For physical data recovery cases, head swap is one important step to access again the patient drives and read the data successfully from the platters. However we have recently got many drives with some peculiarities: after the head swap, the drives reach readiness status but you recover no file from them. What can be the reason?

After some research and enquiries, we made a conclusion it’s due to the mismatch of the head adaptive parameters. When we get one donor drive, we remove the good heads from the donor drive and install it on the patient drive, at this time, we didn’t know the head adapter parameters of the good head are pointing to some specific firmware modules in the ROM of the donor drives. Therefore, after the donor heads are installed to the patient drives, the head adaptive parameters lose the previous match of pointing to the previous ROM modules and therefore a lot of regular logical bad sectors occur within the patient drives. So that the data is a mess even if you can read it.

However one of our data recovery tools-HD doctor for WD V6.5 is now helping a lot to fix this problem. Before we perform the head swap, we backup the firmware modules from the donor drive. After that, we perform the head swap and restore the patient drives. We connect the patient drives to HD Doctor for WD and reload to check the head adaptive parameters. At this time, we select to match the head adaptive parameters from the file automatically, you just need to select the saved firmware folder and the program will search and have the current head adaptive parameters to match the ROM modules so that you get one message box telling ‘OK’. After above operation, view the sectors, the data is back and you can now use Data Compass or other data recovery tools to recover the data with high success rate now.