Advice on swapping HDD Controller...

Hi All,
I am offering 500 points for this because I need some sound advice (no hype please) on swapping the controller on a hard-drive.

Here's the scenario:
I have a 160GB Hitachi 7K250 ATA100 hard-drive that died. No spin, no clunk (essentially a brick).
While the data on this drive is not mission critical enough to warrant a $2000 cost of attempted proffesional data recovery, it is several years worth of educational research, that would be nearly impossible to replace.
A friend of mine told me that it could be that the controller is dead, and if I swapped it out I might be able to get the data off. I took it to a repair shop but the only option they offered was to send it away for a $2000 inspection.
Now, I have the same model drive (except 120GB capacity) in my computer which I'd be willing to risk if there is a chance of getting the data off (both drives MLC=H71474, and visually the controllers look the same).

What say the experts? Good idea? Bad Idea? Might work? Won't work? And most importantly -- WHY?

I may not get back to you on your input right way as I'm about to go to bed, but any helpful advice will be greatly appreciated.

Sam
LVL 15
will_scarlet7Asked:
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_Commented:
Swapping the controller might work, BUT it has to be from the EXACT SAME HD model.
The one from the 120gig will not work, only one from another "160GB Hitachi 7K250 ATA100 hard-drive".

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_Commented:
forgot the Why:
The drive geometry is embedded on the logic board (controller), and is different for different size drives.

If you had 2 dead drives (dead for different reasons), you 'might' turn a 160gig into a 120gig, by changing the logic board, then low level formatting the drive, fdisk, and format. I haven't tried this yet, but it is on my list of things to do one of these days.    : )
rindiCommented:
I've done this succesfully with maxtor drives, but as coral has already said, they need to be the exact same model and revision number. You might be able to get the same drive via ebay, or if yoou can take the disk to a PC parts shop, before buying another, same drive, take your and compare the two that they are the exact same drive, as even the same models tend to be improved and often get new electronic revisions.
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nobusCommented:
will_scarlet7Author Commented:
You guys are awesome! ThanX for saving me a potential great headache! I have a friend who bought another drive at the same time as mine so it should be from the same batch! I'll see if they are willing to swap for a new one and give it a go.
Don't think I can be much help in this are, but if you ever have any questions about Microsoft Access Or Photoshop, I'll do my best to return the favor.

God bless!

Sam
rindiCommented:
Thanks too. Once you have been able to pull the data off the disk, you can check Hitachi homepage and RMA the disk, possibly you can get it replaced under warranty...
_Commented:
Thank you much.    : )

Have fun with your adventure in hardware hacking.   : )
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