* Computer Hardware Question * - Broken pin on Hard Drive

I accidently broke Pin #1 on my Maxtor hard drive. Unfortunately, I had very important data that was not backed up. Yes, I have already learned my lesson.
The pin broke off so deep that there is almost no metal visible to make contact with. I tried a safety pin and attempted to use my average soldering skills to solder a new pin in place. I have still had no luck up to this pont.
I think my best bet (besides buying a new hard drive), would be to remove the daughterboard on the outside of the hard drive and then have more access to where pin #1 is located. Does this sound like a safe thing to do? I would have to be aware of any small thin cables sticking out of the hard drive so that they do not get broke too.
If you have any other suggestions, they would be greatly greatly greatly appreciated. And please, please tell me that there is still hope. After all, it's only one pin. I refuse to believe that an entire hard drive can be useless just because one pin broke.
Thanks for your replies.
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This is something I've never done, but I'm thinking that it could work:
1. Figure out which wire in the cable corresponds to the missing pin.
2. Either (a) cut that wire close to the connector, strip a little of the insulation, and solder a "bridge" connection from that wire to the circuit-board side of the broken pin; or (b) stick a thin pin or needle into that wire and connect from it to the circuit-board side of the broken pin.
This is going to take a great deal of care, and if you get the conenction wrong you may be in BIG trouble.
If you are utterly unable to reestablish a contact for that broken pin, *and* you are able to find an identical drive, you *might* be able to recover the data by removing the old board and substituting the board from the good drive.
This may not work, because people tell me that a board could have been "tuned" to compensate for the manufacturing tolerances of a particular drive (unscientific explanation).
Perce
On 09/09/05 03:25 am GHZpc tossed the following ingredients into the ever-growing pot of cybersoup:

contact with. I tried a safety pin and attempted to use my average soldering skills to solder a new pin in place. I have still had no luck up to this pont.

daughterboard on the outside of the hard drive and then have more access to where pin #1 is located. Does this sound like a safe thing to do? I would have to be aware of any small thin cables sticking out of the hard drive so that they do not get broke too.

appreciated. And please, please tell me that there is still hope. After all, it's only one pin. I refuse to believe that an entire hard drive can be useless just because one pin broke.
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Pin 1 is listed as "reset" and does not share this with any other pin.
If the drive has data on it worth trying to save, I would try contacting Maxtor and seeing if they can and would replace the connector.
A real drop dead plan is this. Find a local geek or a willing repair man. Get another cable, cut free the pin 1 line. Now with the drive plugged into this connector tack solder the loose line that went to pin 1 directly to the Maxtor circuit board. Now you should be able to do a bunch of things depending on how much you want to save. Burn a CD-ROM, dump to a flash drive, or transfer to a second drive that is installed as a slave and will be the new drive after all is done.
Good luck
Charlie

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On Fri, 09 Sep 2005 09:42:14 -0400, Charlie Bress wrote:

This sounds expensive too.

This is exactly what I'd do. Since it is the "reset" pin, there is not likely and critical timing involved. Take a cable, snip out the #1 conductor (should be the one with the red tracer), and solder it to the connector on the board side. Then copy the contents of the drive (PQMagic is my tool of choice) to the new drive.

Indeed.
--
Keith

P.S. Top posting sucks.
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Here is what I would try:
Get a couple yeards of CAT5 cable (Home Depot, 1 or 2 dollars). Strip off. Cut into segments of 2 feet. Loop one ends of individual small cables. Connect the drive and controller cable with the CAT5 wires.
May take some efforts.
GHZpc wrote:

contact with. I tried a safety pin and attempted to use my average soldering skills to solder a new pin in place. I have still had no luck up to this pont.

daughterboard on the outside of the hard drive and then have more access to where pin #1 is located. Does this sound like a safe thing to do? I would have to be aware of any small thin cables sticking out of the hard drive so that they do not get broke too.

appreciated. And please, please tell me that there is still hope. After all, it's only one pin. I refuse to believe that an entire hard drive can be useless just because one pin broke.

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Find a pin or sewing needle. Cut it slightly longer than the dept of the socket. Put the cable back on and hope the extending pin/needle that will make contact with Pin 1 on the hard disk
If it works, send me a $1.29 (via paypal) so I can treat myself to a slurpee.
kubie
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If the data is truly important, you can send it to a company that will open up the hard drive and copy the data for 500 to 2,000 dollars.
I just heard a radio story about this company concerning all the computers that are under water right now. The one thing they said not to do was to try to fix it themselves. It only makes it harder to get the data.
I think even if you can jury rig something I wouldn't trust the drive so you are going to have to get a new drive. The cost of data is generally much higher than the cost of a drive.

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with. I tried a safety pin and attempted to use my average soldering skills to solder a new pin in place. I have still had no luck up to this pont.

daughterboard on the outside of the hard drive and then have more access to where pin #1 is located. Does this sound like a safe thing to do? I would have to be aware of any small thin cables sticking out of the hard drive so that they do not get broke too.

appreciated. And please, please tell me that there is still hope. After all, it's only one pin. I refuse to believe that an entire hard drive can be useless just because one pin broke.

Get an ohmmeter and measure the resistance from pin 1 to the other pins. Often, many pins are tied together(inside the drive). If it is, then you simply jumper the cable and it should work fine.
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See if you can obtain an identical drive, including checking the firmware version numbers. If so, you may be able to swap the controller board on the hard drives.
- Jerry
GHZpc wrote:

contact with. I tried a safety pin and attempted to use my average soldering skills to solder a new pin in place. I have still had no luck up to this pont.

daughterboard on the outside of the hard drive and then have more access to where pin #1 is located. Does this sound like a safe thing to do? I would have to be aware of any small thin cables sticking out of the hard drive so that they do not get broke too.

appreciated. And please, please tell me that there is still hope. After all, it's only one pin. I refuse to believe that an entire hard drive can be useless just because one pin broke.

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FWIW, I've heard this to work for a couple of different people and would definitely give it a try if it were me.
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with. I tried a safety pin and attempted to use my average soldering skills to solder a new pin in place. I have still had no luck up to this pont.

daughterboard on the outside of the hard drive and then have more access to where pin #1 is located. Does this sound like a safe thing to do? I would have to be aware of any small thin cables sticking out of the hard drive so that they do not get broke too.

appreciated. And please, please tell me that there is still hope. After all, it's only one pin. I refuse to believe that an entire hard drive can be useless just because one pin broke.

I believe you can access the spot where the pin is soldered to the PC board attached th the underside of the drive. Solder a thinish wire to this spot. Do this carefully, do not over heat the solder connection or accidently mess up the other solder spots that will be close by. If the solder connection is dull in shine, it is a bad connection. If it is shiny, it is good. I stress, do not over heat the area.
Take the ribbon cable that connects the drive to the computer mainboard. Find the wire that goes to the pin in question and cut it. Cut just that one wire and no others. Solder the other end of the wire that you soldered to the HDD to this cut wire. Plug in the ribbon cable to the HDD and go to town. Once the drive is up and running, do nothing else except back up your data. This will trash the ribbon cable but it is a small price to pay. Once you know you have your data retrieved, smash the old HDD with a hammer to totally safeguard your data when you throw it away.
I have never tried this but in theory it will work. Just be very meticulous in the bridge you make. Be meticulous and do one step at a time carefully. You can do this. It will require a steady hand and a fine tipped soldering iron. I think it will work, I really do.
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GHZpc wrote:

Pin 1 is reset, have you tried ignoring it? (just plug it in and try the drive) Reset will happen at power on anyway so as long as another reset isnt required (and it may not be) you might be able to use it "as-is" Try it, shouldnt hurt anything. 2nd option is to find the trace on the circuit board corresponding to pin one and solder a small wire to it, connect other end to wire in cable or just plug it in to other connector on cable, pin one is common to both connectors. Eric
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