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Voltage operation on a Hard Disk

Posted on 2004-10-26
Medium Priority
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
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LVL 17

Accepted Solution

Steve McCarthy, MCSE, MCSA, MCP x8, Network+, i-Net+, A+, CIWA, CCNA, FDLE FCIC, HIPAA Security Officer earned 1000 total points
ID: 12417704
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.  


Author Comment

ID: 12418439
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 93

Expert Comment

ID: 12419581
Is the drive still under warranty? you could return it probably
LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:Steve McCarthy, MCSE, MCSA, MCP x8, Network+, i-Net+, A+, CIWA, CCNA, FDLE FCIC, HIPAA Security Officer
Steve McCarthy, MCSE, MCSA, MCP x8, Network+, i-Net+, A+, CIWA, CCNA, FDLE FCIC, HIPAA Security Officer earned 1000 total points
ID: 12420370
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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