Do NOT Try to Swap the Circuit Board

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Before Manufacturers Started Making ‘Intelligent’ Hard Drives, Replacing the Circuit Board Did Sometimes Work:

  • However, newer drives (less than 10yrs old) have one (or more) microchips embedded on the circuit board containing "adaptive data"
  • This adaptive data includes information about the hard drive's heads, its firmware version, any bad sectors, and more
  • This information is unique to the hard drive the circuit board is attached to – swapping the circuit board may get a hard drive spinning again, but it will probably not provide access to the user data area of the hard drive
  • The only way to successfully replace a circuit board is to transfer the adaptive data from the original ‘bad’ circuit board to the new, ‘good’ circuit board
  • Even then, if the original circuit board failed as a result of an electronic failure, then the new circuit board will fail too, unless that electronic failure is identified and repaired
  • Either way, swapping a circuit board is technically complex and should be left to a data recovery professional