Data Recovery WD5000AAKS Case1

Data Recovery Western Digital WD5000AAKS Case Study#1

Model: WD5000AAKS-75A7B2

Family: Atlantis

Problem: Customer says drive is clicking and PC won’t start, but no known impact or surge to PC. Customer did not attempt any recovery, and has kept power off since they noticed clicking noise. Customer states data is critical.

Stage 1: Evaluation of WD5000AAKS for data recovery

Due to customer statement of “clicking” noise, drive must be examined in cleanroom before powering on. (Powering on any failed drive can cause unrecoverable damage, particularly if the drive is making unusual noise)

Heads are visibly damaged. Platter damage present, but minimal. Critical areas do not have significant damage. Recovery looks possible.

Stage 2: Quote for data recovery, mechanically failed drive

Read head map, microjogs, pre-amp vendor, pre-amp revision from PCB. Found best match parts for head swap.

Quoted customer $750 for the service, and $85 for parts. Parts to be paid upfront, service fee only paid if data is recovered

Stage 3: Data recovery for mechanically failed WD5000AAKS

Cleanroom work. Swapped heads from parts drive to patient drive. Accounted for lid alignment and torque. Swapped heads from patient to parts drive.

Tested parts drive with patient heads. Drive clicks, no access. Tested multiple alignments. Results did not change.

Tested patient drive. Cannot access service area. Started head map editing process. Moved to module search in SA, minor success. Conclude need hot swap. New drive ordered, no cost to customer.

Hot swap successful. SA read, H0 only. Smart hot swap prepared. Repaired damaged modules. Smart hot swap procedure successful. MFT read. Targeted critical data. Imaged. Imaged entire drive for safety. 95% readable. Over 99% of customer data imaged. Saved to external.


Customer was happy with their recovery. Entire process took 9 business days, including waiting on customer for authorization and parts payment.