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Windows 7: Western Digital 3 TB problem - RAW & unalocated

09 Sep 2014   #21
Anshad Edavana

Windows 7 Ultimate x64


That is great to hear and the disk is definitely not encrypted. At this point analyzing sector dump is not necessary.Most probably it will be the USB-SATA bridge which is the failing component. I would suggest the below steps.

1. Run extended test with "WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostics" and make sure the disk is healthy.

2. Buy an identical replacement and connect the disk via it's enclosure. Since there is no encryption, a replacement USB-SATA bridge will hopefully work out of box. However if the model numbers are slightly different, the disk may or may not work with the new enclosure. The closest one i can find is this one - Western Digital My Book Essential 3 TB External WDBACW0030HBK Desktop in Box 718037771922 | eBay

In an unfortunate case if the PCB is not match, you can connect the disk to SATA port directly and use the full version of "R-Studio" ( which is fully 4K compatible ) to recover your data. The newly bought disk can be used as the destination medium to save files.

Also i would like to see what "Jumanji" recommends.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2014   #22

Windows 7 - 64 bit

I ran bootice to see the first 2100 sectors (from 0 to 2099). The size of the binary file is around 1MB.

Attached Thumbnails
Western Digital 3 TB problem - RAW & unalocated-error-1.png   Western Digital 3 TB problem - RAW & unalocated-error-2-ntfs-lba-256.png  
Attached Files
File Type: rar backup.rar (5.5 KB, 1 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2014   #23
Anshad Edavana

Windows 7 Ultimate x64


The sector dump looks exactly like what i expected. There is only one partition entry in the table which starts at logical sector LBA 256 and this is for a 4K sector disk . When we connect the disk directly to a SATA port, we should multiply it with 8 to get the 512e mode LBA number. 256 * 8 = 2048 and there is indeed a valid NTFS boot sector at LBA 2048.

Western Digital 3 TB problem - RAW & unalocated-ntfs-boot-sector.jpg

So the partition entry is still there so it should be the USB-SATA bridge which is misbehaving.Can you please post a snapshot of "Disk Management" when the disk is connected via the enclosure ?.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Sep 2014   #24

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit


Anshad Edavana has already said that in view of the non-encryption status of the drive , there is no need for the first 2100 sector dump.

Just for my curiosity, the true LBA where the actual VBR/PBR/NTFS exists may be 256*8 = 2048.So just examine and post the sector map of LBA 2048. ( The current LBA 256 is all F5 s. and is not the true VBR.)

@Anshad Edavana,

First for your recommendation of R Studio to scan the drive.

What you have said in post #21 sounds logical. [ I can atleast derive some sadistic pleasure to see what I recommended in my post #13 " Another option is to buy another identical (same Model Number) drive, rip it open pull out that drive and put this drive into it, hoping it will bring it back alive. ( It can, provided the Interface card remains the same without WD making any design changes in it.)" repeats in your #2 suggestion. ]

I am also presenting this information which I pulled out from another thread in another forum.

"........ the boards can typically be found for less than $30 on ebay. It's often a worthwhile test. When you pull the hard drive out the circuit board should have its own part number printed on it. Use that to search for a replacement, make sure all the specs are a perfect match (including firmware version, size, platter quantity, sector, model, revision, etc). In a pinch search using the hard drive model number and again make sure the specs are a perfect match"

[hard drive] 3 TB WD External Hard Drive, not accessible - Computer Hardware Help | DSLReports Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2014   #25
Anshad Edavana

Windows 7 Ultimate x64


The HxD screenshot from my last post is from LBA 2048.


Please run the 'WD Lifeguard Diagnostic" extended test and make sure the disk passes the test ( will tale a long time to complete ). Then reconnect the USB enclosure and take a disk management snapshot. I would also recommend connecting the disk to another PC/laptop to rule out any possible OS issues. Once the board is confirmed to be faulty, we can look for the cheapest way to solve the issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Sep 2014   #26

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Oh! I missed that post since I was composing my post in response to post #22 and submitted without looking what crossed in between.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Western Digital 3 TB problem - RAW & unalocated

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