HotSwap is a popular method used for data recovery in case of problems with HDD service area. Essentially, it means replacement of a PCB on recipient drive with an initialized PCB from a donor drive. The HotSwap mechanism encounters certain obstacles with Barracuda II and Barracuda 7200.7 drives.

In Barracuda II a HotSwap procedure may cause overwriting of some data in Flash memory; after such overwriting the borrowed PCB stops working both with the recipient HDA and its native HDA. To minimize problems with Barracuda II, before board replacement you will have use the appropriate utility menu item to read ROM content
from the donor board or unsolder the ROM chip from donor PCB, read its firmware in a programmer device, then
solder it back. Thus, if you encounter problems with spontaneous reprogramming of donor Flash ROM you will be able to restore its original contents.

In Barracuda 7200.7 family every drive has its own zone allocation which seriously complicates data recovery
after HotSwap. The said peculiarity results in appearance of large gaps while reading or, alternatively, blocks containing “garbage”.

Please keep in mind such HotSwap minus as foreign translator in controller RAM. Therefore, if you decide to
use HotSwap, you will have to employ respective data recovery tools for restoration of logical translation, such as DataExtractor or Data Compass.

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