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Directly connecting external drive.

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February 17, 2012 6:39:18 PM

Hello,

My situation is the same, the usb is disconnected and attempts to reconnect have failed. WD says they do not sell parts so I cannot simply attach a new bridge. They do say the hard drive can be attached directly to the pc if you know how. I do not know how. I have opened the case but see no obvious connecting point. Does anyone know how to do this direct connection not using the original usb connection?
a b G Storage
February 17, 2012 8:58:13 PM

You would have to remove the HDD from the enclosure. You can then determine if it is SATA or PATA/IDE.

A newer HDD will be SATA. Check to see that your power supply has an available SATA power connector and that your motherboard has as unused SATA port. If so, mount the HDD into the case (there should be a bracket near your main HDD) that you can use. Then attach a SATA data cable to the HDD and the unused SATA port, then attach a SATA power connector from the power supply, and you have a new internal HDD.

If your HDD is PATA/IDE, you can mount the drive, attach it to an 80-pin ribbon cable, attach the ribbon cable to a free IDE port, and connect a MOLEX (4-pin) power connector from the power supply.
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a c 317 G Storage
February 17, 2012 8:58:59 PM

Are you absolutely sure that the external housing is defective? If not, stop and try to connect the drive without messing with the housing. If you are sure or have already removed the drive, then continue.

First you would need to remove the drive from the external case. One the rear of the drive there should be two connectors (and probably some jumper pins). If the drive is SATA, you need to use a SATA data cable to attach the more narrow port (which has 7 copper traces and is on the right when looking from back) to a SATA port on the motherboard. The other wider connector is the power connector and needs one of the SATA power connectors from the power supply attached. Both data and power are keyed for the correct direction. Obviously best to do all this with the computer off. Then power on your machine.
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a c 288 G Storage
February 18, 2012 6:08:41 PM

brandragon, is your drive a 2.5" port powered type (eg Passport) or a 3.5" My Book?

Passports integrate the USB bridge on the HDD's own PCB whereas My Books have separate bridge boards.

Also be aware that certain products (eg Essentials) incorporate AES hardware encryption, even if you have not set a password. This means that your data will appear as gibberish when the drive is directly connected to a SATA port.
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February 18, 2012 7:30:39 PM

RealBeast said:
Are you absolutely sure that the external housing is defective? If not, stop and try to connect the drive without messing with the housing. If you are sure or have already removed the drive, then continue.

First you would need to remove the drive from the external case. One the rear of the drive there should be two connectors (and probably some jumper pins). If the drive is SATA, you need to use a SATA data cable to attach the more narrow port (which has 7 copper traces and is on the right when looking from back) to a SATA port on the motherboard. The other wider connector is the power connector and needs one of the SATA power connectors from the power supply attached. Both data and power are keyed for the correct direction. Obviously best to do all this with the computer off. Then power on your machine.


Hi

I am not certain of the language. This is not my specialty. Treefrog's information is several degrees too sophisticated for my use. The USB is definitely damaged and was part of a board configuration that was connected to what I would call the housing by a single bus. I pulled that off and removed a metal plate. There is a label that says sata power serial data and factory jumper settings with 8 numbers. There is also an 8 pin bus attached to another board that the removal revealed still outside the drive housing. This board also contains the wide original bus which I think is the power connection you referred to above. It sounds like I would reconnect the board with the damaged usb to this bus to deliver power and get some other cable for the 8 prongs perhaps with a usb on the other end to attach to the pc. That is not quite what is stated above. Does that work.

4 screws attach the board but my guess is that if I have to go deeper I am beyond devices I have available. The comments state the SATA is somehow attached to the pc motherboard. It is a laptop pc and I am familiar with the motherboard. I am unaware of any ports on the motherboard and thought all the pins were occupied. It is great to get all this expert advice. If it a simple port to port solution requiring some cord I can pick up I can do this but if it gets deeper than that I know I have a good functioning WD MYBOOK HD disc spinning in the box, museum quality but inaccessible. Thanks.
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a c 317 G Storage
February 18, 2012 7:35:56 PM

You generally do not have to use the jumpers on a sata drive. Do not remove any other screws once the drive is out of the housing.

The power and data are all that you need to connect to the computer with a data cable and a power cable. Those will be inside your computer, the power comes from the power supply unit and the data cable attaches to a SATA port on the motherboard. You cannot do this with a laptop -- you would need a desktop machine, or an external hard drive case of the correct size, 2.5 or 3.5 inch.

And remember to do that with the computer off so you don't accidentally short something if you are not used to working inside a computer.
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a b G Storage
February 18, 2012 7:36:57 PM

My suggestions were for mounting the external HDD to an internal port on a desktop to retrieve the data. Most laptops do not have the needed internal connections to use it for retrieving data.

Post picture of the HDD if you can - you may be able to install it into another USB enclosure.
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a c 288 G Storage
February 18, 2012 7:57:41 PM

A My Book Essentials will be encrypted whereas a My Book Elements will not. Which one do you have?

If you can't answer this question, then tell us the markings on the largest chip on the USB-SATA bridge board. It will probably be an Initio INIC-xxxx.
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February 18, 2012 8:17:43 PM

Good stuff from all of you. Appreciated. Sounds like I need access to a desktop or need to replicate the USB board connection. It's a shame WD does not sell parts. I must mull this over. Thanks for all the help.
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a c 317 G Storage
February 18, 2012 8:31:02 PM

Yes, take your time and understand what you want to do before you just start doing things, that will help keep you out of trouble.

While I didn't see your drive size, if the drive still functions you can put it into a new case as you figure this out. There are good inexpensive alternatives, but first you should insure that the drive is accessible.

You can look at some of these as options depending on your drive size:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I've used both several times and they work well IF you have a working drive still.
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