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Power supply turns off if hard drive is connected

Posted on 2004-08-30
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
I have a "throw-down" desktop computer in my morning room that everybody in the family uses to browse the internet- no important data stored there. The computer shut off unexpectedly last week during normal use. I just got around to looking at it last night. The computer is put together from various components- not a name brand. Running Win 2000. This is a mechanical problem, not a software issue.

If you turn on the computer, the power supply turns off after 1-2 seconds. I took out the power supply and blew out all the dust with an air compressor. I checked the fuse in it, and it's OK. I reinserted the power supply and started testing things.

With nothing connected to the power supply it runs OK. I have a tester from CyberGuys that plugs into the ATX power cable that showed the power supply is OK. I check 12VDC and 5VDC at each Molex connector on the component power cables. All of them are OK.

The only time the power supply shuts down is if I connect ANY power cable to one particular hard drive (I tried the one in the computer, and two other surplus hard drives I have lying around). All other components can have power and data cables hooked up and the power supply is OK. The power supply shuts down with the one hard drive power-connected. It doesn't matter if the data cable is attached or not.

Apparently I have an electrical problem with this hard drive. I'm not worried about retrieving data.

Questions:
1) I've never checked a hard drive with a DMM. Are there any resistance values I should or should not read if I test resistance at the hard drive power connector pins? Any other diagnostic tests I can run?

2) Any ideas as to what happened to this harddrive? I have a surge protector on the computer for the AC supply. I don't have the network cable (to the wireless router) or the DSL line (to the DSL modem) protected, but the router and DSL modem are still working. Is this just a random failure?
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Question by:DelphiDoc
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 11931498
I don't think you can do a thorough test on a hard drive with a DMM.  The circuit board is too comples and doesn't have discrete components, so when a drive behaves this way, it's time to throw it out.  A failed component is enough to cause it to fail - no particular cause.
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buckeyes33 earned 50 total points
ID: 11932426
This question will help a little.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Desktops/Q_21111661.html


so basically you just have a bad hard drive board.  Random failures happen all the time with electrical componets.  It only takes one thing to go wrong for a circuit board not to work.
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