Question Is it possible to pull data off of an unresponsive Western Digital Passport?

mikekazik1

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Nov 17, 2007
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I have a WD Passport 1TB that I bought back in 2011. Whenever I plug it into a computer, the blue light starts blinking and the laptop makes the same sound it always does when a USB device gets connected. However, the drive is never visible in 'My Computer'. I tried it out on several computers just to make sure it isn't an issue with my laptop, but it's the same story with every computer.

To further diagnose, I downloaded the Western Digital Drive Utilities tool straight from their website. The tool was able to detect the hard drive after several minutes but it said "Smart status failed".

So my two questions are:
  1. Is there any way to actually fix this particular hard drive?
  2. If it can't be fixed, is there at least a way I could pull the data off of the hard drive?
If this requires and special tools or repair kits, it would be greatly appreciated if you could post a link of said item. Thanks in advance.
 

mikekazik1

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Nov 17, 2007
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If Windows, and the WD tool, can't read it...it is almost certainly beyond consumer level fixing.
What about more professional level repairs? Regardless if a consumer is able to do it, what would be required to make it work again or to at least pull the data off of it?
 

Math Geek

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sometimes the problem is not the drive but the controller card inside it that converts the sat drive to the usb port. my last effort is usually to take the drive out of the external case and plug it into the pc direclty. it does not always work but sometimes i can get the drive to connect that way and copy data off it before it's dead for good.

again this is a last step effort since you usually have to destroy the case for it. if you're ready to buy a new drive and only want the data, give it a shot. might work and may not, but at least it's worth a shot if it is dead anyway.

if that does not work, then you're only option is professional services which is VERY expensive. they take the drive itself apart and put the platters into another set-up in an attempt to read and copy the data. this requires a clean room and lots of expensive stuff. it is literally over $1000 last time i looked, so obviously this is not worth it for some game saves and your porn collection.
 

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