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fried HDD circuitry! expertise requested. pics included

1059 Views 17 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  ejames82
i really lucked out. a computer was given to me at a yard sale. darn, it didn't work when i hooked it up.
i tried another hard drive and the new hard drive worked enough to know that the original hard drive had a problem.
since the computer had the original COA still on it, i thought it might be worth investigating the original hard drive a little bit. it didn't take long to find the reason why the hard drive was defective. a fried component. here are pics uploaded to imageshack.

i don't know what the component is called, but it's just below the second and third molex power pins. it's kinda tilted to the side. it's geometry alone suggests something not right.

i know this is very tricky, and a huge amount of good luck also has to come into play, but i would like to exchange the circuit board with a good one, if possible. i have a couple hundred hard drives now. there just MIGHT be a chance of finding an exact match. i just need to know what to look for and where to look on the circuit board itself.

your expertise would be most appreciated.
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What is the model number of the drive. Most newer drives do not take a direct circuit board swap and require swapping the ROM chip from the old drive to the new. This looks like a TVS diode, you could google the numbers on the diode and just swap a compatible TVS from one of the other boards you have. Numbers don't have to match, just the parameters. For more info on this issue search tvs diode here on the forum.

you're the guy i was hoping to hear from.
the model number of this fried hard drive is ST340015A

though it's probably not relevant, i figured it probably wouldn't hurt to say the S/N is 5LA1BRB5 and the P/N is 9Y3001-001 the HDA P/N is 100271841 the configuration level is DWWU1 and the firmware is 3.01

"Most newer drives do not take a direct circuit board swap and require swapping the ROM chip from the old drive to the new"
obviously, i'm hoping to have an "older" one. i'm hoping to just swap circuit board (hoping for some luck to go my way). most of the reason i say that is that it looks tricky to unsolder and solder. i'm 99.9% sure that i have other ST340015A seagate hard drives at my disposal.

i'll search the forums for "tvs diode". this sounds like invalueable info to have. could you please let me know if this is an "old" type that a circuit board swap could be allowed?

thanks again raptor_pa!
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That one 'may' probably worth a shot, you will need to match
Model number
firmware revision
configuration level
country of origin and the date will need to be close. if you google SSeagate date code, there are a couple of pages that will translate the date code to a readable date.
I haven't worked on any of those drives, so it could be a straight swap, at least worth the shot.
"you will need to match
Model number
firmware revision
configuration level"

this is definitely the easy part. all i have to do is write it down and verify it as i go through my hard drives, looking for a match.

"country of origin and the date will need to be close"
product of china - 5
site code: WU
date code: 03347
would this data on the hard drive meet this requirement?

other info
+5V 0.58A
+12V 0.31A

there is also some writing that refers to
machine no:
there's writing there, hand written, but it's not clear it could say "YKz" or "Y13z" for machine no. for type, its even harder to read "7zzipt" but not sure, just guessing. it could be many different characters choices. if the handwriting itself, though unreadable is recognizably the same, that may indicate the circuit boards are from the same place because it's the same person.

there's also a sticker at the bottom that says S/N 138125-S046098 HDD Master: 312013

also, there's even more numbers at the bottom by theirselves 9Y3001-001

what about the actual numbers on the chips themselves? could they reveal any info that could confirm their compatibility?

i must say, that this detective work could be alot harder than it is. i could imagine not having any clues whatsoever to work with. i think seagate is a great company.
thanks raptor_pa. even if this fails, it's quite interesting nonetheless.
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CHip numbers are generally not useful, other than the large chip which is the MCU, they could be similar chips of different manufacturer's The date code needs to be close, within a month or so, that's why you need to translate it. The other items should be a sufficient match - use the site code to match WU Not sure what would be handwritten, but it's likely not to be useful.
feb 28 2003.

i have all the info. time to start looking through my hard drives. all i need now is a little luck. if not, i'll have to go the solder routine.
thanks raptor_pa, i'll let you know.

it looks like more bad news than good. i have four ST340015A hard drives. only one has the exact same tvs diode as the fried hard drive. the lettering is exactly the same. the tvs diodes that the lettering didn't match looked very similar, but different lettering.

none of the hard drives had an exact match on all the criteria. there was one that had a match of the site code. there was not a firmware match at all. the fried drive is 3.01 and two drives were 3.03 and one was 3.07. no firmware matches to be had. there was even one that was within a month of date, but the firmware was different.

i would rather go the safe route and remove the matching tvs diode and solder it in the fried circuit board, than take a chance swapping a board that is a "maybe" if damage can be done.

what i am going to do now is read a bunch of your threads (really interesting stuff) and perhaps learn about the parameters that need to be met for the tvs diode to work as a replacement. maybe this is nowhere's near as scary as i think it is.

i won't move forward on this before i hear from you.

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Not at all, unsolder on end, lift a bit to keep from reattaching, unsolder the other end and remove the component. They are surface mount so they are just help in place by the solder. Do the same to the replacement board, then put the good diode on the dead board keeping the alignment the same. Should fire right up.

i knew there was something i forgot to ask you. what about testing the diode with a multitester?

1. in the pics below, do i have the tester set properly?
2. what is the setting at 1:00, it has sorta T laying on the side and another T laying on the side with the tops towards eachother, between ACV and DCA? it also says 1.5V (4.0mA) 9V (25mA) what is that setting used for, if not testing diodes?

here's the pics:

by the way, thanks for that (and all) replies. i may be getting too brave. lol.
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Where you have it set is the diode check, the one at 1 oclock looks like a battery symbol and based on the voltage/current options that's what it looks like, Check the diode both directions, it should be short ( beep ) one way and open ( no beep ) the other.
good news and bad news.

the soldering didn't go as smoothly as i hoped. somehow the foil peeled up and became seperated from the molex, where i'm close to certain it gets food. it took some serious will to bridge that gap with solder. i lucked out.

the hard drive spun up. it even booted into windows and through the post and showed the users. i planned on cloning it with easeus disk copy, but for some reason it wouldn't allow me to clone. it didn't recognize the hard drive.

now it won't boot to the desktop anymore. it shows the "windows xp" with the progress bar that goes to the right several times, then reboots. i have a feeling there is even more wrong with it. it still spins up now, every time.

i made it a slave and if everything is going correctly i should be copying the files to an external hard drive with linux.

i'll keep you informed. thanks raptor_pa.
Sounds like maybe a bit heavy of a soldering iron, I usually use about a 25W needle tip or a small flat tip if using an iron I do find myself going more and more to teh hot asir station for removals tho. Best bet is to get the data off as quickly as you can, in case something else did get hit with the spike that took out the diode.

agreed. it's been slow going. even with linux it's having difficulty. there's been a bunch of times now that retry didn't work. i end up having to skip files that are inaccessible.
i know i have a decent soldering iron around somewhere. in the chaos it's location could be many different places. the old soldering gun that dad gave me just wasn't good enough for the hard drive. the hard drive had no mercy.
Good luck and keep at it, recovery is ooften slow going to get the data back, I have an 80 GB drive for a customer that has been imaging for over two weeks, but it is slowly picking up the pieces, once this finishes, then I'll try a head swap and see if I can get a better read on it, but as long as it is getting any data, I'll let it image...

i got just about all the files off. the important one is the i386. with it, it may be possible to make an installation cd. fortunately the COA is on the computer, or i wouldn't have attempted this in the first place. i have been able to do this three times now, but failed twice. i've never been able to do it when i had to move the files "second hand" which is what i will be doing this time.
i'll tell you what. you definitely know your hard drives.
i took one apart a little over a week ago, for the first time. the hard drive didn't work, and was less than a gb as well. it's amazing how rugged those things are. there were some hidden screws that i was unaware of, that now i know about. i took a "pry" to it. i think i could actually take one apart and reassemble it without physically damaging the hardware (it actually working properly is a different story).
if i find my soldering iron, maybe i will try to re-do my work. maybe it was "borderline" and that's the reason it wouldn't continue to work.
thank you so much raptor_pa, you're awesome.
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i must admit that this repair had it's share of drama (sort of like these guys that analyze hijackthis logs and try to remove malware, sometimes you can see the struggle and the battle being lost). i thought for sure something would go wrong, but just enough went right in the right places.
apparently, using linux to get the files and a flash drive was good enough. i told you how i might be able to make an installation disk with the files. the whole operation was a success. granted that hard drive is "ailing", but the installation disk was successful, and i've already used it. so i can verify that it works.
that operating system should be in some landfill somewhere. instead, it's working on a computer.

raptor_pa the great!
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