How to tell what is wrong with WD4000KD Drive


 This drive was purring along until Windows 7 alerted me that it would likely fail. Which it promply did upon the next reboot. Although this is only a DATA drive Windows will not finish booting with it installed in the system. (Also tried it in another system). The BIOS detects it but sometimes it dissapears from it. I tried various DOS data recovery programs which see the drive but have not been able to recover anything. The drive makes no clicking noises and spins up normally. I tried replacing the Logic Board with an identical one but nothing changed. I tried Spinrite and it gets stuck about 40-50% in but the sectors look good until then. My question is, what could be wrong. I know it could have bad sectors but how can you tell if its a bad magnetic head or somthing like that. I bought a duplicate of the drive and am debating replacing the heads myself. This allstarted after this current heatwave and my intake vent was clogged. The drive must have gotten fairly hot. Can anyone give me ideas, short of an expensive Data recover service. This drive has 6 months of Photos and Videos on it. :(((

Thank alot

You can use our diagnostic utility below to see if it’s failing.  However, you need to ALWAYS keep multiple backups of all your data.  Hopefully, it will run long enough to get the data off of it, or you’re looking at data recovery.

DLG Diagnostics

Oh, it definietly failed :(  S.M.A.R.T I think was at zero health from the recovery utility. I just dont understand why Windows wont boot with it attached if it’s just a data drive. Do you think it could be a bad head?  I’ve already bought 2 used versions of this drive to maybe replace the heads. One to practice on. I’m pretty good with fixing things but want to wait till I know it’s the last resort. I don’t understand though if it was the heads why it would dissappear from the boot menu sometimes. Doesnt make sense. I guess I’m just trying to figure out which actual part failed. I’ve already ruled out the logicboard and the motor sounds fine, what’s left??


Generally speaking, swapping good boards even between good drives of the same model, manufactured on the same day, at the same factory, will probably fail because each drive has unique calibration data stored on the PCB, either in a discrete serial EEPROM chip, or internal to the MCU. For a successful swap, you need to transfer this chip, or the data, from patient to donor.

When a drive powers up, it retrieves the bulk of its firmware from a hidden System Area on the platters. If the heads are weak, or the SA is damaged, then the drive won’t power up, or it may power up in safe mode with 0GB capacity, or it may spin down, etc.

ISTM that your best course of action is to clone your drive with multipass cloning software that knows how to skip over bad patches in the media. One such utility is dd_rescue (freeware). It can be configured to recover the easy sectors on the first pass, and the difficult ones on subsequent passes. It can also clone your drive in reverse.

Data recovery professionals recommend that you avoid products such as Spinrite or HDD Regenerator because they repeatedly hammer bad sectors and bad heads. This can accelerate their failure. You need to clone your drive as quickly as possible.

Thanks alot. That sounds like a really good idea. I’ll give it a try. Wish me luck. Got alot of priceless Norman Rockwelly pictures on there. Lesson learned about backups. I’ve been using hard drives since way back when I had an Atari ST and never lost data to a failure before I replaced a drive naturally. Guess I was just lucky and took it for granted.

Were you able to get your data??

I am having the same issue with the same model I tried clonning and only get 32 GB, but the info I recovered is not usuable since it is from back 6 months (I had a backup).

I am trying to get a 6 GB PST file (outlook) that have mails from last 3 months, unfortunately the HD is now showing too many damaged LBA blocks.

I am looking for professional help at a reasonable price, any input if there are any chances as to recover info from this HD model will be appreciated.