Question Can you unknowingly short circuit the motherboard?

May 26, 2021
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Today I was trying to remove the internal hard drive which has been making lots of wierd noises. I was gonna give it a shake and put it back in to see if that fixed it. Well I forgot to unplug the data connector and the back part of it snapped off when removing it, leaving only the pins intact. Like a fool, I jury rigged it back in, and it was a loose connection. Of course it didn’t even show up on the PC.. Watching a “fix it” video today the guy said that if the pins are touching on the HDD (which they are after checking) while doing this you could short circuit the computer. Now nothing has happened to the pc, and it runs fine. I’m just worried I could’ve short circuited it and it hasn’t become apparent yet. Is this possible, or do short circuits always present with noticeable issues?

any insights much appreciated.
 

Eximo

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A short circuit is an electrical connection from power to ground, sometimes with components in between. Sometimes the components will pop, and create an open circuit (problem solved) That part will be broken, but everything else fine.

In this case, had you shorted something, the system wouldn't have turned on. So my guess is you've just broken the connector.

Also, shaking a hard drive isn't likely to fix it. Smart thing would have been to check the SMART (CrystalDiskInfo is a good tool) data and see if there was actually a problem with the drive. Older drives make noise, just something that happens.
 
Reactions: Cassie2011
Nov 7, 2021
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Not really. I've had this happen multiple times with my users over a 25 year period and never had a short circuited motherboard. The hard drive circuit board ended up unusable until I soldered a new connector on (Even then it sometimes still wouldn't function)
 
Reactions: Cassie2011
May 26, 2021
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Thanks for the replies everyone! Just to clarify, I had the hard disk data cable plugged in while a few of the data pins on the drive were touching one another (since that was the part that broke and not the power connector) . And then I powered everything on.. It wasn’t the shaking of the drive I was worried about. Do I still sound ok?
 

Eximo

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Yes, the system didn't shutdown and the drive didn't explode or catch fire on start, or it did briefly and you didn't notice. Likely nothing was shorted. Data pins would all be at the same voltage, having them crossed would just likely result in there being no readable signal.
 
Reactions: Cassie2011

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