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Hard Drive Help Needed!

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting and Repair' started by bigi, Jan 24, 2018.

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  1. bigi


    Jan 24, 2018
    Hi everyone - first post on here so please be gentle :)

    I've just had a power supply fry in my pc, and i stupidly connected a different power supply to the existing HDD power cables without checking the pinouts were the same - they weren't.

    I now have 6 dead 6TB hard drives with all my life on - none of them power up at all, no clicking or anything. I've read fzabkar's excellent post regarding TVS diodes failing, but i've tested them on all the drives and they seem to be operating as expected. howerver, on the Western Digital drive, the zero ohm resistor on the 5V line has gone open circuit, and on the Toshiba X300 drives, there is a component that is black and labelled "3" which I am assuming is a polyswitch of some description(?) that appears to gone open circuit. I have attached photos of the offending boards.

    I am happy to short circuit these but i don't want to fry things further - should i remove the TVS diode on the 5v line as well? Any help would be really appreciated!

    IMG_0672.jpg IMG_0673.jpg
  2. shrtrnd


    Jan 15, 2010
    Most of us are probably hesitant to offer advice which would help fully delete your 'life on the drives'.
    It doesn't sound like a job I'd attempt myself. I'd be looking for help from a computer business who has experience with catastrophic failures.
  3. Merlin3189


    Aug 4, 2011
    If you have another identical drive that works, maybe you can swap the control boards., since this is likely where the faults lie. This was possible on old drives, but I haven't dismantled any modern drives and I don't know how they are assembled these days.
  4. turbogt16v


    Mar 27, 2015
    I am sure this forum can provide solution regardless of computer specialty.
    But people need more info.
    What is power suply power rating you Miss placed,
    If there is no clicking sound it means there is no power in device.
    So its a circiut malfuction.
    Tell us all tipes of drives with focus picture of front and back of board
  5. Chas


    Oct 26, 2017
    Forgive me if I'm suggesting closing the stable door after the horse had bolted, but did you have any form of back up system in place?

    I had experience a few months back of rescuing a dead "clicking" hard drive. The drive was no longer identified in BIOS and could not be read by any means, including with a stand alone USB adapter.

    I managed to rescue the data by doing a head swap with an identical drive and with identical firmware. Did it all at home, and I used some ingenuity to keep the heads separated when transplanting the good head-stack from the donor drive to the drive that had the data needed rescuing. I got the drive working long enough to rescue all the data, and out of interest, continued to run it to see how long it would last. It managed four days before succumbing to the "click of death" again. My other half was given stern words of wisdom to back up regularly to another drive, and to not ignore warning signs that the drive was failing (I was subsequently told after the drive failed that the drive was becoming noisier, and that the computer was also slowing down as a result!)

    BUT, and this is a major but, this was a very old 3.5" drive (320gb) with a four head stack. That was nerve wracking enough, and I would dread to think how it would be to have to do the same on a 6TB drive. Check out head stack replacements on Youtube to see how awkward those things are - some have eight heads per stack!

    However, if your heads aren't damaged, as others have said, it's the controller boards that are likely to have failed. If you can replace/ repair those, then you might get the drives working again. If you replace, be aware of the importance of using boards for the exact model AND with the correct firmware revision number. If either of these are different, there's a strong risk that the drive cannot be read.

    Just so that you can see what is involved if you need to do a head stack swap, this is what I faced last October. Again, be aware this is a very old drive of low capacity. More modern and higher capacity drives will be considerably more complicated. IMG_20171020_141031.jpg IMG_20171020_141043.jpg IMG_20171020_141049.jpg
    Tha fios agaibh likes this.
  6. Chas


    Oct 26, 2017
    How are you testing the drives since the incorrect PSU caused the issues? You didn't mention if you had got the correct PSU and then tried them. Also, I would want to ensure that whatever PSU you are using is confirmed to be working/ compatible with a known working hard drive.

    In your situation I would be tempted to get hold of an external USB hard drive reader and power supply. That way you can test each drive individually. It would also allow you to listen closely with them not in a computer case, and check to see if you can hear any signs of life i.e. the drive spinning up on power on.

    This is what I used to work on the failed drive I repaired, and also to test other drives from any of my other computers:
  7. kellys_eye


    Jun 25, 2010
    Telling and/or showing us how you connected the drives the WRONG way will assist us in identifying how the fault happened and what parts may require replacement.

    Too often I've been led astray by people 'hiding' what they've done and made what would have been a relatively quick fix into a lengthy one.

    'fess up!
    ramussons, Chas and davenn like this.
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