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Re: [vox-tech] blown power supply = fried MB and HDs
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Re: [vox-tech] blown power supply = fried MB and HDs

Jonathan Stickel wrote:
I went to turn on my 3 yr old custom built desktop on Friday, there was a load "crack" sound, and the computer would not boot. After spinning the dvd drives, it would immediately reboot; no bios display or anything, even after clearing cmos and unplugging all the drives. I eventually traced it to a blown capacitor in the power supply. I went and bought a new power supply, installed it, and got the same behavior. OK, the motherboard is fried; went back out and bought a whole new computer. I installed my old hard drive to find that it is fried too! Now I am really unhappy: several years of photos, game data, personal files are all gone! :-(

In a confluence of bad timing, you may recall about a month ago that my hard drive was acting up (in hindsight, maybe related to a failing power supply). So I installed the hard drive I had been using to for a

backup. I hadn't got around to establishing a new backup procedure yet, but I was going to over the weekend, honest! I thought if the drive were to go bad, I would get some warning. I've learned several lessons
Alas, sometimes there is a warning.... and sometimes not.  I think it depends
on the status of your backups, the poorer the backups the less warning 8-(.

from this: do not build a computer from cheap parts and especially do not use power supplies with the "raidmax" brand. Do not go more than 24
Indeed.  I'm fond of antec power supplies, but would consider any namebrand.
Without a namebrand to protect seems like the temptation to save that
extra $ of production cost is too great.

hours without having some form of a backup. If part of a system is acting funny, the whole thing may blow without warning.
Or be stolen, flooded, die in a power surge, or many other interesting
fatal events.

Anyway, I am wondering if there is still any hope in recovering the data on the hard drive. From what I can tell, the drive is not even spinning
There is no fuse that I know of, and if it's not even trying it sounds pretty

up. The bios tries to detect it, but it times out. My guess is that the drive platters are OK, but the circuitry to run the drive is damaged in some way. Perhaps just the power circuit is bad. Is there anything I can try? I know I could send the drive out to a recovery service to the tune of several hundred dollars, but my data isn't worth that much; just sentimental stuff and a huge inconvenience
If it's worth it to you I'd buy as exact a replacement drive as humanly
possible, ideally the same company and size disk.  Google or ebay for
older drives if the normal channels don't have them.  Then transplant
the entire motherboard (right up to the leads that power the motor and
head).  It's a fairly simple operation on most disks... torx drivers
are often required (but cheap).  I've done this successfully once or twice,
and unsuccessfully at least once.

If it works definitely get the info off immediately in a most important
first kind of method.  Definitely do not power cycle or reboot after the
drive works.

If the damage is worst than that it's much more involved to replace anything
else, and would be relatively amazing if you pulled it off without a clean
room.  I've talked to folks who built mini cleanrooms at home for this kind
of thing.... worst case you get nothing but some cool very strong magnets
to play with ;-).

Best of luck.

Anything really valuable is worth backing up offsite, mail a SATA
disk to friend and/or family and rsync if you don't have any other
method.  Definitely a good investment of $60 ish.

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