WD 250GB PCB Replacement

Hi All,

My Linkstation NAS was no longer working, so I ended up pulling the drive as I thought the error was related to a ROM issue with the unit. After plugging the WD 250GB IDE drive into my old computer I realized that the drive didn't show up in disk manager and it didn't appear as though the disk was spinning. Long story short, I ended up pulling the PCB off to see if there is any obvious damage, but I don't see anything obvious. Does anyone mind taking a look at the attached pics and giving me their opinion? I was thinking about replacing the PCB, but again, nothing looks out of place to me. I also can hear what I believe is the head moving across the platters if I angle the disk (although I'm trying not to do this as I'm sure it's only messing up the data). So... I'm debating whether I should spend the money on the PCB and hope it works or just send it out for professional data recovery. Any help is appreciated and thanks in advance.

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More about 250gb replacement
  1. If the drive doesn't spin up, or attempt to spin up, and as long as it is not configured to Power Up In Standby (PUIS), then the PCB is most probably faulty.

    A PCB swap plus firmware transfer should cost you no more than US$50.

    eg http://www.hdd-parts.com/20091021.html
  2. A simple PCB swap doesn't always work (for reasons I can't remember right now). Your best bet is to just to send it to professionals.
  3. Most modern HDDs store unique, drive specific "adaptive" information in a serial EEPROM chip. This chip, or its contents, needs to be transferred from patient to donor. In WD drives, this chip is usually located at U12.

    The following PCB suppliers offer a firmware transfer service, either for free, or for US$10:


    I would advise that you avoid those suppliers who don't tell you that a board won't work without modification. Often they will attempt to obscure the requirement for a firmware transfer by deceptively describing their products as being "for data recovery only".

    Alternatively, if you are not adept at soldering, your local TV/AV repair shop should be able to transfer the chip for you.

    Onepcbsolution.com also offer a firmware transfer service for US$20 if you have purchased your board from a different supplier:


    Some PCBs do not have a discrete serial flash memory chip. Instead they store the adaptive data inside the Marvell MCU (the largest chip). In this case you will need a "PCB adaptation" service.

    The following PCB supplier includes such a service for free:

    He explains his services in more detail here:
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