Connect with us

WD External hard disk failure...

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Jay, Dec 13, 2005.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. Jay

    Jay Guest

    I have a Western Digital 160 GB External USB 2.0 HDD (Model #
    WD1600B008-RNN). It was working well and good and suddenly it stopped
    working when I wasnt around. My brother was using it and he says he may
    have changed the polarity for the DC input. I had a DC adapter which
    can accomodate multiple heads. I changed it to right polarity and
    switched it on.

    When I switch it on, both the green and red lights are always lit, PC
    identifies that there is a USB device connected, but it cannot "see"
    the Ext HDD. Windows Drive Information did not list this drive.

    I tried with WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for Windows program that lets
    the PC to identify the drives but the drive did not show up. I tested
    the input power cable and it is working.

    I suspect there is a board failure as the DC polarity was mixed up.
    Since I dont work much on storage hardware, I suspect that there should
    be a control mechanism/fise which may prevent the board/hard drive from
    being fried.

    So what would be the next logical step for trouble shooting ??

    I really appreciate your help on this!

    Thanks very much!!
  2. Peter

    Peter Guest

    I have a Western Digital 160 GB External USB 2.0 HDD (Model #
    It is rather impossible to change DC polarity for those devices by mistake.

    How valuable was data on that drive?
  3. Jay

    Jay Guest


    The adapter I have can be customized to different input volts and
    different outputs with a variety of heads (pins). Like in the sense if
    I want to use it to charge my camera, I just need to set the right
    input/output combination and change the head of the pin which matches
    to the camera input. But everytime you have check the polarity, and
    accordingly set it in the adapter head.

    The data is valuable to me, lots of my previous work files and I dont
    have a backup for all of them.

    Its something like this except I have a variety of heads..
  4. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    Is it still under warranty ?
    Not with the DC adapters with multiple heads, very easy with most of those.
  5. Dave D

    Dave D Guest

    Didn't it come with a dedicated power supply? Unless it is specifically
    designed for use on third party power supplies then it shouldn't be used
    with one. For example, mine uses a dedicated 12v switchmode adapter, and the
    drive enclosure has a regulator to drop the 12v down to 5v for the drive's
    logic board. The 12v goes straight to the drive and therefore must be
    supplied by a well regulated source. A cheap, multi head adapter will
    usually have atrocious regulation.

    Anyway- over to your problem. Have you dismantled the enclosure and fitted
    the drive to an IDE cable in your computer? (I'm assuming the drive is a
    standard IDE type) Maybe the USB interface in the drive housing was damaged
    and if you're *very* lucky the drive might be OK.

  6. Jay

    Jay Guest

    Nope, I ran out of warranty last year :(
  7. Jay

    Jay Guest

    Yes, the next I'm planning to do is to dismantle it and use an IDE-USB
    adapter, I will just have my fingers crossed on that one.

    Is there anything to watch out before doing that?
  8. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    In that case I'd personally try removing the drive
    from the enclosure and see it can be seen as an
    internal drive in the system, not in the enclosure.

    Not a good idea if its under warranty, but since its not
    and the data is important, worth trying because it may
    just be the bridge that's got killed and not the drive itself.

    If the drive doesnt work in the system, you'll have
    to decide if the data is important enough to be
    worth the cost of pro recovery. That aint cheap.
  9. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    Its a bit easier to try it in the system instead of with an adapter.
    Not really, just see if the drive spins up when first plugged in.
  10. Jay

    Jay Guest

    hmm, can I use the power cable from PC or do I still need to use the
    external DC adapter.

    I'm planning to get another WD External HDD, check the input/output for
    their adapter and use it, incase I cannot use power supply from the PC.
  11. Peter

    Peter Guest

    The adapter I have can be customized to different input volts and
    Seek professional data recovery, or at least find a person experienced in
    this type of work.
    Did it come with external disk? Strange...
  12. Dave D

    Dave D Guest

    No, but it's much better to just try it inside the PC on the IDE cable. That
    way you know the drive will get the proper stabilised 5v and 12v power it
    needs to run properly.

  13. Jay

    Jay Guest

  14. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    Remove the drive from the case and connect it directly to a PC via the
    normal IDE interface and see if it works. If you're lucky, you may have
    only had the USB adapter get cooked. If the drive is still dead, look
    around the circuit board for a diode near the power connector, I've
    fixed a couple drives that got plugged in wrong by replacing that.
  15. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

  16. Arno Wagner

    Arno Wagner Guest

    There is not. Not for this type of failure, since it is rather hard to
    protect semiconductors against it, when you cannot afford a
    signifivant voltage level drop (>0.5V) on the power lines. The only
    way that works would require power isolation and wide-range inputs on
    all logic lines. Possible, but expensive. Nobody does it.
    If you can afford that voltage drop, a rectifier diode on 5V and
    12V input cpuld be used. The logic input protection would
    still be needed, since otherwies the ESD circuitry can fry itself.
    Nobody does this either.
    Think about what the data is worth. If it is enough, then contact
    a professional recovery service. Otherwise throw the drive away,
    there is nothing you can do.

  17. Arno Wagner

    Arno Wagner Guest

    Well, I have to say that not protecting the device physically
    is an accident waiting to happen. Likely the drive and the other
    circuitry is all fried.
    I think the only way of salvaging anything here is that you learn
    a lesson or two. The data will be very expensive to get back and there
    is nothing you can do yourself.

    So here:

    1) Do backups of all important data.
    2) Do not build circuits that can be killed by a simple error
    in handling.
    3) Do not give things that can be killed by a simple error to
    other people.

    Sorry, but I think that you got what you deserved for a dangerous
    design and careless handling of valuable data.

  18. Peter

    Peter Guest

    I have a Western Digital 160 GB External USB 2.0 HDD (Model #
    It seems that OP (or his brother) used a diiferent AC adapter then
    originally supplied with his external disk.
    Accidents happen.....
    Most of them create some damage. Life is a learning process.
  19. Andy Cuffe

    Andy Cuffe Guest

    This is one case that might be fixed by swapping the board from
    another identical drive.
    Andy Cuffe

    <-- Use this address until 12/31/2005

    <-- Use this address after 12/31/2005
  20. But you can use a diode in parallel that trips a fuse.
    And there are diodes too that produce less of a drop.
    (Whatever that's supposed to mean)

    Or use an unregulated supply and regulate internally in the box.
    Whatever is was supposed to mean.
Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day