±Forensic Focus Partners

Become an advertising partner

±Your Account


Forgotten password/username?

Site Members:

New Today: 1 Overall: 35997
New Yesterday: 9 Visitors: 141

±Follow Forensic Focus

Forensic Focus Facebook PageForensic Focus on TwitterForensic Focus LinkedIn GroupForensic Focus YouTube Channel

RSS feeds: News Forums Articles

±Latest Articles

±Latest Videos

±Latest Jobs

Hard drive Logic board issue

Discussion of forensic workstations, write blockers, bridges, adapters, disk duplicators, storage etc. Strictly no advertising of commercial products, please.
Reply to topicReply to topic Printer Friendly Page
Forum FAQSearchView unanswered posts

Senior Member

Hard drive Logic board issue

Post Posted: May 25, 11 01:57

I need to recover information of a SATA 'HITACHI DESKSTAR HDP725050GLA360'.
The disk just doesn't mount. Resistences and power supply are ok, so I think the mean problem is the 'Controller chip'. Considering there might be potentially evidence inside(some private contracts), my only choice is to find the same logic board and replace it, but i don't find a compatible one. (even i have a collection of more than hundred).

¿Any technical idea?
¿Should I try a controller chip transplant?

thanks in advance  

Senior Member

Re: Hard drive Logic board issue

Post Posted: May 25, 11 02:56

Board replacement is not always just a swap, even for with identical boards. Configuration data can be stored in ROMs on the board. Board swapping rarely works.

If the disk / data is important go to an HDD expert. It could also be heads that have failed.
Michael Cotgrove

Senior Member

Re: Hard drive Logic board issue

Post Posted: May 25, 11 03:05

I second that. Does the drive spin up at all?

In my experience mechanical failure is for older/burned-in drives. The only time I have experienced software/electronics failure when the drive was relatively new.  

Senior Member

Re: Hard drive Logic board issue

Post Posted: May 25, 11 03:30

Yes, the disk spins up, power supply is ok. We (me and my HDD electronic technician) already checked the disk heads. I've tried swapping the boards to similar ones(almost same hitachi), it didn't work out, but I haven't found the exactly same one.
My technician tells me that chip transplant could be the only quick solution (we found some candidate chips) so I am asking the owner is he is agree with that. If he is not, i will just return it.

thanks FF community  


Re: Hard drive Logic board issue

Post Posted: May 25, 11 19:14

Have you tried a device that does not use bios methods to recognize the drive such as a DeepSpar Disk Imager?

It sounds like possible SA corruption or maybe bad heads so SA can't be read. You said that you checked the heads, what method did you use to check them?  

Senior Member

Re: Hard drive Logic board issue

Post Posted: May 26, 11 00:58

Well, I didn't follow the case because i could not guarantee to the HD's owner that chip transplant && reprogramming the firmware will solve the problem(considering we didn't have the experience on the specific topic). Sometimes there is not time to test, so I rather learn more about it, && be ready for next time....
Thanks vrocco, Heads were moving at a normal rate, no physical damage, and no platter crush, power supply ok. I didn't test it with tools like DeepSpar, or similar ones(probably i should buy one), just tried Bios methods. As I know these hardware tools are better to recover bad sectors on HDs (just like DDRescue in software), so Would those tools help to recover a HD with a corrupted controller chip?(if that would the right diagnostic)....

thanks for sharing...cheers  

Senior Member

Re: Hard drive Logic board issue

Post Posted: May 26, 11 17:45

It's pretty hard to troubleshoot HDD problems without specialized tools.

I really recommend the PC-3000 UDMA tool to troubleshoot most problems and solve many firmware related problems. It comes with great technical documentation on most HDD brands to help with the troubleshooting process. We've bought it from DeepSpar in Canada. The developper is ACE Labs from Russia. Deepspar also has a great user forum which you can access when you buy some hardware/training from them. If your answer isn't in the documentation, you will most likely find it in the user forum.

As for using the Deepspar Disk Imager, you won't be able to do much with it if it is not detected properly. It can deal well enough with bad sectors and bad heads, but the drive must be detected properly first.

For Hitachi drives, you should only have to match the product number to be compatible as a donor drive.

As another poster said, if your drive contains valuable information and you aren't equipped or confident in your knowledge about HDD repair, you should consider sending the drive to a professional HDD repair and recovery shop.  

Page 1 of 1