I figured a pro service would be about the only option. The reason for the query is the HD is within WD warranty period and am debating whether to RMA it. There is a lot of personal data on the HD. In this day and age, one has to be quite careful in deciding what to do.
BTW, I didn't lose anything, except some time, as everything was backed up literally hours before the crash. I am a stong believer in daily (nightly) backup using Raw Metal software and external storage.
So you're not trying to recover its data, but are concerned whether it COULD be recovered by someone else if you return it for replacement. Well, there is a possibility that its problems are software-related, not hardware. That is, maybe the disk works, but has bad unreadable data in a couple spots. In that case you could try to download some utility (from WD or some freeware elsewhere) that would zero-fill the drive, or even overwrite it with more complex data patterns to ensure that data is unrecoverable. If it works, you can stop worrying. If it does not, chances are nobody else will be able to read off data from a drive you could not write to.
This whole question has to do with possible identity theft and preventing it.
To begin with:
I originally set up two WD Raptors as RAID 0 using the onboard RAID controller on an EVGA motherboard. Worked fine for two and a half years. Then, on reboot, bootdisk not found. So I rebooted and went into the RAID routine which is part of the boot up process on the EVGA motherboard. It only found one of the two HD's.
So I shut the system down, checked SATA power and connector, and then powered back up. Only one HD. Shut down, removed power to the bad HD, powered up, only the HD seen before was still seen.
In doing some research, after posing the query and seeing responses, I have the impression that the only way data can be recovered in a RAID scenario is if all of the HD's are provided. In my case both of the HD's since I'm using RAID 0. But I'm not sure if I am correct.
So my real question is what if anything can be recovered on a RAID 0 HD that is dead where ONLY the dead HD is provided? For example, what if the circuit board in the dead HD was replaced? Or what if the platters were removed from the dead HD and placed in another HD case?
What I would like to know is what, if anything, is on the dead WD HD? Fragments of data which could be read?? Data that is so disjointed that no one could make heads or tails out of it.
It's certainly possible to recover SOME data from a single member of a RAID-0 set, but it wouldn't as easy as running a file recovery program. If your RAID stripe size was 64KBytes, for example, it would mean that data was split up over the 2 drives in chunks of 64KBytes. 64KB on one drive, the next 64KB on the other, the next 64KB on first drive, the next 64KB after that on the second, and so on.
So yes, there is some data there and if you're especially sensitive about it then perhaps you should be worried. But getting the data off would be a lot of effort because the metadata that tells you WHERE the files are is also split up in the same fashion, and this makes it very difficult to find specific files. The most likely attack (assuming someone could get the drive working again) would be to just dump all the sectors and then search for interesting patterns like standard credit card number prefixes.
Unless you know that someone is specifically targeting your data I'm not sure I'd worry about it too much. But it's your call...
Personally I'm pretty careful about what I store on my machine in the first place because the d*mn thing can be stolen lock stock and barrel a helluva lot more easily than trying to recover data from a dead RAID set member.
my mistake. then like others have said, data recovery would be so near impossible you shouldn't worry about it and send it in. No one would go through the kind of trouble it takes to recover the data unless they knew for sure that there was something really worth while on it.