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55 posts

Master Geek

# 79021 12-Mar-2011 02:29
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Hey hey!

A friend of mine that's not very knowledgeable around computers "caught a virus" and "broke" their external hard drive. So I said I'd have a look!

Virus pssh all gone but the hard drive I'm a little stuck on... I'm hoping with this topic I can hit two birds with one stone!

So I plug in the 2.5' Hard drive ...nothing, as expected. So I opened it up like the handful of 3.5' hard drives I've fixed but didn't think or expect this.

All open on the desk but I got a surprise.

I don't recognise this O.o ...should I?

So three questions

1) Can I get data from the 12 pins shown?
2) What's the plug name?
3) Where can I get one!

Thanks guys!!

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3017 posts

Uber Geek

  # 447740 12-Mar-2011 08:30
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Is that bit at the end an adapter board that is connected to the HDD or part of the HDD?
The way its sticking out the back makes it look a bit like an add-on.

Also - how about a picture of the actual HDD label? - the model number etc may have some info on it that could be useful.

Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler


1148 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  # 447748 12-Mar-2011 09:02
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hard from the angle, isnt the silver peice on the end, a USB interface? Mini USB?

If so simply Plug it into your PC with a appropiate USB cable.


55 posts

Master Geek

  # 447771 12-Mar-2011 11:17
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Sorry fair point, It was pretty early in the morning at the point I posted this.

Here we go, The red square  indicates the broken piece. Also as you can now see the usb connection is mounted onto the hard drives pcb which I didn't expect. Cheers again.

[EDIT] You may also notice the hd is now slightly different =P It's cause it was early when I made the topic and couldn't be bothered finding a camera

1574 posts

Uber Geek

  # 447798 12-Mar-2011 13:35
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It appears a lot of external hard drives these days are simply not a "standard hard drive" pre-built into an external hard drive enclosure. It seems that HD manufacturers are building proprietary hard drives with all of the USB interface circuitry built in to the hard drive itself.

I'm not sure how you would use the 12 pins, but if you have some soldering skills, and if you can find a spare mini-USB plug, you could have a go at soldering a new one mini-USB plug on. Although, looking at the first picture of the underside of the PCB, it looks like the solder points where the mini-USB socket is located could just be anchoring points. I wonder if there is there some sort of ribbon cable that attaches to the mini-USB socket in between the mini-USB socket itself and the PCB?

Looks like someone has had similar problems on another forum:
Doesn't look like they got to much of a conclusion though, other than to replace the entire PCB.

There must be a way to utilize those 12 pins though. They've gotta be there for a reason.

1574 posts

Uber Geek

  # 447800 12-Mar-2011 13:45
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Just found this:

It looks like the hard drive they have pulled apart is the 320GB version of the one you are working with (640GB)

The last image (below) on the above linked page shows that there are in fact soldering points behind the mini-USB socket, so if you can get the the PCB off, you might even be able to directly solder a USB cable on to the PCB to get the data off.
Of course, if the problem is firmware related within the actual PCB itself, that might be a little trickier.

Click on image for larger version.

55 posts

Master Geek

  # 447901 12-Mar-2011 21:12
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dontpanic42:There must be a way to utilize those 12 pins though. They've gotta be there for a reason.

That's what I thought!? Argh I want to sovle this >.<!!!

It's driving me maddd ...Has ANYONE seen or dealt with this before?

The closest usb plug I can think of and compare it too is this:

Any help would be great! =] Thanks guys

3267 posts

Uber Geek


  # 447933 13-Mar-2011 08:44
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Or a programming interface for example Atmel uses 6 pins SPI. There are also many variants of JTAG:
See where the tracks go and then post the part number and manufacturer of the IC it is connected to.

But I'm guessing the 5 pads in a row left of the bottom left IC is the programming interface.

The bottom of the board has provision for an SMT connector in the same location, so perhaps an eSATA connector? Or allowance for USB3 with power?

You can never have enough Volvos!


1923 posts

Uber Geek

  # 447970 13-Mar-2011 12:35
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It a SATA drive so I'd guess its a esata conector which you can get in drive connector/adapter kits from the likes of PB Tech.

Other pins you'll have to determine but could be for user determined jumpers(?), indicators(?), and of course power has o go in somewhere. But suspect thats the 2 pins to the right.

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