Voltage operation on a Hard Disk

Posted on 2004-10-26
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
A hard disk typically has a +5V, +12V and 2 COM connections. What parts of the hard drive does each voltage control. If one of the voltages was to fail for a moment or for a long time then what would be the result to the drive and/or data. Would the drive get damaged?
Question by:PawloA
    LVL 16

    Accepted Solution

    Typically your +5 would power the electronic components and the +12 would control the motors for the spindle and head positioning mechanisms.

    These things are tough, so a loss for awhile of either would likely not cause any damage to the drives.  If you were trying to write when it occurred, you would most probably get a write error or drive not ready error of some type.  The newer drives, at least for the last 5 -7 years all retract the heads to the park position on power loss.  

    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    I have one drive that will hang my system from booting up whenever it is connected. The system recognizes the drive but then it hangs up. Even as a slave the same problem happens. What could be causing that. Would the fact that the five volts was intermittant cause this type of problem to happen. I tried this drive on three computers; all hang up during boot if this drive is connected to an IDE port as either master or slave. Any help? My drive is a Maxtor 200GB drive on a P4P800-E mother board.
    LVL 91

    Expert Comment

    Is the drive still under warranty? you could return it probably
    LVL 16

    Assisted Solution

    As long as it is jumpered correctly it should be working.  I assume you tried it as a stand alone drive also from your troubleshooting statements.  Yes, an intermittant 5 volts could easily cause that or you might have a cold solder joint on the drive's circuit board.  I would agree with nobus.  If the drive is under warranty, return it for another.  I know Hitachi and Western Digital are very easy to do RMA's and Returns by just going to their web site.

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