How to recover data from wd passport – slow responding hard drive


If your WD Passport died and you need your data back, we have a promotion until end of October 2016 watch this to participate:

Western Digital Data Recovery Services
Call 1.855.366.4232 For Assistance or visit us here:
here is our latest video on other problems that WD hard drive may have
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We have spend the last few years working on thousands of these cases. It has helped us create a streamlined process for safer, reliable and thorough data recovery. Going through a Western Digital data recovery task, such as My Passport drive with a very slow response, starts with taking the proper steps to provide a clean, clear and concise verification. By discovering what works and what doesn’t, we were able to create the best procedure to handle this issue from start to finish.

We’ve created a video to demonstrate our step by step process of gaining access to data on Western Digital My Passport drive with a Western Digital proprietary USB 3.0 interface that aren’t recognized when you connect them. It’s important to note that the Western Digital Passport is a very popular hard drive choice these days and we see it come in for recovery with a wide array of different problems. However, some issues are unique to Western Digital.

Before going any further with your Western Digital Data Recovery Project, please note the following:

If your hard drive is making a clicking sound, it needs a head replacement. Power down the drive immediately and contact HDD Recovery Services for assistance. Head replacement is not a DIY type of task. Doing this yourself or continuing to use the drive could create irreversible damage and destroy your data permanently.

The hard drive in our case study video never went through any physical damage. It was never dropped, hit or bumped. The owner took great care of the drive. The drive just wouldn’t load one day. It did make all the normal sounds such as:

Spinning up
Stays idling
Doesn’t spin down
No clicking sounds

If you want to try R-Studio you can download it here:

Dealing With Encryption During Western Digital Data Recovery Process

Decrypting the drive isn’t difficult. We could use either the original USB 3.0 PCB or a compatible USB board from a Western Digital MyBook that uses the same encryption revision type. If you have any questions about decrypting the drive, please contact us for more information. We’d be glad to explain this step further.

SATA Conversion

You have numerous options when it comes to solutions that support specialized USB drives, including ATOLA, Deepspar and ACE LAB. Through extensive testing, we’ve found our method to be bullet proof. It has never failed to deliver solid results. We’ve found that when dealing with passport drives, the best option is to combine ACE LAB products with manual SATA conversion followed by hardware decryption of the image.

When it comes to SATA conversion, there are two different approaches including:

1.Find a compatible SATA PCB from the same hard drive family of the drive you’re working on. Compare the numbers on the main controllers and spindle idle controller to see if they’re compatible. To make it even easier for you, here’s a compatibility list:

2.Solder your own SATA connector. Start by buying a connector on sites such as Digikey, eBay or aliexpress. Remove the capacitors C13, C18, C31 and C37 on the component side of the PCB to disable the USB bridge. Check out the pinout for the 7-pin SATA connector to make sure you have it just right on our blog here:

You use the existing USB connector to get the necessary 5V of power to spin the drive. Though it’s not required, it’s also a good idea to put the 10nF resistor inline with the signal leads. No matter what you do, try to keep the wires as short as possible to make it easier to work with.

Fireware Issues

The majority of firmware issues that occur with WD Passport drives are related to module #32, which is also known as Relo-List. To get past the problem, this module must be cleaned if there are any entries in it. You also need to restrict any further defect relocation entries or you could be faced with another firmware lockout during the imaging process. Handle the problem completely now for less trouble later on. You can do this with the help of tools from manufacturers such as Ace Laboratory, Deepspar, Atola and possibly others. The next step is to check that all other critical modules are in good shape. Run a head test to insure all the heads are responding properly to read commands. If the modules and heads are good to go, it’s time to start the imaging process.


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  1. Thanks for this detailed video….
    I have a WD Passport 1TB
    All folders are there and I can access each file…. unfortunately it has gone very slow….. what would be the problem…
    I bought another drive of 2TB and would like to copy the contents to the new drive…. but the copy is verrrrrrrryyyyy slow !!
    Any ideas ?

  2. My 4tb wd external hard disk transfer files speed is 335kbp/sec or even less than 1mb.. Sometimes 0 bytes.. What's the solution?

  3. Question: If I remove the 771961 Board and replace it with the 771960, it will work (if the problem was the board), that is it? plug and play, no additional work to do? Does the BIOS need to be swapped from the 771961 to the 771960? Thank you! Great content!!!

  4. Need help I plug in my WD Passport Ultra comes up %0 completed does not start the back up HELP!! how can I fix this!!

  5. Hi, I own a 2TO MyPassport WD.
    When I connect it to my computer, it asks me for the password, so I write it and validate. But at this moment, my computer becomes very very slow, impossible to open or use softwares. My hdd appears but I can't open it, and I can't read any information (for example free space on the hdd) either. What's wrong ?

  6. i have one that opens can preview all my pics and movies but wont let me open them any idea how to fix this

  7. I did drop my WD My Passport, about 5 feet down and now it's hard to detect, only on some occasions where I have to keep it in a proper position without touching it. If I touch it, the process will restart, What do I mean by process? When I plug it in the right position, the light blinks and when I check out the detection, it takes forever to load (maybe 5-10 minutes) up and when it does, accessing folders also take long to load (2-5 minutes). When it comes to transferring files, even 100MB takes about an hour. Is this the same case as this video? Do I only need to change the board?

  8. I’m trying to get data off a two and half sata using a program and it shows 530 hours left …any way to speed this up?

  9. Hi, have this problem with my 1TB WD My Passport. I'm not good at soldering, if i want to replace the PCB board with another which one will work? The HDD works but takes too long to read and to be recognized by my MAC. It have a PCB 2060-771801-002, i need to know which one i will have to order or fine a PCB, if you can sell me one i would gladly appreciate it, please help me.

  10. Hi !!!
    In your point of view, what is the best Data Recovery Software available right now !!
    Recuva :
    SystemRescueCd :
    Trinity Rescue Kit :
    Knoppix :
    ………………………….. ??????

  11. Hi there, I had a USB hub that by mistake Had the wrong power supply in, I connected my WD passport to it and since then it's not worked (the USB hub also had a slight burning smell coming from the inside) i noticed it when I disconnected my HD. The HD now does 4 beeps when I connect it to my computer and spins for about 5 seconds then stops, also has a slight ticking sounds when spinning. It's not recognised at all by the computer, the disk utility in the Mac or a couple of data recovery programs I've Tried. Any ideas what has happened and what can be done to get my data?
    All the best

  12. what cables did you connect to the external at minute 13? the one to the 14 pins? I believe my USB port is malfunctioning. the problem is not my cpu, or cable. It spins correctly and light turns on, just not detectable by my mac. I believe I ejected incorrectly too many times and fried my USB port. Im trying to bypass some other way and these kind of externals don't work with SATA. all I want to do it extract data the simplest/cheapest way. Thank you

  13. please help…. my 1 TB external hard drive was encrypted and not finished yet and not responding… I tried to decrypt it but its still not responding… I tried to connect it again but its pops up encrypting … then still not responding… and it ask me the password… I couldn't dycrypt it anymore… and maybe its already corrupted…how to fix this

  14. Перепайка восьминожки с нижним подогревом и феном? Ахуеть!

  15. What if I tried to buy the same hard drive and change the boards between the broken and the new one

    Isn't that going to fix the problem?

    Is there any way to get this board ready and working for sell?

  16. great video but what program software can allow me to to flush and block the system to write to module 32 RBBlist ?
    thank you

  17. Thank you very mutch I ask you that question about 1 week ago and now you give me the answer, I try to convert it to sata with the pins near the motor.

  18. How do you do this to a 2TB Western Digital Caviar Green internal Sata HDD?
    It powers up just like this but it dont post in the bios or Windows

    Since you're skilled in this, about how much would you charge to do it for me?

  19. Hi there…I have the same type of wd hard drive and the same problem….I've formatted the hard drive and try to scan for bad sectors but it takes a long time to scan…I want to recover the important data in that hard drive but it seems that I can't….what can I do to recover the data?

  20. Does anyone know what actually goes wrong with the usb board to cause this slowdown? Is it possible to fix that?

  21. I have a wd passport ultra I was transferring videos from my laptop when an error 0x800701e3 fatal error appears it sometimes it let transfer some videos and pictures after then I uninstalled my passport ultra on my computer and when I plugged it back into my laptop and desktop it said the passport ultra is in the computer but the folder won't load I don't know what to do to solve the problem

  22. Can files be recovered if the power light is not coming on? I cannot afford to send it away for data recovery and all of my sons photos from birth to now are on "My Passport"

  23. Hi, my WD external hard drive started to make a static noise and since then my lap top doesn t recognise my drive anymore and I am not able to read/ access my data. Instead a message pop up asking me to format the drive. Could you please help? I absolutely need to recover all my data as it represents all the work that I have done for the last 5 years !!! Your assistance is crucial, please help me to recover my data. Thanks.

  24. My Hard drive same as yours (diff mine is 2TB) my laptop recognized it but once i open it it will show those folders but when i open it it will hang up (not responding) so i will end process/task to it. and i cant even copy or backup those files. i use any method i dont want to format it because i need those files 🙁 Any suggestions? pls help


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