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18 thoughts on “HOW TO – Fix a broken pin on an IDE hard drive”
This fix actually scares me! The reason is that it’s a hack that may work (temporarily), it’s extremely risky and no easier than repairing the pin correctly. A sure recipe for lost data.
To repair the pin correctly, you should remove the logic board from the drive, de-solder the offending pin and remove it from behind with a small needle-nose pliers. Using a leftover component wire (like off of an LED) or connector pin cannibalized from a scrap connector, just push it through the empty hole and solder into place. If the hole expanded when the broken pin was de-soldered, use a drop of “super-glue” on the rear of the connector to secure the pin in place. A little careful straightening with the needle-nose pliers and you’re back in business permanently and safely.
Look for the same drive on ebay, preferably broken or bad sectors.
Once you get it, remove the screws holding the interface card to the drive (you’ll have to remove the plastic covering, which is just pushed on).
Separate the card from the drive (there’s an interface connector), and swap it out with your old drive.
Since most drives today are Maxtor, Seagate or Western Digital it’s almost impossible not to find this solution (done it 2 time already…).
A note on bent pins; you can fix them with a regular mechanical pencil. Take the lead out, place the bent pin in the nose of the pencil, and straighten.
Using alfoil and a sewing pin to get your data back?
Cool – Very MacGyver.
Continuing to use that same drive for months thereafter?
Dodgy – Very Steptoe & Son
First off, a lot of the pins are ground pins, so I would just see if the drive works before I did anything. You stand a good chance of the thing working with the broken pin.
Your idea is clever if it will not work with the broken pin, though I would only use it to get the data you want to keep off the drive. This brings back memories of hard slamming old drives to “unstick” them and on at least a few occasions opening them up and giving them a spin by hand to get them started.
If you relly want to keep the drive and fix it on the cheep, you could ohm out where the broken pin goes, solder a piece of thin 30 gauge “wire wrap” to the place on the PCB the pin goes and solder the other end to your cut off needle or what have you, and then stick the needle into the proper hole and snip away the plastic shroud on the connector on the drive by that one pin so the wire can snake in there. A much better fix for the long haul.
Forget the tin foil. Find a stiff, thin wire. I used a coppar wire from an electric cable. Most electic cables have soft thin wires – find one with a wire that is thin enough, but stiff and fits in the ide cable hole that corresponds to the broken pin. Cut the wire so that a little bit of it sticks out. The lenght of the bit that sticks out should be about twice the width of the same wire (just enough so that it makes contact with the stub of the broken pin). Put the wire in the right slot and plug it in. Worked for me.
The best way is the one tercero explains, finding the same HD and replacing the board. Here i give you the link to see how i did it if it can helps someone:
I broke one male pin on an old IBM Deskstar 14.4 g.
I took a pushpin, the real long slender ones with a small head on it. I think ladies use them to hem.
I cut the tip off and pushed it into the ribbon made it flush with the plastic . I could not puish it in any further as the head stopped it. I did make sure the length was sufficient to make good contact in the female part.
Then I connected it to the HD and viola she booted up!
No soldering needed and the head is just big enough to ensure good contact with out touching the other make pins.
I tried this with a broken 2,5 IDE HDD and it works like a charm. I just installed Windows XP and my laptop is back in business.
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