Resurecting a  hard drive

Steve Mutchler
Steve Mutchler used Ask the Experts™
I have a 1.5 Tb WD15EARS...less than 1 year old...
Had about 600 Gb of data on it...
Used as a data drive, no OS installed on it...

Shot craps to the point that BIOS would recognize it and assign it a drive letter, but Explorer would not indicate a size...could not open the drive...

I was able to get my data off it, File Scavanger, took about 32 hours...but I got 99+% of
all my data...

Now...question is, can I make this bugger work again, or do I toss it...???
I was able to run chkdsk /f /s...looks like it fixed some things...did not fix some things...

I have Spinrite, but I'm not experienced with it...and don;t know if I runSpinrite for a while if that will fix things or not...

What's my best course of action...and if dumping it be it...

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Top Expert 2012

I'd run WD Diags on it to see if it reports the drive as ok

Select the drive model from there and see if that will help
If you have all your data, wipe the partitions, repartition, full format, see if it works.
I would also try
to diagnose and/or zerofill the drive, it would take ages, warning it could completely kill the drive or fix it :/

I wouldn't use this drive for important data even if you succeed repairing it.
If diagnostics show problems try to rma or get warranty repair from wd.
Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009
If you've had it less than a year, it's easily still under warranty.    The EARS units were warranted for 3 years until a few months ago, when WD changed to a 2-year warranty.

Go here and check your warranty status:

... just enter the driver's serial number and it'll show if it's under warranty.

If so, the replacement process is very simple => the easiest method is to pay a small fee (I believe it's $15) and WD will send you a replacement drive in advance, along with a pre-paid mailer to return the defective drive.
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Thanx to all 3 of your responses...
I think I need to find my reciept...

Will try your ideas and see what happens...
Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009

No receipt needed -- the warranty is based solely on the serial number of the drive.    The only time you need a receipt is if the drive was sitting on a shelf for a fairly long time and the serial-number based check shows an expiration that's earlier than it should be based on your actual purchase date.    That's relatively rare.
Not as rare as you think.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013


NEVER had to use a receipt to get a warranty honored on a hard drive with any manufacturer.


If there was EVER a time that the drive was not recognized by the computer properly (enabling a controller in BIOS doesn't count), then ask yourself this: The drive has failed on you once, WHY would you want to RISK it failing on you a second time.  Prices went up a little, yes, but they're coming back down.  Toss the drive (or use it to build a rail gun - and get a new one.
My comment was for the drives sitting on the shelves for a couple of months ,only to find out the receipt and date code do not match.
And folks like WD use a date code,not a receipt.
Been there,done that.
Got a 1tb green right now that is 3 mos out of warranty ,receipt sez it sat on shelf for 3 mos.
Thank you Frys.
Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009

The warranty doesn't start on the drive's manufacturing date.   It assumes a "normal" distribution channel delay -- the exact time varies by manufacturer, but it's typically 2-3 months.    As I noted earlier, if you purchase one that's sat on the shelf longer, you can get it extended with your receipt -- but I've NEVER had to do this ... and there's only been one or two cases where I could have (by a couple weeks).     Incidentally, you can do this as soon as you purchase a drive -- just go to the warranty check site (all major drive manufacturers have one);  and check the warranty expiration date.    If it's less than it should be based on your receipt, you can simply mail them a copy of your receipt and the end date will be adjusted.    Once that's done, you'll never need the receipt again.

... but as I noted above, the need to do that is pretty rare.
Considering the price of a 1 tb drive is $100 bucks these days,it just becomes not worth the time and effort considering it could go doa a few weeks after you go through the hoops.

Considering I bill at very near the cost of the drives,it's not worth it to my customers.
Dell at one point was only honoring a one year warranty on its Poweredge server drives.
If you bought the same drives from Samsung or Seagate,it was 3 or 5 years.

And WD has started to cut the warranty again by a year.
Isn't the length of the warranty supposed to inspire confidence in the product?

We got a monopoly in disks with Seagate and WD and the competition is waning.  

Just had a Seagate go bad and I had one week left on the warranty,got it replaced,but if it dies next week,that's it
Gary CaseRetired
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2009

While I agree drives are relatively inexpensive, I'd certainly NOT suggest tossing them and ignoring the warranty.    If you use the Advance Replacement option you'll have a replacement drive in 3-5 days ... about as fast as you'd get a new one if you order it online.

There are essentially NO "hoops" to go through -- you fill out the form;  pay the advance replacement fee (very nominal);  and a drive is on it's way.
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

Just replace it on warranty.


Read thru all your  comments...

asavah...took your advice and ran the WD utility...passed the quick test...then ran the
extended test and it failed...too many bad sectors...

carycase...took your advice and did RMA it under warranty...Went to WD site, registered the dirve...have just over 300 days left on warranty...filled out the RMA request, sending it back...

Mailing it out today...

Thanx everyone for your help....

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