King of Excellent (according to Scaryduck)

Friday, June 25

The tale of the faulty hard drive

I don't know if you remember, but about 3 years ago my trusty old 80gb dual RAID 0 array went belly up. I plugged in a customer's drive to read data from it, and it damaged not only both 80gb drives, but also my DVD burner. It also wouldn't even appear in the BIOS. Now at the time, I thought this was the end of civilisation. I had old pictures of me and John, documents that I'd typed, emails, addresses, and everything else on it. Now I am the first to agree that a back up was called for. Most of my stuff had been backed up in the last 6 months or so, so I could get back my emails and my addresses. But the pictures etc. were long gone. I'm the first to admit that I thought having it on RAID 0 would have been enough, but it just goes to prove even I'm not infallible.
I have regularly looked on eBay for a similar drive. I've seen something fairly close, but paying £50 for something that *might* work is a lot of money. So I had 2 choices. Wait until I knew for definite it would work (in other words get exactly the same drive, which is doubtful) or wait until the price dropped. So, me being me, I did both and last week I got a drive for £10. I also found this website, which not only tells me what I'm looking for, but how to test it.
The key was the circuit board name. Mine was called a F4FYA Calypso III board, and when I searched for that I found one on eBay. So, I bid, and I won it. When it arrived I unplugged the old board, and following advice elsewhere, I tested to see if the drive was going to blow up the new board.
Using my multimeter on Diode Test, I tested pins 1 and 3, to make sure that the drive's pre-amp hadn't gone short circuit. This would kill any new board instantly.
It hadn't and it was fine. So, I broke out the special tamperproof screwdriver set and undid the board, and swapped them over. To be sure it didn't do it again, I then plugged it into my USB to IDE adapter, and sure enough it worked!
I read the data I wanted to recover, and copied it all over to my main drive. I also copied it to DVD, so I have a final copy should I ever need it again. As you can imagine, I'm a happy bunny :)