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WD External hard disk failure...

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

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  1. Asimov

    Asimov Guest

    "Jay" bravely wrote to "All" (13 Dec 05 13:09:31)
    --- on the heady topic of "WD External hard disk failure..."

    Ja> From: "Jay" <>
    Ja> Xref: core-easynews

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


    When a reverse polarity is applied to some IC's, if they aren't
    destroyed outright then they might sometimes store a charge that
    impedes them from working again when the proper polarity is applied.
    Sometimes leaving it alone for a couple of days will naturally
    discharge the semiconductor layers so that it then can function again.
    This has happened to me a couple of times and luckily no damage done.
    It may seem like the device is dead but if there was no obvious smoke,
    give it a little time, sometimes it does clear up on its own.


    .... Just a little force field zap.
  2. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    That is just plain wrong. One approach is a diode across each
    of the two voltage rails to ground which will short the rail when
    the voltage is reversed. That should shut down the power
    supply and protect the device.
  3. Jay

    Jay Guest

    Ok, updates:

    I opened the enclosure and checked inside. There was no blown out fuses
    or infact nothing remotely resembling a damaged part.

    As Ive been thinking, the lights are lit when the power source is
    plugged, and the supply for the lights are after the voltage regulator.
    So i'm thinking something bad has happened to the drive it self. I
    didnt get a chance to test whether the supply goes to the motor or not,
    which i will do today.

    Also I'll check whether the drive works when I connect it to a PC, else
    I guess I'm screwed big time :(((( Professional data recovery is $100 a
    gig :(((
  4. Jay

    Jay Guest

    oh btw, the error in the device manager says Code 10- the device cannot
    be started.
    I run a Win Xp SP2 machine and I tried again by updating it with latest
    USB 2.0 drivers, no luck!!
  5. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    There isnt usually anything visible when its a reversed supply that
    has killed a device. Not always tho, I have seen an optical drive
    produce smoke when some eejut rammed a conventional molex
    power connector on backwards with an internal drive.
    Sure, but that doesnt mean that the electronics isnt dead.
    You can get a situation where the leds are fine since they dont care
    about a reversed voltage, but what is driving them has got fried.
    Yeah, that's quite likely given that some of the external
    cases dont even attempt to regulate the main supply to
    the drive, so it gets 12V reversed if you have the head
    reversed on the external power pack.

    It isnt hard to design the 5V regulator so that
    it doesnt die when its input 12V is reversed.
    Yeah, could well be.
    Yeah, but it isnt clear if that means the
    drive cant be started or the bridge is fried.
    Yeah, I wouldnt have expected that to make any difference.
    Not always,
    Worth the hassle if the alternative is attempting it yourself
    because the in country recovery is too expensive to contemplate.
  6. Doug McLaren

    Doug McLaren Guest

    | Also I'll check whether the drive works when I connect it to a PC

    Really, that's one of the first things you should try when an external
    USB or firewire drive fails.

    | else I guess I'm screwed big time :(((( Professional data recovery
    | is $100 a gig :(((

    It's not always that expensive, but it's always expensive. One of
    many reasons why backups are important.

    (Other reasons? Sometimes, even the professionals can't get your
  7. Arno Wagner

    Arno Wagner Guest

    That seems rather low. I would expect it to be far more expensive,
    like 10-50 times more expensive.

  8. Dave D

    Dave D Guest

    With respect, do you know what a surface mount fuse looks like?

  9. Jay

    Jay Guest

    Yes I do. Matter of fact there was no surface mount fuse, but it had
    PPTC Resettable Fuse inside, thats why it didnt blew.
  10. Jay

    Jay Guest

    There isnt usually anything visible when its a reversed supply that
    Thanks for that cheerful start :)
    Yeah may be, but that takes away the blown fuse part out. So may be the
    controller board got fried.
    It had a voltage regulator, so I think it was safe that way.

    Will go home and do the rest of testing today

    Thanks everyone!!
  11. Jay

    Jay Guest

    Yes Dave, I do. Also, I had PPTC resettable fuse in the circuitry, so I
    guess it will not blow.
  12. Jay

    Jay Guest

    I got a multimeter from work today...checked all the voltages and
    currents, its all perfect, uptill the point where it goes to the HDD :(

    Ill try mounting this drive thro IDE on a PC and let know how it

    This goes on and on for ever..I dont have a PC at home, so need to take
    it to work to check :(

    Slowly my hopes of recovering the data by myself is fading away...
  13. Jay

    Jay Guest

    Also, the design is very well put, it had a voltage regulator and I
    also tried reversing the polarity, the Voltage/current never got in to
    the circuitry at all. I think that the resettable fuse works like a
  14. Rod Speed

    Rod Speed Guest

    That doesnt explain why it doesnt work
    with the power the right way around now.

  15. Listen to the man who said

    "Buy an identical working drive and swap the controller board to recover
    your data."

    Chances are you will get lucky.

    I know that there is one chip inside the drive chamber, a multiplexer
    for head selection and or amplifiers. It's fairly far from the impute
    power so it has a chance of survival.

  16. Dave D

    Dave D Guest

    I see. Good luck with the drive.

  17. Jay

    Jay Guest

    Yes, I will know it tonight. Im plugging it in my friends computer :)

    *crossing my fingers*
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