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Worth removing TVS diode on Seagate hard drive

This is a discussion on Worth removing TVS diode on Seagate hard drive within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi All, I've read a few posts on here and elsewhere about hard drives smoking then giving up the ghost.


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Old 01-12-2012, 10:45 PM   #1
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Hi All,

I've read a few posts on here and elsewhere about hard drives smoking then giving up the ghost. This has happened to a colleague of mine. All the advice seems to be to test the TVS diodes, which I have. The 12v one seems to be conducting in both directions, which would indicate that it is fried.

I would be willing to try my hand at removing the diode with the aid of a soldering iron, except I've also noticed that there is some brown goo on top of the VCM and on some of the connections between the VCM and the board. I think the goo is either a bit of glue to hold the foam pad that lives between the PCB and the drive itself (which seems a bit unlikely), or it has resulted from overheating due to whatever caused the TVS to blow in the first place. I'll post a picture when I get a chance, but this site has a tear down of the same exact harddrive (1TB Seagate ST31000333AS) with the TVS and VCM highlighted ( hddscan.com

My question: Is it worth removing the diode given the existence of the goo? He's got some business data he is very keen to recover. I don't want to remove the diode (although it tests as not working), and ruin the chances of a data recovery company getting the data (which would be the next step).

Any help, much appreciated.

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Old 01-13-2012, 08:11 AM   #2
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If your willing to accept the risks of DIY recovery then remove it and give it a try if no and you don't want to take the chance then send to a pro for recovery its really that simple. Removing it removes any over voltage protection for the drive but it sounds like its shorted anyway. Maybe a pic would tell us more ?

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Old 01-13-2012, 12:30 PM   #3
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Hi,

Thanks for the response. I've posted some pictures on Google+

I guess my real question is, based on the pictures (now that they are available), is, does it seem likely that removing the diode will enable the drive to work properly for long enough to get the data off? I'd say I'd just go for it if it weren't for the goo on the VCM which indicates to my untrained eye that it's not just the diode that has been blown, and I'm obviously not going to replace the VCM.

Any thoughts welcome. It's ultimately up to my colleague how he wants to proceed, but I want to be able to give him the facts and some very broad likelihoods (ie, with diode removed probably will/won't work.)

Cheers,
Sam
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Old 01-13-2012, 01:04 PM   #4
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You need a whole new PCB
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Old 01-14-2012, 07:53 PM   #5
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It looks like the motor controller chip has failed.

When you swap the board, you will need to transfer the 8-pin flash memory chip (near the jumper) block to your donor PCB. This cheap stores unique, drive specific information.

Some PCB suppliers will include a transfer service for US$10.
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Old 01-15-2012, 03:55 AM   #6
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Thank you both for your replies. Whilst I felt confident enough to simply remove the diode, I don't feel confident enough to transfer the ROM/Flash chip to the new board. I've been trying to find a seller in the UK that sells the boards and offers the transfer service, but have been unable to find one. If anyone knows of any, I'm all ears!

Cheers,
Sam
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Old 01-15-2012, 12:13 PM   #7
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Your local TV/AV repair shop should be able to handle the soldering work.

Otherwise there is a supplier in North America who ships internationally for US$3.

Hard Drive PCB - Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 7200.9 7200.8 Maxtor DiamondMax Plus | PCB Solution

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