WD20NMVW My Passport WD

WD20NMVW mechanical failure

In Blog, Hard Disk Drive Recovery Case Study, Recovery of the day by Administrator

28/07/2017 – WD20NMVW – Failed Read-Write Heads

A 2000GB (2TB) portable HDD was being used by a furniture design company to store data associated with their newly designed products, as well as some archive data associated with the business. Their last complete backup of all the data was approximately eight months prior to the failure of the HDD. On diagnosis, the HDD was making a distinctive clicking noise. The read-write heads had failed inside the HDD. This is a mechanical failure of the HDD. The drive required repair to allow access to the data.

WD20NMVW My Passport WDHard disk drive details:

Manufacturer: Western Digital (WD)

Model: WD20NMVW-11AV3S4 (My Passport)

Printed Circuit Board: 2060-771961-000 REV P1


Donor parts were required to work on this HDD. The cost of these was included in the original quotation. On replacement of the head assembly, the HDD initialised well. However, there were a considerable number of read errors on heads #5 and #6. The drive had a total of 1700GB of data on. It became apparent early on that the HDD would not remain stable enough to read the entire HDD.

It was possible to read the Master File Table (MFT) which creates the folder and file name structure. From this, it was possible to filter data within PC3000 Data Extractor. This allowed a recovery attempt on only data which had been modified since the customer’s last complete back up several months ago. This accounted for just 30GB of 1700GB of data on the HDD.

Targeting only this data allowed for nearly a complete recovery of the critical business files in a relatively short period of time. If the complete drive had required imaging then it would have been likely to take 2 – 3 weeks to complete, even if read-write heads #5 and #6 would stay operational during this extended period.

Return of data

The data was returned to the customer. The customer later on stated:

Amazing service from initial contact to final recovered data. The online updates on progress and the professionalism throughout the process was second to none.We would recommend John at Cheadle Data Recovery as the first point of call for any data loss issues. Thank you for this professional and well informed service.

The review can be found on the CDR Google Maps Listing.