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Dell Error Code 0142 Data Recovery Case Study: Samsung ST1000DL004

Dell Error Code 0142 Data Recovery

Dell PSA Error Code 2000-0142 "Hard Drive 0 - self test unsuccessful"

In this Dell error code 0142 data recovery case, the client found that they could not start up their Dell PC. Using Dell’s PSA hardware diagnostic tools, they were met with the Dell PSA error code 2000-0142. This particular PSA error code told the client that the 1 TB Samsung hard drive inside their PC had failed.  The client took their hard drive to a local computer repair shop to see if any data could be salvaged. The repair technicians then directed the client to us for our data recovery services.

Dell’s PSA (pre-startup assessment) tool help Dell PC owners figure out which hardware components are causing a PC to fail. Depending on where the point of failure is, the tool will spit out a specific error code related to the failure. These failures can be related to corrupted memory, CPU failure, or an inability of your hard drive to pass a self test. The third example is what the Dell error code 2000-0142, sometimes also seen as error code 2000:0142, refers to. Occasionally, a Dell error 0142 can simply be fixed by adjusting the SATA cables connecting the hard drive to the motherboard. But in this case, the hard drive was truly dead.

Dell Error Code 0142 Data Recovery

Dell PSA Error Code 2000-0142 “Hard Drive 0 – self test unsuccessful”. Also seen on other systems as Dell Error Code 2000:0142, this error indicates a failure to communicate with the hard drive.

Dell Error Code 0142 Data Recovery Case Study: Samsung ST1000DL004 with Failed Read/Write Heads
Drive Model: Samsung ST1000DL004
Drive Capacity: 1 TB
Operating System: Windows
Situation: Dell 2000:0142 error code in PSA diagnostic tool – Hard disk failed, self test unsuccessful
Type of Data Recovered: Business documents, Quickbooks file
Binary Read: 8.4%
Gillware Data Recovery Case Rating: 9

Dell Error Code 0142 Data Recovery

After the hard drive arrived in our facility, it went straight over to our cleanroom for evaluation. Our cleanroom hard drive recovery engineers inspected the Samsung hard drive to find the cause of its failure. What they found, upon inspection, was that this 0142 error code had been caused by a failure of the magnetic read/write heads. The read/write heads are the hardest working components inside a hard drive. As such, they are also often the first components to fail.

The read/write heads themselves are tiny coils of copper resting on the ends of comparatively giant metal arms. A voice coil allows these arms to move up and down, carrying the heads just above the radius of the spinning disk platters. You will almost always find several heads in a modern hard drive, stacked together to form a head stack array. During normal operation, these heads float only a few nanometers above the platters. Electrical currents travel back and forth across the head stack arrays. This current can transmit and alter the magnetic field on tiny sectors of the platters. This is how the heads perform both read and write operations for the hard drive.

Replacing a hard drive’s failed read/write heads is a difficult and delicate procedure. Only professional hard drive data recovery experts should attempt it. Our engineers were able to find a compatible donor in our facility’s hard drive donor library. Sometimes it can take many sets of donor heads before our engineers find one that matches. This is because individual hard drive calibrations are so unique that even donor heads from the same model of hard drive may not perform adequately. Fortunately, it took only one set of read/write heads to get this Samsung hard drive into working condition.

Read/Write Heads Data Recovery Aftermath

After one set of replacement heads, our engineers could start reading data from the client’s hard drive. The Samsung ST1000DL004 drive then went over to our logical imaging technicians. Then, using our proprietary data recovery tools, we made a forensic write-blocked image of the drive. We could perform logical analysis on this drive during the imaging process. With the healthy replacement heads, we could read all of the hard drive’s file definitions. Once we had done that, we knew about all of the files on the disk the client needed recovered. We took advantage of the drive’s bitmap file so that we wouldn’t have to image the entire drive. By only imaging the used areas on the disk, we could save time and get the client their files faster.


This Dell error code 0142 data recovery case turned out to be a success. 99.9% of the client’s files on their hard drive lived inside only 8.4% of the device’s total capacity. There were a few unreadable sectors on the platters that got in the way of a perfect recovery. However, the client’s important business documents, including their most recent Quickbooks file, were pristine. Our data recovery engineers then tested these files to make sure there was no corruption. After a request from the client, we presented them with a list of recovered files to look over. Our engineers rated this Dell error code 0142 data recovery case a high 9 on our ten-point data recovery case rating scale.

Gillware Data Recovery has a special partnership with Dell for data recovery cases. If you are a Dell user and have lost data due to a hard drive failure or logical issue, get in touch with us. Whether you’ve encountered the same Dell 2000-0142 error code as this client, or if you have a different issue, we are more than happy to provide you with our financially risk-free Dell data recovery services.

For Dell 0142 error codes, contact one of our recovery client advisers today!

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