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External hard drive rescue

blkmageblkmage Registered User regular
I have a WD Elements drive whose power supply died. Looking around on Google, it seems like it's not a rare occurrence. It also seems that the power supply in question is a proprietary model and that it's become kind of hard to find. I've come up with a few things I could do, but aren't sure of which to go with.

1. Get another power supply. This would be easier if they were easier to find, but the only place I can find them is on eBay and the shipping (to Canada, from elsewhere) makes it a bit pricey. Also, I'm pretty worried about the chance that the second one will die.

2. Somehow forge a converter to a standard power supply. This was a suggestion that I've seen around on the Internet. I'm not sure how I'd do this, but I could probably wrangle one of my electrical engineering friends into helping me out with this. I don't know how reliable this would turn out.

3. Stuff the drive into a new enclosure. After thinking about it some more, this seems like the most sane course of action. It's too bad, because I really liked this enclosure. I'm not sure about the size of the drive and I can't tell by glancing at it, so if someone knows, please tell me. I also don't know what to look for in an enclosure, so I'd like some suggestions in this area.

blkmage on

Posts

  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    It's a 3.5" inch hard drive. Probably SATA-II, I'm guessing. A guy here in the comments helpfully says:
    The unit died today. Luckily though it was only the enclosure or the power supply, as I was able to remove the drive and slave it in my Windows machine. Data saved! All I need now is a new enclosure which can be picked up for around $25. For anyone who wants to know, it's a SATA drive

    Not that it matters, but it's also 7200 rpm, which is rather impressive for an external. You could just put it in your desktop and use it as your main HDD :rotate:

    If you can figure out how to crack the case open, a replacement case should be <$5 (but check first before grabbing a screwdriver, the price seems to vary a lot).

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  • HonkHonk Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    edited August 2009
    I have that exact same HD and went trough exactly the same thing!

    Are you sure it's actually that power supply that's broken? Like have you tested it with a volt meter or similar? I too thought that my power supply was the culprit but that wasn't it.

    What happened to me, and seems to be common, is that the internal power coupling inside the casing (the thing that connects the hard disk to the power supply cord, it's a small chip inside the casing) comes loose.

    I did this:

    The case is openable on both ends, either end has a tiny screw to hold the separate "lids" in place and two plastic hooks each that go into the metal casing. The tips of these hooks are visible from the exterior. To remove the disk itself from the casing you need to open it from the side which has those perforated holes (i.e. not the side where the power supply is connected).

    This is easy, gently remove the corresponding screw. Push in the plastic hooks I mentioned and just slide out the plastic lid - you will now see the hard disk inside. If you have the same problem I had you will notice that the hard disk has disconnected from the power supply "coupling" inside the casing, and it will be easy to slide out. The kicker with all this is that this side of the case does not have a warranty sticker on it. The only warranty sticker on the product should be one over the screw corresponding to the lid of the power supply side of the case.

    The hard disk itself has a SATA-II connection (it is actually a standard WD Caviar Green/Black internal hard disk) and because of that you can easily connect it as a secondary hard drive to back up all your data.

    After you've backed up your data, slide the hard disk back into the casing and gently close it. If you complete this without leaving marks on the case then you should have no problem whatsoever getting a new one from the warranty (because no warranty sticker will be broken)!

  • blkmageblkmage Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Unfortunately, I think my drive is out of warranty. Oh well.

    I'm pretty sure it's the power supply. The light on it doesn't turn on anymore, even when it's not plugged into the drive.

    The information about the drive was really helpful. I think I'm just going to go grab an enclosure for it. I'm wondering if there's anything specific I should be looking for in one (brand, price, build, etc.)?

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