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Is it possible to cause damage via SATA data connector?

Last response: in Storage
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June 16, 2012 12:51:14 AM

Recently busted SATA data connector on HDD while replacing power supply. Cut the end off a SATA cable and directly soldered it to the drive's pcb. Worked great until I was moving some cables around and butchered my solder work. I've improved the my makeshift soldered connection, but drive is not recognized even in bios.

I am aware that a SATA data connection is 4 data lines and 3 grounds, is it possible to cause damage to the hard drive if these cross? For those more familiar with hard drive circuitry (I'm not), are there any protective measures like resistors that safeguard against such events if possible?
a b G Storage
June 16, 2012 12:53:31 AM

Overall, you're better off getting a new SATA cable. It's to prevent any crossovers or any possible faults.
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June 16, 2012 12:56:38 AM

The data connection on the hard drive is the broken part, I pulled the pins out and directly soldered a SATA cable to the hard drive's circuit board. The SATA cable tests good for continuity.

I am simply wanting to know if it's possible to cause damage due to the data lines grounding out or touch each other. If so, then I will pursue further solutions.
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a b G Storage
June 16, 2012 12:58:11 AM

Oh, I misread that the SATA is broken on the HDD. Well, it shouldn't short circuit from what you have done. As long as the SATA is correctly placed you won't have a problem.
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June 16, 2012 12:59:17 AM

In the event something DID cross or was wired incorrectly, would it even be possible for damage to occur?

I am trying to get this out of the way by figuring out if it's a possibility before further troubleshooting.
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a b G Storage
June 16, 2012 1:06:17 AM

It's not powered by the SATA connector, it's more of a data interface. The possible damage is a little shock from an electrical surge or something to that extent. But, anyone else can chime in, so you have more opinions.
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Best solution

a b G Storage
June 16, 2012 1:35:37 AM

It should not be electrically possible to damage a hard drive by reversing or shorting the SATA data lines, this is not true of course for the power lines.
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June 16, 2012 7:34:17 PM

Cool, thanks for the replies. If anyone has any additional info, feel free to chime in.
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June 19, 2012 4:18:19 AM

Wow, I am an idiot and while slinging solder, I had inadvertently desoldered the contacts of the data lines. I did a google search and found a large image of a drive of the same model with the same board revision and realized my mistake.

I was having trouble soldering the points back together with this 20w Radioshack wonder of an iron; the board was melting; so I used some old clipped legs of resistors to bridge the connections.

It looks nasty, but all porn and client files have been restored to the galaxy.
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June 19, 2012 5:02:38 AM

I knew I felt a sudden relief in the force.

Good job on the fix.
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June 19, 2012 6:37:41 AM

Pic for the curious ones.
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a b G Storage
June 19, 2012 7:37:00 AM

If you were to clean the joints with some alcohol or flux remover you could see the joints much better and it wouldn't look so bad.
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June 19, 2012 4:05:49 PM

pjmelect said:
If you were to clean the joints with some alcohol or flux remover you could see the joints much better and it wouldn't look so bad.


Agreed. The joints are visible, but it is a little messy. Interesting idea though...and we all thought we'd never have to solder components anymore...
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June 19, 2012 10:57:34 PM

It is a very messy job due to my iron being far too large to work on components like this.
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June 23, 2012 12:34:36 AM

Best answer selected by sloanstewart.
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