Seagate ST5000LM000 Recovery

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New member
My Seagate passport external USB HDD was plugged into the computer when the machine froze up. After hard resetting the PC, I haven’t been able to detect the drive in Disk Management or see anything in the BIOS.

I removed the drive (ST5000LM000) from its external case/USB adapter and plugged it directly into a machine through SATA, bypassing the USB adapter, but it’s still not being recognized by the BIOS.

I’m hoping someone can tell from the audio recording whether this is something wrong physically wrong with the disk internals, or whether only the PCB is damaged.

If only the PCB is damaged, is it possible replace it with an identical board and move the firmware chip from the old PCB to the new one?


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Staff member
It's definitely not an issue with the PCB. It sounds to me like the read/write heads became stuck to the platters and seized the motor spindle. It's fairly common on these models because they have 5 platters and 10 read/write heads.

It should be an easy enough recovery for a lab with a clean room. We see this all the time.

If you are fortunate the original heads may have survived and it won't be too expensive to get it recovered. Just know that the more it's powered on the more likely it'll rip off a slider or otherwise damage one of the heads and run up the cost of recovery.