Extreme power surge – PCB Failure – Hard Disk Drive

HDD with PCB failure and multiple secondary faults.

Manufacturer: Western Digital

Model Number: WD10EADS-11M2B1

Serial: WCAV53875848

On initial inspection the HDD showed typical symptoms of having sustained a failure of the printed circuit board (PCB). There appeared to be minor damage to the main processor chip on the PCB.

The order of how this HDD had failed was:
Suspected bad sectors –> accidental reinstall of OS over data by customer –> incorrect power adapter (voltage too high) by customer –> PCB failure –> checked for pre-amp failure, confirmed bad –> Hard disk assembly was then inspected.

The result of the over-voltage was the most severe that CDR has seen. In this case it included melted plastic inside the HDA as well as damage to the platter surface. See below for high resolution images detailing the damage.

Occasionally CDR receives an email like this one:

“I have a Seagate ST3100528AS, with firmware version CC38 on which I believe the PCB has died (Number 100536501).
If I was to send you the PCB would you be able to supply a suitable “donor” board and change the component (The firmware chip I believe) to allow it to work with my HDD.

If so have you got any idea on the cost?

Many thanks, Alexander”

To which the  following reply was sent:

Dear Alexander,

I presume that in this case you think that the printed circuit board of your hard disk drive has failed? Has this occurred for a particular reason? What are the symptoms of failure?

We offer professional data recovery services which are all on a guaranteed ‘no-recovery, no-fee’ basis. As such we do not offer to sell PCBs or swap ROM chips  on individual PCBs – the PCB returned to you may not necessarily work with your failed patient HDD. The only way to test its compatibility is when it is attached to the failed HDD. Moreover, your HDD could have secondary faults including bad sectors or a failure of the pre-amplifier. We do have matching stock in for your HDD.

It is important to us to ensure a high success rate in the work which we conduct. This has led the business to be well regarded over its last 7 years of trading: https://plus.google.com/+CheadledatarecoveryCoUk/about

In a few moments I will send through the pricing list for hard disk drive recovery. This gives full details of the services that we offer and the fixed prices for hard disk drive recovery which are based on the fault with the drive. The prices is based on the fault rather than how much data you require from the HDD, as usually just as much work is required to recover a small number of files as it does to recover a large number.

We aim to be as clear as possible about the pricing of our data recovery services and provide a full list of our charges. We conduct the diagnostic tests for free to confirm the type of failure your HDD has and then assign it to one of the prices listed. It is a no-obligation quotation.

Best regards,
John Reid

As the images  show, there is a lot more that can go wrong with a hard disk drive after it has sustained a failure of the printed circuit board (PCB).