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Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200.12 External (9sf2a2-500) - Can I swap pcb

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November 6, 2012 4:57:51 AM

So I plugged in my friend's external hdd to a laptop power cord (silly, silly me), and now the hard drive won't start up, even when I put it into my desktop as a slave (bios won't even detect it). I'm 99% sure that something is fried on the pcb and I have to recover this data or I'm dead. If I buy the EXACT same hdd and swap the pcb, will I be able to recover the data?
If no, ANY other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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a b G Storage
November 6, 2012 11:26:18 AM
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People post here on a weekly basis after replacing pcbs from dead drives with identical ones from working drives, and say it doesn't work. I wouldn't bother going that route, and save the $100 from buying/destroying a drive.

It's possible you just fried something in the external casing and the drive itself is fine. I would try removing the drive from the casing, and putting it in another casing or connecting it directly to a machine. If the drive is still not readable at that point, and you must have the data back sending it to a data recovery center is very likely your only option to retrieve anything from the drive.

The first is a quick/easy option to try, the second not so much, but if you want the data that is the most realistic way of getting it back. Replacing parts on a hard drive will rarely if ever fix anything from what I've seen.
November 6, 2012 12:23:21 PM

I tried connecting it to my machine using after taking it out of the casing like you said and the only response I got was an electrical smell, so that's why I'm assuming that I'm screwed.
What are the chances of a data recovery center actually getting the data off it? If its shorted out or something will they even try to recover anything?
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November 6, 2012 12:53:54 PM

And any idea what cost I'm looking at? That's always helpful..
a b G Storage
November 6, 2012 1:36:57 PM

I would say 99% chance a data recovery center can get the data back. Cost starting around $600, and going up to $2,000 or so depending on how difficult a job it would be. Generally they will do a free analysis, and let you know if the data is recoverable and how much it would cost to get it back.
November 6, 2012 1:51:27 PM

Ok, thanks a ton for the help. Looks like I'll be delivering some bad news though.
a c 272 G Storage
November 6, 2012 7:15:31 PM

@Eternalturnofthewheel, in most cases the result of an overvoltage from a 19V laptop adapter is a shorted 12V TVS diode. The solution in most cases is to simply remove the diode with flush cutters. This will cost you nothing, except the price of a Torx 6 screwdriver.

See http://www.users.on.net/~fzabkar/HDD/TVS_diode_FAQ.html

... and http://www.users.on.net/~fzabkar/HDD/ (photo clips)

If the board has sustained additional damage, then the most you will need to pay to replace it, including a firmware transfer, would be about US$50.

A firmware transfer is required because most modern HDDs store unique, drive specific "adaptive" information in a serial EEPROM chip. This chip, or its contents, needs to be transferred from patient to donor.

The following PCB suppliers offer a firmware transfer service, either for free, or for US$10:

http://www.donordrives.com
http://www.onepcbsolution.com
http://www.hdd-parts.com
a b G Storage
November 6, 2012 7:19:08 PM

fzabkar is certainly more knowledgeable about the workings of the drives then I am, by all means investigate the offered solutions and if you work through them with positive results let us know.
!