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Topic: Possible to diagnose an unresponsive hard drive? (Read 617 times) previous topic - next topic

Possible to diagnose an unresponsive hard drive?

Does anyone have experience or know-how for using the buspirate to diagnose Western Digital hard drive issues?

[BACKGROUND]
I have a Western Digital Red 3TB hard drive that suddenly stopped appearing in Windows and even BIOS, despite feeling the drive's motor power up just fine. I'm gutted about this since there was no warning or indication whatsoever via the drive's SMART data or any performance issues, and the drive wasn't overheated or physically touched or moved in any way at all.

Since I can still feel the drive's motor revving up when powered and there's also no clicking or beeping, I'm hoping this might possibly be a PCB issue, which I'm hoping I could fix or at least determine if it's the problem, so I could try finding another PCB to attempt a swap (after transferring the PCB data between the boards).

I've googled and found others attempting similar, but it seems to be with Seagate drives (and a common firmware bug with them). From what I've read, Seagate has an extensive debugging interface accessed through a hard drive's back diagnostic port, however, Western Digital drives do not have the same extensive diagnostic abilities through the port. Someone commented that WD's port is used just for flashing/dumping from the PCB's flash chip.

Any suggestions? Does anyone have experience diagnosing/troubleshooting a Western Digital PCB with a buspirate? Hopefully there's some debugging possibility through WD's port, so I can determine if the PCB is the issue... and not the drive heads or platters.

Thanks!

Re: Possible to diagnose an unresponsive hard drive?

Reply #1
Hi Coldblackice.
I am sorry for the problem you are dealing with.
Sadly I know nothing, so I can not to help, sorry.
However, Am I pushy if I ask if is it a self-powered external hard disk?
Thanks.

Be seeing you.

U.Sb

Re: Possible to diagnose an unresponsive hard drive?

Reply #2
[quote author="USBEprom"]Hi Coldblackice.
I am sorry for the problem you are dealing with.
Sadly I know nothing, so I can not to help, sorry.
However, Am I pushy if I ask if is it a self-powered external hard disk?
Thanks.

Be seeing you.

U.Sb[/quote]

Thanks USB, and no worries at all. It's an internal 4TB Red 3.5" internal drive. The painful irony is that it's an RMA replacement Western Digital sent me for a failed 3TB Red drive of theirs that stopped working >:( Extremely angry with them, and also the hard drive storage industry in general: I think it's absurd that we, the people, tolerate such high failure rates (relative to the other computer hardware) such as this. There's no way we'd tolerate RAM modules or CPUs suddenly dying not working as often as hard drives do. [/rant]

Anyway, I did recently buy two external WD 8TB drives and then shucked them, extracting the internal 8TB Red drives. Why do you ask?

Re: Possible to diagnose an unresponsive hard drive?

Reply #3
Hi Coldblackice.
I asked simply because I know of cases of external hard drives in which it is actually the power supply to have problems, not the mass storage unit.
Good luck!

Be seeing you.

U.Sb