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Hi, I fried my pcb board on my Segate drive and need to get a new one, i tried calling Segate and they are no help i searched and called a few random companies and they were not much better. Does anyone know where i can buy one? I really don't want to lose all my data. Thanks

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Hi sc-w,

Since most companies are not going to sell you just parts of a hard drive. Well the only option I can see for you here is that you have to buy the same model hard drive from a local store or online store wherever it is available and then you need to cannibalize the good hard drive and put the parts on the defective hard drive. As long as you are sure that the only damage to your drive is the PCB, it should work and your data should still be intact (no guarantees though!). Though this might become expensive for you, but like you said your data is what matters most to you right?!

This is the same procedure that most data recovery company do to salvage information from broken hard drives.

Hope this helps!

Peace! :)

Posted on Oct 22, 2008

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The Printed Circuit Board controls many functions to operate the hard disk drive, There are 5 main features of a the electronics that can be unique to each drive that is likely to fail, the first being:
POWER INPUT The most problems we see here are mostly human era... forcing the power plug in the wrong way Unfortunately apart from a few notebook PCB's the is no protection fuse to prevent PCB Damage There is also risk of power surges making it through to the electronics as well
FIRMWARE Firmware is unique to the PCB this controls calibration and track information so it is very rare to be able to interchange the same model PCB with one that has another firmware revision... so what this means, if your board shorts out the firmware unique to the drive, you will be in trouble. Of course a good main stream data recovery company will be able to replace this and manually reprogram this chip
SPINDLE IC This controls the speed and rotation of the spindle rotating the platters internal to the hard drive assembly or HDA These intend to get very hot at times and can often short out… The most famous of models to this was the good old quantum LCT, particularly the TDA5247HT Chip; this would go up in smoke and leave a pin hole or a very big mess on or over the IC

MICRO CONTROLLER These rarely fail unless there has been an extreme hit by power such as a lightning strike that may cause voltage through the IDE Cable. If this does fail you would normally find visible damage
TRACKS Internal track are the thin Copper ribbons that run through the board that connect each component these can be easily damaged bay any of the above case scenarios, but one of the most common that I have seen is Corrosion Below is a great Example of how quickly chemicals in the air from industrial workshops or even sulfa in the air from volcanic regions can cause havoc... but for most residential computer hard drives its condensation that damages a PCB
In this example this PCB was only 6 months old

Yes there's a high chance...
YOU WILL SEE SMOKE!!!!!! If you have an exact match to the PCB you want to attempt swapping, the risk will be minimal but what allot of people don’t realize, is that code can change overtime even with exact matching parts.
What this means is... if you were to purchase two NEW exact hard drives at the same time from the same batch and then swapped there PCB's to each other, you would most likely be successful!
Try that same scenario 6 months after heavy use... and results will could be very different There's a high chance that each PCB has made themselves unique to each drive!
How can this be? Its called SMART Technology where the hard drive is designed to reconfigure itself during operation to maximizing performance and protecting data. If a sector is read slow but functional the drive will remap this sector as bad and move this sector creating changes to track and sector information in firmware Now this new reconfigured information is unique to the drive, and can cause this PCB to be incompatible with any other drive of matching numbers.
As a data recovery engineer it is always best to repair the Original electronics of a failed hard disk drive That way you get maximum results with very little risk, Most high end data recovery companies have the expertise to replace many, if not all components on the PCB.. but not only physically but replacement, but this may also involve new components and reprogramming.

Posted on Oct 22, 2008



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Because of this customized firmware, however, it's not possible to switch out a PCB board in many cases; of course, this varies depending on the manufacturer of a drive. For instance, 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 very low. In addition, because of the unique adaptives, it is highly possible to damage a drive further by the placement of a foreign PCB. Data recovery companies must rebuild the firmware information in many situations when the PCB of a drive fails. In addition, occasionally PCB failures cause damage to other hard drive components, such as the heads of the drive (and subsequently the platters, in certain situations). Professional data recovery companies have special processes to treat these problems as well. If you think that your hard drive has a problem with its PCB board, it's important that you don't try to operate the drive any further or try switching out the PCB board with another drive's. Get your hard drive to a reputable data recovery company immediately for an evaluation. A good data recovery company will be able to quickly diagnose the drive's issues and let you know what your options are from that point.

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