Customer's device was a 1TB Western Digital My Passport Air external drive.
External drive specifications:
Problem: The customer stated: the device was used as a “media server” via connection to the main router allowing the MacBook Air laptop, iPhone and iPad to store and backup data centrally; due to traveling, the external drive was frequently disconnected and connected to the router; one day the WD external drive failed to mount; a computer repair technician connected the drive via USB enclosure to an iMac for further testing and again, it failed to register and show in Disk Utility.
Advanced data recovery service in this situation is necessary.
1st step: Since this is an integrated USB interface PCB device, checked the Western Digital My Passport Air’s PCB for any contact corrosion to the drive’s read-write assembly. None found.
2nd step: Since this is a Mac based drive, therefore formatted to HFS+ file system, connected drive to a non-Apple machine to check for any hardware and software errors on the drive. At firmware level, the drive was recognized successfully, which allowed investigating all firmware modules for errors - none were found. Further, scrolling through the drive’s RAW data using advanced hex viewer software did not reveal any bad sectors. Good.
3rd step: Finally, the technicians analyzed the logical key components of the HFS+ volume on the external drive using a mix of manual hex analysis and software volume consistency verification.
4th step: Very important: BEFORE applying any fix, the technicians created an image of the entire drive for backup purposes in case any repair solution fails. Failure to create an image or clone copy of the original drive prior to attempting repair or running data recovery software is consistently the top mistake committed by any inexperienced technicians, whether they work in IT departments or regular computer repair shops. A full drive image was successfully created.
5th step: Applied a volume repair on the My Passport Air drive with advanced data recovery software. Confirmed HFS+ repair and volume integrity manually. Data files were successfully accessible.
Cost: less than $200.
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