Question Seagate Archive HDD Failure. No Crash, No Spin, Silent. Troubleshooting Advise…

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needspractice

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If you are measuring 5 ohms between the 5V pins of the SATA connector and a screw hole, then the PCB is shorted.

In fact if you are measuring 5 ohms at all those other test points, then everything is shorted. I'm sorry, but I don't understand your results. :-?


Edit:

If you do purchase a replacement PCB, try making the same measurements and compare the results.
The readings I gave you before have a (k) in front of the ohms sign. for the 12v and an (m) in front of the ohms sign for 5VIN. It switches between K & M automatically.

5VIN = 5.0 (k)ohms
12VIN = 95.5 (m)ohms
 
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needspractice

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OK, those readings are good.

When you power up the PCB, you should see +5.0V and +12.0V at 5Vin and 12Vin. If you don't, then something is wrong with your external power supply, or your measurements.
So I should just plug it in even though its not attached to the hard drive? And test it while its plugged in?
 

needspractice

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Are we to understand that you measured the voltage test points without powering up the PCB?
Update:

Okay, I finally connected the bad drive directly to my motherboard to see if I could see it in my BIOS. Nothing. Can't see a thing. I connected one of the good drives and I could see it perfectly in my BIOS including the size of the partition. So how I can see this bad drive in Windows under Disk Management connected via a usb controller but I can't see it in my BIOS. When it is connected in Windows I can't do anything with it because it wont initialize, but something is connected. Oh wait a minute, I think windows is seeing the USB Controller and the USB Controller is telling windows something is here, however, when windows goes to access the drive through the controller there is no response. Honestly, what I am thinking is that this bad drive is getting zero power. I mean when I hooked up the good drive it immediately powered up and you could hear everything working, spinning, etc. When I hook up the bad drive, absolutely nothing happens, as if the drive never turned on. I think all the confusion is the USB Controller that was enclosed in the External Case is what is causing all of these confusion problems. If I connect the bad drive to the motherboard directly, zero, zilch, nothing. I don't feel anything, no spin, no clunking, not even it attempting to turn on.

What does this mean? Possible bad PCB Board? Or the Drive more than like Seized? I would think that if the drive seized you would hear it power up some and try to do this and that. I am more incline to think the PCB is dead and nothing power/information/commands are even getting to the hard drive.

What do you think?
 

needspractice

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Yes, you need to power up the PCB on its own when taking voltage measurements. No power, no voltage.

Sometimes a drive will suffer from stiction (heads stuck to platters) or a seized spindle motor. You should still hear buzzing sounds if you place your ear against the drive.
Well I just held it right up against my ear and I absolutely hear nothing after plugging in the power. I believe this is probably the PCB Board. When I get the other Board and pop it in, hopefully it will come to life. I mean I had it right up to my ear and absolutely no sound. Like no power is even getting to the hard drive.

hopefully this is a good sign meaning that the hard drive is actually okay, just needs a new PCB Board.
 

needspractice

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Yes, you need to power up the PCB on its own when taking voltage measurements. No power, no voltage.

Sometimes a drive will suffer from stiction (heads stuck to platters) or a seized spindle motor. You should still hear buzzing sounds if you place your ear against the drive.
Also, could you let me know which chip is the BIOS chip? I think I am feeling confident enough to swap them out. I will be ordering the tools shortly. I have a feeling this drive is going to power right up when I swap out the PCB Boards.
 

needspractice

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Yes, you need to power up the PCB on its own when taking voltage measurements. No power, no voltage.

Sometimes a drive will suffer from stiction (heads stuck to platters) or a seized spindle motor. You should still hear buzzing sounds if you place your ear against the drive.
Also, what about software like ch341? No way to reprogram the BIOS that is on the Donor Board?
 

needspractice

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To me, what you are proposing is like transplanting a kidney when you don't know how to measure a pulse or apply a bandaid. Worse still, you don't know where to find the kidney.

Good luck, anyway.
What are you wanting me to do? I thought I did everything you wanted? You want me to check everything again with the board powered up? I just thought we wait for this PCB Board and see what happens. I don't mind checking again.
 
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needspractice

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Another Update:

I just got my Donor Board. The drive spun right up and sounds great, no crashes or nasty sounds. It does try twice to read and then gives up so I think there is where swapping out the BIOS is going to work, right? I'll go ahead an order a rework station now to perform the procedure.
 

sonofjesse

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I would not messed with it and shipped it for recovery or pulled from cloud/offsite backup.

Good luck!! If the data is not important and your doing this for fun/experience rock on!! Be sure to do a full write up/youtube on it for all us to know the exact steps.
 

needspractice

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Measure the voltages, this time with the PCB powered on. Be careful, and don't slip with your probes.
I'm getting a little lost. Okay, so now I have a Donor Board. You want me to measure the voltages on the Donor Board or the Bad Board?

The new Donor Board power up the Hard Drive no problem. It sounds great, it does try two times to access the drive but I can't see it in Windows because I am guess Wrong Bios obviously.

What happens if I slip on the probes? Mess up the Hard Drive?
 

needspractice

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Measure the voltages, this time with the PCB powered on. Be careful, and don't slip with your probes.
Another question:

I bought this hard drive as an external usb storage device. It has failed. I took the hard drive out of the enclosure and put a Donor Board PCB on the hard drive without swapping out the PCB Firmware Rom Chip. I did this in order to see just how bad the damage was on the drive before sending it off to a “professional recovery service”. It appears to be in great shape and spins up nicely however, windows see’s the hard drive but cannot access the data.

My main question is can I swap out the PCB Firmware Rom Chip from the original PCB Board with a rework station myself or do I need professionals do it(because I connected the drive without the correct Firmware Rom Chip; First)? Does advance programming or something else need to be done besides replacing the Firmware Rom Chip.

Please advise and explain why/why not.

I read on another repair website that Seagate drives have to have a professional swap out the Firmware Rom Chip if you connected the drive to the Donor Board without swapping the Firmware Rom Chip first. Does something special have to be done or am I reading this wrong? The website does say that you can do it yourself at your own risk if you feel comfortable.

https://www.donordrives.com/pcb-replacement-guide

Please see the Seagate Section:
 
There is no additional "professional" magic required. But if you can't measure a voltage, even by following the detailed instructions in the tutorial referenced in my earlier post, then you are facing an uphill battle. Furthermore, was there any economic sense in purchasing a rework station, etc, when you could have purchased two donor PCBs, including firmware transfer, for US$100?
 

needspractice

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There is no additional "professional" magic required. But if you can't measure a voltage, even by following the detailed instructions in the tutorial referenced in my earlier post, then you are facing an uphill battle. Furthermore, was there any economic sense in purchasing a rework station, etc, when you could have purchased two donor PCBs, including firmware transfer, for US$100?
I'm just excited to to perform the swap and get all of this over with to be honest. Are you saying that if I measure the voltages with the power on there may be a possibility to fix this PCB Board without swapping out the Rom Firmware Chip? I just thought this was inevitable and wanted to get straight to the end result. I may have misunderstood you. I apologize for being difficult.

Also, I am nervous about mailing out my PCB Firmware Chip, what happens if it gets lost in the mail. Then my Data is gone forever. Especially, if I practice and can do it myself, I can keep the chip in house.
 

needspractice

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I will be geting my rework station tomorrow. May I ask what heat setting is best for removing this PCB Board Firmware Rom Chip? It has a digital setting with three numbers on it so I would assume I could set it to the exact setting. I need both settings one for the soldering device and one for the heat gun part. It has two settings.
 

needspractice

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Sad Update. I replaced my bios chip on two new donor boards with no luck on both of them. However, I don't think I was placing it right because I could never get a solid connection. It would always pop right off. Hopefully, I didn't destroy the chip because I know it will be party over if I did.

I have sent the pcb board and bios chip to a repair facility for them to install the bios chip for me and send it back. Hopefully they still can but they might not be able to. The pins are still in great shape however, you can't read the numbering anymore therefore don't know which side to face the chip. yikes.

I already contacted gilware and they said don't bother sending us the drive if the bios chip is fried. crazy huh. Aren't these companies suppose to be able to pull a rabbit out of a hat? I know its expensive and all.

My question is i know i did everything wrong and its all my fault. Are there any options left? Can someone read the rom off the platters and reprogram a new bios chip and install it for me? Can someone do a platter swap in a clean room?

Please Advise without kocking my head off preferably. Be somewhat gentle.
 

needspractice

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There is no additional "professional" magic required. But if you can't measure a voltage, even by following the detailed instructions in the tutorial referenced in my earlier post, then you are facing an uphill battle. Furthermore, was there any economic sense in purchasing a rework station, etc, when you could have purchased two donor PCBs, including firmware transfer, for US$100?
Another Update:



Okay I got my ROM back. Well, I got my ROM back that is a New ROM. They said that my original ROM was too damaged, but they were successful at transferring the ROM information from my Original ROM to this NEW ROM. They checked twice that it was transferred over successful.



Well of course it did not work. The drive is seen in windows but barely. It is doing the same thing before like the original problem. Completely and 100% silent. (I think all windows recognizes is the bridge that it is connected to).



This is the weirdest part. I ordered some more PCB Donor Boards and if I put any of those on this hard drive the drive comes to life. It boots up twice or tries to read the drive twice and gives up.



What dose all this mean? Did some how the original ROM get corrupted and is permanently damaged?



Long Shot



They suggest the file system could be corrupted and that this is almost 100% fixable. Connect PC Max 3000 and either get lucky and extract the data by bypassing the software lock because the drive is in defensive mode or rip the data off raw but will take a while (same as bypassing the locked codes).



Recap:



1-Original PCB Board with Original BIOS in perfect shape (something happened):



-Drive would not boot up, completely silent, not moving or humming at all. OFF.



2-New PCB Donor Board with random bios that is already on the board (Testing):



-Drive boots up and tries to read but gives up and fails.



3-New PCB Donor Board with Original BIOS (I installed it myself, botched it up)



-Drive would not boot up, completely silent, not moving or humming at all. OFF.



4-New PCB Donor Board with New Rom (Installed by professional, bios information transferred over)



-Drive would not boot up, completely silent, not moving or humming at all. OFF.







What does all this mean? Something is corrupted with the original bios? How does the drive power up and try to read with a random donor board with whatever BIOS that came with it; but when it is connected with the original bios its dead as a door nail?



I will be getting back my original pcb board and original bios/rom. I’m sure the ROM is in ruff shape but the information has been transferred over to a new ROM. So that is good at least.



What are my options at this point? Is my data lost forever?
 

needspractice

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Connect the drive to a SATA port inside your computer.
I did exactly what you said.

This is so odd. Check this out.

1-With new pcb donor board and new bios chip (transferred bios data). Nothing. Not recognized in motherboard bios and completely silent. Nothing.

2-With one of the pcb donor boards with a random bios, drive boots up but not recognized (shuts off)

3-With another random new pcb donor board with random bios, drive boots up and stays on (sounds awesome), does not shut off and is seen in windows under disk management however, you have to format it. However, I bet if I try that I will get an I/O error (i have done that before). I won't do this now because I know I will lose this data.

Windows can't access the device. I am not sure what to do at this point. I will post of a picture. I do have event notes in properties that all seems normal.

Windows:

https://ufile.io/dp51c2wd

Is this a file structure problem? Can this data be capture RAW?
 

needspractice

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Connect the drive to a SATA port inside your computer.
Also, if I connect the drive to my motherboard SATA port with new donor board and new bios (transferred). The computer never boots up, just sits there blank screen. The drive is off and completely silent and not spinning but computer wont boot up. Something is confused somewhere.

However with one of the other donor boards like I mentioned just above. Windows boots up and you can see it in Disk Management. Very Weird.
 

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