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February 14, 2019 By Monique Stoppa

Locating a donor drive for the recovery of a Samsung Spinpoint

How to locate a donor drive for head stack compatibility when doing a physical data recovery?

Samsung Spinpoint data recovery by Data Doctor, the specialist data recovery in central London

Samsung Spinpoint data recovery by Data Doctor, the specialist data recovery in central London

If your Samsung Spinpoint hard drive model number HN-M101MBB/AV2 ever needs a donor drive for head replacements, for head stack compatibility, it’s very important to match the Preamp information you can see immediately after power on in the terminal report. The donor drive should has the same Preamp version.

In terminal mode, you should see a list displayed in PC3000 utility. The terminal connector has to be plugged in for you to be able to access the information.

For example: 
*PAUNI_L2958*PA VID=0011 PN=000D Rev=0001- PA_LSI2958 Found
*PAUNI_L2958*PA VID=0011 PN=000D Rev=0001- PA_LSI2958 FoundU
CLA ..36/87
AC 1870
mS1 00000003
UF 3 1stGrayErr Hd:0
UD..OK : 99
PK_3   C:   741 H:0

In this example, the Preamplifier is PA_LSI2958.
If there is not a match, the head stack won’t be compatible for data recovery. The only way to find the exact donor drive is to have PC 3000 or, if you don’t have it, send your hard drive to a data recovery part specialist that will be able to access your drive and find the matching Preamplifier in order to carry out data recovery.

How to mitigate the risks of failed data recovery when carrying out a head swap?

Data recovery isn’t an exact science. Even if the right donor drive has been identified for the recovery of your Samsung drive and you carry out the head replacement, if the platter surface is scratched and damaged and if there is dust created by the original head, it could stop working and you may have to find another matching donor. As with many data recovery situations, there is no miracle solution.
Finding compatible donor drive for your Samsung hard drive is not always the way to a successful data recovery outcome.  In order to mitigate this risk, you need to open the drive in a clean room, check for any dust particle on the surface of the drive with a magnifying glass, look at the white filter and for final inspection, remove the original head stack with head spreaders, a head replacement tool. Once removed, look again through a magnifying glass or a microscope to see if any dust or particles are visible on the head or if the heads themselves have been damaged.
For advice or help with the recovery of a Samsung Spinpoint, contact Data Doctor on 020 7394 2529. Our data recovery lab facility is equipped with PC-3000 and a certified clean room to ensure the highest level of success with your recovery.