Question about Seagate U5 (ST320413A) 20 GB Hard Drive

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Shorted 12V on input to drive

I've got this old Pentium III computer that will not boot. I've troubleshot it to the 20G hard drive. When ever it is connected to the power supply it kills the 12V. I've measured a dead short on the 12V to the drive. Anything more I can do?

I'm trying to get this going for my 8 year old daughter. What's the cheapest option to getting a new drive and operating system.

Thanks for the help and all the best.

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Re: Shorted 12V on input to drive


Basically 2 options I think.
1. If you feel comfortable working with electronics, familiar with a DVM (looks like) and a soldering iron, it possible to check the electronic board of the HD. You need to do component level check of that PCB. Some of these old HDs have a reverse protection diode installed right after the power connector. At times it could be the surface mounted capacitor. The worst is the servo drive that powers the motor. Normally, the 12V in an HD is for use of the motor while the 5V is for the logic circuitry.

2. If you need to replace the HD, just about any hard drive should work for your PIII (just not the new big ones). Sources would be your neighborhood computer repair shops or a neighbor/friend who's got a defective PC and would probably just throw them away rather than have them repaired. You can salvaged the parts and hopefully a working HD. Most also would already have Win98SE and transition from one system to another in 98 would not be that much of a hassle. You can then use your original Windows key.

3. Should you get one that has no OS, you can use an OEM Windows installer and still use you original CD key.

Hope that this be of some help/idea. Pls post back how things worked out or should you need additional information.

Good luck and kind regards.

Posted on Dec 24, 2007

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