I possibly fried an external hard drive and need help recovering the data, please.

For starters, let me say that I'm not incredibly experienced in these matters, but have a basic understanding of the issue, so...I'm not a total newbie, but I could use some expert advice.

That being said, I have no idea what information would be helpful, so I will explain my problem and go from there.

I have a LaCie 2TB external hard drive - made up of 2, 1TB SATA hard drives. I'm not sure what RAID they were in, but it used both drives to give me 2TB of storage.

Here's the bad part: I accidentally plugged a laptop adapter into the external enclosure. If I remember correctly, the laptop charger was 19V and the enclosure used 9V or so.

After that, the external hard drive would not power on (with the correct adapter plugged in).

I took the enclosure apart and pulled the drives to inspect them. No visible damage.

I did notice, however, with both hard drives plugged into the enclosure, the unit would not power on, but when I removed only the bottom hard drive, the unit would power on (the data was still inaccessible). With only the bottom hard drive plugged in (the top one removed), the unit would not power on. It seemed to me that the bottom hard drive was causing an issue with the power.

I decided to try my luck recovering the data with my computer. I plugged the top hard drive into my computer (internally) and everything powered up just fine, but the data on the hard drive was still inaccessible. It said the drive needed to be formatted (I did not format.)

I plugged the bottom hard drive into the computer and the computer would not power on. Nothing at all. When I unplugged the hard drive, the computer powered on and booted up perfectly.

I believe there is an issue with the board on the bottom drive that is preventing it from powering up.

My main issue, though, is recovering the data. I don't think I can do that without both drives.

Now, my question:

Is there anything I can do to recover the data (in a non-costly manner?) I've considered attempting to copy the data from the top drive to another drive (I still haven't figured out how to access it though), removing the board from the top drive, putting it on the bottom drive and copying that data to another drive. I've also considered ordering another board for the bottom drive, but I read that I would need to get the exact same board.

Any advice or information that might help me solve this issue?

Other than what I've provided, I have no idea what information would be helpful. I am willing to provide whatever info is necessary to help solve this issue.

Thank you so much for reading my wall of text and I appreciate any help. Approximately 2TB of data hangs in the balance.
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about possibly fried external hard drive recovering data
  1. Sacrifice a goat to the PC gods?.....Other than that its gone man. You could always send it into a shop that specializes in Data recovery if its that important to you. Or you could try swapping out the fried board with a known working donor from another drive if you have one laying around.
  2. Hey there, enineci!

    Your external should have been configured in RAID 1. You could try rebuilding the RAID, but it might not even work and it would cost.
    The other choice is data recovery company which again is in the costly manner.
    My personal recommendation would be to contact the HDD manufacturer's tech support for further assistance.
    If your external is still under warranty, you at least have a chance at a replacement product.

    Hope this helped! Good luck!
  3. 2TB out of 2x1TB drives means it was either RAID 0 or JBOD.

    I'm guessing that the enclosure probably used a 12V supply.

    If you look at the PCB on each HDD, do you see any scorch marks or discolouration? What about the enclosure?

    Fzabkar has some resources on testing for blown TVS diodes, which is what I would expect to happen in event of overvoltage. These can be fixed trivially with a soldering iron, but will void your warranty.
  4. hi,

    HDD-Controllers can be switched if the serial numbers are really close enough !
    If they were in the same housing the chances are 95% compatible !
    If the drives were in raid they should be identical.

    solution: copy the good drive to another (3rd) good drive (with same specs, with a SATA/IDE copy cradle or image tools) and move the controller from the Original good (2nd) drive to the Original broken (1st) one !!

    Try recovering from there !!!

    Cheers, LP.

    PS : let me know if this helped or if you need more help !
  5. Best answer
    @enineci, the most likely problem is a shorted 12V TVS diode on HDD's PCB. The simple solution is to snip it with flush cutters. If there is no other problem, your drive will work without the diode, but you will no longer have overvoltage protection on that supply. If you upload a detailed photo of your HDD's PCB, or at least tell us its model number, then I should be able to identify the faulty component for you.
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