Fixing a broken Western Digital Caviar Green hard drive – Part 1

So today i got a new project. Fixing a 1 TB Western Digital Caviar Green. It does not work, i tried connecting it to my computer without any luck. I checked both disk management and the BIOS. So next was to get a donor drive to try and solve the problem. I got told that there is a lot of important stuff on the drive, so i had to be very careful with it.

Western Digital Drive
Western Digital Drive

Mechanical problem or PCB problem

So now the question is, is this a mechanical problem or is it a problem with the PCB? After a lot of research I find that this is most likly a PCB problem. So to swap a PCB i need to know two things, the model number and PCB number. In my case the model number is WD10EACS and the PCB number is 2060-701537-004. The PCB number does also have a “REV A” behind, but people on the internet say that this should not matter if this is a A, B, C and so on.

Western Digital Caviar Green donor drive

I managed to find a similar drive on ebay on $140 USD, it is definitely not worth the money. But it is worth the money saving the data on the drive. So i started with swapping the PCB boards and guess what, the drives shows up in the BIOS as a drive with 0 GB of storage. It did not show up in disk management, so what now?

I did some more research online and it looks like Western Digital drives need some more adjustment and a simple PCB swap would not work. So it looks like there is some kind of 8 pin firmware chip that needs to be swapped. But none of my drives have this chip.

What to do next?

So now I am out of ideas, and I did some more research finding out that the controller chip needs to be transferred or reprogrammed. And it is not recommended that i do this my self, someone professional needs to do it. I am leaving this post on some kind of a cliff hanger, because I am not sure what do to.

Product used in this post