Western Digital My Passport hard drives are 2.5″ laptop form factor storage disks.

The capacities of this family and brand of media vary from 250GB to 4TB is size.

Typically the labs at Xytron receive emails or phone calls form clients that may have dropped their disk, usually while powered on, the drive then clicks.

Clicking, ticking or beeping noises would indicate a physical issue with the media, such as the heads and or spindle motor attempting to power up.

Re powering the hard drive after it has fallen is not advised, in fact it should not be plugged in again as this will seriously cause more damage to the portable storage drive.

USB 2 and 3 interfaces are used as a quick and convenient attachment to the computer and are used with PC and Mac systems.

The USB port often can suffer from damage during a drop.

Engineers here at Xytron routinely recover WD My Passport HDD from a wide range of failures, such as;

  • Dropped or knocked
  • Liquid damage
  • USB connector broken
  • Firmware failure
  • Not detected
  • Bad sectors
  • Logical corruption
  • Smartware failure
  • Password issues
  • Beeping or ticking noise

Do not attempt a DIY data recovery, many videos and tutorials give damaging, misleading or plainly wrong advice.

Typical wrong advice on websites for data retrieval to WD My Passport (DO NOT FOLLOW ANY OF THESE);

  • Change the PCB
    Changing the PCB will not help at all, all WD disks have specific information stored in the ROM
  • Freeze the hard drive
    This is the worst information given to recover a hard drive, NEVER PLACE YOUR DISK IN THE FREEZER!
  • Format hard drive
    Why would / could this help? It wont, in fact it could destroy your data forever!
  • Open the WD Passport drive up
    Please do not do this, particulate and contaminant will enter the disk, also toughing the platter will leave oil on the surface.
  • Leave clicking hard drive running
    An unusually noisy drive will be an indication of serious internal issues, and will destroy data on the drive surfaces.

All of the above actions should NOT be carried out.

On receiving your failed media it will be scanned and booked into our system, where an engineer will be assigned to your case.

Diagnosis will then commence on the disk, all information that you can supply at the outset will greatly help, was it dropped, is it noisy, or not detected, what are the critical folders and files?

Physically damaged WD Passports will be taken directly to the clean room for assessment, what condition are the platters? Are the platters scored? Do the heads need replacing? Heads replacement on the drive is delicate and requires many skills.

If the heads have failed they will need replacement at cost, we have a superb partner in the USA where we source many of our WD head components, these heads can cost hundreds of dollars each.

If the rebuild of the drive was successful and they have not been rejected by the drive, then the next step would be to check the firmware, this is a very complex area.

The firmware or SA on WD My Passport hard drive is located outside of the user data area, sometimes called negative cylinders, this information is vital, it controls such areas as bad blocks, P list primary list, g list growing list, zones, translator physical to logical geometry, and other such vital information, if this becomes damaged to badly the data could be unrecoverable.

Following clean room work, firmware work, the HDD is then cloned using special hard / software ware devices, which allow such actions as head building , this is useful for damaged heads / surfaces, skipping bad blocks, and reading bad sectors including UNC sectors with a ECC algo.

Logical checking and rebuilding of the file system is the final part of the recovery, so if the P assort disk was SED a self encrypting drive or had Smartware this would need to be addressed, does can the key be recovered from the magic sectors? Does the client have the WD Smartware password? Can the SED be switched off?

Our labs have been trading now for 15 years, our engineers have recovered data declared as unrecoverable by many other companies and understand Western Digital WD My Passport drive technology to a very high degree.


Contact us today for a DR solution to remedy your data loss situation.