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External HD won't power on, even after troubleshooting. Is it fried?

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#1 Scypher


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Posted 24 January 2009 - 06:24 PM

Hi, I'm moderately knowledgeable when it comes to hardware (built my own computer, etc.) but I'm hoping somebody can help me with this problem that I don't know how to solve.

I have an external hard drive (Maxtor) that's a few years old. Some time ago, the DC socket has been problematic -- the HD would turn off suddenly sometimes, and it progressed to point where I had to manually hold the DC plug into the socket at a certain angle for the HD to stay on.

Yesterday, this method stopped working completely. When switched on, the HD was unresponsive (made no noise), and the LED "on" light (which is connected to the circuitboard part of the enclosure, not the HD itself) only flickers, like it can't get a steady stream of power. To top it off, the inside of the HD enclosure smelled of smoke.

I opened up the enclosure and tried connecting the HD to my computer directly, with a SATA cable and power adapter cable. But the HD doesn't show up on my computer and, unless I'm mistaken, I didn't hear the HD spin or make any noise.

I'm worried because at first I thought only the DC socket was the problem. That can be replaced, obviously. But I don't know anything about circuitry and I wonder if the constant on-off-on-off power that happened while jiggling the DC plug into place so many times might have actually fried the hard drive or something.

My question is:
With this information, can anybody tell if the hard drive is salvageable? Are any of these telltale signs that the data is simply lost? If not, I'm hoping I can take the busted hard drive to a computer expert and maybe have him open it up so I can get my files back - unlessss there's something else I should try that I'm missing!

Thanks for your time!

Edited by Scypher, 24 January 2009 - 06:28 PM.

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#2 hamluis



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Posted 24 January 2009 - 07:17 PM

Hi :thumbsup:.

In the first place...when talking "external drive", you are really referring to two things: the enclosure (with the power and USB connections) and the drive itself (just a regular drive, can be removed and directly attached to the motherboard like any other hard drive).

The enclosure is the weak link, IMO.

An enclosure can fail...and there can be nothing at all wrong with the drive. The best way to confirm whether there is or is not, IMO...is to remove the drive and attach it directly to the motherboard in typical manner.


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