I have a dead 1.5 TB WD Caviar Green hard drive that I'd like to try to fix by replacing the drive's PCB.

The drive was housed in an external enclosure. After a power cycle, neither the drive nor the enclosure would power up, and the computer would not recognize the drive as being connected. I tried it in a different enclosure, with the same results. I suspect that the 1st enclosure has damaged the drive's electronics (this is the second drive it's killed in this way) but the data on the platters is OK.

Here's the drive's information:

From the top sticker:

Model : WD15EADS-00P8B0
WWN: 50014EE0AC71C1AC
DATE: 11 NOV 2009
LBA: 2930277168
5VDC: 0.70A
12VDC: 0.55A
R/N: 701640

From the PCB:

Printed on the board itself: 2060-701640-002 REV A
On a sticker with a bar code: 2061-701640-202 04PD1 XW 8R41 UTMD 6 000 4180 0184

Here's some images of the drive:

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enter image description here

My questions are:

  1. I understand it's very important to get an exact match to successfully replace a drive's PCB. Which of the above information is relevant to a match, and which of it is irrelevant?

  2. What are some good places to get replacement PCBs for hard disks, or places to get a matched drive to harvest a PCB from?

  3. If you've replaced a PCB of a hard drive, what what you experience?

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    Since that drive is dated 11 Nov 2009 and has a 3 year warranty, on the basis that it may be a 'random' drive failure, why not RMA it - unless, of course, you are desperate for the data on it? – Linker3000 Dec 4 '10 at 22:16
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    I think by implication he is desperate for the data (otherwise replacing the PCB is NOT cost effective with today's drive prices). – Slartibartfast Dec 4 '10 at 23:01
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    I am wondering how many do-it-your-self have actually done this successfully. There is bound to be a website that specializes in selling you the correct board....hddzone.com.. . hdd-parts.com – Moab Dec 5 '10 at 3:23
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    and onepcbsolution.com I read on here tomshardware.co.uk/forum/238328-14-help-seagate-300gb-fried that firmware has to or may have to be the same too. So even same model may not be enough. but may not be a disaster if the firmware isn't. See if those places hddzone hdd-parts, onepcbsolution, have advice.. do post it herewith updates on how you go.. The obvious is that if it's a risky business and your data on it is extremely important then it may be worth taking to a hdd repair place. but if you do it yourself then great.. keep us up to date with info.. – barlop Dec 5 '10 at 10:34
  • The data on the drive is more valuable to me than the drive itself, but not valuable enough for me to pay hundreds of dollars for professional recovery (basically, it's the time and effort spent ripping my CD & DVD collection--this was my media disk, and that's why I didn't think to back it up, since technically I do have backups). I also think it would be neat if I could pull this off. – Kaypro II Dec 5 '10 at 20:33

The websites referred to by Moab in his comments are the only two I know of that will help you find correct hard drive PCBs. Firms that do this professionally simply buy an entire matching drive and remove the board from it.

Know that this is a very risky operation. The connections between the board and the hard disk are surface-mount-soldered to very small pads. I doubt there are any humans that can do this completely reliably, it's very difficult. Drive recovery firms use custom jigs and specialized devices. If the data on the drive is valuable to you, you should really have the drive serviced by professionals (which, to my experience, are far more likely to conduct a platter transplant, as this is faster and easier than a PCB replacement). Essentially, I think you're guaranteed to fail, possibly expensively.

  • I wouldn't mind buying a donor drive either, if that would be easier. Just as long as I can find a place that will match the relevant parameters to give me a compatible donor. I'm totally OK with the risk here, I just have a chance of success once I start taking things apart. – Kaypro II Dec 5 '10 at 20:40
  • "I just have a" -> "I just want to have a" – Kaypro II Dec 5 '10 at 20:48

I had a similar issue... My hard=drive was no longer recognized by the computer bios. My drive happened to be a Seagate Barracuda 7200.10. I really needed to recover my data. I think it is important to note that I had, had no other issues with this drive prior to this... it just suddenly was not there on boot. Further investigation showed the hard drive was "clicking". So I thought I would take the risk of replacing the board given no previous issue with noise or read/write to the drive. Ordered my part ( EXACTLY ) installed it and voila... it now works... backing up my data at this very moment! I am so pleased.
I got my new board from http://www.onepcbsolution.com/ Their site was easy to navigate and I was able to find a match for my drive. Shipping was fast and item was accurate - and also included the proper screwdriver just in case I didn't have one :) Nice Touch.... and of course this solution worked for me .. so I am very happy. Good Luck! Kellie


The HDDZone.com has a guide for drive replacement here: http://www.hddzone.com/conditions.html

You can also contact them for help.

  • I hadn't heard of this aspect before "You should move the BIOS from your original PCB by using hot-air gun, and then solder it on the replacement board. Some electronics repair shop can do it. Move BIOS is not difficult. You just need do it carefully." – barlop Jul 20 '11 at 3:51

Match the board number which is etched on the PCB. The number is printed on the PCB’s back side (the side without chips).



Try experimenting by taking the PCB on and off cheap small capacity old drives Not necessarily swapping them.. Just taking it off and putting it on. See if they're still fine.

If that works, then you've got a good chance of success.

One issue can be if the firmware on the same model drive is different. But see what the people selling PCBs say.. and you'll get the right PCB. Do report back on identifying the right PCB if it goes beyond model number..

And if it worked or not. But I think with that plan, you have a great chance of success.

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