Toshiba 2.5" Hard Drive failure

Discussion in 'Hardware Discussion & Support' started by RealityRipple, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. RealityRipple

    RealityRipple Embrace Entropy

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    I was taking apart a Sylvania G Meso netbook (belonging to my younger sister) in order to back up the entire hard drive onto my own PC and then wipe it clean to fix a myriad of issues it's been having (mostly on the subject of not being able to connect to remote computers and being exhaustively slow). Anyway, it was a pretty straightforward laptop disassembly job, but I found once I got the hard drive out, that it completely and totally fails to respond to anything whatsoever. There's no spin-up, no recognition that the hard drive exists on anything I plug it into, and frankly I don't think the thing's much more than a paperweight with all the data stuck on a platter I can't get to. So my question is, how can I troubleshoot this thing? I really need to at least be able to pull all the info off the drive, if I can't get it working again.
     
  2. Trusteft

    Trusteft HH's Asteroids' Dominator

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    I am sorry for asking, but you did install it properly, right? data and power cables?
     
  3. RealityRipple

    RealityRipple Embrace Entropy

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    Heh, yeah. It's SATA II. Not a difficult task to master to be sure.
     
  4. gascieus

    gascieus Under the Crimson Air

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    When you start the computer, are you able to go into BIOS? If so, can you see your hard drive in there?

    Also, try a live rescue CD, like from Ubuntu or whichever variant you fancy. But in reality, if you can't even see the hard drive, there is not much you can do to troubleshoot it, i.e. dead weight.
     
  5. RealityRipple

    RealityRipple Embrace Entropy

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    Yes, I can go into the BIOS. No, it does not show up there. No, it does not show up in any operating system.
     
  6. Trusteft

    Trusteft HH's Asteroids' Dominator

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    Well, if all the connections are ok and double checked and you can't see it in the BIOS, the only thing I can recommend is to change cables and eh, what's the word, connection on the mainboard in case the problem is with the mainboard's connections.
     
  7. RealityRipple

    RealityRipple Embrace Entropy

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    Afraid it's not the cables nor the motherboard, as I've tried it in my PC (with cables that are normally plugged into a perfectly functioning BD-RW drive) as well as the laptop it came in which doesn't use cables as part of the drive connection.
     
  8. Trusteft

    Trusteft HH's Asteroids' Dominator

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    Then place it inside a hermetically shielded waterproof bag (to avoid condensation ) and stick it in the freezer for 2 days. Then try again and if it works copy all the important files before it is too late.
    Time to get a new HDD.

    BTW, if you do the above, it might be a good idea to place the drive in an external hdd enclosure than to place it right inside the pc.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2010
  9. Tipstaff

    Tipstaff Well-Known Member

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    I was going to say that it could be part of the laptops security protection (like a TPM or BitLocker feature), but if it won't even boot up anymore, even on the actual laptop, it could toast.

    I don't want to blame the user here, but take a look at the bottom of the drive itself for any missing resistors or broken traces. Look for any visible damage to the drive.

    On a side note, are there any jumpers on the drive? And which drive and model is it exactly?
     
  10. RealityRipple

    RealityRipple Embrace Entropy

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    It's an MK8046GSX. There doesn't appear to be any physical damage to the logic board, and there are no jumpers or other physical settings on the drive whatsoever.

    Where can I get an anti-condensation bag from?
     
  11. Tipstaff

    Tipstaff Well-Known Member

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    You can't. Just grab a ziplock bag (edit: back.. pfft.. ), and get as much air out as possible (use a straw). If you have any of those silicon pouches they throw in with meds or electronics stick those into the bag to.

    Honestly though, if it's not powering up at all doing the freezer trick isn't going to help. The idea here is that the cold shrinks the platters slightly, so the freezer trick is more for drives that can't read due to physical errors, or if one or more read head is stuck on a platter. But hey, you never know, so you might as well try.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
  12. RealityRipple

    RealityRipple Embrace Entropy

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    Eh, I see... It's definitely not the platters that are the issue here... If I bought another drive exactly the same and replaced the logic board with the new one's, might that recover the drive and its data?
     
  13. Trusteft

    Trusteft HH's Asteroids' Dominator

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    Well, if the logic board is the issue then maybe?

    I would still try the (cheap) solution of the freezer first. You don't have much to lose.
     
  14. RealityRipple

    RealityRipple Embrace Entropy

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    Seems the board would be the more likely candidate, as the drive acts as if its getting no power whatsoever. If it was a platter issue, I'd at least hear something, and the computer should be able to recognize its existence, at least as an "empty removable drive" if nothing else. As no computer recognizes the drive and it makes no semblance of activity whatsoever, the issue seems to be before any of the actual drive storage space.

    What I'm asking after are steps to take to test the actual hardware of a drive, not the storage platters. How can I test that the drive is getting power to necessary regions? Things I can do with multimeters or similar drives... that sort of thing.
     

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