• Hard drive: flame on

    by  • 2/26/2009 • geek • 0 Comments

    Hard drives should not generate flame

    Last night I was moving files around from drive to drive, and had shut a system down to swap one of the drives I new was dying out. It’s been overdue for a change, and I finally got around to moving all the data off of it.

    I’ve replaced Dying Drive with MP3 Drive from the other file server, and apply power to the system. I’m just idly staring at the stack of hard drives, waiting for the system to power and test the drives, listening to the click click-click-click of the drives spinning up.

    Hang on. These drives don’t have built in LEDs… so why is that… oh shit. Now it’s making click-rebound-click-rebound-click-… noises. None of this is good.

    I immediately power down the system and pull generating-light-but-shouldn’t-be drive carefully.

    You know that drive that’s been slowly dying and that I’ve shut down to replace? Well, this isn’t it. The MP3 Drive transferred in is fine too. This is another drive that has spontaneously decided to end it all. In the blurry photo above, you can see the path that the Magic Smoke that powers computer systems took to get out of that resistor pack on the circuit board.

    The drive contains a lot of data, but none of it is really vital… It’s full of recorded TV shows that I’d like to have, but that aren’t really vital. I don’t think that there’s anything else of interest on there that doesn’t exist in at least a half dozen other places here, so I’m not highly concerned with the data.

    There’s a bit of a dilemma here… the newly dead drive is under warranty from Seagate, as I tended to buy the five-year warranty drives, I have a couple years left on this one. However, I already have a spare, identical drive that I bought at the same time, and it’s blank. I could, in theory, swap the circuit boards and get at the data on Burnie and continue to use it, or I can just file a warranty claim and forget about the data.

    I have to dig up my hex drivers and see how the boards are attached; looks like these Seagates have a pretty straight-forward connection to the drive mechanism, and no obvious tampering security, so I may be able to do the board swap, pull any interesting data of Burnie and then swap them back to return Burnie as a full, original unit.

    Something for the weekend, I suppose.


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