Swapped Logic Boards

Hey guys, a while ago my Son plugged in a laptop cable into my Maxtor Basics 1TB external HDD and has failed to power up. I've tried taking it out of the enclosure and put it directly into the motherboard, but when I do the computer fails to power up (I'm thinking there's a short somewhere on the drive). Anyhow, I recently decided to order the exact same logic board with the same firmware and serial numbers etc, it's a 100% complete match. While booting up my computer, Linux refuses to boot giving an (errno:16) error. I removed the drive and placed it back into the enclosure to find that the drive powers up, however the computer doesn't appear to detect it. I also noticed a slight clicking, which I can't recall if that was there prior to the drive breaking. My drive is full of photos of my kids growing up and are irreplaceable, however spending thousands on data recovery is out of my price range. What are my options? The drive inside as a Seagate Barracuda ST31000340AS 7200.11 SD81 1000GB. Thanks! :)
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  1. Bye Bye photos. Start uploading to the cloud for stuff that is irreplaceable. There are tons of free photo hosting sites.

    Option 2. Buy a film camera then you will always have a hard copy.
  2. 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:


    I would advise that you avoid those suppliers who don't tell you that a board won't work without modification. Often they will attempt to obscure the requirement for a firmware transfer by deceptively describing their products as being "for data recovery only".

    Alternatively, if you are not adept at soldering, your local TV/AV repair shop should be able to transfer the chip for you.

    Onepcbsolution.com also offer a firmware transfer service for US$20 if you have purchased your board from a different supplier:


    That said, the typical result of an overvoltage from a laptop adapter is a shorted 12V TVS diode on the HDD's PCB. The simple solution is to remove it with flush cutters. That's all.

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

    The 12V TVS diode is located near the SATA power connector. It is the rightmost of the two larger 2-pin devices above the left end of the SDRAM chip in the following photo:
  3. Some older drives have the same basic information on two PCB boards of the same model, provided that both drives were made at about the same time, before more unique adaptives were programmed into the next line of drives. If one of the PCBs fails, there is some chance of making a recovery by simply swapping the boards of the two drives. However, hard drives have contained "customized" firmware on at least an occasional basis since they've become a consumer product, so the chances of a straight "board swap" working are low. So in most cases you also need to move the old PCB's BIOS to the replacement one. :wahoo:

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