Question about Western Digital Caviar SE16 (WD5000AAKS) 500 GB SATA Hard Drive

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WD 500g hard drive computer cant read it

WD 500g hard drive... worked great for 1 year and now none of my computers can read it or recognize it Running Gatewau gm5664 w/ 2 of these puppies. one has OEM Vista installed, the other is drive D. (e is behind the partion on the 1st hd) . no warning, no noise, no notice, the system shuts down and would not restart except for the vista disk in repair/install mode. System can not 'see' the hd. all atempts to repair failed. Sys restore was not even an option. had to load vista on 2nd hd. once installed, vista could not see original problem hd. Called gateway "sorry charlie, you're three weeks over warranty. Went to WD warranty page. "Sorry charlie - hd installed by other vendor. check with them." I now understand the hostillities with vendors. They get the old fashion way. they earn it!
Meanwhile, back at my desk, I need to know if there is a fix or work around for this bad dog.

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  • Neil Hamilton Apr 20, 2009

    thanks for the response. all that you have suggested has been tried except for the RMA since, according WD Warranty page, this s/n HD does not quality for return. I am looking for upper echelon of recovery for my files. If I can get them back, then WD can have this one an lose all of my business.

    I there a replacement PCB out there that can be swapped out. Symptoms seem to point to PCB falilure since it can not be detected by bios.



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No physical damage to hard drive is detected by disk. When hard drives are faulty (not logical problems, but hardware faults) the HD will simply disappear from bios.

WD with broken head or faulty motor sometimes beep, but not always.

The only way to know if the problem is Hard disk digital controller board (the board on lower side of hard disk) is by testing the board or replacing it.

The digital controller board for the hard disk is not sold separately, as the hard disk is not considered serviceable (repairable at component or part level) by manufacturers.
Being this hard drive still on the market, the easiest way is buying a new hard drive with same specs for about $80. This may not solve the problem in case it is not a faulty digital board, but the cost will be much below a full data recovery, which cost is over $1000.

If the data inside are important you may need a full data recovery after hardware damage. This must be done on a special environment obtained with a device called Clean Room and cost is expensive.
See pages below:

Hard Drive Recovery Group | Clean Room Data Recovery

Recovering data from hard disk drives with motor failure

Hard Drive Recovery, Hard Disk Recovery, Clean Room

Retrieve Data with help from Hard Disk Recovery Services

Posted on Apr 20, 2009

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Hello pacificus.

1. In one of your desktop pc, try to connect the WD 500g HDD (using IDE/SATA cable + power) .
2. try to go to your BIOS setup ( restart your pc , then during restart, press and hold F1 key. The main menu of BIOS setup utility opens)
3. Check if the WD 500g is being detected by the PC motherboard.
- if its detected, then you have no choice but to reformat it using WD disk utility ( got to WD website).
- if its not detected, then you have to RMA (return merchandise authorization) from the store where you bought it. I think WD gives 3 year warranty for their hard drive ( not sure but try to inquire).

For data that are stored in the Hard may want do som file recovery if the Hard drive can still be detected by BIOS of the motherboard of your pc.

Hope this helps...

Posted on Apr 20, 2009


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