Any real IT hardware experts in the house?

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  • Any real IT hardware experts in the house?
  • Does anyone know where I can buy a replacament SATA HDD controller PCB?

    Premier Icon GrahamS

    Try eBay?

    You may have to just buy an identical hard drive and nick the controller off that. But that is always a gamble as they may change the design.

    Premier Icon wwaswas

    data recovery companies are always a good bet – they keep everything.

    It’ll cost you though.

    Premier Icon snowslave

    Ebay is not a bad bet. I know some of the companies we use sell off our old gear through ebay


    what drive is it?


    Just buy an identical drive, usually a lot cheaper than data recovery companies.


    what problem are you having, why do you think you need a replacement pcb for the drive?

    Hi fellas, it’s a Samsung HD250HJ in a USB housing. The reason I think it’s the PCB is because when I power it up the LED just flashes continuously and the disc doesn’t spin (there is something on the board telling it to Flash, which seems like an error message). I’ve taken it out of the housing and tried it in a SATA-USB cradle and the same thing happens.

    Data recovery firm quoted me £90 diagnosis and £390-590 data recovery. I think I have backups of all the important work stuff on that’s on it so this is a bit much to shell out.

    Looked on Ebay but it has to be exactly the same PCB. I’ve ordered a replacement HD250HJ, but I’m still a bit concerned that it will have a different interface. We’ll see what happens!


    as above, we’ve succesfully stuck platters from one drive into the housing of an identical one and everything has worked fine long enough for us to recover the data, but then we did have a lot of these drivers lying around. I’d try and buy another one off ebay and do that.

    Samuri – when you say platters, what do you mean? The actual spinny metal bits? I thought you had to have a totally clean environment to do that (not a good description of my house). I was thinking of taking the PCB from the new one and putting it on the old one. There doesn’t appear to be any soldering on the connection.

    Premier Icon wwaswas

    they tend to be alright in the short term as long as you don’t sneeze on them whilst swapping them over davey_c.


    If the drive isn’t spinning up it might well be suffering from stiction, especially if the USB caddy case isn’t well ventilated, the drive has been left on for long periods of time in a warm environment etc., & the spindle bearing grease has cooked. (If there’s too much friction in the bearings the motor won’t bother trying to spin up the platters).

    Try sticking it in an airtight bag in the freezer for 24 hours. That’s worked for me with drives suffering from stiction before.



    One possible issue here is some drives maintain calibration information etc in the control board. When conducting forensic work colleagues have had issues when swapping controllers from identical drives over, so even if you do manage to get a match it may well not work. So thats one to consider if you are going to spend any serious money on the task.


    Could be just sticking, we used to have this problem a lot when we powered off servers that had been running continuously for years, and didn’t get them back up again quickly after the power cycle.

    The technical way of fixing them was to tap them gently (but firmly) edge on against a solid surface. 99% of the time this would free the bearings up and they would work again.

    Hi folks, have tried the tapping thing (“about as firmly as breaking an egg” was what I’d read). Should it free up if I do it repeatedly? I might try the freezer method but don’t have any airtight bags to hand.

    I’m not hearing any noise at all and the thing starts flashing as soon as it’s turned on. If it was sticking wouldn’t I expect a short delay to get feedback or an initial motor event? I don’t leave it turned on other than when I’m working on it, and it’s failed to start properly after a period of maybe a couple of days to a week of not being used.

    Premier Icon xherbivorex

    and yes davey, the platters in a HDD are the “spinny metal bits”!

    Thanks xherbivorex! Curiously, not being au fait with IT hardware nomenclature, I know the round object inside a disc drive as a “disc”!

    Update: bought identical (model) disc, swapped PCB, spins, mounts, content all seems to be there and seems to be copying over a treat.

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