Data recovery Seagate 500gb

Hi Guys,

I have a customer with a "dead" Seagate 500GB HDD. There is no power after wrong power adaptor was plugged in - Seagate was in a Maxtor USB external housing. I am looking to transfer the PCB from a donor drive.

Any ideas where I can get a "new" drive or just the PCB? This is the spec.
P/N 9BX134-568
Firmware: SD35

Alternatively, I need to send it to a lab as the data is needed within 10 days - any recommendations? UK based preferably. Dataclinic in Manchester look OK but anyone had experience with them?

Thanks in advance.

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It's more likely that the Maxtor housing is bad, did you check that first?
If the data is REALLY important, I would suggest you don't try to repair the drive yourself. Seagate actually offer data recovery services, and have a center in London.

Telephone: +44 (0)845 258 5560
Critical Response: +31 (0)20 654 7969
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  London facility
  i365, A Seagate Company
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  27 - 41 Church Street West
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A1PCSAuthor Commented:
Thanks for quick replies.

Edbedb - yes - 1st thing i did - don't get many drives with no power at all - wish it were just the housing!

Crystalmethod - thanks didn't realise this
Well its a years work for client - most recovery i have done is on semi-working drives with software. From what I have read it is fairly easy to transplant the PCB from a donor drive if it matches - what do you think?


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It's very easy to swap the PCB from another drive but I would use one from the exact same model and size.
What you have is what's called a "White Label" drive. They are primarily shipped to large OEM's (Dell, IBM, etc...), and used for other products (game consoles, external enclosures). While it is fairly easy to swap the PCB, the problem would then fall to finding a working one, as there seems to be a known problem with that particular model.
Frankly, swapping out a board is not only grasping for straws, but you risk further damage and data loss.   You also somewhat have a legal liability.  This is a customer's data, that "is needed in 10 days".   Yes, of course you fried something. But how do you know that the HDD heads went flying across the media in the few milliseconds it was spinning while excessive power was being supplied, causing damage.

At most, you'll save a few hundred dollars IF this works.  At very least is is your responsibility to tell customer that there is risk of further damage by going down this path.  Plus, with a professional recovery, and if there is a warranty, then it is honored by the drive manufacturer, so you can get a rebuilt replacement. This is a small consolation, but at least it will offset some cost.
A1PCSAuthor Commented:
Thanks Dlethe,

how likely is this to happen if I change the PCB for the exact spec? Didn't think it was "clutching at straws" as it appears to be std way of reviving drive.

Data recovery labs over here (UK) appear to charge $600 plus!

Anyone had experience with transplanting PCB - good o bad - thanks

Regards, Andrew
There is a fair chance that changing the board will work and the odds are slim to none that it will cause any additional damage.
Yes, I agree there is at least a chance that swapping the PCB can get the drive going.  Is it a "fair" chance?  Who is to say?  Can swapping the PCB cause additional damage? Absolutely.  One obvious reason is that this assumes that the damage is isolated to the PCB.  How do you know that the circuitry on the motor isn't fried to the point where a voltage regulator has failed and power could make the heads go skipping across the heads.

Professional data recovery services just don't start replacing components without using a 'scope and some test boards to determine what is wrong.  They know better.  Would you attempt to repair a DVR, TV, or any other electronic device by swapping components?   Professionals don't, because they like to stay in business.  I'm off my soapbox now.
.. heads go skipping across the media, sorry
I highly recommend you have your client make the decision. It's their data and their money.
A years worth of data has to be worth several hundred. A proffesional service is the best bet to recover it.

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If you think you can do it then by all means go ahead. But if you are not sure then better have it done by the Professional.  It might be best if you test your theory first with another "dead HDD" that doesn't have any client data or your just putting the clients data on jeopardy. They might even have a bargain of no "fix no pay." :-)
A1PCSAuthor Commented:
Firstly thank you to all for the advice. Sent to data lab - expecting back in the next day or so - very expensive as lab found head errors but this was the safest option.

Do think that the lab has very much the upper hand as quoted a price then this went up by about £300
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