Question about Western Digital Caviar SE WD1600AAJS 160 GB SATA Hard Drive

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Could this hard drive have failed plain due to long period of disuse?

Hi, I have a Western Digital 160GB hard drive. I bought it last year in July but only started using it this month. However, it sometimes stops in the middle of the system uptime and recently it just stopped working altogether. I put it back on the computer today after about two weeks and it started running again. I think it has suffered a mechanical failure because I heard it make some clicking sounds a few times during system startup. I feel this might have happened because the read heads might have got stuck since this drive was in disuse for almost a year. I need to know if it is a possibility that this drive could have got bad due to a long period of disuse.

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  • unitedroad May 12, 2009

    Hi,
    I didn't remove the circuit board but a large part of it is already visible. I didn't see any visible dark spots on it but the circuit wiring seems to have got very brown especially where its thicker.
    Could that mean its circuit board may have got damaged?
    Also, sometimes at the boot time, the hard drive spins up and then spins up again, like its unable to kick itself into the action.
    I have Linux on another hard disk and it tries to initialise the drive in question from the faster to the slowest UDMA modes and then the PIO modes.
    Does this happen due to a burnt out circuit?

  • unitedroad May 18, 2009

    Hi Chris,
    I have an amatuer radio but I have lost its power adapter so I couldn't test the drive. However, since this drive is under warranty and I didn't have any important data on this drive, I am sending it for warranty repair/replacement. Thanks alot for your help and suggestion. You helped me through and improved my knowledge about hard drives alot.
    Regards,
    Dhruv


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Hi,

Generally drives can be left sitting for a year or more without problems but if it was bumped or jarred hard enough the heads may not be releasing from the park position, otherwise clicking sounds usually mean problems with the circuit board. If you give it a visual inspection(requires removal with a torques 5 or torques 8 bit) you can look for any signs of a burnt out circuit.

Respond back on this post if you have any further questions.


Chris

Posted on May 08, 2009

  • Chris
    Chris May 12, 2009

    Hello again,



    Thanks for the extra info. The brown areas could be due to overly hot tooling in manufacture or due to overheating which could result in damaged circuits.



    Thanks for the info on the linux boot, generally if it is having cicuit troubles one of the lower speed methods might overcome that, but if it has worked it's way down without success then it's likely that in combo with the browning the circuit board is damaged.



    The repeated spinups are likely a sign of it getting power but not getting a good read, which could be any of a dozen circuits. If you own a short wave radio, like a baby monitor or older 900Mhz portable phone, try powering the reciever on next to the drive while it spins up. If you get a great deal of interference coming through the speaker you may have a blown voice coil(drives the HDD heads, resembles the coil in a speaker).



    If this is the case it will likely need to be sent to a clean room for recovery(if it's worth the expense). If not it's likely just something in the circuit board. This can be replaced easily enough.



    If it passes the radio interference test let me know as I have a few WD 160GB drives stockpiled for this very occassion. I normally use them for paying data recovery clients and would be happy to help you repair the drive or if you're so inclined and if they are matching circuit boards will happily sell you the appropriate one.



    Chris

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