Question WD data recovery with changing PCB. No original BIOS chip for swap

Nov 14, 2022
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Hi!
I need to recover my data from the WD 3 TB
WD30EZRX
R/N: 771824
MDL: WD30EZRX-00DC0B0

So my drive suddenly became unrecognizable by the system.

I gave it to a man who claimed he could fix it. He first said he was able to recover some of my data and sent it to me. Some of the data, I would say 20% was corrupt somehow (images were broken and with artifacts). Then he said he was finished with the whole data and wanted to give it to me, but as he explains his own RAID malfunctioned and now he is trying to fix it, so he promised to send me the rest of the data once he's finished.

I decided to see if I can do anything myself. I took my drive from him. PCB was changed to the exact same model as he says. He didn't swap the BIOS with the one from the original PCB! He says he threw away the original PCB!
The disk is recognized by the system but the file system is not. I tried scanning it with R-Studio: my original NFTS partition is recognized and the scanning would take around 20 days!

I may try doing the recovery with R-Studio hoping it is going to work. I may also wait for the guy to give me the rest of the data back.

Any advice on what I should do? How important is BIOS swap in such circumstances? As I can see the disk is recognized, which is good news.
 
Throwing away the original PCB was a very bad move. :-(

Download the demo version of WDMarvel:

https://wdmarvel.com/en/demo/

Save the drive's ROM ("BIOS") and SA firmware, then upload it to a file sharing site. I may be able to restore the original ROM for you.

I suspect that much of the file corruption may be due to bad sectors or mismatched "adaptive" data in the ROM.

HDDSuperClone knows how to work with bad heads/media. It also has a firmware hack that stabilises bad drives. The pro version of HDDSuperClone is now open source.

This photo shows your "BIOS" IC:

https://sep.yimg.com/ay/yhst-14437584971410/91710801-6.gif
 
Nov 14, 2022
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Throwing away the original PCB was a very bad move. :-(

Download the demo version of WDMarvel:

https://wdmarvel.com/en/demo/

Save the drive's ROM ("BIOS") and SA firmware, then upload it to a file sharing site. I may be able to restore the original ROM for you.

I suspect that much of the file corruption may be due to bad sectors or mismatched "adaptive" data in the ROM.

HDDSuperClone knows how to work with bad heads/media. It also has a firmware hack that stabilises bad drives. The pro version of HDDSuperClone is now open source.

This photo shows your "BIOS" IC:

https://sep.yimg.com/ay/yhst-14437584971410/91710801-6.gif
I'm not a super enthusiast, so I wouldn't know much about how to pull ROM and SA with the software you provided.
I did the following: WDMarvel -> S/A Operations -> S/A Regions operations -> Save to file
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EYXOiLjYXLLyMdRVP5xjQtXsFoau5_B6/view?usp=share_link
Did I get it right? How do I get ROM as a file?
 
Nov 14, 2022
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You only managed to read one module.

Try this:
S/A Operations -> Modules Operations​
Check All​
Modules -> Read All​
To read the ROM, select ROM -> Read ROM.
I did what you said. After that I did S/A Operations -> S/A Regions operations -> Save to file again. I updated the file, it's accessible with the same previous link.
Did I do right? I didn't see an option to "Save modules" or "Save ROM" anywhere, so I just used the option to save to file in "S/A Regions operations" again.
 
Once again you have only managed to dump module 0B. I'm using the 4.3.0 version of the demo. I don't know if your recent version is any different (I just checked -- it's the same.)

You should see an IDE/SATA Controller Selection box in the top left of your WDMarvel window. Highlight the appropriate controller and then click Detect in the Drive box at the top right. You should now see the model, serial number, firmware version, etc. You should also have access to the required menu keys.
 
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Nov 14, 2022
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Once again you have only managed to dump module 0B. I'm using the 4.3.0 version of the demo. I don't know if your recent version is any different (I just checked -- it's the same.)

You should see an IDE/SATA Controller Selection box in the top left of your WDMarvel window. Highlight the appropriate controller and then click Detect in the Drive box at the top right. You should now see the model, serial number, firmware version, etc. You should also have access to the required menu keys.
I use the 4.3.3 version.

I clicked Detect in the Drive box. I go the following messages in the bottom box:

11/16/2022 12:48:53 AM: Connecting to server #1...
11/16/2022 12:48:53 AM: Invalid key
11/16/2022 12:48:53 AM: Connecting to server #2...
11/16/2022 12:48:54 AM: Invalid key
11/16/2022 12:48:54 AM: Drive: WDC WD30EZRX-00DC0B0, family: 0162 Unknown, FW: 04.2QB, SN: WD-WMC1T3274128, LBA 5860533168 - 3000Gb

I have 3 drives including the one I'm trying to recover. None of them are WD except this drive.

What menu keys should I click next? Sorry, have very little experience and understanding of the subject.
 
As before, try this:

S/A Operations -> Modules Operations​
Check All​
Modules -> Read All​

To read the ROM, select ROM -> Read ROM.

If these menu options are not available to you, then I don't know how to help you.
 
Nov 14, 2022
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As before, try this:

S/A Operations -> Modules Operations​
Check All​
Modules -> Read All​

To read the ROM, select ROM -> Read ROM.

If these menu options are not available to you, then I don't know how to help you.
Thank you for your patience!

Here is the result when I do
S/A Operations -> Modules Operations​
Check All​
Is there a button to save the results on this screen?


When I do
select ROM -> Read ROM.
I just get this in the console at the bottom of the screen:
 
This WWN matches perfectly the label on my disk.
WWN = World Wide Name

Since the WWN is a match, then either your PCB is original, or its ROM contents were transferred to a donor PCB. In either case, there is no problem with your PCB. Instead there is an internal problem with heads or media.

Here are your SMART data, including the hidden attributes:

Code:
 ID  Flg   Cur  Wor  Thr  Raw             Description
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1   2F     1    1  200  0000000008FFF7  Raw Read Error Rate
  3   27   179  176    0  00000000001780  Spin Up Time
  4   32    93   93    0  00000000001D9E  Start/Stop Count
  5   33   200  200    0  00000000000003  Reallocated Sector Count
  7   2E   200  200  200  00000000000003  Seek Error Rate
  9   32    89   89    0  000000000021BF  Power-On Hours Count
 10   32   100  100    0  00000000000000  Spin Retry Count
 11   32   100  100    0  00000000000000  Drive Calibration Retry Count
 12   32    97   97    0  00000000000F34  Drive Power Cycle Count
184  *B2   100  100    0  00000000000000  End to End Error Det/Corr Count
187  *B2     1    1    0  0000000014EBCF  Reported Uncorrectable Errors
188  *B2     1    1    0  00FFFFFFFFFFFF  Command Time Out
190  *A2    65   48    0  00000000000023  Airflow Temperature
192   32   197  197    0  00000000000A76  Emergency Retract Cycle Count
193   32   191  191    0  00000000006E5C  Load/Unload Cycle Count
194   22   115   98    0  00000000000023  HDA Temperature
195  *B6   200  200  200  00000000000000  ECC on the Fly Count
196   32   197  197    0  00000000000003  Reallocated Sector Event
197   32   196  196    0  00000000000814  Current Pending Sector Count
198   30   200  200    3  0000000000001C  Offline Uncorrectable Sector Count
199   32   200  200    0  00000000000000  UltraDMA CRC Error Rate
200   08   200  200  200  0000000000001C  Multi Zone Error Rate
240  *B2    94   94    0  0000000000120B  Head Flying Hours
241  *B2   200  200    0  0000012F0EF824  Total LBAs written
242  *B2   200  200    0  00000146B52CE2  Total LBAs read

     * = hidden attribute
I suggest you clone your drive with HDDSuperClone. The author has produced a Live CD with a GUI. It's a Linux program, but there is no suitable Windows tool.
 
Nov 14, 2022
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WWN = World Wide Name

Since the WWN is a match, then either your PCB is original, or its ROM contents were transferred to a donor PCB. In either case, there is no problem with your PCB. Instead there is an internal problem with heads or media.

Here are your SMART data, including the hidden attributes:

Code:
 ID  Flg   Cur  Wor  Thr  Raw             Description
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  1   2F     1    1  200  0000000008FFF7  Raw Read Error Rate
  3   27   179  176    0  00000000001780  Spin Up Time
  4   32    93   93    0  00000000001D9E  Start/Stop Count
  5   33   200  200    0  00000000000003  Reallocated Sector Count
  7   2E   200  200  200  00000000000003  Seek Error Rate
  9   32    89   89    0  000000000021BF  Power-On Hours Count
10   32   100  100    0  00000000000000  Spin Retry Count
11   32   100  100    0  00000000000000  Drive Calibration Retry Count
12   32    97   97    0  00000000000F34  Drive Power Cycle Count
184  *B2   100  100    0  00000000000000  End to End Error Det/Corr Count
187  *B2     1    1    0  0000000014EBCF  Reported Uncorrectable Errors
188  *B2     1    1    0  00FFFFFFFFFFFF  Command Time Out
190  *A2    65   48    0  00000000000023  Airflow Temperature
192   32   197  197    0  00000000000A76  Emergency Retract Cycle Count
193   32   191  191    0  00000000006E5C  Load/Unload Cycle Count
194   22   115   98    0  00000000000023  HDA Temperature
195  *B6   200  200  200  00000000000000  ECC on the Fly Count
196   32   197  197    0  00000000000003  Reallocated Sector Event
197   32   196  196    0  00000000000814  Current Pending Sector Count
198   30   200  200    3  0000000000001C  Offline Uncorrectable Sector Count
199   32   200  200    0  00000000000000  UltraDMA CRC Error Rate
200   08   200  200  200  0000000000001C  Multi Zone Error Rate
240  *B2    94   94    0  0000000000120B  Head Flying Hours
241  *B2   200  200    0  0000012F0EF824  Total LBAs written
242  *B2   200  200    0  00000146B52CE2  Total LBAs read

     * = hidden attribute
I suggest you clone your drive with HDDSuperClone. The author has produced a Live CD with a GUI. It's a Linux program, but there is no suitable Windows tool.
I use Linux OpenSuse as my main OS. I could try running HDDSuperClone on this.

My drive is 3 TB. Does it mean I have to buy a new 3TB drive to clone my mulfunctioning drive? I have around 400 GB of data on it.

After I clone my drive, does it mean I can access it?

What's the problem with my heads or media? I'm not knowledgeable enoth to analyze the SMART data.
 
You should clone the whole drive. Study the documentation for HDDSuperClone. The author warns that some of its features clash with certain Linux kernels. I can't remember if HDDSuperClone can be configured to limit the cloning to occupied space, but you would still need a 3TB destination drive. If you use the Live CD, then there should be no problem.

The destination drive will have missing data corresponding to bad sectors on the source drive. You can choose to fill these sectors with zeros or some other data pattern eg "BAD ". See the Reallocated, Uncorrectable and Pending sector counts in the SMART report. You can retrieve a current SMART report with smartctl from smartmontools.

Good luck.
 
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Nov 14, 2022
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You should clone the whole drive. Study the documentation for HDDSuperClone. The author warns that some of its features clash with certain Linux kernels. I can't remember if HDDSuperClone can be configured to limit the cloning to occupied space, but you would still need a 3TB destination drive. If you use the Live CD, then there should be no problem.

The destination drive will have missing data corresponding to bad sectors on the source drive. You can choose to fill these sectors with zeros or some other data pattern eg "BAD ". See the Reallocated, Uncorrectable and Pending sector counts in the SMART report. You can retrieve a current SMART report with smartctl from smartmontools.

Good luck.
So this guy who threw aray the original PCB said he took a long time to find exactly the same PCB from the same batch of WD disks. It must be that he wasn't lying after all?

This guy was using Windows and R-Studio to copy the data to his disk. I tried doing the same and R-Studio shows it will take around 20 days for the copying to finish. Do you suppose HDDSuperClone works faster?

When the cloning by HDDSuperClone is done, does it mean I now can access the files copied from my malfunctioning drive?

I really don't know if I should wait for this guy to recover his disk with my data on it and pay him, or go to a data recovery company or just do everything myself.
 
So this guy who threw aray the original PCB said he took a long time to find exactly the same PCB from the same batch of WD disks. It must be that he wasn't lying after all?

This guy was using Windows and R-Studio to copy the data to his disk. I tried doing the same and R-Studio shows it will take around 20 days for the copying to finish. Do you suppose HDDSuperClone works faster?

When the cloning by HDDSuperClone is done, does it mean I now can access the files copied from my malfunctioning drive?

I really don't know if I should wait for this guy to recover his disk with my data on it and pay him, or go to a data recovery company or just do everything myself.
You can never find exactly the same PCB with exactly the same WWN. Each WWN is unique.

HDDSuperClone knows how to clone a drive that has bad heads or bad media. It skips over any "slow" areas and clones the easy sectors on the first pass. On each subsequent pass, it works on the previously skipped areas and tries a little harder. Other software tools, especially those running under Windows, will thrash each bad sector with multiple retries. HDDSuperClone limits retries until the final pass.

HDDSuperClone also incorporates a "slow responding" firmware hack for certain WD models, including yours. This will switch off certain aspects of the drive's own error recovery and sector reallocation features, thereby stabilising the drive.


Edit:

The manufacture date of the PCB is printed at the RHS. In the following case there is a "4312" date code. This is week 43 of 2012.

https://sep.yimg.com/ay/yhst-14437584971410/91710801-6.gif

Obviously the date code on the label should be later than this, but it should be close.
 
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