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Seagate Freeagent Desktop External....uh Oh!


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13 replies to this topic

#1 joe_wa

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Posted 25 July 2008 - 11:25 PM

I have a Seagate FreeAgent Desktop 500GB external hard drive. It fell off of a low end-table tonight.
The connection for the USB cable is now disconnected from the board.
Is there a way to open the case and solder the connection back onto the board? If so, how would one carefully open the case?
If there is not a way, what recommendations are there for a reputable repair location? Should I go to Geek Squad at Best Buy? Try elsewhere? Call Seagate?
Just not certain.
Thanks in advance.

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#2 dc3

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 12:19 AM

Are you saying that the USB port on the motherboard was pulled off the board?

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#3 joe_wa

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 12:23 AM

The USB port, (small, silver receiver on the back of the external drive,) is rattling around in the external drive.

#4 dc3

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 12:30 AM

Not having taken apart an external hdd case yet, I can only guess as to what you will find. Most of these connectors are pc mounted, if you broke the connector off of the pc board you may be able to get a replacement from the manufacturer. You would need to remove the pins from the pc board, remove the solder from the holes using either a solder sucker or wick, and solder in the new connector. Examine the pc board and make sure that you haven't damaged the board. After all this, there is going to be the possibility of having damaged the hdd with the fall.

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#5 garmanma

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 09:55 AM

A simpler solution would be to buy another external case and put the hard drive in it. Less hassles and less waiting
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#6 joe_wa

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 05:22 PM

Where would I purchase another external case? How would I take apart the current case? Pry it open w/a screwdriver? There are no screws anywhere on it.

#7 garmanma

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 06:16 PM

There are no screws anywhere on it.


They're probably hidden underneath a decal or sticker. Sometimes under the little rubber feet that the unit rests on
Mark
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#8 Competentfake

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Posted 30 June 2009 - 02:08 PM

You have to pry the bottom grille off with a screwdriver, and also pry the two halves of the casing apart, and it won't be too pretty when you finally get it open. There are no screws under the feet or decal, just two under the grille, two under the top part of the base, 2 securing the HD to the case, 2 small screws holding the circuit board to the bottom of the case, and 4 securing the HD to the frame. Took it apart in about 5mins. Hope this helps.

#9 metalman9

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 03:19 PM

I had the same Problem with my seagate 1TB drive. It fell off my desk and the small usb port was knocked loose.

I was able to carefully pry the case apart starting at the rear corner , followed by the opposite rear corner, slowly prying the case apart moving forward from the rear on the sides (alternating left and right sides) untill I reached the front, the front is hinged so the top lifted up without seperating from the bottom. ( I am going to mod it so in the future I can open it if need be without having to pry at anything. (What was seagate thinking?its cool the front has a hinge like. what is not cool is having to pry the catches apart)

The actual hard drive and small circuit bord are contained in a metal box four rubber "feet " with screws attatch the actual hard drive to the metal box while the rubber feet act as vibration isolators between the metal box and external plastic case. one small screw holds the lid to the metal box shut. the wire for the led is taped to the top of the metal box(all the screws are all phillips, thank you seagate)

the hard drive slides back and out, and the small Motherboard is held in place by two screws accessed through the top of the exterior box via access holes.the HD is basically a Sata drive and the small mother board adapts SATA to usb and external power source.(I wonder if the drive can skip the small MB and work as a sata drive independantly? I was considering installing the HD internally to the computer via SATA)

Luckily the metal surround part of the usb only came loose from the MB and can slide over the connecting pins that are part of the usb connection. The outer two pins are for ground and 5v. They seem to be ignored on the Circuit board. It does not appear that the metal outer casing that is the plug is anything more than a mechanical feature to accept the usb plug(that is to say it does not seem to be grounded.)

I am very tempted to install the hard drive directly to SATA internally and skip the small Mother board and screwed up usb.

I took Pictures, but am new to this site, Trying to figure out how to post pictures here. Anyway hello everyone.

#10 garmanma

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 03:57 PM

I took Pictures, but am new to this site, Trying to figure out how to post pictures here. Anyway hello everyone.


http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/14738/inserting-an-image-within-a-post/
Mark
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why won't my laptop work?

Having grandkids is God's way of giving you a 2nd chance because you were too busy working your butt off the 1st time around
Do not send me PMs with problems that should be posted in the forums. Keep it in the forums, so everyone benefits
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#11 metalman9

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 07:59 PM

I took Pictures, but am new to this site, Trying to figure out how to post pictures here. Anyway hello everyone.


http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/14738/inserting-an-image-within-a-post/



Thanks for the tip. I havent done anything beyond taking it apart and contemplating on putting it back together or attempting to throw the dive itself in to become another internal drive, and I thought, why doesent seagate just offer a replacement circuit board? I wonder how many Perfectly fine Hard drives were thrown away over a simple problem?

#12 metalman9

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 08:07 PM

Not having taken apart an external hdd case yet, I can only guess as to what you will find. Most of these connectors are pc mounted, if you broke the connector off of the pc board you may be able to get a replacement from the manufacturer. You would need to remove the pins from the pc board, remove the solder from the holes using either a solder sucker or wick, and solder in the new connector. Examine the pc board and make sure that you haven't damaged the board. After all this, there is going to be the possibility of having damaged the hdd with the fall.



I think I am visiting Newegg for this fix.

#13 metalman9

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Posted 27 November 2009 - 10:46 PM

BTW is there any reason the Hard drive could not be installed as an internal drive?

#14 hamluis

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 12:20 PM

An external hard drive...is just a regular hard drive in an enclosure with USB connections and (possibly) a power connection.

Once the hard drive is removed from the enclosure, it should be treated just like any other drive which one wants to attach to the motherboard.

Louis




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