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fried external western digital

by mintzs1 / April 17, 2016 8:18 AM PDT

Well, I finally did it. After working on computers since 1978, I finally managed to spill a coke all over my desk, keyboard, and on the floor next to my desk, and, my older generation Western Digital external drive. It had a screened top, and it wasn't until later that I realized the coke spilled over the side and seeped into the disk drive. surprise! it no longer works. Any suggestions

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by Mighty_Miro_WD Western Digital staff / April 18, 2016 1:53 AM PDT

Hi @mintzs1!

Can you feel the drive spinning? How does it appears in Disk Management? Can you see it in My Computer?

If it doesn't spin up, or it is trying but it is not recognized, then IMO it will be best to contact a data recovery company and see if they can help you out to recover your information. Here's a link you can take a look at with few WD recovery partners:

However, if it is recognized and spinning you can try to access the content with Linux Live CD. All you have to do is just download/burn the ISO image to a CD or USB and change the boot order to the media you burned the Linux on. Once it loads, you could try and mount the drive (or if Linux can read it, it will mount by itself) and see if you can transfer the files from the external.

Hope this helps and let me know how it went. Feel free to upload some screenshots from Disk Management and My Computer as well so I can take a look at them too. Happy

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mothing in my computer
by mintzs1 / April 18, 2016 8:02 AM PDT

Yep, I think the board is fried. When I plug it in to the usb, I hear, feel nothing, and I see nothing in 'my computer'. . I guess the coke shorted something out. Since the drive is probably sealed, the data is most likely there, but I will probably need new electronics.

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It depends a lot on what model WD external it is.
by Jared Palmer / April 18, 2016 8:02 AM PDT

If it's a much older unit, you can try just taking the HDD out and connecting it to a computer and see if the drive itself might be good and it's just the USB bridge board that went bad.

If it's a newer WD My Book, you can still test that way to see if the drive is good. However you should know that the data will be encrypted by the USB bridge and you'll have to carefully match a replacement board.

If the hard drive itself is bad, it's most likely just a fried PCB board. You can replace the board by matching the PCB number which will be a number starting with 2060- followed by a number and a revision number (E.G. 2060-771645-001 REV A). It's not the one on the white sticker, it's actually in the green part of the board. You can replace the PCB with another one which matches this number, however you will usually need to transfer the U12 chip which contains the adaptive ROM code.

If you data is really important, you may want to have a pro data recovery shop handle it. I know here where I work (Data Medics) we charge a flat $450 for cases like that, so don't agree to pay much more than that or you're likely being ripped off.

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About the PCB swap
by Mighty_Miro_WD Western Digital staff / April 18, 2016 11:57 PM PDT

The OP can try to do so if he wants, but I won't recommend it. I'm not saying that not only because this is an unsupported and not recommended operation in general, but mostly because that the risk of damaging the drive further is too big and that the chance of finding an exact match of a PCB is really low due to the differences in firmware over the years.

Furthermore, the danger is that it may (will) have different settings for how to align the heads to the tracks on the physical disk surface, and when it tries to write anything (which it will) it will result in all your data being obliterated.

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