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Change PCB of the hard disk drive

Posted on 2006-05-05
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I would like to know can we change the PCB of two hard disk drive which have the same model and capacity?
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Question by:sokharoit
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Nick Denny earned 2000 total points
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by:steveiam
ID: 16613317
Yes, you can.  If the hard drives are both exactly the same model and revision, you can swap the PCBs between them, to replace one that's failed.  I'd read this first, though..

  http://www.data-recovery-hub.com/information/Physical-Repair/repair-pcb.php

They strongly recommend against it, as they say that there are drive-specific things stored on the PCB, that are different drive-to-drive.
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by:arthurjb
ID: 16614687
I have done this many times before, but it is important to note that it should only be done as a last resort, when everything else has been tried.

The reason for this is that the data on either drive may not be recoverable using any techniques, so if the data is critical unreplaceable and you are trying to get it back, this should not be done.  You should send the drive to a drive recovery service.

If you are just doing it because you have 2 bad drives and you want to make one good one rather than throwing both away, this is a great way to recover the technology.

Make sure that you do a full format, not just a quick format.  I have had drives run for years after the replacement...
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by:garycase
ID: 16615056
"... can we change the PCB of two hard disk drive which have the same model and capacity? " ==>  As noted above, the answer is USUALLY yes.   This is a fairly common technique for recovering data from a drive that has had a failure of the electronics; and as long as you're very careful and "static sensitive" it works quite well.

There IS, however, a major exception, which is becoming more common - especially with laptop drives:   If your drive is an ATA-secure drive with an embedded security chip, then changing the circuit boards won't help, as the data on the drive is encrypted and the decryption key is securely stored in the chip.   But as long as this is not the case, you should have no problem doing what you've asked.
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by:computerfixins
ID: 16617846
As steve mentioned, all the drives are "tuned", so replacing the PCB can result in a serious degradation of drives speed along with lifespan.  

Also very few pcb's die before the drives, unless mistreated somehow(plugging in a laptop to ide converter backwards is a good example).
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by:garycase
ID: 16828897
No objection, but if anyone's ever reading this in the future, don't miss the thought I posted:
"... If your drive is an ATA-secure drive with an embedded security chip, then changing the circuit boards won't help, as the data on the drive is encrypted and the decryption key is securely stored in the chip."
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by:arthurjb
ID: 16828925
I also feel that my comments were germain to the problem since it should only be done as the absolute last resort...
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