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Hitachi DK213A-13 Data Recovery Information


These are some real problems experienced by DK213A-13 and Hitachi hard drives in general that we see in our lab. We are not affiliated in any way with hard drive manufacturers. All the information below is based solely on our experience and we do not make any claims regarding reliability of the specific model. We see mostly failed drives in our lab and therefore we don't have complete statistics.

I think the PCB has died on my DK213A-13(by Hitachi). I got a new external case for it and used the old power supply for it. But I wasn't to know that the pins on the old power supply were the wrong way around so I think I put 12v on the 0v or something along those lines. I can see where it has burnt out on the PCB, which I still have. When I had it connected you could here the drive try to start up and then it would just park itself.
Sam S.
Hartford, Connecticut, USA

IBM(later Hitachi) is widely known in data recovery business for their line of DeskStar HDDs also known as DeathStars. These hard drives, mostly DTLA and AVER families, became infamous for their reportedly high failure rates. It is believed their problems were mainly connected with glass platters - new technology introduced by Hitachi in these hard drives. After some time magnetic layer started to fall off the platters creating dust inside the HDA(Head Disk Assembly). This led to a massive number of bad sectors, eventually killing the heads making all data inaccessible. If you happen to hear that unmistakable repeating scratching noise from your hard drive then this is exactly your case. If you attempt to boot up from such drive or read any data from it you would get "Primary Master Hard Disk Fail", "No operating system found", "USB Device malfunctioned" error, "S.M.A.R.T. Capable But Command Failed" or some other hard drive error on boot. It's critical at this point to stop reading from such drive and bring it for diagnostics to the professional data recovery lab. Any further attempts to read from these areas would shorten the drive's life and may result in further unrecoverable data loss.

wd DK213A-13 burnt chip on board
Another common problem for all Hitachi hard drives is burnt components on the circuit board(PCB). Hard drives are very vulnerable to power surges and overeating and bad power supply unit combined with power streak is usually enough to burn spindle driver chip on the hard drive electronics. Should this occur the computer would reboot or turn off completely, you would normally notice acrid smoke and smell coming from your PC and upon power on the drive would not spin up at all.
When connected, the drive spins up and after about 30-50secs stops while the blue light on the enclosure is still on. Xp does not recognise the drive, stating the USB device has mulfunctioned, same goes with OSX. the problem started when i connected the drive to a freshly reinstalled winXP, prior to that the drive was connected to a MBP (tiger os).
Jurgen L.
Stuttgart, Deutschland

If this is the case you can try to swap PCB from another drive of the same model but the chances are close to zero. Moreover, donor board could "lock" itself causing a good working donor drive not to spin. The problem is that logic board on modern hard drive is adapted to the head disk assembly it was manufactured with. In our lab we use specialized software and hardware to rebuild these adaptive parameters located in the NVRAM to make donor PCB fully compatible with failed drive.

Another quite common symptom Hitachi drives experience is clicking or knocking sound. The drive spins up and the head starts clicking from the start: , . Most often this a sign of bad heads and the drive needs head assembly swapped from a matching donor. Before doing any clean room work, it is very important to perform accurate diagnostics and eliminate a chance of possible firmware corruption that sometimes can also cause clicking.

Hitachi laptop drives(HTS models) share some typical 2.5 inch HDD problems. One of them is heads sticktion to the platter surface.

head sticktion to the platter - DK213A-13
Heads are normally parked on the parking ramp outside of the platters, but sometimes after a fall or abnormal termination they fail to return to their regular parking position and are left on the surface sticking to the ideally smooth surface. It is absolutely impossible to correctly release them without proper tools and experience. Don't attempt to open the drive by yourself - you could easily scratch the media and this will make all your data unrecoverable.

If you experience any of the symptoms described above with your Hitachi DK213A-13 please feel free to contact us to get upfront quote on data recovery from your failed drive.

If you hear your Hitachi hard drive making some other unusual noises visit our Hard Drive Sounds page for more examples.

We have seen a number of websites lately cloning information from our pages.
Stay away from those companies. They can steal information but they can't steal knowledge and experience.

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