Question Hitachi HDD PCB fried after using different brand SATA power connectors, replaced PCB and copied BIOS but HDD not spinning ?

_MiQ_

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Hi,

A while ago I managed to fry the PCB of a Hitachi Ultrastar 1TB HDD after using modular SATA power connectors from different brand PSU. After I removed the burnt diode that apparently had no super important job to do the drive spun up to medium speed and started ticking. I bought a replacement board (the two codes from top of the white label matched). I tried to get it running just by replacing the board but instead it spun up properly and it sounded like nothing was wrong but Windows only saw that there was a disk connected but had no info on it.

I removed the BIOS chip from the original board and read it with CH341A and AsProgrammer. I wrote the old BIOS to the new board BIOS (they are the same model) and after that the drive doesn't spin up at all. Any suggestions or is it pointless for me to even try anything anymore at this point?

Thanks
 

Aeacus

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I bought a replacement board (the two codes from top of the white label matched).
Bad idea.

I removed the BIOS chip from the original board and read it with CH341A and AsProgrammer. I wrote the old BIOS to the new board BIOS (they are the same model)
Even worse idea.

--
Why?
That's why:

A common misconception is that a damaged printed circuit board (PCB) may be simply replaced during recovery procedures by an identical PCB from a healthy drive. While this may work in rare circumstances on hard disk drives manufactured before 2003, it will not work on newer drives. Electronics boards of modern drives usually contain drive-specific adaptation data (generally a map of bad sectors and tuning parameters) and other information required to properly access data on the drive. Replacement boards often need this information to effectively recover all of the data. The replacement board may need to be reprogrammed. Some manufacturers (Seagate, for example) store this information on a serial EEPROM chip, which can be removed and transferred to the replacement board.

Each hard disk drive has what is called a system area or service area; this portion of the drive, which is not directly accessible to the end user, usually contains drive's firmware and adaptive data that helps the drive operate within normal parameters. One function of the system area is to log defective sectors within the drive; essentially telling the drive where it can and cannot write data.

The sector lists are also stored on various chips attached to the PCB, and they are unique to each hard disk drive. If the data on the PCB do not match what is stored on the platter, then the drive will not calibrate properly. In most cases the drive heads will click because they are unable to find the data matching what is stored on the PCB.
What your HDD is missing, for the very least, is the sector map. Sure, it may have proper firmware (BIOS) and new PCB but without the most crucial part, it is a dead drive.

If you have valuable data on HDD and want to recover it, bring your HDD to data recovery firm and be prepared to pay a lot more than usual, thanks to your "tinkering".
 
I expect that your misadventure resulted in 12V being applied to the drive's 5V input. Transferring the "BIOS" chip or its contents to a compatible PCB would normally work, but in your case it appears that the preamp on the headstack inside the HDD was also damaged. The preamp is powered from the 5V supply.

Can you upload a photo of your original PCB?

Can you upload a dump of the "BIOS" chip? What are the markings on the chip?

What is the model number of the HDD?
 

Gam3r01

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At this point:

If it holds vital information you need recovered, send it to an actual data recovery service and do not do anything else to the drive. (This is expensive).
Or
Toss it in the trash, you have pretty much solidified the drives death. (This is free).
 

_MiQ_

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Thank you everyone for your replies.

I expect that your misadventure resulted in 12V being applied to the drive's 5V input. Transferring the "BIOS" chip or its contents to a compatible PCB would normally work, but in your case it appears that the preamp on the headstack inside the HDD was also damaged. The preamp is powered from the 5V supply.

Can you upload a photo of your original PCB?

Can you upload a dump of the "BIOS" chip? What are the markings on the chip?

What is the model number of the HDD?
Here is a picture of the original pcb

And here is .bin file of the BIOS

The "BIOS" is 25PO5VP (9846X) by ST. The EEPROM is RL76 8T78W which I couldn't read since I didn't find any proper datasheets.

If you have valuable data on HDD and want to recover it, bring your HDD to data recovery firm and be prepared to pay a lot more than usual, thanks to your "tinkering".
If it holds vital information you need recovered, send it to an actual data recovery service and do not do anything else to the drive. (This is expensive).
Is there any important data on the drive? Sure, but not that important that I would want to pay hundreds maybe thousands of dollars to recover them. So if I'm not planning to pay for data recovery from start and other option is to throw it in the trash then it doesn't hurt to even try to recover it myself. And the drive is from 2009.
 

Aeacus

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Is there any important data on the drive? Sure, but not that important that I would want to pay hundreds maybe thousands of dollars to recover them. So if I'm not planning to pay for data recovery from start and other option is to throw it in the trash then it doesn't hurt to even try to recover it myself. And the drive is from 2009.
Sure, you can try to recover the data by yourself. But at what point comes the line, where you have invested too much time and effort into recovering something, when your chances to succeed are slim to none?

You've already invested time and effort into it, without success. And by the looks of it, you don't have the HDD inner workings know-how either, for possibly successful data recovery by DIY. Else-ways, you would've located sector map chip(s) and physically transferred those over as well, to new PCB.

is it pointless for me to even try anything anymore at this point?
With your level of HDD knowledge, Yes.
 
U7 (EEPROM, "NVRAM") is the chip that you need to transfer. It contains unique, drive specific information. Please be very mindful of the different pinouts on page 5 of the datasheet. The pinout on the right appears to be the correct one.

BR93L76RF, Rohm, Microwire BUS 8Kbit (512 x 16bit) EEPROM, marking RL76, 8-pin:
https://docs.rs-online.com/bdd2/0900766b816166e6.pdf

The other chip ("ROM") contains part of the firmware code. If the firmware versions in the ROM and NVRAM don't match, then that could explain the no-spin symptom.

That said, you are still stuck with the clicking problem. There is a small resistor to the right of the 5V TVS diode in your photo. I can't see its markings, but they appear to be "R47" (0.47 ohm). Measure the resistance of this resistor. Also, with the PCB on the drive, measure the resistance between ground (eg a screw hole) and each side of the resistor. This will tell us if the preamp is shorted. Do this before you attempt any more ROM/EEPROM dumps.
 

_MiQ_

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U7 (EEPROM, "NVRAM") is the chip that you need to transfer. It contains unique, drive specific information. Please be very mindful of the different pinouts on page 5 of the datasheet. The pinout on the right appears to be the correct one.

BR93L76RF, Rohm, Microwire BUS 8Kbit (512 x 16bit) EEPROM, marking RL76, 8-pin:
https://docs.rs-online.com/bdd2/0900766b816166e6.pdf

The other chip ("ROM") contains part of the firmware code. If the firmware versions in the ROM and NVRAM don't match, then that could explain the no-spin symptom.

That said, you are still stuck with the clicking problem. There is a small resistor to the right of the 5V TVS diode in your photo. I can't see its markings, but they appear to be "R47" (0.47 ohm). Measure the resistance of this resistor. Also, with the PCB on the drive, measure the resistance between ground (eg a screw hole) and each side of the resistor. This will tell us if the preamp is shorted. Do this before you attempt any more ROM/EEPROM dumps.
Do you mean the small resistor that's on the right side of the burnt diode on the bottom left side of the board? I measured it and got same reading out of it as from any other 0.47 ohm resistor on the board (couldn't get excact reading since multimeter isn't accurate enough but comparing to other resistors, it's the same). Also measured from both sides of that resistor to ground, no connectivity.

If I'm going to transfer the U7 chip too I would like to get a reading out of it so I will have a backup of it if anything goes wrong. Only problem being I'm not sure if CH341A capable of reading it or if it is capable, then what software / setting I should use?
 
It appears that the latest software for the CH341A supports 93 series microwire EEPROMs:

https://khandishnetwork.com/dl/siberiaprog-ch341a-new-update-v1-45-04-02-2022/ (I found this site via a Google search, so I don't know anything about it)

The preamp isn't shorted, but I'd still be concerned about it. Anyway, good luck.

If you upload the EEPROM dump, I can verify its checksum for you. Unfortunately I don't know how to verify the "ROM" (its checksum algorithm is unknown to me).


Edit: I have worked out how the ROM checksum is calculated.

This is your ROM:

Code:
Offset(h) 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 0A 0B 0C 0D 0E 0F

00000000  E9 5F 04 00 37 28 04 00 37 28 04 00 37 28 04 00  é_..7(..7(..7(..
00000010  80 01 04 00 37 28 04 00 4A 28 04 00 5D B4 04 00  €...7(..J(..]´..
00000020  F2 36 04 00 50 83 04 00 A1 2A 06 00 A1 2A 06 00  ò6..Pƒ..¡*..¡*..
00000030  82 8B 04 00 DA E0 04 00 45 58 04 00 8C E1 04 00  ‚‹..Úà..EX..Œá..
00000040  45 56 04 00 A1 2A 06 00 A1 2A 06 00 A1 2A 06 00  EV..¡*..¡*..¡*..
00000050  A1 2A 06 00 A1 2A 06 00 A1 2A 06 00 2F 69 04 00  ¡*..¡*..¡*../i..
00000060  8B 16 04 00 F2 36 04 00 E5 75 04 00 22 56 04 00  ‹...ò6..åu.."V..
00000070  C2 36 04 00 A1 2A 06 00 A1 2A 06 00 FF FF FF FF  Â6..¡*..¡*..ÿÿÿÿ
00000080  48 44 53 37 32 31 30 78 78 4B 4C 78 78 78 30 20  HDS7210xxKLxxx0   <-- family = HDS7210xxKLxxx0
........
0000FFF0  94 0B DD EF 52 4F 4D 30 41 39 30 41 49 12 28 0B  ....ROM0A90A....  <-- end of ROM
                                  ^^^^^^^^^^^ -----------          ^^^^      ROM version = "A90A"
                                                                       ----  0x0B281249 = 32-bit little-endian checksum dword
The checksum of the ROM is calculated by adding all the 32-bit little-endian dwords. In this case the sum is 0x41303941. This is an ASCII encoded representation of the ROM version, in reverse byte order. The final dword is computed in such a way that the overall checksum is equal to the ROM version.

0x41303941 -> 0x41 / 0x30 / 0x39 / 0x41 -> "A09A"​

Therefore your ROM dump is OK.
 
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_MiQ_

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It appears that the latest software for the CH341A supports 93 series microwire EEPROMs:

https://khandishnetwork.com/dl/siberiaprog-ch341a-new-update-v1-45-04-02-2022/ (I found this site via a Google search, so I don't know anything about it)

The preamp isn't shorted, but I'd still be concerned about it. Anyway, good luck.

If you upload the EEPROM dump, I can verify its checksum for you. Unfortunately I don't know how to verify the "ROM" (its checksum algorithm is unknown to me).


Edit: I have worked out how the ROM checksum is calculated.

This is your ROM:

Code:
Offset(h) 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 0A 0B 0C 0D 0E 0F

00000000  E9 5F 04 00 37 28 04 00 37 28 04 00 37 28 04 00  é_..7(..7(..7(..
00000010  80 01 04 00 37 28 04 00 4A 28 04 00 5D B4 04 00  €...7(..J(..]´..
00000020  F2 36 04 00 50 83 04 00 A1 2A 06 00 A1 2A 06 00  ò6..Pƒ..¡*..¡*..
00000030  82 8B 04 00 DA E0 04 00 45 58 04 00 8C E1 04 00  ‚‹..Úà..EX..Œá..
00000040  45 56 04 00 A1 2A 06 00 A1 2A 06 00 A1 2A 06 00  EV..¡*..¡*..¡*..
00000050  A1 2A 06 00 A1 2A 06 00 A1 2A 06 00 2F 69 04 00  ¡*..¡*..¡*../i..
00000060  8B 16 04 00 F2 36 04 00 E5 75 04 00 22 56 04 00  ‹...ò6..åu.."V..
00000070  C2 36 04 00 A1 2A 06 00 A1 2A 06 00 FF FF FF FF  Â6..¡*..¡*..ÿÿÿÿ
00000080  48 44 53 37 32 31 30 78 78 4B 4C 78 78 78 30 20  HDS7210xxKLxxx0   <-- family = HDS7210xxKLxxx0
........
0000FFF0  94 0B DD EF 52 4F 4D 30 41 39 30 41 49 12 28 0B  ....ROM0A90A....  <-- end of ROM
                                  ^^^^^^^^^^^ -----------          ^^^^      ROM version = "A90A"
                                                                       ----  0x0B281249 = 32-bit little-endian checksum dword
The checksum of the ROM is calculated by adding all the 32-bit little-endian dwords. In this case the sum is 0x41303941. This is an ASCII encoded representation of the ROM version, in reverse byte order. The final dword is computed in such a way that the overall checksum is equal to the ROM version.

0x41303941 -> 0x41 / 0x30 / 0x39 / 0x41 -> "A09A"​

Therefore your ROM dump is OK.
Update: I managed to get another excatly same HDD and took the logic board from it and put it in the broken HDD. Without any setup, I can access the contents now. I will move the important stuff out of there. Thank you for you help!
 

_MiQ_

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I confess I don't understand. :-(

Normally you would need to transfer the NVRAM chip or its contents from patient to donor. (It's not a "BIOS" IC, as claimed in the following photo.)

https://sep.yimg.com/ay/yhst-14437584971410/hds721010kla330-0a29689-0a29470-0a29636-0a33863-ba2469-oa29689-oa29636-oa29470-3-5-sata-hitachi-circuit-board-fw-4.gif
Apparently the donor board I used has the excact same BIOS and EEPROM since they are so similar that they are even manufactured on the same month (April 2009). So I guess that's the reason why in this case just swapping the logic board was enough.
 

USAFRet

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Apparently the donor board I used has the excact same BIOS and EEPROM since they are so similar that they are even manufactured on the same month (April 2009). So I guess that's the reason why in this case just swapping the logic board was enough.
I hope your takeaway from this is:

  1. Don't use random cables.
  2. Keep good backups. Not all fixes like this work. You got very lucky this time.
 
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_MiQ_

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I hope your takeaway from this is:

  1. Don't use random cables.
  2. Keep good backups. Not all fixes like this work. You got very lucky this time.
Yeah this is definitely one way to learn about modular cable differences and I think my backup strategy in future will be building a RAID 5 or 10 NAS and using local drives for games and less important stuff and for the most important stuff I would use the NAS and other cloud services combined.
 

USAFRet

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Yeah this is definitely one way to learn about modular cable differences and I think my backup strategy in future will be building a RAID 5 or 10 NAS and using local drives for games and less important stuff and for the most important stuff I would use the NAS and other cloud services combined.
Just to note - RAID, of any type, is not a backup.
It only protects against physical drive fail, not all the other forms of potential data loss.
 

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