SITE code: WU
We have received a seagate ST1000LM035 SMR drive today that was showing some signs of life, but when the drive was accessed, eveything seized up and the drive became unreadable.
After lengthy tests on the drive, it was ascertained that one of the read/write heads inside the drive (there were only two) was not functioning as it should. It would read sectors, but at a very slow pace. this meant that any file on the good head was fine, but any on the bad heads slowed down the recovery.
We were able to access the firmware (it was a Rosewood drive, so the ROM had to be changed first, to allow us to access the firmware) and then make a head map of the drive. We also made a full backup of the firmware.
We were then able to turn off the faulty head and read all the data from the good head. Some of the MFT (Master File table) was found in the bad area of the drive, so we slowly read that with the head turned on. Once the recovery was done on the good head, only 40% of the data was there, so we changed some of the settings in the firmware so that the bad head was no longer reading so slowly.
Once this was carried out, we recovered all the other data (around 95-100% of data was recovered)