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Seagate Drive Recovery

By kevin ·
The Seagate HDD in my home machine has suddenly failed - not rcognised by system and suspect controller board - may be related to installation in faulty external caddy. Want to recover data but can't justify cost of pro recovery services. If I take a circuit board from a physically similar drive (different capacity) is it possible I can replace on my drive and recover data? Is this a solder or plug job? What other criteria? I'm not a hardware/software expert but I'm competent at mechanical work. Drive is 80Gb model ST380020A. Thanks.

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by TheChas In reply to Seagate Drive Recovery

Yes, you can swap the controller board on the drive.

The controller needs to be from at least the same series of drives.
There may be some firmware issues related to the capacity of the drive if you use a controller from a different capacity drive.

I don't have a Seagate drive on hand to take a look at.

Most of the hard drives that I do have use connectors for the wiring between the controller and the heads and motors.

Take a close look at any connectors with flex ribbons in them.
Often they have a couple of tabs that you pull out to release the cable.

Good luck.


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by rindi1 In reply to Seagate Drive Recovery

If the controller board is the same then there shouldn't be any problems. You probably can't break anything, so try. Once you've recovered the data (or not, if it didn't work out), fust checkout the seagate Homepage, you might still have guarantee on your drive, you may just have to send it back to seagate for "repairs" (replacement).

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by BobHo In reply to Seagate Drive Recovery

Just because the system does not recognize it does not mean it's hosed. Does the drive spin up? If so, then it could be a number of things (corrupt mbr or bootsector for instance).

If the drive is spinning then you can go to Seagate's website and download their diag utilities to test the drive electronics. Here's a link:



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by jpenns In reply to

how would those diagnostic tools work if the bios isn't recognizing it?

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by willcomp In reply to Seagate Drive Recovery

First, connect drive in another PC and see if it is detected there. Failure could be related to IDE channel on motherboard rather than drive. Doesn't hurt to ensure that drive is the problem.

Controller cards on Seagate drives are replacable. Just exercise reasonable care and caution. No soldering is involved.


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by warwizard In reply to Seagate Drive Recovery

When changing the boards out the replacement control board will have a different table of defects than that of the original board. This will render a number of sectors inaccessable that had good data on them. You may need a utility that can access the sector regardless of the defect table.

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