Connecting possible 'fried' HDDs to a new System

Alright here's my situation:

I was one day playing a game when the computer suddenly powered down. Nothing was on anymore, so I tried the power button once and lot's of sparks fly out the back with a *pop*. I think "great". My computer was 5 to 6 years old though, so I wasn't too surprised... I've now decided to build new rig and only hope to reuse my 'data storage' HDDs.

If the HDDs were indeed 'fried' by the PSU, would there be any harm in connecting them to my new rig to check? In fact, is it even possible for HDDs to suddenly become the cause for PSUs blowing? I guess I'm being a bit paranoid due to my new being around 800 pounds worth. I hadn't changed anything in the rig for years, so the hardware was all in working order up until that day.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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  1. Tell you what...

    it is actualy quite common for cheaper PSU's to blow - osme of the ones "free" with cases cost about £2- 3 to build in china using cheapest possible components and are simply a liability to have in a system. Is always best to go with a well known Branded supply like:

    PC Power & Cooling (something like this name?)

    All the above would be a good bet.

    As to the HDD, to be safer I'd put it in a USB enclosure then connect it to your PC to test it as a 1st option.

    Me myself, am pretty sure nothing could be wrong with it that could fry your MB or something, though I don't guarantee it!
    ...and would be tempted if I didn't have the use of a UB enclosure, to take a gamble and give it a go.

    Hope that all helps some, Good Luck ^^
  2. oh, if buying a new PSU - forgot to mention that you should make sure it is "80 Plus certified"


    for an efficient PSU. I'd aim for one that is 85% efficient ideally or more
  3. Minimum for me would be 80%.
  4. Thanks, I'll see if I can get hold of one those USB enclosures. Never heard of those before.

    The PSU in question was a decent one from Tagan. It was about 4 years old though when it went. I suppose the HDDs may be ok if the PSU had some safeguards in place for such an occurence. But I'll still stay safe and try the USB way.

  5. is pretty surprising that a Tagan went like that. Am guessing it wasn't a PC covered in deep layers of internal dust?
    but anyway I digress some.

    mot any component site will will sell a USB enclosure suitable for your old drive.
    You just need to be sure to select a model suitable for your drives interface type the old PATA (with the wide grey ribbon cables) or newer SATA
    You just open it up pop in the drive + connect and secure it etc. which can then be used as a portable drive now if you liked. (but will have a separate mini power brick to plug to the mains)

    and Test away feeling safe.
    Should just plug into a USB port and be picked up as an external storage device by windows :)

    I have pretty high hopes for it working - have seen a PC that got fried by lightning before with the main CPU a blackened charred mess, but somehow the HDD survived LOL

    But lets keep our fingers crossed.

    Here is an example of a drive enclosure that takes both types of 3.5" drives - the drive type specific models are a little cheaper:
    Akasa Integral P2 eSATA/USB 2.0 3.5" Hard Drive Enclosure


    depending what you might like to use it for, you could try one of these that is a newer version of something I have:
    Akasa DuoDock Docking Station

    Good Luck with your drive ^^
  6. Hey, thanks for the links.

    Yea, I did clean out the PC every so often... but I guess I might not have cleaned the PSU too well. In fact, I've read somewhere that blowing into the fans and such may actually break them if you cause them to turn the wrong way? Oh well...

    Only one HDD in there was nearly as old as the rig itself. A WD Raptor for the OS and software.

    The other two HDDs are the ones I'm interested in. They are around 2.5 years old and 9 months old, both SATA. So it should be no problem to connect them up. ^^

    Thanks again for the help.
  7. No problem at all, you are most welcome :)

    and don't worry about blowing fans the wrong way, they are basically just a simple electric motor and turning them one way or the other by blowing on them will have no adverse effect at all.

    I sometimes carefully take the hose from my Dyson with the brush attachment to suck dust from my PSU from both sides.

    Dust is a mighty fine insulator and can in thick enough quantities cause a heat build up in components - but we are talking Extreme cases here!

    (img shamelessly borrowed from random person thanks to Google)

    maybe a "little" too extreme in this case, but you get the idea ;)
  8. I would think that if your hard drives caused your psu to short, most that I've used have a reset. You could disconnect your hard drives and see if your psu resets. If it don't it probably is a bad psu. If it resets without your drives connected, then you have a shorted drive causing your psu to trip. Good luck!
  9. I would be in this case the *pop* he heard was a capacitor blowing.

    This can happen, usually with cheaper capacitors - am surprised at Tagan (maybe a budget PSU of theirs using cheaper components).
    These cheaper capacitors are made by start up companies who cut into the industry undercutting the competition...

    To save me typing it all from memory - from wiki:

    The capacitor plague (also known as bad capacitors) involved the common premature failure of certain brands of electrolytic capacitors used in various electronics equipment, and particularly in motherboards, video cards, compact fluorescent lamp ballasts, LCD monitors, and power supplies of personal computers. The first flawed capacitors were seen in 1999, but most of the affected capacitors were made in the early to mid 2000s, and while news of their failures (usually after a few years of use) has forced most manufacturers to fix the defects, some bad capacitors were still being sold or integrated into designs as of early 2007.

    An incorrect electrolyte formula within a faulty capacitor causes the production of hydrogen gas, leading to bulging or deformation of the capacitor's case, and eventual venting of the electrolyte. In rare cases, faulty capacitors have even been reported to pop or explode forcefully. Although modern manufacturing techniques normally ensure they vent safely rather than explode, manufacturers have been known to omit the key safety features that allow this.

    In one case, the cause of failing electrolytic capacitors was industrial espionage gone wrong. Several Taiwanese electrolyte manufacturers began using a stolen formula that was incomplete, and lacked ingredients needed to produce a stable capacitor (An anti-corrosion ingredient was not documented, reported in comp.risks.)

    One of the big capacitor manufacturers had an employee "find" its electrolyte ingredient list (unknown to him - incomplete) who promptly left the company and went off to make his millions undercutting them... and of course Lots of companies bought "his" (and his new partners) cheaper capacitors.

    Now we know the rest... almost all of us suffered because of this one Idiot! >_<
    (not all 100% down to him of course - but almost)
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