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Broke the connector

Last response: in Storage
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October 7, 2012 5:19:09 PM

Last night I was installing a video card that was longer than my old one and I had to move the hard drive into another spot to make room for it. During the process, the plastic L connector broke and now I can't hook the hard drive back up. Since this happened, my computer won't do anything except for a boot loop. Is the hard drive what it causing is? Or could I have messed something else up too? Just wondering before I get a new hdd

More about : broke connector

a b U Graphics card
a c 85 G Storage
October 7, 2012 5:30:08 PM

Yes, the HDD is causing that. The HDD holds your operating system an without it your computer can not start.
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a c 104 G Storage
October 7, 2012 5:46:45 PM

Could you please take a photo of the L piece that you mean and upload it here, to check out?

If it's the L data cable, you can replace that. If for some reason you can't connect the data or power connector to your this "old" HDD, then there won't be any easy way to connect it for cloning over to a new HDD.
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October 7, 2012 5:53:09 PM

I would take a pic but I can't find my phone at the moment, as soon as I can I will. It's the L data cable. The plastic piece that covers the metal pins broke off and it looks like the pins are bent now.

I can buy a brand new HDD and start over from scratch tho right?
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a c 104 G Storage
October 7, 2012 6:06:01 PM

chellebubblz said:
I would take a pic but I can't find my phone at the moment, as soon as I can I will. It's the L data cable. The plastic piece that covers the metal pins broke off and it looks like the pins are bent now.

I can buy a brand new HDD and start over from scratch tho right?



A Photo will really help! The more recent SATA drives don't have pins, they have contacts, 7 for data, 15 for power. Could this be an older IDE drive?

If it's the L cable, you can replace it for $5. If it's the pins on the HDD, you can straighten them by using the end of a mechanical pencil (no lead) slipped over one by one and just straightened. If the plastic holding the SATA data contacts is broken, that could be a problem repairing.

You can start over, requires a clean install of OS and programs.

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October 7, 2012 11:01:58 PM





I'm gona spend this week giving it a good cleaning, it needs it. And it looks like from the picture it's missing pins, but it's not, I just couldn't get close enough without taking the drive back out.
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a c 85 U Graphics card
a b G Storage
October 7, 2012 11:12:47 PM

Those pictures are really low res, but it looks like you managed to mess up the hard drive itself. If none of the contacts are missing, however, you can try to bend the pins back in place. (Do it carefully!)
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a c 104 G Storage
October 8, 2012 12:04:24 AM

Can't tell for sure about the HDD contacts but that is a standard L SATA data cable.

Get a new SATA cable, same length (L on one end, straight on other).

Would take the HDD out as you thought, check out the contact area, try the data cable outside the case to see if it will slip on OK, or if anything is cracked. Also if there is any fragment of plastic inside that L data connector. They have 7 contacts, lined up on one side only.
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October 11, 2012 8:49:51 PM

Yes, there is plastic inside the L connector on the cable. My hdd is still under warranty so I have a new one on the way. I figured I will try it with a new cable and then if it won't work then I will just have to start from scratch.

I do have a few questions if I have to start from scratch. When this happened I was installing a GTX275 so it hasn't been used yet and I don't have onboard graphics. When a new hdd is put in, will it automatically detect and use the GTX275? With my old video card it did this, but I'm curious if it still will with a brand new hdd that I'll have to install an OS on and everything...

I don't have a Windows disc anymore and all I can get to use is a Linux which I have no experience with but I'm willing to try. But again, I don't know if it will use my GTX275 or anything. I had someone build the computer for me a few years back so I can't contact an OEM for a disc, and don't want to pay full price for a new Windows copy. I'd rather wait til Windows 8 is released and then pay. My fiance said he can get a cord and put his hard drive on mine, but I really don't want all of his crap... lol
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a c 104 G Storage
October 11, 2012 10:23:23 PM

chellebubblz said:
Yes, there is plastic inside the L connector on the cable. My hdd is still under warranty so I have a new one on the way. I figured I will try it with a new cable and then if it won't work then I will just have to start from scratch.

I do have a few questions if I have to start from scratch. When this happened I was installing a GTX275 so it hasn't been used yet and I don't have onboard graphics. When a new hdd is put in, will it automatically detect and use the GTX275? With my old video card it did this, but I'm curious if it still will with a brand new hdd that I'll have to install an OS on and everything...

I don't have a Windows disc anymore and all I can get to use is a Linux which I have no experience with but I'm willing to try. But again, I don't know if it will use my GTX275 or anything. I had someone build the computer for me a few years back so I can't contact an OEM for a disc, and don't want to pay full price for a new Windows copy. I'd rather wait til Windows 8 is released and then pay. My fiance said he can get a cord and put his hard drive on mine, but I really don't want all of his crap... lol


First of all, did you send the "old" hdd back for replacement, or do you still have it to see if it will boot up? If it's RMA'd or not working, then you will have to install, say, Win-8 as a clean install on the "new" HDD. If you still have the old HDD, you could "clone" all the data on it over to the new HDD & be back in business.

When you replace an old graphics card you should uninstall all the old card drivers and programs from the old HDD first. Then install the GTX275 in the slot.
If you are starting with a new HDD, then you just install the new card in a PCI-e slot, and it will be recognized by the BIOS, and work fine.
After the OS is completely installed, then you can install the CD drivers and any applet programs for the GTX275 (or download the latest driver package from EVGA or whoever made the card) to use. That permits all the features of the new graphics card, but the card will work without them.

You are better off not connecting a fully functional HDD from another computer in that it won't have the correct MB drivers, and could theorecically end having it not work when placed back in it's native environment.
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