Data Recover from a USB 3.0 External Harddrive

Hi guys. I am Kane and i have been in the IT industry for 5 years. I have not really had a lot of experience dealing with external harddrives. Where i work at, if its broken, send it to the manufacturer.
I am trying to recover data from a USB 3.0 external harddrive. According to the WD tech, the firmware did not install properly so the harddrive is useless. I have a USB 2.0 adapter / sata but i can’t use it for USB 3.0. I need some help on how to recover the data.

Welcome to the forums Kane. I’m not an expert, but I would think a drive that has been flashed improperly will not work at all for home recovery efforts. You might be able to replace the pcb, using one from an identical drive, and recover the data that way.

You are more likely to get informed answers in our hard drive forum, so I’m moving your thread in there. I’ll leave a redirect in the Newbies forum so you can find it easily.

Have you taken the drive out of the usb 3.0 box? If so your usb 2.0(assuming you have a power connection with it) will work fine on the bare drive. I have seen a lot of the external drives fail not because of the drive but the box they are in. Over 70% of the people that have brought me boxes that do not work the drives inside have been fine. Let us know how it goes.
P.S. Welcome to the forum.

I was thinking the same but after i remove it from the case, there is no port or connector for a USB 2.0 to go into. Is there any other suggestions please?

Do you have something like this ? Just a usb cable will not plug into the bare drive.

Thank you Kerry for the reply. How may i go placing the pcb (printered circuit board)

Yes i do. But with the USB 3.0 connectors, i can’t find a place to plug it in.

With the drive out of the external case it is just a normal sata connection to the drive.

i think i may not have a connector for that. I have a USB 2.0 /sata connector but none would connect or work for the opened cased external harddrive.
these are the worst pictures i have ever taken and i would post clearer pictures soon.

The connector in the middle is the USB 3.0 connector. There is a 2 pin male connector in the left of the USB 3.0 connectors and a 12 pin male connectors on the right. Neither would fit my sata connectors.

It looks like there is some kind of adapter already on the drive covering the connections, see if you can remove the adapter. Clearer (more in focus) pictures would help. Also what is the model number on the drive itself?

The model number is WD10TMVW - 11ZSMS1
The adapter is soldered in. I would have to find a way to carefully remove it.

I did not realize that it was a 2.5" drive, thought is was a 3.5". Not sure if it can be removed(the adapter). Could you post some better pictures?

The only option is to open your pockets widely and ask Ontrack or another reputable data recovery service for assistance.
Latest generation 2.5" external drives often have the Sata/USB bridge integrated into the PCB, so installing such a drive internally (or using an external USB/Sata adapter) is (close to) impossible.
Secondly, a major part of a HDD’s firmware is stored on the HDD platters directly, so replacing the PCB doesn’t help very much either.

Sorry for the bad news,

Hmm, learn something new everyday around here. Never knew the firmware was stored on the platters. Is this something relatively new, or has this been true for many years in hard drives?

Also found an explanation in plain language: [I]…the information stored on the EEPROM[/I] (on the PCB) [I]is not the firmware, contrary to many peoples belief, the firmware of the hard drive is stored on the platters. The EEPROM acts as a sort of BIOS, with adaptive information that helps point the drive to the SA (Service Area) sectors, and then the actual firmware is loaded from the SA on the platters.

I know a person who took a hard drive to a apple store and they were able to get the data from the hard drive even though windows
computer would not. You could try hooking it up to a apple and see if you can get it that way

Are you SURE that circuit card doesn’t come off the drive?

It’s hard to tell from the fuzzy pictures but I think if you grab th card and try to pull it straight off
it’l come off revealing standard SATA connector.

Can you get someone to take better PICs?


I would try and send better pictures and i appreciate the effort guys. thanks. I would try and carefully pull the plug out if it is able to come out and see what happens.