Storage

Question

WD Elements 3tb drive making this noise and died. How to fix?

By pbedrosi ·
Tags: Mac, Hardware
I've had this Western Digital Elements 3.0TB drive WDBWLG0030HBK-04) for 5 years. Few months ago the drive started to make bad PC fan nice, like playing cards on a bicycle wheel. The noise went away after few minutes and I didn't pay much attention to it, Second time I heard the noise I started to shop for a new drive but before I can get a new drive, just few days ago, the noise came back but now unrecognized by my Mac.

I did observe odd gyroscope effect while rotating the case in my hands (drive spinning). Not sure if this is normal, I've never handled the case while the drive was spinning.

I've watched a few "fix your drive in 5min" videos, but these were mainly drive head stuck on the platter, mine is not. Any ideas on next diagnostic steps? I just want it to work to get my data off this drive, not fix it for further use.

Here is a short video of the noise and operation with the cover Removed.
https://youtu.be/gATNWW_dk7U

I thought about finding a desktop Windows PC to see if it would recognize the drive. For the drive to be recognized outside of its enclosure w/WD custom board the 3rd pin in the sata connector has to be taped over (done).

Many thanks in advance.
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All Answers

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Let's be clear here.

by rproffitt Moderator In reply to WD Elements 3tb drive mak ...

These drives used to be such you might replace the case and that would get you a new USB to drive board and power supply but new models ditched that and the USB port is right on the drive so when these die there is little to be done by the home user except to pull out your backup copies to put on your new drive.

I found 2TB USB 3.0 drives for under 70USD so recovery is far more than backup copies.

Google drive recovery companies in your area and then look at their Yelp reviews. A nod to Drivesavers for such work.

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Other comments.

by rproffitt Moderator In reply to WD Elements 3tb drive mak ...

1. The gyroscopic effect is expected. The spinning platters, physics, etc.
2. DO NOT OPEN THE DRIVE. IN DECADES I encountered stuck heads and platters ONE TIME out of (tens of?) thousands drives. If you open the drive the days that the platters will work are numbered.
3. Good idea to try a PC but most PCs run Windows which can be a dead end. See if a friend runs Linux and let them see if the drive shows up. If it does, be sure to supply a blank drive to copy it out without delay.

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I feel its f'd

by pbedrosi In reply to Other comments.

I realized that once I opened the case that there is no going back and life of the drive is minimized. I called a local service, $400....contemplating if this is worth it. I'm sure the tech effort/tools/experience warrants this.

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