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Old 06-14-2012, 06:33 PM
shamrin shamrin is offline
 
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Default WD My Passport drive repair

Has anyone worked with one of these drives? Normally, when you pull a drive out of an external casing you get a standard 2.5in HDD. These My Passport drives either have the PCB replaced with one that has a USB connector on it or they have an extra PCB with the USB connector. In any event, they don't appear to have a standard SATA data dn power connector on them. I'm wondering if anyone has taken one a part or found a way to treat them like standard drives for recovery purposes.
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:45 PM
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I had this same problem a few weeks ago, a friend brought in his new 500GB USB3 passport and I opened it up to see if I could slave it to my SATA to USB adapter...no luck! Did some googling about it and found this article which explains the problem pretty well: http://datacent.com/datarecovery/hdd...port+Essential

Hope that helps ya.
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuffolkComputers View Post
....snipped... Did some googling about it and found this article which explains the problem pretty well: http://datacent.com/datarecovery/hdd...port+Essential ...snipped....
The article doesn't address the OP's problem at all. Though it does contain some basic info that could be interesting some. And I love their use of the word "sticktion" - a word you may have never seen before but who's meaning in context is immediately apparent.

The connector problem on the Passports isn't new - seems like a year or two ago WD and other external drive manufactures started using proprietary connectors on the boards instead of the usual SATA laptop drive tossed in a case.

Too bad too. For a while some external drives were inexplicably less expensive than identical bare bones drives. You could buy one, break it open and use the drive inside.

Seems like I recall a conversation here on TN at that time where folks tried to list which ones were proprietary and which were not, but I suspect it was and is a moving target. I don't think anyone at that time mastered a way of connecting to them.
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:42 PM
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...
Seems like I recall a conversation here on TN at that time where folks tried to list which ones were proprietary and which were not, but I suspect it was and is a moving target. I don't think anyone at that time mastered a way of connecting to them.
Yes, I see now that this is fairly hopeless. I found a guy over at hddguru who had rigged a USB 2.0 model to work with SATA but the USB 3.0 connectors are different.

I hope this new unified design is more dependable than the old system of using standard drives because once you drop one or the connector fails on a My Passport, it's Game Over.
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:15 AM
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It was for this exact reason that I always recommend to my customers to purchase the case and drive separately. I do the installation, the customer gets a external drive free of all the propriety problems and I make some money.
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:03 AM
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Have you seen this article on connecting to these drives using a SATA interface? It's about adapting it to access on SalvationData HD Doctor Suite but the essence is the ability to access the drive using SATA whereas it's normally accessible only via USB.
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:06 AM
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These drives are a PITA! But the connectors are not propriety, they are just USB. The problem is none of the hardware tools for data recovery can *easily* access the firmware on these drives using the USB interface. Although it's possible in some cases, if the heads are working fine and the problem is just firmware related (which is rare since these drives are almost always dropped), to access the firmware and fix problems using the USB port or terminal port.

The reason people use *compatible* SATA PCBs, after swapping the ROM, is to fix firmware problems more easily. However, most of these drives are also encrypted and cannot work without the original PCB, which can make things a whole lot more difficult (if the PCB itself was actually bad, or if it has bad sectors). The fact that you need to "image" the drive using a USB port means most of the special read commands that work with SATA/IDE drives will not work and it's harder to get a good image.

Anyhow, enough venting on these drives (I had 3 of them this week and only recovered 1): what was the original problem with your client's drive? Was it dropped? Did it just stop working randomly? Does it spin up? Does it make any unusual sounds? Can you hear the heads moving/reading?

Last edited by 300DDR; 06-15-2012 at 07:08 AM.
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Old 06-16-2012, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuffolkComputers View Post
I had this same problem a few weeks ago, a friend brought in his new 500GB USB3 passport and I opened it up to see if I could slave it to my SATA to USB adapter...no luck! Did some googling about it and found this article which explains the problem pretty well: http://datacent.com/datarecovery/hdd...port+Essential

Hope that helps ya.
the article also helped me.
Thanks.
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