worked like magic to cure that condition. maybe it was the 1gb. so maybe not fair to say same failure. i suppose i have seen more wd failures too but think it is because i have seen more wd's period. seen other makes fail also...darn thing had a 3 yr warranty. not any indication of robustness i guess. just sales bait. but guess i will buy maxtors for a while now while the wound heals (smile). i am running a very old, very roughly handled/abused 15GB wd cavier for years now with no bad sectors. love your thoughts and THANKS for telling me how/why/when you swapped pcbs! so cool! restores my faith. just what i was fishing for. i am pleased at my reasonably good guessing about click=drive mech. but am not satisfied...why would controller failure cause heads to be stuck against detent. wouldn't controller be the one attempting to move heads? why would controller failure fail with my symptoms: first wobbly, stuck, current-drag sound with (apparently) lots of errors reading, then complete failure into clicking. and if motor failed, how come it clicks? how is something moving in there not driven by motor? maybe all explained by some *short* of motor??, something that makes it work but weakly then not at all? but what moves head against detent then? my favorite current hypothesis is head 'rubbing' itself more and more into stuckness. such tiny clearances. such high speed...i have to send drive back for warranty replacement but wish i could take it apart...thanks for helping me decide i probably trashed it with my experiments but *that* was my pay (was taught never to break stuff, you shoulda seen my wild eyes as i deliberately wrought havoc!! catholic girls start much too late) next time when drive is full of valuable corporate data maybe able to do proper job of attempting recovery. thanks very much. ps personally, i am implementing burn-in policy for new drives. at least recommend it. read/write whole drive for many hours. imho think if they live thru infancy, probability of not failing without trauma goes way up. guess i will google for a site on how drives work inside. thanks for listening and talking. you guys are the best.

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by sgt_shultz In reply to have u replaced pcb in wd ...

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