Firmware Problems

Here’s a specific question about hard drive firmware. Firmware is what ‘runs’ the hard drive and when it goes wrong it results in data being lost because the hard drive becomes inaccessible.

I have a Maxtor DiamondMax 22 500gb HDD. My computer stopped booting up a while back. I took the computer to a repair shop and they told me that the firmware for the HDD was fried and if I wanted to regain access to my data, I would need a replacement board.
If you call and I don’t answer, please text a phone number I’d be able to contact you back on. I can’t answer my phone while working.

I know that Data Clinic, the British hard drive recovery specialists are able to fix firmware problems on hard drives so I expect they’d be able to help with the restoration of your data. They have bases all over the country including London, Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow – their URL is

I can also fix firmware problems myself – it’s a case of repairing the modules that constitute the firmware program. Sometimes this is straightforward and simply and case of repairing a corrupted modules, at other times there is actual damage to one of more of the sectors that store the firmware on the hard drive. These problems can be very difficult to fix because sometimes the data from this bad sector can not be read / written and it does not exist anywhere else. This information is unique and can not be obtained from anywhere else. Without it the data is not recoverable.

Once again of course we come to keeping regular backups of your data. By doing this, it no longer matters if data can be recovered from a hard drive with a firmware problem or not, as the data is replicated to some other storage medium. Personally I like to keep a minimum of two copies of all my vital data just in case I run into problems.