So far in the hard disk market, we can find many western digital hard drives with USB interface only. You can seldom find some data recovery tools which are able to operate on their firmware section, if such kind of hard drives are not detected due to firmware corruption, it’s hard to restore the drives and recover the data.

How to work on the firmware of western digital hard drives with USB interface only? This is a common problem met by many data recovery experts even if you have good data recovery tools or even if you have USB to SATA or IDE adapters.

Here we take HD Doctor suite as an example to explain how to connect USB-only western digital hard drives with HD Doctor suite. As everybody knows, HD Doctor suite is specially designed to repair firmware failures and restore hard drives, HD Doctor contains HD Doctor for Seagate, HD Doctor for WD, HD Doctor for maxtor, HD Doctor for Hitachi and HD Doctor for Samsung. Therefore, you just need to connect the USB-only WD drives to HD Doctor for WD and then you are able to handle the firmware section.

The following are some simple steps:

Step 1  Remove the PCB from the drive.


As shown in the picture above, we need to remove these 4 capacitors from the PCB carefully. It’s suggested that you can remove them with a hot air gun.

Step 2
Find a SATA data transfer interface from a SATA drive. You don’t need to care about the model number, the firmware version or PCB number. Any hard drive with a SATA interface will do.


It can be told from the picture that the longest 3 pins are the ground pins, the other four pins belong to SATA data pins. We need to connect them together later.

Step 3:


From the back side of the PCB, we can see the pins E71, E72, E73 and E74 belong t SATA data pins. And the other four pins marked with a red square belong to ground pins.

Step 4:


Now connect each pin to their corresponding one. Ground pins to ground ones, SATA data pins to SATA data ones.

After that, you can connect the SATA interface to SATA to IDE adaptor, and then the data can be transfer correctly.

Last but not the least
The USB interface also needs to be connected to your PC as the power supply. Otherwise the drive will not spin at all.

Now we can diagnose or restore the WD hard drive as  usual ones by handling the firmware section.

Many thanks to Ann LeFlore who devoted a lot to the picture and idea of this post.

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