Western digital donor matching guide

The following guide will help you to find the most compatible donor hard drive to fix or repair a damaged Western Digital hard drive in order to recover the data. This will not guarantee 100% success but will improve your chances greatly of finding the most compatible donor hard drive.

This Western Digital donor matching guide is split into two sections. Please first determine by looking at the hard drive sticker which type of model number you have. Your hard drive label may look different to the one shown due to revisions and different models of Western Digital hard drives. But the main matching criteria will always be present on all hard drive stickers.

We have color coded each matching aspect into 2 category's:

  • Pink - Must match (First priority)
  • GREEN - Optional (Second priority)

The following matching criteria applies to both laptop 2.5" size drives and desktop 3.5" drives.

You can obtain the Microjog parameters of your hard drive by downloading and installing this free software WDMarvel Demo. Then convert the Hex code of each head to decimal format here.


Western Digital drives with a 6 character model number after the (-) minus

These drives can be identified by containing 6 characters in the model number after the minus (-) symbol. For example WD3200AAKS-75L9A0

Try to match the following criteria as best as possible to find the most compatible donor drive:

  • Model number: Match the 1st half of the model number completely. Also match the 3rd, 4th and 5th characters after the minus in the model number.
  • DCM: Match the 4th and 5th character of the DCM.
  • Date: Dates should be as close as possible, no more than 3 months apart is ideal.
  • Product of: Country must match.

The following matching criteria must be obtained from the drives firmware. This information is not on the sticker.

  • Heads Map: Match the physical heads map. If the donor contains more heads its ok.
  • Pre-Amp: Match the pre-amp vendor and revision.
  • Micro Jogs: Search for a donor that has Micro Jogs within a number range of 300 for each head on your drive. See the top of this page on how to obtain Micro Jogs for your drive.

Western Digital drives with a 7 character model number after the (-) minus

These drives can be identified by containing 7 characters in the model number after the minus (-) symbol. For example WD30EFRX-68AX9N0

Try to match the following criteria as best as possible to find the most compatible donor drive:

  • Model number: Match the 1st half of the model number completely. Also match the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th characters after the minus in the model number.
  • DCM: Match the 4th and 5th character of the DCM.
  • Date: Dates should be as close as possible, no more than 3 months apart is ideal.
  • Product of: Country must match.

The following matching criteria must be obtained from the drives firmware. This information is not on the sticker.

  • Heads Map: Match the physical heads map. If the donor contains more heads its ok.
  • Pre-Amp: Match the pre-amp vendor and revision.
  • Micro Jogs: Search for a donor that has Micro Jogs within a number range of 300 for each head on your drive. See the top of this page on how to obtain Micro Jogs for your drive.