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HDD keeping computer from powering on

Posted on 2004-09-26
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
I have an office computer that killed itself last week. I didnt see it happen but we recently moved our office and an employee plugged her computer in and turned it on. She said that smoke came out the back of the PSU and it turned off.

I opened the PSU and saw that a capacitor had leaked some fluid onto the PSU board. I installed a new one and still no dice. I removed all components and managed to get the mobo to turn on. Anyway, I have isolated the problem to the hard drive. No matter how many components I have plugged in the system will not power on if my HDD has the power connector plugged in. I dont even have any ide cables plugged in. Its as if the HDD is overloading the PSU to the point where it cant power on. Ive tried other hard drives and all is well. I even tried putting this HDD in another working system and the same thing happens.

Has anyone ever seen this? I wonder if one of the heads got stuck to a disk or something and the motor is shorting itself out. Basically I would like to know what could be happening and if there is any chance of getting the drive to spin up so I can retrieve some info off of it. Nothing is crucial, but I cant stand to throw away a HDD without knowing for sure that it is toast. Is there any kind of testing i can do? Maybe the freezer test?

Thanks
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Question by:futuregolfpro
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6 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:blacksteel
ID: 12157805
Toast!
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by:zvitam
zvitam earned 200 total points
ID: 12158246
the HDD Electronics burned and the only real method for testing it, in taking the same electronics from an identical drive and plug it in.
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Author Comment

by:futuregolfpro
ID: 12159839
but why would it keep the computer from starting? do you think the HDD might have caused the PSU to throw up all over itself or the PSU killed the HDD?
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Expert Comment

by:speak2ab
ID: 12162514
I have had that experience before and all i did to solve the problem was  a change of PSU and it worked. You might as well try other PSU's and see
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by:
blacksteel earned 800 total points
ID: 12164274
I said "Toast" because had a similar problem when my CD ROM stopped working. The other reason is that I say "Toast" is because if this PC was on when the PSU failed and the hard drive was spinning at the time, it's going to really mess up the hard drive. It might be that the circuit board on the hard drive is toast and if you could find a replacement, then it's possible it might work, no guarantee. I've sometimes fixed drives by tapping sides and top of HD with a rubber mallet, it might help. The drive might work, what you got to lose, it's not working anyway. The tapping on drive losens the heads or magnetic needle that records the information so it can write in case it's stuck. If this info on drive is of great importance then it is possible to get the information from some special data recovery companies.
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Assisted Solution

by:Sam Cohen
Sam Cohen earned 400 total points
ID: 12166490
Yes , That can happen with a HD,,,, usually alot of times with theres a surge and the HD gets fried it can keep the com from starting
My suggestion is that , if you had valuable info on the hd , take it to a professional to get the info off, alot of time the power portion on the HD has fried or maybe a mini fuse or something -not affecting the data, so all a pro has to do is change power portion of the HD drive, with the same of another, to see if that will kick it back in
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