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Bad PCB WD My Passport WDBACX0010BBL-00 How To Recover Data

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May 26, 2014 5:38:19 AM

I have a USB only external hard drive. It's a portable drive.
I'm using a Mac.
Working fine for 2 years, all of a sudden does not appear in Finder.
The light is on, and sounds normal as it normally does.
Tried a new cable, and different Macs, no help.
Does not appear in "Disk Utility"
In "System Info" comes up as BAD PCB
Apparently WD had "Data Lifeguard Diagnostic" but it's built into the external drive. So no go.
How do I recover my data?
Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you.

Best solution

a c 282 G Storage
May 26, 2014 9:14:25 AM

Well chalk one up for the Mac -- "bad PCB" is more informative than Windows when confronted with a faulty drive.

The "Bad PCB" may be referring to the small, bridge-chip PCB which handles the SATA-to-USB interface conversion. That's often the weak point on external drives, in which case you could try extracting the actual drive and buying a third-party enclosure for it.

Be aware though that you may find the drive has a proprietary data/power connector on the end of it, rather than a conventional laptop SATA or IDE interface. I found a proprietary connector on the HDD inside my WD Passport. Result? I couldn't go any further.

On the matter of data recovery, yet again I must point out that not backing up your data to a second storage device is sheer folly. I've been there and I learned the hard way - - I lost 5 years worth of family memories.
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a b G Storage
May 26, 2014 9:16:07 AM

1) remove it the external case (carefully)
2) directly connect it to the sata port in your motherboard
3) run diagnostic's and data recovery software.
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May 26, 2014 11:11:11 AM

In this case PCB means 'Process Control Block' not 'Printed Circuit Board'; try running verify disk on it.
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May 28, 2014 5:41:53 AM

Thank you... I learned the hard way... Now a 2nd external plus online storage for very critical data...

WD said they don't provide data recovery services, but would recommend a few :) 

I got an estimate from one, for around £300...

Phillip Corcoran said:
Well chalk one up for the Mac -- "bad PCB" is more informative than Windows when confronted with a faulty drive.

The "Bad PCB" may be referring to the small, bridge-chip PCB which handles the SATA-to-USB interface conversion. That's often the weak point on external drives, in which case you could try extracting the actual drive and buying a third-party enclosure for it.

Be aware though that you may find the drive has a proprietary data/power connector on the end of it, rather than a conventional laptop SATA or IDE interface. I found a proprietary connector on the HDD inside my WD Passport. Result? I couldn't go any further.

On the matter of data recovery, yet again I must point out that not backing up your data to a second storage device is sheer folly. I've been there and I learned the hard way - - I lost 5 years worth of family memories.


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May 28, 2014 5:43:32 AM

Can't..
since the drive doesn't show up on disk utility, etc...
and on "system resources" it shows up as "Bad PCB"

JustSomeJoe said:
In this case PCB means 'Process Control Block' not 'Printed Circuit Board'; try running verify disk on it.


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May 28, 2014 5:45:43 AM

This one "My Passport" by WD is a "portable" device with no way to "remove" a cover...
I've given up...
No software can help if the hardware is bad and unreachable...
No more "portable" devices for me... And a 2nd storage unit (one with thunderbolt access) is in the works :) 

qazzi said:
1) remove it the external case (carefully)
2) directly connect it to the sata port in your motherboard
3) run diagnostic's and data recovery software.


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a c 111 G Storage
May 28, 2014 5:57:37 AM

Use a spudger or sharp knife to pry open the plastic clips. You'll probably damage the case permanently, though.
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a c 282 G Storage
May 28, 2014 6:48:21 AM

The WD enclosure can be opened up if you persevere, it's just isn't obvious how to do it because there are no screws, it's all held together by concealed plastic clips around the rim which is visible underneath. No way to do it without destroying the enclosure though, but that's a given as it's only the drive you're after.

Opening the enclosure wasn't a problem for me (plenty of craft tools to hand), it was the damn proprietary interface which made the task a complete waste of my time.
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June 25, 2014 8:38:34 AM

Phillip Corcoran said:
The WD enclosure can be opened up if you persevere, it's just isn't obvious how to do it because there are no screws, it's all held together by concealed plastic clips around the rim which is visible underneath. No way to do it without destroying the enclosure though, but that's a given as it's only the drive you're after.

Opening the enclosure wasn't a problem for me (plenty of craft tools to hand), it was the damn proprietary interface which made the task a complete waste of my time.


I just wanted to second that yes, you can open up the enclosure with a sputter tool and some patience and not damage anything. However as you pointed out the damn interface will not connect to any of my drive adapter tools. I'm stuck too.
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