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HDD Power Pin Broken

by MJRichter / September 7, 2006 1:07 PM PDT

While removing HDD, a Maxtor D740X-6L 40gig, I broke one of the power pins. Every one I have talked to says it's a loss. I really can't belive that and I don't want to spent mega bucks to have someone else extract data. Is there anyway that the pin can be repaired?
Mel Richter

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Tech repairs for novice
by Willy / September 7, 2006 7:40 PM PDT
In reply to: HDD Power Pin Broken

As long as the solder lands are exposed you can solder a "pigtail" a short wiring extention to it. Use an older wiring harness and/or "Y-cable" to cut the required wire with connection, strip ends and solder to HD. Make new pigtail long enough in order tie-wrap it down to reduce stress. If your capable similar tech work as such can done to replace the orginal connection with new connector when found. -OR- remove from a failed HD that connection and transfer over. You can ask local computer shops for a dead HD or visit online supply sources. You see this gets involved for such a small item, thus the orginal pigtail repair suffices.

tada -----Willy Happy

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replace the connector
by mrobison1 / September 15, 2006 4:55 AM PDT
In reply to: HDD Power Pin Broken

If it is one of the middle 2 pins, you are ok. Just use the 3 pins you have remaining. But it doesn't sound like that is your situation. If it is one of the outer pins, take the drive to a computer or tv repair store and ask them to replace the connector with a new one. This requires un-soldering the pins attached to the pc board on the disk, replacing the old connector with a new one, and soldering it in place. Oila!

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Replaceing a power connector pin on a hard drive
by fisherv / September 15, 2006 3:59 PM PDT
In reply to: replace the connector

Easy fix if......

You have some basic soldering skills to do this. Be honest - if you can?t' solder, find someone who can, and use a SMALL soldering iron.

Tools Needed: Get soldering iron, TORK screwdriver
Materials Needed: Replacement pin or a dead hard drive (See below)

1. In order to do this, you need to remove the circuit board from the drive. That's where the TORX screwdriver comes in. Buy a (smaller) set; you'll use them again eventually. I'm guessing this is a T-6 size, but you need to check. Remove the board from the drive CAREFULLY.

2. You also need a new pin (assuming yours is broken, i.e. sheared off). Two sources:
a. Any really comprehensive electronics shop or...
b. Another dead hard drive. Lucky you, every hard drive made in the last 15 years has the same connector pin size.

3. If yours in not broken, you can resolder it. If it's broken, buy a new one or (easier) desolder from a dead hard drive.

4. Desolder by using all 3 of yours hands at once but liquefying the solder holding the old pin in, and simultaneously removing it with needle nose pliers. FUN!

5. Clean everything up and put the good pin back in the plastic connector, CAREFULLY, and resolder as minimally as possible. You cannot blowtorch these boards, eh? Easy does it.

6. Reassemble. If it works, thank me. If not, never listen to idiots on the internet. hahah

7. Seriously, if you are careful, you will successfully repair the drive, gain new tools and skills, and never fear unknown hardware again.

PS Be carefully plugging and unplugging those power connectors in the future. Now you know how fragile they are.

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Hard Drive Pin Broke off -I repklaced it the easy way.
by Wake Havasu / May 23, 2007 3:52 PM PDT

I broke one male pin on an old IBM Deskstar 14.4 g.

I took a pushpin, the real long slender ones with a small head on it. I think ladies use them to hem with.

I cut the tip off and pushed it into the ribbon made it flush with the plastic . I could not push it in any further as the head stopped it. I did make sure the length was sufficient to make good contact in the female part.

Then I connected it to the HD and viola she booted up!

No soldering needed and the head is just big enough to ensure good contact with out touching the other make pins.

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Hard drive pin broke off
by mike675756 / June 1, 2007 3:06 AM PDT

Be VERY careful. I used a large paper clip just recently. I cut off the straight part of the paper clip to length (or so I thought). Then I pushed it in to the hole that the broken pin came out of. Pushed it all the way in HARD. (Note: this is the mistake you do not want to make). When I plugged in the harddrive, I got MAXIMUM SMOKE.
I have no excuse. I have been an electronic technician all my life. Just got sloppy.
So novice or pro, you can still f--k up.

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Maxtor power pin
by Swartswaan / June 16, 2007 6:51 AM PDT
In reply to: HDD Power Pin Broken

Hi MJ,

This one you do at your own risk, only if you know what you are doing.

However, if you are careful and really need your data, do the following. At your friendly electronics hardware store show them the drive and the broken pin. Most likely they will have the part you need. Observe all the rules for anti-static work on electronics (ask, they will tell you what else you need to buy) and de-solder the stricken one. Solder the new one in place and go. You may be lucky to get one of them to do it for you.

Simple? Don't rush! Usually if you open the HDD case, it IS lost,
otherwise I have seen HD's that run AND work OPEN. Point is, Work clean! Work as if you are on last chances, probably you are.


Do not try this if you are not EXACTLY SURE of what you are doing.

Without opening the case, solder the open tips of insulated wires onto whatever you have left on the drive's pins. Observe polarities (red on red etc) and solder the other open ends to the back end of a similar power plug. The new offset plug must work - electrically - exactly like the broken one. Cut small pieces of insulation tape or use heat shrink insulation tube and (this is not shouting, Ctrl-B is out) INSULATE ALL OPEN PARTS, TIPS AND ENDS. Make sure that there are no open contacts before you switch on again. Follow the previous paragraph.

All this give you the reasons why most said it's a lost case.


Do not do it if you have no experience of high voltage equipment. Anything over 20 Volts is high voltage. Never mind the volts, it's the amperage that kills you. One of the big capacitors in a computer power supply can kill you and they work at little over 12 Volts. It's like a bean field rifle; small bullet (volts) very high speed (amps). The electric security fence is the other way round, very big bullet at very low speed. You can stop it, it will - may - not kill you. By law it has to be built that way.

The lesson? Do your back-ups. Be careful, be patient. Get help from people in the know.

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