Toshiba Head Swap Experiences

Don't Lose Your Data Forever!

DIY data recovery has risks. You could lose your data forever! Don't want to risk it? Talk to a professional now.


lcoughey":y6i7j61u said:
[post]17550[/post] I'm having a miserable time with an MQ01ABD100 AAH AC11/AX1R4C. It detects but can only read head 3 via utility, and with lots of errors. I've changed the heads with 4 different donors and not a single set would allow the drive to detect. I don't normally have this much trouble with Toshiba, but am thinking this is more of an issue with SMR than anything. I may have to order an identical model with all the numbers matching to be confident that it isn't just a compatibility issue.

Can't it be media damage?


New member
pclab":vupghf2q said:
adasrip":vupghf2q said:
[post]17539[/post] Hello.

The patient is a Toshiba MK5075GSX. It is difficult to find a fully compatible donor according to the label.
According to your experience, can I use MK5065GSX as a donor?
If not, do you know any other compatible model?

Actually I'm also doing a job on the exact same drive, but I had an exact match.

You can try the 5065GSX, if you already have it, because Toshiba drives are very permissive.

Actually, I don't have it yet. I am still thinking about the MK6475GSX model. Different capacity but same family.
However, from what I can see, no one here has experimented with donors of a different capacity.


Staff member
I don't know if the heads will physically work in such a case... Do heads 0 & 1 even properly line up with the platter height? :?


New member
Physically there is no problem. The housing is the same for both types. Also the ramp is designed for four heads in 050. Only difference is the height of lower magnet. I tried with old drives from the trash - it fits (the upper ramp has to be cutted to prevent H2/3 hit against it and lower magnet should be swaped also).

I've ordered a 050 donor for now. After case is solved i'll play around with it and post the results.


New member
Case solved. I ordered a perfectly fitting 050 (date, revision) - but it also had 4 heads and doesn't read. I was about to give up because I couldn't find a suitable model.

After 3 weeks of vacation by the sea and another head swap (MQ01ABD100), the drive now reads stably at 10MB / s via the Active Utility option.

That means - MQ01ABD100 Heads (2 Platter 4 Heads) work in MQ01ABD050 (1 Platter 2 Heads) Drives - if lower magnet is swapped and ramp of the upper two Heads is cutted.

My conclusion: a free (human) head is important. @Jared: I can understand your decision and I wish you the best for your future life. And I hope that a worthy successor can be found.

Best regards.


Staff member
Glad to hear it worked. I just did something similar with a Hitachi yesterday. I used heads from a 2 platter drive in a 1 platter drive. Rather than cutting the ramp, I just kept a piece of rubber in there that held the unused head at the right height to pass harmlessly onto & off of the ramp. Lasted long enough to finish imaging all the data, so that's a success.
Hi everyone,
i have a MQ04UBD200 AZA AB01/JT000U drive (4 heads, 2 platters).
I've already cloned on head 1,2,3. Head 0 was very weak and it died before finishing to clone (remaining about 263.000.000 LBAs not cloned yet).

At the moment i don't have a 2TB MQ donor drive for head swap but i've a pair of MQ01ABD050 AAS AAF2/AX0A3H (2 heads, 1 platter) here.
Does somebody know if this would be a valid head swap donor for cloning just on head 0 ?


MQ01 is not SMR. MQ04 is SMR. There is no way that the heads on the 500GB MQ01 will be equipped to handle the platter density of a 2TB MQ04 on a good day, let alone with SMR being brought into the picture.