Computer Newbies forum


Think I killed my HDD ... Can anything be done?

by AJD77 / February 12, 2013 9:55 AM PST

First post, total newbie.

Made a forehead-slapping rookie mistake: I plugged in the Molex power connector upside down to the HDD in my old HP desktop.

Yes I had to force it a bit, and even that didn't tip me off that something might not be right! So, anyway I go to power on & boot up, and I get error messages telling me it can't read/detect/whatever the HDD. It was working just fine before. (Long story why I was messing with it to begin with.)

HERE'S MY QUESTION: does the logic board (?) for the drive have a fuse or some kind of protection for this kind of thing, so that when some dummy plugs it in wrong it won't totally fry the whole thing? I'm wondering if buying an external enclosure would allow me to still access the disk contents (yes, there is stuff I want to get off it).

Well, thanks for any help you can offer. Hope there might be some good news for me!

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All Answers

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Most will just fry.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 12, 2013 10:00 AM PST

No protection is needed because it does not plug in the other way without force.

To recover from this you have to find an exact duplicate of the main board. Such is on the internet and sorry to hear about the loss.

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Hard Drive Manufacturers & HD Repair Facilities
by Tractor-RV / February 22, 2013 9:47 AM PST

Seagate has a 5 year warranty of their best drives; and 2 years on many others.
1) They now have a service where you can send in any Seagate drive; and they will recover all the data they can find on it. Essentially they will rebuild it, or take the platters out of your drive to read them in their lab.

2) Other HD vendors have similar services.
3) Many other choices by googling: "Hard Drive Data Recovery Services"

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Have you tried it again right way up?
by Gerdd / March 2, 2013 7:09 PM PST

Well, okay, if you got all four pins to connect you applied 5 volts to the 12 volt circuits, which shouldn't be too bad, but you also applied 12 volts to the 5 volt circuits, and that would probably fry them. But it may not, and you don't have anything to lose anymore at this point. So you could connect the drive correctly and see if it still works - it may only work for a short time, so be prepared to copy off quickly what you need most.

Under other circumstances I had the good luck to be able to scrape the most recent data from a dying drive before I had to bury it. As luch would have it I got everything off that wasn't covered by the most recent backup (Backup? - Yes, backup. Remember we talked about it here.)

Your problem description made me wonder - I don't actually know which parts of a drive's electrics and electronics are drven by which voltage. Anybody here that can contribute that? If I had to guess I would say the data controller logic would be 5 volts or possibly lower, stepped down via voltage regulators, and the spinning motor and arm actuator would be using 12 volts. If that were so, then by some incredible luck only the voltage regulators might have overheated and fried and it might be possible to get at the data again - how long did you run that drive with upside down voltages, by the way? Did smoke develop? Did it smell?

From what a data recovery lab guy told me most recovery attempts fail due to teh fact that there are so many different steppings of board revisions out there even for the same drive model number that it is almost impossible to find a matching one and without that you can't read the bits correctly.

In any event, if you need to involve a lab it won't be cheap ...

Good Luck!

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