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49 posts


Topic # 17639 5-Dec-2007 14:04
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I recently purchased a 2.5 HDD Recorder/Player 100gb. When plugged into computer is is just a USB harddrive, but when on mains power, it becomes a media center. Plays movies, music, pics and records directly from TV and DVD to avi. Other then the cheesy operating system, it 'was' a really cool gadget that I researched and bought off the internet.

Anyway, it came with it's own A/C plug.

This weekend we went away and took the drive with us to watch a few movies at the hotel we stayed at. I forgot the A/C plug but found one in transit with the same connection.


Turns out it was not the correct voltage (device runs around 5.4v) and the adapter had a variable current upto 12v. Cut a long story short. Now the device does not do anything when you plug it in to the PC and when on mains, a dim light comes on and it attemts to 'load' 3 times then nothing.

Now I realise that there are many of you out there thinking, what a fool! he has f@#$%D his device, time to buy a new one right?

Well, I can live with that, but I want to understand what actually 'happens' to something when 'too much' power is introduced. What is the phisical result. I am not very good with electronics, but understanding what happend is a bit like finding out how someone died, you know a bit of closure (although these two are not to be compared obviously).

I'm rambling now...

Anyway the device has two parts:

1) mini mother/curcuit board with power in, video in and out and USB mini in.
2) Standard westen digital 2.5 100gb HDD

I removed the HDD and plugged it into my other 2.5 hdd enclosure...lights came on, computer recognised it as "USB Mass Storage device" and completed installatin of appropriate drivers. Although it does not appear in anywhere for access. This is the same on other PC's as well. The HDD could also be poked....

a) Would these higher volts also have fried the harddrive? How can I be sure it's not just a formatting problem? can it be repaired or reformatted some how if windows cannot recognise?
b) The main motherboard, what 'damage' actually occurs from high volts?

If this makes any sense to anyone, I appreciate your answers.

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420 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 2

  Reply # 98347 5-Dec-2007 16:15
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Can you provide some information regarding the make/model etc. Its sounds like a useful device and I would like to find out more about it.

Unfortunately though, if its designed for 5v (which most portable USB drive circuits are) and you popped 12v into it, it may well have cooked itself. In addition to the voltage, you also needed to check the polarity of the power supply plug to be sure it matches what the device is expecting (i.e. positive on the centre connector etc). That alone can destroy a device.

Certainly I do not think you a fool. Its an easy mistake to make. I have lost count of the number of US power supplies I have cooked because I did not read the label correctly. 120v into 240v leave a bit over and its often used for destruction. They fail simply because the capacitors, diodes, IC's etc in these devices are only rated to a specified maximum voltage. If you overload them they just capitulate by melting. Most often they are not worth fixing, but sometimes, depending on what has failed, they can be recovered. However the cost to repair them usually exceeds the purchase cost.

Sorry its not better news.

PS Whilst the over voltage may not have destroyed the hard drive itself, it most likely has damaged the circuity that supports the hard drive (ie makes it work).

Cheers Mike

49 posts


  Reply # 98350 5-Dec-2007 16:24
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Hi Mike,

thanks for your reply.
This is he device: available locally via tradme.

However I purchased mine with a HDD already installed via Hong Kong.

It is a good device, does not rate against my chipped Xbox for media, but as a portable device to do that stuff is good. Operating system was a bit cheesy but it has an 'upgradeble firmware' which I was hoping they were going to upgrade quickly.

i.e Having 20 ggs of music but ot option to play on random was a bit tedious.



420 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 2

  Reply # 98353 5-Dec-2007 16:36
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Thanks for the link. Its an interesting looking device. If it helps your pain, I bought a UB680 USB TV Tuner the other day for $130 thinking what a great deal. I needed one for analog TV input to my Medial Portal setup. Well it worked great initially and I was able to get it set up no problem. It lasted exactly three days before packing up!  I assume it wasn't a power issue because its only power source was the USB port. Yet it caved in. Sometimes, I suspect that some of the Asian sourced electronics are not quite as resilient as perhaps they could be - eh?

Cheers Mike

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