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Amarbir[CDR-Labs]
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Location: Chandigarh ,India
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In Conversation With Acelab TS Engineer [ 4TB WDC Drive ]

Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:09 am

Hello To All Mr Friends Here ,

I Have This Issue And My Knowledge is Challenged In WDC With This Case .This is What I Wrote For My Ticket In The Acelab TS Ticket Software .I Did Some Work On This Case Created Some Folders And Created The Ticket As i Wanted Support .

Question Posted :"I Have This Western Digital 4TB Desktop 3.5" SATA Drive.This came to me from another data recovery company .Drive was already opened And I Proceeded To My Cleanroom To Inspect The Drive .My Close Examination of The 8 Heads Showed That Head No 0 Was Scratching The Platter Surface ,This Was Physically Cut By Me And The Same Headstack Was Used .When i switched off all the heads other then Head 1 I Was NOT Able To Read Dir Module And Load Loader Mod Into Memory .As This is Gaint Family HDD I Have A Folder in My Profiles Called " CDRLabs - Case No 01145 [ T S Ramesh 4TB ] " .In This Folder i Have a Folder " CDRLabs - Case No 01145 [T S Ramesh] Rom Only " .This Folder Only Has This HDD's Rom and Rom Modules .Then I Have another Folder Called " CDRLabs - Case No 01145 [T S Ramesh] ABA Modules " Which Has Copy Of Tracks From 65 To 256 .As Dir Module Was Not Readable i Tried To Extract Modules Using This Profile From Tracks .PC 3000 Could Only Find 256 Modules Instead of 529/530 odd modules in similiar drives but could not find Any Dir Module .I Inspected The Dir Module In The Tool And it Was All ZERO in The Location Specified .I Then Created Another Folder Called " CDRLabs - Case No 01145 [T S Ramesh] ABA Head 1 Region And Complete Track Backup " .This Profile Folder Has Copy Of Head 1 Region From ABA " 1_541696_406272 " And Copy Of All Tracks From Head 1 From 1 To 256 .I Then Extracted All Modules From These Tracks And Rebuilt My Dir Module Using Tool ,But This Too Is Not 529/530 And i Cannot Get This Drive Up On Its Feet .Help Me Solve This Case Please

To Mr Horror I Get The Following Reply

Reply From Rep : All heads must be presented in head stack to make the drive initialized.If some head is missing, the drive stops the FW loading and drive spindle usually.If the surface under head 0 is bad, you can bend the head 0 to avoid the surface touch.

If you have doubts about if the Dir is good or not, try to use the donor's Dir.

So the suggestion is next:
1. Install the compatible donor heads, bend the head 0 to prevent the new scratching;
2. Block module 30 access in ROM;
3. Spare the regions in ROM to make the drive load from the region 1 only;
4. Load Dir and loader from the backup and try to read the SA.


I Then Replied The Following To Him

Ans : I Have Forgotten Count Of How Many Cases i Have Done By Physical Removing Heads in WDC Drives .When Primary Or Non Primary Head Is Physically Cut The Drive Will Spinup And not find the head knock and spin down .After this we load the loaders once loaders are loaded we use head map in ram function .Like In My Example its gonna be 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7 and i will make it 1,1,2,3,4,5,6,7 .Then i Will Tell The Drive To Spin Down Its Already Not Rotating .Once i Get OK Message I will Recalibrate/Spinup And the Drive Will Keep Spinning Normally .Once This is Achieved We Will Load Dir Module To Memory Using Head 1 In My Case ,Once This is Done We Can Press Soft Reset and Drive Will Load Its Entire Firmware and Get Ready ,We Can Then Quit Utility and Run It Again With Full Data Access Other Then Head 0 That i Had Physically Cut .

PS : We First Have To Agree On This Procedure , If You Have Doubts I Can Make a Video And share With You ,My Problem is that SA1 Dir Module is Empty and If I Use Your Tool To Extract Modules From Tracks Read I Get Only 256 Odd Modules Other Then 529/530 Modules .

I Then Get The Following Reply

Relpy : if the PC-3000 can't extract all modules from the tracks, it can be the issue with the reading, or damaged information in tracks.
Try to extract the tracks from the same model donor and you'll see that all modules will be extracted good.

I Further Replied

Ans : There Are 529 Modules In a Perfectly Working Drive .WD Utility Can Only Find 294 ODD Not 529 As Reported By The Utility .You Kindly Try This on a Gaint WDC 4TB Drive If You Have .I Have 3 To 4 ODD Drives

PS : Can Some of You Try And Confirm This Nasty Bug In Our Forums

Then i Get The Following Reply .

Ans : Thank you for the checking, we will check it with WD Utility developers.

I Am Like What ,So i Asked The Following Querstion

Question :How Can i Solve this Case Till That Time ,Any Chance of Hot Swap This Drive / .Can You Provide Some Details of Imp Modules .

He Again Replies As

1. Install the compatible donor heads, bend the head 0 to prevent the new scratching;
2. Block module 30 access in ROM;
3. Spare the regions in ROM to make the drive load from the region 1 only;
4. Load Dir and loader from the backup
and try to read the SA.

Well i Reason With TS Engineer Again

This i What you are telling me .I Am Very Experienced in Western Digital Myself

1. Install the compatible donor heads, bend the head 0 to prevent the new scratching;

Ans : How Will This Make a Difference As We Cannot Read That Surface And Only Have To Depend on Head 01 Platter SA Area For Firmware ,This I am Able To Read Even Now 100% With My Technique ,Maybe You Folks Need a Demo For This Case .

2. Block module 30 access in ROM;

Ans : I Could Achieve This By The Process I Explained Earlier ,Its The Same No Difference .Idea is To Get SA Access Which i Am Getting for Sure .

3. Spare the regions in ROM to make the drive load from the region 1 only;

Ans : Understood But As Explained We Have SA Access Already .

4. Load Dir and loader from the backup and try to read the SA.

Ans : Well From a Non Native Copy of Firmware We Can Load Dir Module And Overlay Module To Memory Just Fine ,But We Are Unable To Still start The Drive .Once I am There Today I Will Send You Some Logs .Might Be First We Could Come To a Common Conclusion And Then Try It Out Live On Teamviewer .The Bug That The Tool Is Unable To Extract All Modules From This Drive 100% Exists And Should Be Sorted Out ASAP .What Other Tools Like DFL Does Is That it First Searches For Dir Modules In The Saved Tracks And Using That Finds The Modules ,But How To Solve If Dir Module is Empty .In such a Case The Tool Should Find All Modules And Rebuild The Dir Module Which It Fails Totally .

Well i Then Get Another Reply From TS

1) How Will This Make a Difference As We Cannot Read That Surface And Only Have To Depend on Head 01 Platter SA Area For Firmware
Ans. as I wrote before, it will prevent the head damaging. All Heads must pass the head test and be good.

2) I Could Achieve This By The Process I Explained Earlier ,Its The Same No Difference .Idea is To Get SA Access Which i Am Getting for Sure .
Ans. You got only the tracks, not the modules.

3) Understood But As Explained We Have SA Access Already .
Ans. You got only the tracks, not the modules.

4) Well From a Non Native Copy of Firmware We Can Load Dir Module And Overlay Module To Memory Just Fine ,But We Are Unable To Still start The Drive .
ans. because head 0 is damaged. Bend it so it will be good, then follow my manual.

Might Be First We Could Come To a Common Conclusion And Then Try It Out Live On Teamviewer
Ans. If you couldn't read the modules from the tracks even from the good drive, I couldn't do that in teamviewer as well.
I agree it's the issue, we are going to investigate it and provide the solution as soon as we can, but it could take some time: actually it depends on utility developers now.

How To Solve If Dir Module is Empty .
Ans. use the Dir from the same model and FW donor drive, usually it works. PC-3000 can not rebuild the Dir from SA because there was no necessity to do that before: donor Dirs worked fine.

Well Folks What Is This Guy Talking About ,It Is Something i Am Missing Or There is Something He is Not Catching Up From My Conversation .

Well I Gave The Following Reply ....

My First Job For Tommorow Would Be To Convince You That Majority of Professional Data Recovery Companies And Technicians Will Actually Physically Cut The Heads And Still Get Data From The Drive .Secondly Could You Experiment With a Working Drive 4TB Same Gaint Family and Tell Me If Hot Swap Was Success ,We Can Then Try I Will Also Try This

To This I Got The Following Reply .....

It's great that you would like to go your own way and cut the head instead of bend it.Only this way it's possible to learn something new.But I would like to mention that ACE TS will be not responsiple for any damaging in your drive.I told developers about this issue, hopefully they fix it soon if possible.
We haven't such drive in our lab so I can't test it soon.

Well i think He Got Upset At this Point But i again Politely Gave Him The Following Reply

Bending The Head Is Easy On Drives When Top Platter Is Having a Issue ,Its Not Easy For a 4 Platter 8 Head Drive And Its Virtually Very Hard To See If You Have Actually Bend It And It Can Land On Ramp without Smashing When Its Head 0.I Have Never Said Your Method Is Wrong Or Does Not Work ,What i Have Said Is That Cutting The Head Physically From Base Were The Steel Suspension Starts And Then Using " Head MAP In RAM " Function Is What Solves The Issue When Heads Are Physically Cut .I Am Not a Newbie That i Have Cut The Head For The First Time ,I Have Done This a Few Hundred Times Since Ram Headmap Function Came Out In Utility .Well Bending The Head Is Not New For Me Its a Old Technique Used At Times When Head MAP In Ram Function Was Not Out There .Might Be Its Time To Learn Something New at Your End As i am Very Good In Physical Work Myself .Worry Not This Drive Did Not Come To Me Initially It Passed Many Hands At Non Competent Data Recovery Shops/Companies .

PS : BTW Head Slider Is Not Whats Cut ,The Head Steel Arm From Base Is Cut This is Why It Never Damages Media Ever .I Am Very sure You Are Thinking The Reverse .And Kindly Note That I Am Never Trying To Prove My Point I Am Just Saying That Your Technique Will Also Not Let Me Solve The Issue As The Issue I Little Different Due To Dir Module Being ZERO On Head 01 Primary Head


Well Waiting For A Reply On This Till This Time Can All You My Friends Help Me And Tell Me If You Have Ever Worked By Physically Cutting Heads As This Tech Rep Does Not Seem To Agree On this Technique Many of Us Use
Regards
Amarbir S Dhillon ,CDR Labs [ Chandigarh ,India ]
DataRecovery - The Affordable Way In India
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