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Possible to fix corrupted firmware on WD HD?

Posted on 2004-08-23
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My brother has a WD200BB HD (White label OEM) that has stopped being recognized properly by the system. It has been put into 3 different systems and all report the drive as an 8GB drive - it's recognized as a WD, but only shows a capacity of 8GB.  I will be getting my hands on this drive tonight to try on my system (so I can see for myself how it's being reported and if the info I'm getting is accurate), but is there a possibility that a) the HD firmware is corrupted and if so can it be reflashed or otherwise recovered without losing the data on the drive?  I'm giving this a high point value because I need an answer ASAP

critter42
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Question by:critter42
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3 Comments
 
LVL 69

Assisted Solution

by:Callandor
Callandor earned 400 total points
ID: 11874334
For hard drives, the only technique I have heard about that has a reasonable success rate is replacing the controller board with one from an identical drive.  This will not work if the surface has a defect or if the heads crashed or if the servo motors are broken.  I don't know of any firmware that needs flashing (unlike optical drives).
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Blue_Rishi earned 1600 total points
ID: 11874422
Is it reported by bios as 8Gb? If it is, you might be right. If it isn't, if windows reports only 8Gb, it's probably the partitiontable.

A corrupted firmware seems highly unlikely to me unless there was an failed attempt to update the drive's firmware. More likely, the partitiontable has been corrupted. What's the drives size, what partitions and filesystem did it have? If it isn't reported by bios as 8Gb, try zero-assumption recovery: z-a-revocery.com or testdisk: http://www.cgsecurity.org/testdisk.html to recover the original partition table. If that doesn't work the info I asked would be of much help...

If it IS bios that reports the drive, it's either the firmware or controllerboard on the drive that's broken/failing. If this is the case, use software like everest (www.lavalys.com) to check the smart status of the drive; if it's ok and the reported disk is not wd200BB, a firmware flash might correct the issue...

Good luck,

Blue Rishi
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by:critter42
ID: 11874497
Blue Rishi, that was the information I was looking for (especially about the everest software), so I'll give you most of the points, with an assist to Callador.
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