Literally fried external HDD's PCB, think it can be saved?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by indigoflowAS, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. indigoflowAS macrumors 6502

    indigoflowAS

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    #1
    So, I have a 120GB drive in an external enclosure and I plugged in my computer speaker power adapter into it by mistake (same size fitting) and gave it too many volts to have it crap out after a couple hours. The green circuit board under the HDD had a visible burn mark and smelled of burned electronics.

    So my question is...do you think that the PCB took the brunt of the damage and if I replace that part, the remainder of the drive is ok (aka the motor for the platter and other unexposed components). I found the necessary PCB on ebay and don't want to fork over $30 and have other parts be dead as well.

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #2
    There's so much precision engineering and complexity in modern hard drives that I probably wouldn't waste the $30 unless you were desperate to get the data off of the drive, and even then I still wouldn't use it after I salvaged what I could (particularly given that a brand new drive is probably under $50 if it's a 3.5" one).

    Thing is, even if the PCB on the drive did take the brunt of the damage, it's more than likely (given that it's visibly fried) that some of the sensitive internal components got hit with conditions that they aren't happy about. If they didn't fail immediately, they still may well have sustained damage that will show up soon enough.

    I've also read in the StorageReview forums that there is custom adjustment that each individual drive has that would render it unable to read data even if you did replace parts, but that may or may not be true in this case--I have no idea what the firmware on the drive stores. I know that most (all?) modern drives internally remap bad sectors, and I assume that's stored somewhere, but I don't know if it's on the drive itself or in nonvolatile storage on the controller.
     
  3. indigoflowAS thread starter macrumors 6502

    indigoflowAS

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    #3
    Great thanks for that very logical and levelheaded answer. I think you're right in just getting another drive...I was just thinking of how to save myself a couple nickels cause I'm desperate for gigs. Prolly put those $30 towards a 500 gigger :) Thanks.
     
  4. jtown macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    #4
    Which PCB are you talking about? If you have an external drive, there are two major components. The case and the drive. If you just fried the PCB that's part of the case, you can get a replacement case for $10-40. If you're talking about the PCB that's part of the hard drive, you're hosed. Data recovery services start in the 4 figure range.
     
  5. indigoflowAS thread starter macrumors 6502

    indigoflowAS

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    #5
    Yeah, PCB that is attached to the drive...don't think I'll bother with getting a replacement. The data is not that vital on it, couple of class projects, but I'll live, want the space more than anything. Save some and get a new, bigger drive.
     
  6. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2002
    Location:
    The West Loop
    #6
    -indigoflowAS

    You should probably get an IDE/SATA snooper kit for emergencies just like this.

    Example Here...
     

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