WD800JB - PCB Swap & Firmware Questions

I’ve got a WD800JB that hasn’t worked in a few years.  I recently found it again and wanted to try a PCB Swap and attempt to recover my data that way.  I know that just finding a card that looks right and swapping them won’t do the trick due to firmware incompatability.  How do I find out the firmware version my HDD has?

Here’s the specs:


DATE: 23 JUN 2004


Any help or advice would be appreciated, thanks!

Oh, I forgot to put the numbers on the PCB in my post as well.

PCB: 2061-001209-300

If this is your board …


… then you will need to move the serial flash memory chip at U12 (near the motor connector) to your replacement PCB. U12 contains the boot firmware plus some unique, “adaptive” data.

That said, if your drive spins up with the original PCB, then the board is unlikely to be faulty.

What is the actual symptom?

That looks like that is the board.  I actually haven’t taken the board off of the drive yet.

I did hook it up to an old computer and the drive doesn’t spin up at all. No clicking, nothing.

 I’ve only done crude soldering when I worked at an arcade, but I know others that are more adept at it.

Also, which numbers on the drive and board are essential at matching up?  It’s been a bit of a challenge to find an exact match for this drive.

Thanks for the help so far!

I can’t tell you whether two boards are a perfect match. I would at least match the 2060 or 2061 numbers. Transferring U12 would account for any differences in the boot firmware.

I would first try the replacement board as is. You may be lucky.

Ok, here’s an update.

I ordered a replacement board and it just came in today.  After powering it up, the disc spins for a couple seconds, then two clicks happen, then the drive slows back down.  I let it do that 3 times before powering it down.  This is without swapping the U12 chip.  Could it still be a firmware issue if its doing that?

At least it’s spinning again, so I knew the board was bad :slight_smile:

I believe the symptoms are consistent with a mismatched U12. Hopefully a chip swap will fix it. Be careful not to damage this IC, as this will make recovery a lot more expensive. If you are not adept at soldering, try your local TV/AV repairer.

Good luck.

Alrighty, another update.

I took it to a local computer repair place, they were able to swap the U12 chips for $10.  Before he did it, he told me that the U12 didn’t hold any actual boot information or firmware and that it was just a chip that controlled power.  He warned that it probably wouldn’t work.

He seems to be right, now the harddrive won’t spin up at all.  Both with the old PCB / new U12 combo and the new PCB / old U12.

Is there anything else I can do?  I do appreciate the help so far.

Your repairer is wrong.

U12 is a serial flash memory chip. Its marking code should contain a “25”. It contains boot firmware and “adaptive” data. Can you tell us its markings?

The chips that control power are U6 (a multi-ouput linear regulator), transistor Q4 (+3.3V supply ?), motor controller U1, and the MOSFET, inductor, and diode at the top left corner of U1. The latter components comprise the -5V supply for the preamp.

Could we see a photo of your board? It could be that your flash IC was damaged by the original fault. If you have a multimeter, measure the resistance between its corner pins (4 & 8).