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Can a 2.5 inch SATA case fry a hard drive?

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March 24, 2011 5:27:43 PM

I am a reseller of 2.5" hard drive cases. These are USB powered only. A customer has claimed that my case has fried his hard drive.
As it is low voltage I doubt that this could be the case. I have Google searched and cannot find any information, hence this post.

Can anyone please provide a definitive answer?
a b G Storage
March 24, 2011 5:43:32 PM

Anything electrical can be fried, otherwise we wouldn't need fuses or circuit breakers. Without having the fried drive, case and whatever it was attached to, there is no way to determine a true cause of frying, It is possible that the USB port was wired incorrectly (reverse polarity), and that could have done the frying.
a c 354 G Storage
March 24, 2011 5:49:21 PM

USB provides up to 5 volts at a maximum of 500 mA. If the USB is wired incorrectly or the bridge in the case is defective, then yes, it can happen.

It could also happen if the person installing the drive into the case didn't properly ground themselves.

Anyhow, the customer would need definitive proof that it was defective. Did you test it before you gave it to the customer?
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a c 415 G Storage
March 25, 2011 5:19:28 AM

It's certainly possible - if the drive dissipates enough heat and if the case doesn't have an effective enough way to transfer that heat to the outside environment then the temperature of the drive could climb to be fairly high.

But for a USB-powered drive it doesn't seem all that likely that it would generate enough heat to cause a problem unless the thermal conduction was really, really poor.
March 25, 2011 6:42:09 AM

many thanks for all your replies. I have sold 10,000 of these with no other reported problems similar to this. I therefore must assume either it was a rare faulty unit with incorrect wiring or the customer has not grounded themselves, which in turn has caused this problem.
a b G Storage
March 25, 2011 10:30:51 PM

Hey Julius1973,

We also are a manufacturer of 2.5 enclosures, and have not seen a case (yet!) where that has happened.

Hope this helps you with your question!
March 26, 2011 6:51:27 AM

the chief engineer at our supplier in China has replied stating he thinks it is impossible for the problem to occur. Thanks for your reply though. I get the feeling the buyer never grounded himself and has caused this or is just trying it on.
!