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Replace Circuit Board, Fix Drive?

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September 29, 2009 11:10:31 PM

I have a Seagate Barracuda, Model ST380021A in which I have a ton of important information, family pics, etc.

For some reason it got to the point where if it was connected to the computer when it was powered on or restarted, the computer would freeze and windows would not load. The only work around I came up with was to unplug the power from the hard drive upon booting up, and once safely into Windows I would re-attach the power to the drive and everything would be fine. UNTIL one time when doing this, the wrong prongs between the molex connector and the hard drive touched. Since then I have not been able to get the drive to power on.


If I were to buy the same hard drive, and just switch the circuit boards, what is everyone's opinion on whether the drive might work again or would I be wasting money?
a c 342 G Storage
September 30, 2009 1:54:11 PM

Well, maybe.

This did work in some cases. The hard part was that, during the life of a drive model, makers sometimes updated the HDD's board so that you had to get EXACTLY the right version of the board for your particular model in order to do the swap. Then another wrinkle appeared - some drives apparently had boards that only worked with the specific disk unit they were mounted in, and a board swap still did not work.

Ask Seagate Tech Support if a board swap is possible on this unit. Then ask for any help they can give to identify the exact board version you would need to find. Then at least you will know exactly what to look for, and how to know if you found the right one before buying.
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September 30, 2009 7:47:14 PM

I found 1 on ebay that was the same exact model and firmware for $34 w/shipping. As important as this drive is, I figure that for $34, even it doesnt work, it's worth a shot. I'll post results once it arrives.
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a b G Storage
September 30, 2009 9:37:03 PM

Good luck. Hope you had backups (online or on DVD,etc).
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October 7, 2009 12:08:14 AM

Unfortunately.... Nope, no backups =/

I received the new drive in the mail the other day. I hooked it up to my computer to make sure it worked and everything worked great. So I proceeded to switch the board from the new HD to my old HD.
Hooked it all up, powered on etc etc, and happily I could hear the drive spinning. Not so fast though. Its not being recognized! Hoping I could do like I've done in the past with other drives, I connected it to my IDE to USB device. Yet STILL I cant get it recognized! So basically im at a point where I've run out of ideas for now.
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a b G Storage
October 7, 2009 12:22:16 AM

HDD are so cheap in $/GB these days a backup drive is almost essential for personal data.
As to your problem, as paperdoc has already mentioned the chance of finding an exact P/N replacement is hard.

Your last resort is to take it to a data recovery service. It'll probably cost more than a new drive, irreplaceable data are not cheap afterall. Consider it as a lesson in backup and understanding HDD reliability.
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