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April 13, 2017 By admin

WD My Passport Data Recovery: advice on what to do when your drive clicks or fails

Common fault when dealing with WD My Passport data recovery

Western Digital My Passport Data Recovery

Western Digital My Passport Data Recovery

If your external drive has stopped working, if you can hear clicking noises, if it doesn’t spin, if it spins up and doesn’t speed down, or if it isn’t recognised and you have to carry out a WD My Passport data recovery, read on. The most common causes when a drive fails can be:

  • A damaged USB connector
  • Mechanical damages such as corrosion after liquid damage, power surge or a shock.
  • Bad heads are also one of the main causes of failed Western Digital drives.
  • Internal USB is not soldered correctly on the PCB board (Printed Circuit Board) due to a power surge
  • Damage PCB from lightening, visible with black burns on the PCB board
  • An internal diode of the PCB board can be damaged
  • An MCU controller chip can be damaged.
  • The motor IC pin can also become corroded on the PCB board on the hard drive. It is recommended to clean it thoroughly using a solvent and a toothbrush.
  • Corroded head stack pins. You can normally clean this with a rubber

If replacing the PCB of your WD hard drive, you have to look out for the board number on the back of the PCB. In the case of  WD My Passport data recovery we are carrying out, the reference of the PCB board is 2010-771-962-001.

Failures on WD My Passport can happen without warning. It can work perfectly throughout the day and suddenly fail in the evening when you try to access a file on the drive. You can try to disconnect the drive and reconnect it afterwards. But if nothing seems to work, the problem can be serious and a full data recovery procedure may be necessary.

WD My Passport Data Recovery with surface damage

WD My Passport Data Recovery: Drive fails to spin due to surface damage on the inner part of the drive

Many users who have issues with a non working hard drive report noises called Click of death, either a clicking noise or a continuous noise, as warning signs of failure of one of the electronic components. Some noise does occur when a drive is in operation and this can be perfectly normal and the noise type and volume vary depending to the functionality of the drive. So you need to make sure you can differentiate a normal noise ie whining noise when the drive is spinning, clicking noise when the data is accessed or noise of the heads when they park during shut down and abnormal noise coming from a failing drive ie high pitched whining sound, vibration sounds, repetitive clicking sounds or grinding sounds.

Click click click click noises when powering a hard drive could be related to the PCB or the head stack. It is advised to first check the PCB, cleaning it with a solvent and a toothbrush before wiping it with a smooth cloth to remove the dust and dirt. Resistor R120 needs to be checked as well as coils such as L7 and L2 with a multimeter. An overall inspection of the PCB board will show traces of burned or removed components such as resistors or capacitors. Another common damage on the PCB is the firmware microchip.

If the noise is continuous, it usually comes from the WD hard drive with a L shape PCB.

There are several causes that lead to the WD external drive making a clicking noise and the necessity to carry out a WD My Passport data recovery. Sometimes the USB connector can get damaged. There can also be mechanical damages such as corrosion or damages due to power surge or a shock. Other causes range from:

  • The power coming to the drive isn’t enough for the drive to spin up either because the USB cable used is longer than 18 inches or if the drive is connected to a USB Hub (in this case, try to connect straight to the USB port of the computer. There is a possibility to purchase a power booster cable from Western Digital and this could help resolve the issue.
  • There is a fault on the ethernet data cable, FireWire, eSata, Thunderbolt or USB
  • There is a serious failure on the drive. For example, hard drives that have been dropped make clicking noises and shouldn’t be powered on
  • Issues with the firmware, damaged service areas, failing reading and writing heads or heads unaligned can lead to clicking noises

If you require a proper diagnostic regarding the clicking noises coming from your drive, make sure you get in touch with a professional data recovery company.

Solution to fix a clicking noise while doing a WD My Passport data recovery

WD My Passport data recovery dead PCB with U12 ROM Chip

Western Digital My Passport data recovery with dead PCB showing U12 ROM Chip

Firstly, you need to be aware that if you run a drive that makes a clicking noise without knowing where the noise is coming from or how to fix it, this can make the situation worse and make it even harder and more expensive to recover the data if a WD My Passport data recovery is necessary. In order to fix a hard drive with a clicking noise, it is important to get a full diagnostic regarding the fault of the drive. Using the correct equipment to diagnose the fault is therefore essential.

The second thing to keep in mind that you shouldn’t open the drive yourself if you haven’t been trained in data recovery as this could make it worse. It is also not recommended to run software on the drive if the fail is mechanical: this will not help solve the problem as it is necessary to fix the drive before using the software and it will cause more damages to the platters.

The first meaningful test to carry out if your WD My Passport is making clicking noises is to test whether the drive is getting enough power. In order to do so, you need to plug the power adaptor directly onto a socket without any interference from other devices. Then, try to remove the data cable and turn the drive on again. If the clicking noise has stopped with the data cable removed, this cable could be faulty and in need of a replacement. Once replaced, please try procedure again and check if the drive works properly. If not, and if the clicking noise perseveres, try to replace the data cable and if still no luck, the drive is dead and needs to be replaced and data recovered.

In order to fix a clicking issue, it is recommended to:

  • Carefully clean the connection between the head stack and the PCB with a pencil rubber
  • Clean the motor IC pins with a toothbrush and a solvent and dry it with a smooth cloth
  • If these steps don’t help fix the problem, the motor IC is probably damaged and needs to be replaced. You can try to desolder and then resolder it and if it doesn’t work, you will have to replace it directly.

Western Digital disclaimer regarding WD My Passport data recovery services

Before you start opening your drive and carrying out tests to find out what the issues are, you should be aware of WD disclaimer if your drive is under warranty.

If you use Creative IT’s data recovery services for your WD My Passport external drive, Western Digital will not void your warranty. We can provide you a written reference, on our company letterhead, that we have performed the data recovery of your WD My Passport. If you, or someone else, tamper with the hard drive , Western Digital’s warranty will be voided if a returned drive shows a defect that can be attributed to misuse or tampering, improper installation, alteration or to other causes as specified in Western Digital’s policy.

Western Digital adds that: “Any agreement you may reach with the data recovery service provider is a matter between you and the service provider. Western Digital makes no warranty, express or implied, regarding the services provided by the service provider, including but not limited to, any warranty regarding the quality or reliability of services performed by it. Your selection of the service provider is at your own risk. Western Digital assumes no liability for any loss or damages of any kind that relate to, arise out of or result from the performance of services by the service provider, including, but not limited to any loss of data contained on a Western Digital hard drive.”