Dead Hard Drive

A couple of months ago I bought an external hard drive: it was a Seagate 320GB 7200 rpm. Now it’s a paper-weight. I felt that with all the data I had on my PC, it would be a good idea to have some sort of backup. That was the theory anyway. But of course, the practice was quite different. I stored all my data on that drive instead of on my PC.

There was about 200GB of data on that drive. That was until yesterday, when I committed the faux pas of plugging the wrong ac adapter into drive. My laptop uses 19 volts. The hard drive expected 12 volts. No smoke, no bang, just a continuously flashing LED on the drive. And no drive detected by the operating system.

Initially I thought that I may have blown the power board in the drive. So with the aid of a butter knife, I spent 4 hours liberating the drive from its rather sturdy plastic case. That was just so much fun at 2 o’clock in the morning. Now to start testing. So how do I test if the power board was damaged or not? Well I disconnected the drive from the chassis and plugged in the correct adapter. The LED came on and stayed on. Didn’t flash once. Looks like the power board is OK. This is not looking good for the drive.

It wasn’t until I got home today that I could finish my testing. I put the drive into my old PC as a slave drive and started up the PC. Well I tried to start up the system. Nothing happened: as in a “the PC did not even power on” type of nothing. Removed the drive and tried again. Still the PC would not turn on. This is not looking good at all. Whatever I did to the drive, it was obviously a lot worse than I thought. I tried a couple of more times to turn on the PC, and still there wasn’t a flicker of life from it.

Now I’m worried. Not only have I fubared my drive, but my second PC is fubared as well. After removing the power lead and holding down the power button for a few seconds, it eventually starts correctly. Whew! I don’t think I’ll be doing that again.

I don’t really care too much about the drive itself, but I would like to get the data back. My only choices are to send it off to a data recovery specialist, (along with my left arm to cover the cost), or I can try to do the repair myself. I’ll keep an eye out for a logic board for the drive, and if I can get my hands on one, maybe I’ll try to replace it myself.

Or I might just say goodbye to the data, buy a new external drive and smack myself over the head a few times with the old one to remind me to check my adapters the next time I plug it in.