View Full Version : Samsung HDD dead circuit board, recovery recommendations please?

08-07-2012, 05:09 PM
A few years ago (2007) in a state of extreme sleep deprivation I managed to plug the molex into my music work drive the wrong way around, killing the drive's circuit board soon as the power came on. It didn't power up again. Tried to fix it by ordering an identical Samsung spc2504 drive from the states from the same production batch, with the same firmware version, hoping I could swap out the circuit boards, didn't work.

I couldn't afford data recovery at the time, but now can. Who I can trust in NZ to do the job well?
The drive contains years worth of studio music recording sessions so is very valuable to me. I started backing up after that :badpc:

08-07-2012, 05:35 PM
Some people I know have used http://www.datarecovery.co.nz/datarecovery.html many though when they find out how much it costs, all of a sudden the data is not that important.

Could be $1000 plus

08-07-2012, 05:56 PM
Thanks I'll check them out. I'm asking for recommendations based on first hand experience with companies in NZ since it will potentially cost me so much.

08-07-2012, 07:32 PM
The other board won't work even if the motor and heads are fine because there is configuration data stored on an EEPROM on the board that is different for each drive. You need to copy that data (or desolder and move the EEPROM) from the old board to the new one.

IF you're lucky, all you blew up were the TVS diodes, and replacing them will solve your problem.

How you managed to insert a keyed connector backwards I would love to know!

08-07-2012, 07:56 PM
Ah hah..now you've got me inspired to have one last go at DIY. When it happened I thought there must be some kind of fuse protection but gave up after not finding out anything helpful. TVS is the magic term! thank you.

It was the combination of an all nighter and a very flimsy SATA-molex adapter. You could plug it in the wrong way around without applying much force at all.

08-07-2012, 09:24 PM
:clap Success!! :clap

Snipped off the faulty 5v TVS diode, soldered a short wire across the burnt-out open 0_ohm resistor

Now happily copying all my data across to a spare drive :banana :banana :banana

Edit: Here's the page that helped me do it http://forums.seagate.com/t5/Barracuda-XT-Barracuda-Barracuda/HDD-TVS-diode-FAQ/m-p/118908

08-07-2012, 10:09 PM
My last post was deleted I think, maybe because of a link I included. Anyhow, was saying that it worked and the 5v TVS diode was the culprit along with a dead 0 ohm resistor in series. Cut out the TVS, shorted the 0 ohm and and have copied all my data off the drive now. So thanks agent_24! :)

08-07-2012, 10:20 PM
Wow, that is a great success story! (Had to look up TVS, though). Wonder if a recovery company would still have charged you $1000!!

Good work Agent.

08-07-2012, 10:29 PM
Good to hear you got it working again, usually they're not that easy :)

I would hope a data recovery company would not charge $1000 for a basic job like that, although they would probably do testing to ensure there was no extra damage, or simply do a board replacement and EEPROM swap instead.

08-07-2012, 10:35 PM
I was contacted by a data recovery company shortly after submitting a query earlier tonight, very prompt! They told me a minimum fee in the high hundreds. I'm guessing they would charge at least their minimum fee because they must follow a procedure that minimizes further damage/data loss, so it may involve roughly the same amount of time as a more complex fault. Because its my drive I have the choice cutting corners and being more risky. Although in this case it really did make sense that a protection circuit had popped. I could compare the resistances across components on the two rails. The 0 ohm and tvs diode on the 5v rail were showing the exact opposite of those on the 12v rail. Since I originally applied 12v to 5v and vice versa, it made sense the 5v rail protection components were the only ones that would be fried.