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Bigtime hard drive help!


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#16
Kerryman87

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Because you never specifically stated the words that "that would not work." You were implying it in a confusing way. But now I know that that option won't work.

So I guess the only thing I can do it go to a professional. Thanks for the help guys.
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#17
gtippery

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How else do you want me to say this? How many times are you going to ask the same question? I'm not trying to be rude, I'm just having trouble understanding what it is that you don't understand when I was very specific in saying, "Also, if you want to try and replace the HDD controller, you will need an exact match. Not just mfg, capacity and model#. "

:tazz:

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Rockster, you know, if a person doesn't understand what you write, repeating it in boldface (and reiterating that you're repeating it ;) ) probably won't help. Perhaps a rephrasing is indicated. Or you could just answer his question:

Are you saying it's not possible to replace the controller because I would need an EXACT match of it, not just another controller from the exact same model of hard drive?


I'm guessing your answer would be "Yes." :help:

But what constitutes an "exact" match, beyond the specific model? He apparently doesn't know, and you haven't said.

I'm going to got out on a limb a bit and guess this is what you're referring to; if not, please elucidate:

Kerryman87, if you want to understand this better, you need to research "IDE" or "ATA" drives and why they're different from the earlier ESDI, MFM, and so on. The relevant factoid is that the factory programs the controller board individually for each drive to "hide" (map around) any errors on the disk surface. The controller board off of the very next drive on the assembly line will probably be programmed differently. So it's likely that replacing the controller board (without redoing the factory programming) will not give you a 100% functional drive. It might, or the errors might be unimportant, or you might have difficulty retrieving part of the data, or it possibly won't work at all (e.g., if the system tracks are mapped differently).

Oh, and there's also the real possibility that the factory will change the design of the drive but not change the model ID. However, a visual comparison of the new and old board should reveal this. If the physical disk geometry is unchanged, there's still a fair chance the new board will work.

Worst case, you've still got a new drive.

Unless you manage to fry the new controller, too. To reiterate :help:, by far the most likely reason for the fire is a wiring error. Do it again, and the same thing will happen. If it wasn't the cables to the drive, the next most likely things are mechanical damage to the board or a short caused by foreign material on the board. The chance that an IC just decided to commit flaming suicide is remote. So the picture of it would be a waste of time. So, likely, would be trying to replace (or have replaced) that IC.

BTW, most TV repair shops repair TVs by swapping modules. (BT,DT) They're most unlikely to have the proper equipment and skills for repairing SMD PCBs. (Done that, too.) Nor the parts, for that matter. Then there's that "custom-to-the-drive-programming" bit... ;)

Only you can decide what the data (hopefully still) on the drive is worth to you. I'd see if I could get a substitute controller/drive reasonably and try it. But if you can't, or the data's to valuable to risk (and you just might destroy it by trying this), then professional recovery is the only realistic choice. If it's not that valuable, write it off to experience and start over -- but make backups this time :help: .

Good luck.
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#18
Rockster2U

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Are you saying it's not possible to replace the controller because I would need an EXACT match of it, not just another controller from the exact same model of hard drive?

I'm guessing your answer would be "Yes." 

But what constitutes an "exact" match, beyond the specific model? He apparently doesn't know, and you haven't said.

I'm going to got out on a limb a bit and guess this is what you're referring to; if not, please elucidate


Glad you finally got it ......... I'm not really too excited about proverbicating or elucidating further but ...........

Suffice it to say that exact match and exact same model are very different. An exact match would have identical (close may be good enough) manufacturing date, identical firmare revision #, identical circuit board series#, identical country and manufacturing facility.

Conversely, I can show you two exact same model #'s of the same drive with different firmware, different circuit boards and different countries and plants of manufacture (even different platters and heads). Just how technical does one have to get to understand that if you want to try and replace the HDD controller, you will need an exact match. Not just mfg, capacity and model#.

OK, elucidate .......... What was the difference between the old Deskstars made in Malaysia vs those made in Taiwan. Forget the technical differences, just ask a disgruntled Malaysian drive owner. How many different WD400BB's are out there. 1? 2? 5-10? 20+? More? You betcha! ......... Exact same model # ........... you betcha! Interchangeable controllers? ........... no, they gotcha!

Lets quit splitting hairs here, this doesn't need to digress into an off-topic diatribe on diction. I think most readers understood what I said initially. Maybe I should have been more precise and if so, please forgive my issuing a warning without attaching a white paper - just trying to save someone a lot of undue frustration and considerable expense.
:tazz:

Edited by Rockster2U, 09 July 2005 - 08:51 PM.

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#19
Kerryman87

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Alright well if I can find a new drive for a reasonable price, it's worth a try to switch the controllers. There are a lot of numbers on the top of the drive, so if I can match all those numbers up, or at least most of them, including important ones such as the revision, I'm probably going to buy it. Whether or not it will work, however, is to be discovered. I actually found one really really cheap on ebay, but the revision number is different, so cross that one out.

Also, I highly doubt the fire will occur again. I really have no idea what happened to cause the fire in the first place (although I'm sure having the side window open and my head awfully close to the inside of the case wasn't such a good idea), but I later put the drive back in to test it many times and nothing happened.

I hope this works. I'm not in dire need of the data but I would least like to see what was on the drive so I can remember what I need to redownload.
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#20
gtippery

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Glad you finally got it .........

"Finally"? Um, it wasn't me you were addressing before...


I'm not really too excited about proverbicating or elucidating further but ...........

No excitement is expected. I don't know what "proverbicating" is. I hope it's different than "prevaricating". ;)


Suffice it to say that exact match and exact same model are very different. An exact match would have identical (close may be good enough) manufacturing date, identical firmare revision #,  identical circuit board series#, identical country and manufacturing facility.

Conversely, I can show you two exact same model #'s of the same drive with different firmware, different circuit boards and different countries and plants of manufacture (even different platters and heads).

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I believe "platters and heads" would be "geometry", which I mentioned.
Different board layouts/revisions and firmware may (should) be functionally equivalent, or at least upwards compatible vs. the drive mechanics. At least, they were when I did factory service on them. Different countries or plants, per se, make no difference as they use the same parts assembled in the same way. Barring accident or incompetence, that is, and in that case the "bad" controller wouldn't work right even on its original drive.


Just how technical does one have to get to understand that if you want to try and replace the HDD controller, you will need an exact match. Not just mfg, capacity and model#.

Not especially technical. The problem is the word "exactly". You know "exactly" what "exactly" means to you, but it's not really obvious to anyone else. Do they have to have had the same number of hours of use? Would consecutive serial numbers be close enough, or do they have to have the same one? How about different date codes on the ICs?

That's why he asked what you meant, and why I specifically asked, 'what constitutes an "exact" match". Nobody's jerking your chain. He just isn't coming from where you are with respect to experience with HDs.


OK, elucidate .......... What was the difference between the old Deskstars made in Malaysia vs those made in Taiwan. Forget the technical differences, just ask a disgruntled Malaysian drive owner. How many different WD400BB's are out there. 1? 2? 5-10? 20+? More? You betcha! ......... Exact same model # ........... you betcha! Interchangeable controllers? ........... no, they gotcha!

So, you have an example, if not actually an explanation. Good, but did you expect him to know about it?


Lets quit splitting hairs here, this doesn't need to digress into an off-topic diatribe on diction. I think most readers understood what I said initially.

Maybe, 'though I doubt it. OTOH, clearly the OP didn't. I don't think railing at him was helpful.


Maybe I should have been more precise and if so, please forgive my issuing a warning without attaching a white paper - just trying to save someone a lot of undue frustration and considerable expense.
:tazz:

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And I sincerely appreciate that. I'd just like to see a little more patience.

Best wishes.

Edited by gtippery, 09 July 2005 - 10:49 PM.

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#21
gtippery

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...
Also, I highly doubt the fire will occur again. I really have no idea what happened to cause the fire in the first place (although I'm sure having the side window open and my head awfully close to the inside of the case wasn't such a good idea), but I later put the drive back in to test it many times and nothing happened.

A once-lit match won't "occur again", but that doesn't mean a new one treated the same way won't light. I don't know how the window could have any effect unless it was raining on the drive...

I hope this works. I'm not in dire need of the data but I would least like to see what was on the drive so I can remember what I need to redownload.

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Well, you might apply the principle that if you don't miss it, you didn't really need it. :tazz:
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