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Bizarre Hard drive problem; not appearing in BIOS.

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January 30, 2013 7:02:52 PM

Over the past few days my WD Caviar 1TB (which was incased in an in external drive) has had a rather common problem of not working.
However it doesn't seem to a problem with power or USBs, I even directly used SATA cables to try and get this thing working, the BIOS screen didn't even detect it (I'm fairly confident this is set on Auto as previously I had installed a 2nd internal hard-drive which had worked fine with no problems.)

Seeing as this thing was well past its warranty due to time, I decided to open it up to have a look inside, I booted up my computer and sure enough everything seemed quite well inside; the disk would spin and the arm would act as it should do... but after a few seconds it would just stop; clearly power was going to it (in both external and internally) but I have no idea.

I then decide to resemble the parts to make it external again; I tried the same set up, same thing happened but I noticed shortly before the thing would slow down the lightbulb on it would blink off for a moment and then it would turn on again, and the hard-drive would stop.

I then decided to try it on a different machine; first a friends laptop, same problem however it I could see a "Disk one" in computer management, when trying to use an MBR it would report with a cyclic redundancy check... which seems right considering power may be issue to this.

Nothing of immensely great importance on this drive... but it would be a great shame to have to throw it away. Is this a problem I can fix my self, do I have to get some tech pros in on this (in the world of hardware) or do I have to kiss it good bye and bin it? Annoyingly all this trouble started on the day I wanted to transfer this info onto my internal.

Just as a note, my main-tower doesn't recognize the drive in computer management at all... not unlike the laptop which just views it as "disk 1".

Of course I will post my hard ware info relevant to this, which I believe is simply my motherboard:
M4N68T-M Series (Asus).

As for myself, I am computer literate and will have an understand of what you may say, or at least be able to find out what you're telling me.

January 30, 2013 7:34:18 PM

Unless you opened the drive in a clean room with all the appropriate equipment, you doomed it to failure over time as contaminants would have killed it over time.

If a drive doesn't show up in bios then it's either the platter is not spinning or the control board is dead.

9 times out of ten, you can tell if it's an issue with the rotation assembly just by the noise and vibrations it creates. Most times, unless it was physically damaged (dropped or something) then the most likely cause is that the control board is dead.

You could try a control board swap from an identical drive, but that is a LONG shot that it will work.
January 30, 2013 7:43:44 PM

I suspect some sort of physical damage happened; something may of fell on it, there is indeed a noise and vibration of sorts to it.

How do I verify if a control board is dead or not? Like wise how would I go about fixing a mechanical fault?

As for contaminants its been closed/sealed when I've not been testing it, and it was opened carefully as I could (no brute was used.), and it was opened about 4 days ago.


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a b G Storage
January 30, 2013 8:07:26 PM

Hi,

I tried to repair a few of them and had the same kid of problem. If you look at the circuit board, I'm sure that you have some solder joint corroded. I tried to repair them but no avail. It's probably have a green hard drive in there and they have a high rate of fail.
a b G Storage
January 30, 2013 8:11:17 PM

By opening the casing of a hard drive, in anywhere other than a clean room (0 dust particles in the air), the drive will almost certainly be defective now - and if by some miracle it does run, it won't for long.

The heads must float just 5 or 10 nanometers above the platters, and the dust particles will cause the heads to become misaligned creating data read/write errors.

If you want to see how much dust is in the air, simply get a very bright light bulb and turn it on....you will see a ton of dust in the air.
January 30, 2013 8:29:25 PM

I'm pretty sure the word I would use to describe the current state of my hard drive is begins with the letter F.

Thanks for the help, especially telling me that any information I would get from my hard-drive would be horribly corrupted.
!