Western Digital Passport Usb Portable Hard Drive

This is a USB Passport portable hard drive, the customer was complaining that the drive when powered on just did nothing, the drive would spin up as expected but the hard drive access light would just flash every few seconds with no access to the data stored on the hard drive.  In this case we have two options.

1. To connect the drive to our DDi 4 data imager and try to get a copy of the drive, this is the cheapest and easiest option but not the fastest one as the imager does allow connection of drives by USB cable but with faulty Western Digital Drives the access speed can be very slow.

2. Obtain the correct circuit board that would match this drive and replace the USB Circuit board with a Sata version, from there we would transfer the Rom chip from the faulty drive to the replacement circuit board and have access to the drive by a Sata connection which is faster and gives us greater scope for managing the data recovery process, this would be the more expensive option.

With option 2 we would also need to image the drive using PC 3000 as this has the ability to unencrypt encrypted Western Digital Hard drives on the fly whilst imaging.

Western Digital hard drive data imaging

As you can see half way through the image process we have over a million blocks of data still to be read.  We took the chance that the drive had a lot of free space so if blocks could not be read then hopefully these blocks would apply to parts of the drive that had no data on it anyway.

WD 5000 hard drive imaging

This is the fourth and final pass of the imager, above you can see how slow the drive was imaging with Head 0, 1, 2 and 3 running at anything from 5mbs to 1mbs.  On a good drive this would normally be around 88mbs.  The unread blocks came to 179000 ish which on reviewing the data it was all good.  The cheaper and longer option worked for us and the customer.