Question HDD momentarily detected, then mostly not


Feb 24, 2015
Windows 10 Pro, Asus B85M-E Rev 2 MB, Seagate ST2000dm001 2TB HD with pcb 100587658 Rev C.

Drive worked fine, never an error even though set in BIOS to run SMART checks. Suddenly couple of days ago smartcheck started and froze up in stage 2, stayed frozen for over hour so I forced shut down and restarted. Re-check finished with errors then drive disappeared from Windows Computer Management and not appeared in BIOS either.

Drive spins. Tried it on other computer; could see light flashing as if data was being accessed. Intermittently on occasion may see it recognized in BIOS, but never in File Explorer or Computer Management.

Drive controller board does not show any burn spots. Read on HDDZone that if drive spins with no clicks, likely NOT pcb problem, but most probably corrupted drive firmware.

Saw on Seagate site recommended firmware upgrade, but my question is if do firmware update will that destroy my data on the drive?

I didn't have a backup of the drive for over six months (nobody to blame but me). Is there some imaging I can do when drive is not recognized?

Are there some commands that will reach the drive somehow?

I can't afford to pay for a drive recovery company. I'm willing to take a chance and turn this into learning experience.

I've recovered data from drives for many years using R-Studio software, if drive spins, but it won't recognize the drive either.

Am I stuck with trying to carefully replace the reader heads? I know that would be a delicate and difficult job. Any other alternatives?

I've tried everything over and over, praying I get a miracle and just a tiny window of recognition to get my saved documents off of it.
The "firmware" problem cannot be fixed by a firmware update. It usually means that one or more firmware modules (eg grown defect list or SMART) are unreadable, or the drive is timing out and going offline during background error recovery operations.

Here is an example of a successful recovery from an earlier Seagate model, but it involved blood, sweat and tears:

Some background info …

The hard drive -- a computer-within-a-computer:
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