Western digital hard drive problems and data recovery

At HDD Recovery Services we see lots of Western Digital products coming in for data recovery. Vast majority of these drives come to us for 2 reasons. Drive either makes clicking sounds (like the one we plugged in first), or the drive spins and stays spinning without getting recognized.

Most of the modern hard drives have more than 1 head inside. Each disk inside the drive usually would have 2 heads. 2.5” hard drives that are made by Western digital can contain up to 4 disks on the inside. That makes number of heads inside the hard drive range from 2 to 8 depending on the architecture of the drive mainly dictated by capacity (500GB newer drive may have only 1 disk and 2 heads inside, whereas 3TB drive would have 4 disks and 8 heads). Depending on the situation, heads can fail all together, as well as individually. It is safe to say that the majority of head problems inside of the portable hard drive are caused by physical impact.

Clicking sound on almost any hard drive after it was dropped is a distinct identification of a head problem. In this situation hard drive leaves us little to no options for recovery other than head replacements. On very rare occasions, where individual head failure accurse, disabling failed heads would allow us to partially recover content that belongs to the remaining working heads.

Scenario 1: you dropped your hard drive and next time you plug it in – it just clicks…
Explanation: heads most likely collided with the platter surface during operational state and instantly got damaged. As a result your hard drive is now failing to pass initialization.

Scenario 2: your western digital hard drive all of a sudden starts to become really slow, and one day it just stopped getting recognized. No matter what computer you plug it in to you get the same thing. Drive spins up, stays spinning, but computer does not give you access to the data.
Explanation: This behavior on western digital hard drive is known as a slow response. One of the modules in the service area is suppose to keep track of candidate bad sectors. Sectors gets mapped into that module as a candidate if hard drive encounters delayed “slower than normal” reading response at a specific LBA.
If your drive was dropped and didn’t start clicking right away, it may mean that heads only contacted the platters gently, but that does not mean that you dodged the bullet. If your drive gives you access to the data immediately after being dropped it would be a great time to make a backup of everything that is important. Heads will begin degrading further, and head’s reading ability will reduce due to contamination from platter contact. Module 32 (R-List) will interpret this lag as potential bad sectors, and will begin flooding itself with entries because every sector that contaminated head will read will be taking longer than a threshold. Overfilled R-List will put the drive into a coma-like condition that would require specialized tools like PC3000 to resolve the problem, and get access to the data.

If you need assistance with data recovery of your Western Digital product that is having one of the two problems explained above
Contact us by visiting our website: http://www.hddrecovery.ca

HDD Recovery Services
666 Kirkwood Ave, Suite B101
Ottawa, ON
K1Z 5X9

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