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SATA cable problem

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April 14, 2009 7:13:39 AM

For a time now I've been convinced my hard drive was failing on my desktop PC, when it crashed again yesterday and I couldn't restart it at all, in desperation I took the cover off pulled the SATA cable out plugged it back in and hey presto everything worked again perfectly, is it possibly a cable error or could it be the connection on the hard drive itself. I know I can buy a new cable for very little but just wondered if this was a problem experienced by anyone else

More about : sata cable problem

a b G Storage
April 14, 2009 12:59:19 PM

Cabling problems of all kinds are pretty goomon.

Best solution

a c 327 G Storage
April 14, 2009 6:54:05 PM
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You start with "For a time now ..." This sounds like an intermittent problem that has become worse until you fixed it.

The most common problem I've encountered inside computers is just like this. Over time the metal contacts in connectors build up a fine layer of metal oxide on their surfaces, leading to poor connections. At first this is intermittent, but eventually it becomes permanent. The fix is surprisingly easy. If you simply disconnect the cable and then re-connect (preferably several times) that action often will scrub the oxide layer off and leave you with good contacts again. So when this happens to me I shut down and disconnect from power, open the case, and go through the entire innards. I'll disconnect / re-connect every cable I can find at both ends.

Just be careful of a few things. First is a general principle: DON"T FORCE IT! Connectors RARELY are so stiff you must pull hard. If it seems tough to disconnect, check closely to see if it is some kind of locking connector with a little tab you must press to free it. It"s especially true when you re-connect: if you have to push it in really hard, don't!. Look more carefully and be sure the pieces are aligned correctly so they fit smoothly and easily. Next is to be gentle enough that you don't hit or twist something hard enough to break it. And lastly, watch to be sure you don't loosen something else while you are working on the current cable, or you might create a loose connection you don't know about. And if it does not work after all your "cleaning" actions, look closely again to see if there is an unrecognized loose connector. Oh, and a last rule: do this one cable and one end at a time. Last thing you need is five cable ends loose so you risk plugging two or three into the wrong places!
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April 15, 2009 10:39:51 AM

Thanks for that paperdoc, very helpful, is there any substance safe to use in a computer that you know of to clean or enhance contacts in the same way you can use WD40 on your car or similar
a b G Storage
April 15, 2009 12:48:47 PM

You can try using compressed air on the cable. However, a new cable is ~$5.
a c 327 G Storage
April 15, 2009 1:57:38 PM

aford10 is right.

Do NOT use any spray-on liquid. Oils etc will cause huge problems. Even spray-on volatile solvents only help you wipe off oily dirt. If you can't wipe in the first place, they don't help.

If you CAN get to the metal surfaces to wipe clean, here's an old trick. One of the easiest and very MILDLY abrasive cleaners is a pencil eraser. It can scrub dirt and oxides off a metal surface without putting mini-scratches in it. Just be very sure the eraser is clean first - I usually rub it on my shirt or something until it is fresh bright pink, then use it to clean. If it succeeds and gets dirty, clean the eraser again before continuing.
April 15, 2009 3:27:38 PM

Thank you all for your help, I'm new to this forum, I have ordered a new cable which should be with me tomorrow, hopefully that will solve all my problems
February 18, 2011 11:29:16 AM

ok... i know i'm way too late here... but i'm writing this for people who will be in this situation in future.. my PC suddenly started to crash too.. well the next day i tried to boot up my pc... it took way too long to boot, and when it came to the welcome screen it stays there for a long time and the hard disk loading light was on fire (didn't even blink).. so i came to a conclusion that my hard disk is on the death bed..

long story short... the problem was with the sata cable.. i changed a new cable and WOLAA everything was tip top... so, please make sure to change your sata cable to a new one before you start cursing your poor hard drive...

thanks
November 2, 2011 7:10:07 AM

Paperdoc is correct. Once in a week, I reconnect my connections. SATA cable is problematic. If your hard disk is permanently blinking as in an active process, and sometimes, if you hear some sound out of your harddisk, it may be with your sata cables. Reconnect, or replace. Problems may be solved to an extend. Modern ASUS black sata cables show little problems.
November 19, 2011 4:06:37 PM

hey everyone! although its too late. but still im making a reply.

Im having this problem and this really irritates. sometimes im in mid of some job and the HDD connection looses. although cables replacement is a solution but can anyone suggest some permanent solution? further, kindly suggest some names of good companies making sata cables as there r a lots local chinese vendors out there in market.
!