SATA Drive Stopped Working - Cannot Initialize


Mar 30, 2009
I have a WD SE16 HDD that was running fine for over a year. It was serving as my secondary drive running Vista 64 in an ACPI configuration. The device suddenly stopped initializing in Windows. Bios throws a none-too-specific error "Hard Disk Error" and the device is recognized as an "ATA Device" (not the WD device info one would expect). It appears in the Storage Management console as "Unknown Device" with 0 MB of capacity. If I try to initialize it I get an IO error.

I have tried downloading WD diagnostics tools but the Windows ones seem to want to locate where the drive was when it was initialized and fail on Setup. The dos based tool cannot find a WD drive.

I ordered another drive of the same model to try to swap out the controller board and see if that does the trick. Has anyone seen this type of situation before? If so, can you give me any hope that the controller boards swap would work? Any other suggestions would be appreciated as well.
Does the drive spin up?
Swapping out the board may get the drive to work, if it spins up. I'd say 1 chance in 10 the problem is with the board.
90% of the time it is a mechanical problem with the drive that causes failure, not the board.
It is also about a 90% probability that you will end up with 2 dead drives.

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