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randavis
74 Challenger 440 4bbl

join:2000-01-19
Blue Springs, MO

Hard drive failed

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I have a Seagate ST3500320AS drive from my daughter's machine. She does photography as a side business so she has several pictures on it. The drive was the second drive in the system and now is not detected at boot. I have checked in Disk Management and it is not shown there either. I tried a different SATA cable and also a different SATA port on the motherboard.

The system C:\ drive is a 120gb drive and I had moved the Documents folder to the D:\ drive which is the drive in question, so she cannot access it now.

IIRC, the drive in question was affected by the sd15 firmware snafu, but I successfully flashed the newer firmware version and the drive performed correctly until recently.

Upon close inspection, I see some discoloration on the pcb of the affected drive. I have attached some pics of the drive.

What do you guys think about that pcb?
--
IUOE Local 101


koitsu
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-16
Mountain View, CA
kudos:23

1 edit
The photographs taken aren't very helpful (sorry to say that, but it's true). If anything was blown/broken it would be on the other side of the PCB (the side facing the drive).

Looking at the underside of the PCB doesn't necessarily help without a frame of reference -- meaning what the PCB looked like before the problem started. I've looked online and the discolouration seen on the golden pad in the upper right could be a sign of a problem, but could also be normal. Like I said: photo of the underside of the PCB doesn't help.

All we know is that "the drive isn't seen by the system, including at boot up". Does the drive even spin up? Press your ear against the drive while someone plugs it in. You don't need to plug the SATA data cable in, only power. You should hear what sounds like a mechanical noise followed by a "whirring". If none of this is heard, then the problem is either a bad PCB (the IC used to handle the motor is busted, or possibly there is a VRM cracked/broken on the board -- example) or something mechanically wrong with the spindle motor.

You can purchase a replacement drive PCB from some folks on eBay and swap it out. There are no guarantees that this will solve the problem (spindle motor issues cannot easily be fixed; contact a data recovery company). If you choose to replace the PCB, you will need to find one that is exactly the same as the model you have there; do not pick a PCB that is "like" the same as yours -- it must be the same model.

Also remember that power-related problems can be caused by a PSU of the PC outputting improper voltage on the +5V and +12V lines, then the same problem will happen again, etc... Things like lightning strikes, massive power outages (especially brown-outs), or having the system not hooked up to a surge protector and/or UPS during an abrupt power outage could cause this sort of thing. But Occam's razor says it's probably just the hardware going bad (it happens).

It would probably make more economic sense for the person to restore their data from backups on to a brand new drive, rather than worry about this drive. Do they have backups? If not, shame on them, followed by the question how important is the data on the drive? If the data is important, before doing *ANYTHING* (PCB replacement or *anything else*), contact data recovery companies for quotes. Expect to pay US$500 or higher.
--
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.


randavis
74 Challenger 440 4bbl

join:2000-01-19
Blue Springs, MO
Thank you for your reply. It is my daughter's machine and, of course, backups take too much time, effort, etc. I have told both of my girls about the importance of backups, but you know where that goes. At home, I have a WHS v1 box that backs up my machine daily and I sync the Documents folders to it also.

The professional recovery services are out of their budget. I think I will see about replacing the pcb. In a Google search earlier, I found a link to someone who has replacement pcb's for $50 US. They require that you send them your board and they mirror the pcb's settings onto the new board and ship it back to me. That is not exactly what they said but I don't remember the details.

This is the second hard drive failure I have had in the machines that I have built and maintained since 1995, so all in all, my luck has been good.
--
IUOE Local 101


koitsu
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-16
Mountain View, CA
kudos:23
said by randavis:

In a Google search earlier, I found a link to someone who has replacement pcb's for $50 US. They require that you send them your board and they mirror the pcb's settings onto the new board and ship it back to me. That is not exactly what they said but I don't remember the details.

That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, on numerous levels (for example there's nothing to "mirror" at the PCB level; drive mechanics and adjustments are actually stored in the HPA region of the drive, which is on the platters!). I would avoid that vendor.

Give me some time and I can point you to a vendor/product that will work, assuming they have the PCB in stock.
--
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.


Koil
Premium
join:2002-09-10
Irmo, SC
kudos:2
reply to randavis
Did you check and see if the drive did spin up?


randavis
74 Challenger 440 4bbl

join:2000-01-19
Blue Springs, MO
Yes, the drive does spin up.
--
IUOE Local 101


randavis
74 Challenger 440 4bbl

join:2000-01-19
Blue Springs, MO
reply to koitsu
This is the page I referred to:
»www.onepcbsolution.com/seagate-b···320.html
--
IUOE Local 101


Koil
Premium
join:2002-09-10
Irmo, SC
kudos:2
Well, koitsu See Profile's knowledge in this area dwarfs my own, so I'll let him make any recommendations.


koitsu
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-16
Mountain View, CA
kudos:23
reply to randavis
Ah, I see. They claim to be able to make PCB replacements (meaning etching + manufacturing a new PCB), but they almost certainly de-solder the existing ICs from the old board and put them on the new. Hrm, I really don't think that's ideal...

Anyway, and more importantly -- if the drive spins up, then the issue is not with the motor chip on the PCB or the power circuitry. So replacing the PCB won't do any good in this case. The issue may be head-related, in which case the only choices are (a) do nothing, or (b) contact a data recovery company.

Sorry to be the deliverer of bad news, but that's the situation it seems.
--
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.


randavis
74 Challenger 440 4bbl

join:2000-01-19
Blue Springs, MO
Although I know that they can't afford it, who are reliable and cheap data recovery companies? (I realize that good and cheap rarely co-exist) As you can see, I am located in the Kansas City area, if any one knows of anything local.

If it isn't too expensive, I may be able to do it for her as a Christmas present.
--
IUOE Local 101


Badger3k
We Don't Need No Stinkin Badgers
Premium
join:2001-09-27
Franklin, OH
»www.krollontrack.com/data-recovery/ is who I've used, but it was for work and was around $1500 if I remember right.
--
Team Discovery: Project Hope


mmainprize

join:2001-12-06
Houghton Lake, MI
reply to randavis
Here is the check list for Seagate

»knowledge.seagate.com/articles/e···168595en


randavis
74 Challenger 440 4bbl

join:2000-01-19
Blue Springs, MO
I have done most of their recommended steps. The only exception is the Seatools for DOS. I am at work today, so I probably won't get the chance to do that until next week.
--
IUOE Local 101

westom

join:2009-03-15
kudos:1
reply to randavis
Makes no sense to fix something without first defining the problem. Therefore all disk drive manufacturer provide comprehensive hardware diagnostics for free. Disconnect or remove nothing. Execute a diagnostic from the drive manufacturer, provided by some more responsible computer manufacturers, or from bootdisk.com

Then we can discuss a solution including the so simple PCB replacement that I have sometimes used to recover data.

Almost all failures occur without visual indication. People only see failures with test equipment, diagnostics, and other tools.


Anonguy

@telus.net
reply to randavis
That is one seagate hard disk with know issues chance are you send it to them they recovery the data and fix hard disk for you

free

»knowledge.seagate.com/articles/e···207951en

They done it before for me on they disk that had know firmware issues highly suggested you call them

Analysis of actual field return data indicates there is a low risk, however, as part of our commitment to customer satisfaction Seagate is offering a free firmware upgrade which you can download by following the instructions below.

In the event your drive is affected and you cannot access your data after a power cycle, the data still resides on the drive and there is no data loss associated with this issue. If your drive is no longer accessible, click here to contact Seagate directly for further assistance. If the inaccessible drive is in a RAID array, there may be limitations to the recovery and reinstatement of your drive, please consult with your Seagate agent for details.

If your drive is on the list of those that may have been affected by a recent firmware issue and you are unable to perform the firmware update because your drive is no longer detected by your computer, please do the following: