Will replacing my external hard drive's PCM board make my hard drive's data accessible again?

Posted on 2011-05-04
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I bought a 2tb Seagate external hard drive. I've dropped it twice and it is no longer readable. I have pulled the hard drive out of its external casing and plugged it into a hard drive dock - it was unreadable. Next, I unscrewed the pcm board from the hd. My hope is that replacing this will make the hard drive readable. Any chances that I could be correct? If so, how do I go about purchasing this piece? I've taken it in to a few tech stores and they said they don't sell them.

Here are the hard drive details:
Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB
S/N: 5XW0CS91
P/N: 9TN158-568
Firmware: CC94
Date Code: 10421
Site Code: WU

 Front side of hard drive. Back side of the hard drive, after removing pcm board. Hard drive details. Front of PCM board. Back of PCM board. A number found on the back side of the PCM board. I don't know what it means.
Question by:Philip_Stancil
LVL 22

Expert Comment

ID: 35695530
If you dropped the drive my guess is it is probably not the board that is damaged.

If you can find another drive with the same model board (buy another drive?) then you could try to swap the boards.  You probably need a replacement drive anyways so the new drive will not be wasted.

 I had a damaged drive before and swapping the boards did work.  In my case one of the techs at our company use the wrong screw to mount the drive, inspection showed that the screw went into the board and caused damage - so the board was clearly the problem.
LVL 50

Expert Comment

ID: 35695560
>>  If so, how do I go about purchasing this piece? I've taken it in to a few tech stores and they said they don't sell them.

You need another drive with exactly the same model logic board and revision.

This may mean purchasing a new drive.  Or you could look at eBay for second hard drives.

Or send it in to the Seagate Data Recovery services http://services.seagate.com/
LVL 70

Accepted Solution

garycase earned 1000 total points
ID: 35695643
Hard drives actually have a fairly good tolerance to G forces, so there's some chance that the drops just messed up the PCB and not the physical platter or actuator -- but it's hard to say for sure.

If you're willing to gamble ~ $50 to try it, you can get an identical PCB with the exact same firmware as your current drive from these folks (most of the PCB's cost $40-60):  http://www.onepcbsolution.com/
I believe they have you send in your current PCB so they can ensure they provide an exact match.

If your data's worth the cost, you can likely have it recovered professionally for ~ $400 or so here:
LVL 56

Assisted Solution

andyalder earned 1000 total points
ID: 35708838
The 8 legged chip near the connector is an EPROM that holds drive parameter info, even if it is the board that's at fault that chip has to be swapped to the replacement board.
LVL 47

Expert Comment

ID: 35716479
If the data on HDD is relly valuable I would suggest using special recovery service as they have clean rooms for replacing the platters.  Have a look on some of the services like www.gillware.com or www.ontrack.com

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