Peculiar problem with WD 3.5 service area issues, $50 bounty!

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I have a peculiar problem with a WD drive, I will gladly pay somebody a $50 USD bounty via paypal (or equivalent crypto if available on coinbase) if they have the correct solution.

Drive model: WD5000AAKS-75V0A0
Symptoms: Clicking on startup, no ID, stuck in BSY
Heads: 2 (0 and 1)

What I have tried:
At first I blocked SA access in ROM, which resulted in PC-3000 being able to access service area. All modules in both copies of SA read perfectly. Heads test for heads 0 and 1 pass read/write. However, if I read the SA regions, region 1 has some "DISK DAM" errors. Uploading loader from SA does not give LBA access nor ability to read user area via utility.

Editing head map in ROM does not give LBA access, setting to 00 or 01 results in no ID/BSY and inability to send/recv commands.

The closest I have got is to edit regions in ROM and point both of them to the start of region 1. In this case, the drive IDs correctly and LBA access is possible for latter half of drive (H1). Editing head map in RAM to include both heads fails to solve the problem. Pointing both regions to start of region 0 results in same symptoms as original.

Is it possible to re-write the entire region elsewhere? Why would this drive start up fine with region 1 and not region 0, when region one is the one showing "DISK DAM" error?

Thank you for your help :D


Staff member
I can probably solve it for you, but I'd need remote access to try things and see what's going on. Probably there are some damaged modules that can read by ABA but not by ID, or something like that.


I would be greatly appreciative if you could help! I'll be in the office tomorrow (Mon) from 12:00PM to 6:00PM PST, but can make pretty much any time any weekday work after 10AMPST. I'll PM you my contact details