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Old 06-03-2004, 11:52 AM   #1
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A general hard drive question for all the hardware boys and girls.

Ok, I have a very general question regarding a hard drive that I have, and isn't completely specific to linux. I'll ask and see what happens.

I have a Maxtor Diamond 40GB IDE hard drive, and I bought it about 4 or 5 months ago. When I started to build my new computer, I was going to swap this hard drive into my new system, but I inadvertently broke a connector pin on the back of the hard drive off. At the time, I just wanted to get my system up and running, so I went and bought a new hard drive. I would like very much to use this drive with the broken pin, but my system isn't recognizing it--I'm guessing due to the pin. I've tried to put the pin in the IDE cable and then connecting it, but still no luck.

I guess my question would be is this drive still usable, or should I just toss it? I'm sure that one of my friendly local computer shops would love to fix it for me for a hefty fee, but I was wondering if there is a solution out there that I might try first?
Old 06-03-2004, 02:21 PM   #2
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My guess is most computer stores would not try and fix it. The broken pin amy or may not be your problem. Some of the pins are not used, so it all depends which one is broken off. It is a relativley difficult task to solder on a new pin, but it may be worth it. At this point you have nothing to loose by trying.

When you say it is not recognized, where are you looking? Is it visible in your BIOS? Or is it the operating system not seeing it? Make sure the power plug is in the correct way around. Most have a key. Also check the primary/slave jumper for the IDE bus. One drive is master, the second is slave. Most machines have two IDE busses.

Post back what you can find.
Old 06-03-2004, 03:22 PM   #3
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If looking at the back of the drive, the missing pin would be as such:

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Neither BIOS nor either operating system recognizes the drive. It is getting power and worked properly until I tried to plug it into the new system.

Just thinking about it, it might be a jumper problem or it could be how I have it configured. I currently have IDE1 with hda1/master and cdrom/slave and IDE2 with hda2 and no slave. Maybe I should move the cdrom to IDE2 as a master and the 2nd hda to IDE1 slave. I also need to look at the jumper. I took the jumper out as that's what I thought would make the drive conform, but now that I think about it, that might be incorrect.

Further input is quite welcome

Old 06-03-2004, 06:15 PM   #4
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I wouldn't try to solder a single pin on myself.

What I would try, though, would be to desolder the entire IDE connector from the PCB of the HDD, and replace the connector with one from an old HDD.

It would be a lot more soldering, but I think it would actually be easier, since you would be working on a flat surface (the back of the PCB) and there wouldn't be pins and the sides of the connector getting in the way.

I would also probably just buy a new drive, but that is me.
Old 06-03-2004, 09:47 PM   #5
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It looks like you broke off pin 1 which is the reset signal. If you do not have the proper tools or if your not skilled in desoldering a connector of this type you could damage the circuit board with excessive heat.
Old 06-04-2004, 06:36 AM   #6
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I would just buy a new hard drive. You will wreck the drive unless you are a soldering wizard and have the right tools for the job (small tipped iron for instance). If you are going to have a go I would replace the whole connector though. Solder is very weak and the pin would likely break off again if soldered on. I would love to know how you broke it off though. I would have thought that nearly impossible.

As a slight aside. I dropped a drive about 18 months ago while taking it out of a computer. As luck would have it the drive caught the drive tray on the way down and a surface mount came off. Fortunately it was a quite a large component (part of the power cleaner) and I was able to file off the edge and solder it back on. The drive is still going strong now
Old 06-04-2004, 07:38 AM   #7
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That's what I'm thinking. I tried messing with drive order and the jumpers for that drive last night, and nothing worked (but I did find that my computer boots MUCH faster with the CDROM on IDE2!!). I'll probably just buy another 80GB drive like the one I have in my working system.

How I broke the pin:

Well, I was trying to attach the IDE cable to the hard drive, and I guess that pin was slightly bent and I didn't know it. I noticed that the connector wasn't going flush with the HD, so I pulled it off and the pin was bent completely down. I very gently took a screwdriver and slowly bent it back into place, only for it to snap off right as I got it where it needed to be. I was SO mad

Anyone know of any good buys on HD's?


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