Data Recovery from Western Digital Caviar hard disk drives

WD Caviar ”SE” series model numbers: WD2500JB, WD2000JB, WD1600JB, WD1200JB, WD800JB, WD400JB

WD Caviar ”EIDE” series model numbers: WD2500BB, WD2000BB, WD1600BB, WD1200BB, WD800BB, WD400BB, WD200BB

WD Caviar ”LB” series model numbers: WD1200LB, WD1800LB, WD2000LB


  • These drives will in most cases appear to slow down, Windows users may well receive error messages such as ‘Windows delayed write failure’, although this is not always the case. It is also possible that the PC will hang or blue screen. In most cases a gradual degradation in performance will be noticed until the data on the hard disk is completely inaccessible. This problem can (and often does) lead to the second and third set of symptoms with continued use.
  • The hard disk is not identified in the BIOS at all, although the drive is spinning and not noisy, the data area is completely inaccessible.
  • The hard disk makes a loud distinctive clicking noise when it is powered up, this is perhaps the worst case of the underlying problem that is common to all drives in these series.

Audio: Listen to a noisy Western Digital hard disk with severe initialisation problems (.wav file, 34k). The data from these drives is often recoverable – this audio file comes from a faulty Western Digital WD400EB hard disk and is a typical failure symptom you may encounter.

Download western-digital-wd400eb-noisy.m4a  >

Cause: A hard disk component containing unique adaptive data for each individual drive can sometimes become faulty, in the worst case scenario the component fails altogether, rendering the drive useless.

Recovery possibilities: Data Clinic are often able to perform a full data recovery on these Western Digital Caviar drives with the above symptoms.

Do Not: Under no circumstances should you attempt to swap the controller board on one of these faulty drives with one from a working drive. This is because the information held on the failed drive is unique to each drive. Changing the controller board may very well cause a mechanical failure and render your recoverable data unrecoverable.

What if I have one of these drives but the symptoms are different?: This is quite possible.These drives are still prone to all the other problems hard disks suffer from ie. mechnical failure, logical failure, bad sectors etc.

What should I do?: Call the Data Clinic and talk your problem through with us on 0800 151 2207!