How to recover data from a non working external WD mypassport drive

Thomas Zucker-Scharff
Thomas Zucker-Scharff used Ask the Experts™
Recently a user brought an old WD MyPassport 2TB drive to me.  It is an external drive and has a double connector (it looks like the one in this video -  When I connect it to a windows machine it just makes a grinding noise and does not appear anywhere.  The same is true when attaching to a Debian Linux distro.  I was going to take it apart as in the video, but when I got it apart I realized it could not be put into my drive bay, which would take any normal drive, but not one with that connector.

Does anyone have any ideas about how to get the data off of this?
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IT / Software Engineering Consultant
Top Expert 2016
Yes, that looks like they have their own special circuit board and connector, may be hard to work around that (hard to tell without seeing the drive).

That being said, it it's making a grinding noise when it powers up it likely had some physical damage to the mechanical part of the drive, couple be a head crash or other.  It's unlikely you will be recover data if that is the case.

You say "but when I got it apart ..." ... depends on what shape it is in.

From my experience, if the data is "kinda worth it" then try your best on your own. If it is definitely worth it, then this isn't the cheapest route by far but from my experience is ain't cheap but you get what you pay for.

I'm with Bill, if it grinds then something crashed and not all (if any) data will be on it ... but OnTrack may take a look and let you know (for a fee) what the chances are of getting specific data off. If I remember right, they send an assessment / data report on what they should be able to get off of it.


I had a feeling that would be the case.  He did say he had dropped it some time ago.

Thanks anyway!
Robert RComputer Service Technician

if it is making grinding noises, you may need to take it to a data recovery place if the drive has valuable info. The more you use it in this state the more damage can be done to the drive, making data recovery impossible, especially if the heads are hitting the platters.

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