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Will a different firmware version cause trouble?

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November 19, 2012 3:42:16 AM

I've recently done a PCB swap and and I found that the firmware revision is different. The current PCB has a different cache (8 MB) than the original (16MB). My hard drive model is: WD6400AAKS-00A7B2. My current PCB firmware revision is 05.04E05 which is different from the original 01.03B01, from: "http://www.smarthdd.com/en/database/WDC-WD6400AAKS-00A7...". I guess the guy who installed the board wasn't able to install the correct firmware version on the different board, so he went with a close one. The hard drive model is read correctly, so as the serial number, and the drive starts. Here's my smart report:

http://postimage.org/image/7v3ijvxpj/

But I'm worried to use the drive freely, or backup huge amounts of data, fearing that I may cause damage to it or the data along the way... So how safe it is to access my drive and backup the data, and/or use it normally??
a c 85 G Storage
November 19, 2012 4:08:20 AM

ramyzenda said:
I've recently done a PCB swap and and I found that the firmware revision is different. The current PCB has a different cache (8 MB) than the original (16MB). My hard drive model is: WD6400AAKS-00A7B2. My current PCB firmware revision is 05.04E05 which is different from the original 01.03B01, from: "http://www.smarthdd.com/en/database/WDC-WD6400AAKS-00A7...". I guess the guy who installed the board wasn't able to install the correct firmware version on the different board, so he went with a close one. The hard drive model is read correctly, so as the serial number, and the drive starts. Here's my smart report:

http://postimage.org/image/7v3ijvxpj/

But I'm worried to use the drive freely, or backup huge amounts of data, fearing that I may cause damage to it or the data along the way... So how safe it is to access my drive and backup the data, and/or use it normally??


I would never recommend swapping PCBs on hard drives, much less different ones.

It's going to be nearly impossible to list all of the things that can go wrong.
November 19, 2012 4:33:23 AM

Thanks Pinhedd for your reply...
Both PCBs have the same model number 2060-701590-000 imprinted on the board..
What could go wrong, and how would I know if it will happen ?
Will at least accessing the drive and copying the data do anything wrong?
I need to at least to copy 550 GB worth of data..
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November 19, 2012 7:13:15 AM

Come on somebody's got to help me with this...
a b G Storage
November 19, 2012 7:44:16 AM

You basically on your last change salvaging this drive, and even profression recovery might not help at this point (with first recovery try. Either wat, you should try to recover what you can, either normally, or with a recovery tool, or sector by sector. Then toss the drive in the "if pigs fly" bin.
November 19, 2012 8:13:32 AM

Well I have normal access to the drive as far as I can tell... Well my question is will the data get copied error free or will I get things worse by reading it ? and there's still something I can do to prevent the damage in the first place..
Please explain to me why am I on my last chance salvaging the drive??
a c 85 G Storage
November 19, 2012 11:40:40 AM

ramyzenda said:
Well I have normal access to the drive as far as I can tell... Well my question is will the data get copied error free or will I get things worse by reading it ? and there's still something I can do to prevent the damage in the first place..
Please explain to me why am I on my last chance salvaging the drive??


There's a reason that firmware updates are rarely every issued for hard drives (SSDs excluded), they're rarely ever necessary. If the drive is working well enough, the model is the same, and the only difference is the PCB revision and firmware revision then you may just be lucky.

You can use it for now, but it's operation cannot be guaranteed. I If I were you, I would not use it for any data that I couldn't afford to lose.
November 20, 2012 1:44:46 AM

So what you're basically saying is that this firmware version that I mentioned is but a newer version of the original?
And nothing might happen if I just accessed the drive and copied my data and that will be error free?
I will avoid writing anything on the drive. My greatest concern is the data on it...
a c 85 G Storage
November 20, 2012 1:55:48 AM

ramyzenda said:
So what you're basically saying is that this firmware version that I mentioned is but a newer version of the original?
And nothing might happen if I just accessed the drive and copied my data and that will be error free?
I will avoid writing anything on the drive. My greatest concern is the data on it...


Firmware is specific to the exact device that it's meant for. Unlike software, firmware doesn't have the luxury of compatibility layers and abstraction, it's very particular. Electronic devices are black boxes. Two black boxes that have identical behavior can be substituted without issue even if the internals are different. This is why the PCB so far seems to work, it's compatible with the power and IO specifications on the PC side and the actuator, rotor, and read heads on the platter side. That does not mean that it will work for every single edge case that could possibly occur, just the ones that you've run into so far.

My suggestion, get a new drive and copy the data over.
November 20, 2012 2:53:08 AM

Then I suppose that I shouldn't worry that the data will get copied with errors in them ?
a c 85 G Storage
November 20, 2012 3:05:54 AM

ramyzenda said:
Then I suppose that I shouldn't worry that the data will get copied with errors in them ?


Filesystems are pretty robust. There's error checking at the physical layer (drive) and logical layer (file system). If there's errors, you'll know.
November 20, 2012 3:28:46 AM

Well once I did the replacement I did errors checking using error checking tool in windows on all partitions, checking only on the "Automatically fix file system errors" and the tests gave no errors where found.
So is that enough to be sure ?
and will I know if there's something wrong during the copy or when?
!