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Help Fixing Broken Slot in Extarnal Hard Drive


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#1
Stubbies

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I have an external hard drive that I was using to store backups of pictures and other various files while I wiped my laptop's hard drive of a virus. However, somewhere along the way one of the prongs in the slot that connects my hard drive to the USB port in my laptop got bent. I don't know the technical name for it, but here's a picture of the cord that the external hard drive uses:

http://driver-pro.co...inter-cable.jpg

The "female" slot for non-USB end is the part that got bent. I tried bending it back into shape but so far the external hard drive hasn't worked. I fear it might be because the very tip of the prong may have broken off. However, I'm not familiar with how this particular slot operates, and as such am at a loss for what the problem might be.

Can anyone offer a possible fix, and if not is there any way to retrieve the information from my otherwise intact external hard drive?
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#2
Ferrari

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It looks like you've tried to bend/repair the slot and that hasn't worked. That's all that I would have suggested as far as getting it up and running again.

Most external hard drives are just normal internal drives housed a casing that takes a IDE or SATA internal drive to the USB interface for portability. So retrieving data should be possible if you connect the internal hard drive to another computer and connected it as a slave.

Can you link me to your external drive? I can help do some research on it to confirm that you can just pop the internal drive out of there.

Let me know. :)
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#3
Stubbies

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Here's a link to the hard drive I have; Seagate 160GB:

http://www.zyra.info/hdd-p4.htm

If I still can't get the prong to work I'd greatly appreciate an explanation of or a link to something describing how I can connect my hard drive as a slave. Thank you very much.
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#4
Ferrari

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Yes, in a enclosure like that, it surely can be removed. A quick Google search didn't bring up much on how to take that actual unit apart... a model number and name of the unit would help me better.

Once you get it apart, you'll have a hard drive that looks something like THIS By looking at the enclosure, I'm willing to bet the interface is IDE and power would come from your power supply inside your computer with a molex connector. <---click there.

The back of the hard drive looks like THIS.

Good Video Tutorial on how to install a second hard drive as a SLAVE HERE

Let me know if you can give a model number of the external hard drive and the computer you'll be using, I'll see if I can find anything more specific.
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#5
Stubbies

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I tried to figure out the model number but I honestly can't decipher all the chicken scratch technical jargon on the backside of the unit. There's random numbers all over the place without any real indicator as to what they might mean. The box for the unit is, unfortunately, long gone. Fortunately though it doesn't look too hard to take out of its enclosure.

The computer I'm using is a Fujitsu N-series Lifebook.

I appreciate all the info and will let you know if I have any success.
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#6
Ferrari

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You can't connect the hard drive to a notebook like how I had suggested. You'll need to purchase another external hard drive enclosure (without a hard drive) and install the old drive into it. It will connect and work the same as the old casing but with a new usable USB port.

Depending on the hard drive you have, depends on what external enclosure you should use. SATA or IDE. So once you get it out of there, google images for IDE hard drive and SATA hard drive and find pictures that show the connections. Link me to the picture that looks the same as your hard drive does on the back. See?

After that, I'll link you to enclosure you can buy. They are relatively cheap overall.
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#7
123Runner

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Are you referring to the cable itself being bad, or the connection on the physical hard drive?

Reason being is that the cables are fairly standard cables.

Cables Unlimited
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#8
Ferrari

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Stubbies says...

The "female" slot for non-USB end is the part that got bent

AND...
somewhere along the way one of the prongs in the slot that connects my hard drive to the USB

I believe the above quotes refer to the port that is part of the external casing (the female part you plug the male USB Type B port into)

At least, that is how I took it. :)
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#9
Stubbies

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Ferrari is correct in his assessment. In his words, the part that is broken is the port in the external casing. I just didn't know how to phrase it at the time.

I'd love to link send an image of my hard drive extracted from its shell, but unfortunately it's harder to crack the casing than I originally anticipated. The screws holding it together are of a type I'm not familiar with. I took a picture of what they look like:

Posted Image

It's a bit hard to see but essentially the screws have star-shaped holes in them. These in and of themselves would be easy to open, were there not metal pegs sticking up through the middle, thus preventing the use of a screwdriver. Any idea what tool I need?

Also, since I could not decipher the backside of the casing myself, here's a link to a picture I took of it in the hopes that someone can glean the model number from it.

Posted Image

Thank you for your continued help.

Edited by Stubbies, 31 March 2010 - 09:39 AM.

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#10
123Runner

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Ok on the explanation of what was broken. I just needed to be sure.

I have seen those type of screws, but can't recall the name. Maybe a trip to a hardware store with the drive would help.

Anyways, I identified the drive. It is a ST3160203U2-RK model.

Google links on model
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#11
Mikeme

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Check this link out for what kind of head the screws are. If they are "star" shaped with a pin in the middle, they are "security/tamper resistant Torx(ie Torx TR). You may have to look around to find a driver to remove those, may be something like this: http://cgi.ebay.ie/T...0-/140354189240 and also you will need to know the size, look at the ebay link page, and it shows what size = what tip(point to point). At least you will know what kind and size you need when you go to purchase. Here is the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torx

Edited by Mikeme, 31 March 2010 - 11:27 AM.

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#12
Ferrari

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Maybe a trip to a hardware store with the drive would help.

Yes, do that or take into consideration what Mikeme says, he/she seems to have a much better understanding on different kinds of screws than I would. :) I know phillips, flathead, and allen wrench, that's about it. :)

I googled "How to take apart SEAGATE ST3160203U2-RK" and got this...

SOURCE LINK

if I don't have the special star torq screwdriver tool, can I just drill out the holes and remove the top? I assume the case is no longer needed regardless. thanks


Seems to help confirm it's a "torq" tool that is needed. They mention drilling the screws out, but that kind of vibration might kill the hard drive... seems risky.

Hope that helps.

Edited by Ferrari, 31 March 2010 - 02:26 PM.

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#13
Mikeme

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Ha, Ferrari, that`s a good one, Mikeme=he/she. I visit a lot of computer forums to help anyone I can, and I have to admit, this is the first time in over 10 years of visiting, and helping at different computer forums being involved with thousands of threads that I`ve ever had the gender term he/she used in reguards to me, now that`s interesting. You may want to reconsider the use of that terminology, and replace it with gender neutral language that offends no one(ie if you don`t say he/she, who cares). I see by your avatar you are drawn to the european cars, I also appreciate them, only I like the vintage ones ie: http://www.supercars.net/cars/669.html
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#14
Ferrari

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Ha. I accidentally said "He" just yesterday and the Original Poster commented that she was not a he. So that's where that came from. :)

I may have to get with our Geekstogo's Grammar Administrator, Sari. I seem to have a problem. :)
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#15
Stubbies

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I'm planning a trip to the hardware store this weekend so hopefully I'll get the right tool. Thanks for the reference guide, Mikeme.

After I get the casing off, I'll follow Ferrari's instructions and post pics of it so as to match it to a casing.

Crossing fingers for no more complications :)
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