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Crashed and recovery software unmountable Western Digital

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:12 pm    Post subject: Crashed and recovery software unmountable Western Digital Reply with quote

I have a Western Digital 20GB Ata hard drive that has crashed badly. javascript:emoticon('Sad')

(Like the starter of this website I have been inspired to be really persistent with my research without any luck so far.)

Since then, despite using disk utilities like Techtool, Disk Warrior, Prosoft Drive Genius, Prosoft Data recovery and other software demos like Remo recover, Total Recall, Stellar Phoenix, and Virtual Lab the drive has never been "seen" by the OS to let the data recovery software access it.

This has denied me access to a precious archive of work e-mails in my macmail mail-box, and other home-office work data including Safari bookmarks tracked via the now non-existent user preferences folder. This is all information that I would really like to recover without sending to a data recovery company. The loss of data access has been stressful for me over the last several days.

I'm running a Powermac G4 AGP machine with 1.5ghz fastmac processor, 1.75gb ram, OSX 10.4.11. This has been a good computer for my home office work including e-mails, web browsing etc.

Fortunately, I always stored my text edit, word, and other raw documents on a subsidiary drive. However, and this is unfortunate, backups of my "home folder" fell of the radar due to some significant health issues over the past couple of years. Now, I'm paying the price for that loss of focus.

The main drive in a two drive setup had been a 20gb Apple branded hard drive Western digital drive that was reported full before the crash. This was after the console log file in the system folder reported large gigabyte file logs.
No major data has ever been stored on this hard drive, only the OS, yet it would fill up. This has happened in the past and I have been able to delete these files, then restart the computer thus clearing hard drive space. I've done this for the last two years.

Two weeks ago when the computer reported low hard disk space, I had a several safari windows open. The computer then froze and the entire computer became totally unresponsive. I had to force power off the computer to get it to restart. Since then the drive has never been seen by the system long enough for me to attempt data recovery, suggesting drive directory corruption.

Other than data recovery software I've also used techniques like Safe boot, Singe user mode, Target disk mode, plus mounting the drive in a Wiebetech Firewire 400 external enclosure, and still I've never managed to get the drive to be recognized by the system, let alone remount.

The crashed hard drive symptoms are:

On startup the Western Digital disk makes several whining noises like it wants to startup, and also sounds like it is trying to access the drive data platters, then it goes quiet. After making the drive the only drive on the ide cable, and rejumpering the drive accordingly, it is only making two whining or "coughing noises" like it wants to start, then goes quiet. In neither case, does the operating system ever register its presence.

In the firewire enclosure the drive either starts with the first type of sound and then reverts to periodically making the second type of coughing sound or it just makes the "coughing sound".

Crashed Drive Description is:

WESTERN DIGITAL 20GB TRIDE 655T0022 WC93300Y5H7YA EIDE HARD DRIVE. Made August 18, 1999.
MDL (Model) is WD205BA-40AK.
Firmware is CRNBLKMO.

My question is: based on the sounds the drive is making is it a reasonable candidate for a logic board swap (I'm looking for a donor) or for freezing?

I am not sure if the drive is spinning up at all. How do I determine that?

How do I try one suggestion or the other without making the problem worse? ('I've read that freezing works well but can also make the problem worse if not used judiciously as a solution).
Any ideas or suggestions would be most welcome to get the drive to mount and then copy of my home folder data.

Thank you.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:18 am    Post subject: logic board swap partial success, drive size issue Reply with quote

So I found almost identical Apple branded Western Digital, 27Gb with the identical printout on the circuit as my original dead drive:

WDC 1060-600845-000 REV A.

The other specs are close:

Fresh board drive:

DATE: 25 Aug 99
Firmware is CSNBLKMO

Crashed board drive

MDL: WD205BA-40AK.
DATE: August 18, 1999.
Firmware is CRNBLKMO.

This logic board board swap resulted in the drive starting up successfully being acknowledged by the system for the first time in two months.

But now it wants to format the drive which was already formatted. and the size of the drive is only acknowledged as 96Mb rather than the full 20Gb.

The experts at a board swap specialty say that they can't provide a ROM transfer for this board because It doesn’t look like the board is using a separate ROM chip. they think a straight board swap should do the trick for a drive this old.

So with an identical board I am stumped why it hasn't revived my drive in a way that I could get my data off it. Any suggestions. Help please.
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