Hard drive board change??

So I had a 2tb Seagate hdd stop and could not be recognized by disk management or even BIOS. Wanting to try and retrieve data off of this still, I went ahead and RMA'd the drive and opted to get the replacement drive first. The new drive is exactly the same as the old drive except that it runs cc35 versus cc95 as on the old drive. Thought I could simply switch out the hdd's controller board from the new to the old and at least for a bit, be able to retrieve data. That said, the old drive when plugged in would spin and spin, but again, could not be seen (even by BIOS) even as it spun. One faint click at the beginning and then just spinning. Now with the new controller board on the old drive, it does about 1-2 dozen clicks as it spins, but then the clicks stop and it stops spinning. This time, I can see a new drive (only about 4gb's in size), but can never really access it. With all of this said, anyone have further ideas or possibly know what is going on? Anything further I can do? Any further input for help and thoughts is greatly appreciated. Thanks much.
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  1. The clicking is often made by the read/write heads jammed up against the platters, and that's a terminally-ill hard drive. Replacing the board would not help in that situation even if you had an identical board.

    The drive is a scrapper I'm afraid. Much if not all of the data on it will have been damaged too.
  2. As someone what have done many PCB replacements to get data off a dead drive im afraid to admit that once you hear that clicking that drive is done for.

    You can open up the drive and swap out the heads but that requires a 100% dust free environment and patience. Your data is still there, though. If it is important you can ship it off to a lab to recover he data, but it will cost somewhere in the $XXXX range.
  3. If a drive spins up, this usually means that the PCB is OK.

    As for board swaps, you may have been able to do this in the past, but just about all drives in recent years have unique, drive specific data stored in a flash memory IC on the PCB. This chip, or its contents, needs to be transferred from patient to donor.

    Your drive clicks after the board swap because it is unable to locate the hidden System Area (SA) on the platters. That's where the bulk of the firmware is stored. It then reverts to identifying itself with generic information. The flash memory on the PCB contains the "adaptive" information that is needed to locate the SA.

    If you insist on trying a board swap, then 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:

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