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 Post subject: Samsung HD501LJ Failure - keeps dropping randomly
PostPosted: July 6th, 2018, 23:25 
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Joined: July 6th, 2018, 22:52
Posts: 3
Location: Melbourne
Hi all,

I'm new to this forum and a total noob when it comes to HDD repair, so please assume I have no idea what I'm talking about... :P

I have been attempting to DIY repair the above HDD after it failed due to me swapping the computer's power supply and leaving in place the SATA power cables of the old supply. From what I have been able to establish, this has caused the 12V TVS diode (?) to burn out. I have removed the offending part and was able to partially recover some of the data on the drive.

However, the drive is displaying some weird behaviour, which makes a full recovery of the data on the drive a game of chance:
The drive will come online only after a random amount of time of being connected to the PC. A quick restart will make the drive discoverable and accessible, and I am able to copy some of the data across to a new drive.
But it will drop again after 3 seconds, or 1 minute, or 10 minutes and then sit there and not spin up for another random amount of time.

I suppose I could keep on playing this game until I have a complete set of data, but is there anything that might make this process a little more reliable?

Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

Cheers.

Attachment:
File comment: Removed Diode
Samsung HD501LJ.jpg
Samsung HD501LJ.jpg [ 1.51 MiB | Viewed 440 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Samsung HD501LJ Failure - keeps dropping randomly
PostPosted: July 7th, 2018, 7:24 
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Joined: July 6th, 2018, 22:52
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Location: Melbourne
UPDATE:

I have spent the day persisting with the incremental backup of files whenever the drive was available.
This was basically a process of sitting by the computer and waiting for the drive to spin up. Which could take anywhere between 10-15mins, but I had a couple of periods where nothing was happening for about an hour. Then to copy files for as long as it would stay online. Which again was highly varied.

As it turns out the drive has a couple of bad sectors, too, which caused me to loose a few files. If this was caused by the original event or not i cannot say. The other thing that remains an absolute mystery to me is why a piece of electronics would behave this way?! How can it be that one minute it works and is dead as a door nail the next? Maybe there are some people on these forums that can shed some light on this...

Anyhow all in all I managed to pull 99.99% of all data off the drive and will now proceed to retire it. Plus, I am now the proud owner of a $16 multitool, a brand new 1TB Seagate Barracuda HDD. And I am still in the possession of approximately A$800-1400, which is what I was quoted to get the data professionally retrieved. Overall, not a bad outcome.

Thanks for looking.

Cheers.


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 Post subject: Re: Samsung HD501LJ Failure - keeps dropping randomly
PostPosted: July 7th, 2018, 17:27 
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First STOP all that you are doing. You will kill the drive for good and you will end up without data.

Now check the data that you already have ... is it intact and valid ? Most likely you did recover bad data as well.

At this point a professional recovery should still be cheap and accesible. You will not pay a fortune. Seek advice of a professional data recovery firm.

If you don't want to do that i would :

- Replace the PCB by a compatible one with the same firmware or "adapt" a PCB to the drive by writting overlays from donor drive.

- Disable re-location in RAM.

- Image/clone the drive by hardware.

- Extract the data.

If you don't have tools and knowledge you can try to clone your drive with the free hddsuperclone tool but again it would be way safer to replace the PCB first ...

Regards and good luck.

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 Post subject: Re: Samsung HD501LJ Failure - keeps dropping randomly
PostPosted: July 7th, 2018, 18:48 
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Joined: January 29th, 2012, 1:43
Posts: 420
Location: United States
Spildit wrote:
First STOP all that you are doing. You will kill the drive for good and you will end up without data.

Now check the data that you already have ... is it intact and valid ? Most likely you did recover bad data as well.

At this point a professional recovery should still be cheap and accesible. You will not pay a fortune. Seek advice of a professional data recovery firm.

If you don't want to do that i would :

- Replace the PCB by a compatible one with the same firmware or "adapt" a PCB to the drive by writting overlays from donor drive.

- Disable re-location in RAM.

- Image/clone the drive by hardware.

- Extract the data.

If you don't have tools and knowledge you can try to clone your drive with the free hddsuperclone tool but again it would be way safer to replace the PCB first ...

Regards and good luck.

@Spildit, I don't normally question you, but did you completely read the OP's post? The original issue was wrong power to the drive, and after removing a failed safety diode it is operational again, but with the faulty condition. Please explain why you posted information for what would seem like a fix for an otherwise failing drive, I am confused...

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 Post subject: Re: Samsung HD501LJ Failure - keeps dropping randomly
PostPosted: July 7th, 2018, 18:54 
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Joined: October 16th, 2013, 13:21
Posts: 694
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At least the removal of the TVS seems clear.

BattleXer, the picture is of your own board, isn´t it, or is it from another disk ?


In the case you removed the board from the disk to unsolder the TVS diode, did you clean the contacts in the back side ? Inspect that again, and clear them just in case.

Now, are you connecting the disk to an internal SATA port of your computer, or using
an USB adapter ?


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 Post subject: Re: Samsung HD501LJ Failure - keeps dropping randomly
PostPosted: July 7th, 2018, 19:08 
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BattleXer wrote:
I have been attempting to DIY repair the above HDD after it failed due to me swapping the computer's power supply and leaving in place the SATA power cables of the old supply. From what I have been able to establish, this has caused the 12V TVS diode (?) to burn out. I have removed the offending part and was able to partially recover some of the data on the drive.

You have removed the 5V TVS diode. This is consistent with an overvoltage on the +5V input. Therefore there may be some concern as to the state of the preamp inside the HDA. Perhaps it was stressed?

BattleXer wrote:
The drive will come online only after a random amount of time of being connected to the PC. A quick restart will make the drive discoverable and accessible, and I am able to copy some of the data across to a new drive.
But it will drop again after 3 seconds, or 1 minute, or 10 minutes and then sit there and not spin up for another random amount of time.

So the drive spins down during read access?

I agree with @rogfanther -- try to clean up the corrosion at the HDA contacts with a soft white pencil eraser. Don't rub too hard. Also measure the voltage at the TVS diode pad. Is it right on +5V, or is it a little low?

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 Post subject: Re: Samsung HD501LJ Failure - keeps dropping randomly
PostPosted: July 7th, 2018, 19:09 
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Joined: January 29th, 2012, 1:43
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Wishful EDIT: I got interrupted and posted before I wanted to. Then while trying to edit, it was too late...

@ Spildit, So after reading your post again, I am just curious what you think happened to the drive from the wrong power applied that would cause that, and why you say that the data recovered is likely no good.

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 Post subject: Re: Samsung HD501LJ Failure - keeps dropping randomly
PostPosted: July 7th, 2018, 19:15 
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maximus wrote:
@Spildit, I don't normally question you, but did you completely read the OP's post? The original issue was wrong power to the drive, and after removing a failed safety diode it is operational again, but with the faulty condition. Please explain why you posted information for what would seem like a fix for an otherwise failing drive, I am confused...


:roll: :roll: :roll:

Simple ....

Drive was working ok, then suffered a power surge then it's no longer working. OP removes TVS so drive now works but can't access to the full data as the drive does loose connection to the PC.

Some things that might have happend includes

1) More damage to the PCB like MCU, etc ...
2) The drive have bad sectors.
3) The drive have damaged pre-amp.

If the OP is attempting to gain access by windows this might fail and the drive will no longer be accessible by OS. Cloning sector by sector does help on sittuations like this, same as disabling re-location in RAM, and YES, on the SAMSUNG !!!

Oh ... and i do have a MAXTOR here (native MAXTOR) that if you try to clone/read and even just VERIFY and if it does hit bad sectors it will swap those to the G-LIST on READ !!! So yes, do disable re-location when you can, IT DOES HELP.

Now that you are sure that your PCB is not further damaged by the surge as you did replace it and that your drive is "stable" for cloning ore image just try to do the clone to see if the drive doesn't "hang" on bad blocks.

Forget about USB adaptors as well, plug by SATA. If the drive is stuck on bad blocks you need to lower the timeout, set soft-reset, etc .... list goes on ...

I don't see what is wrong with the procedure ?

Of course the op can do whatever he wants, it's not my data !

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 Post subject: Re: Samsung HD501LJ Failure - keeps dropping randomly
PostPosted: July 7th, 2018, 19:15 
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Joined: October 16th, 2013, 13:21
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I should have added, if the drive is being connected to the internal sata port, is the power cable good ? Those symptoms could be caused also by some intermittent disconnection of power to the drive, like in a loose or damaged connector.


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 Post subject: Re: Samsung HD501LJ Failure - keeps dropping randomly
PostPosted: July 7th, 2018, 19:16 
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maximus wrote:
Wishful EDIT: I got interrupted and posted before I wanted to. Then while trying to edit, it was too late...

@ Spildit, So after reading your post again, I am just curious what you think happened to the drive from the wrong power applied that would cause that, and why you say that the data recovered is likely no good.


Assume that the PCB does have further damage, how can you be sure that the data is 100% intact ?

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 Post subject: Re: Samsung HD501LJ Failure - keeps dropping randomly
PostPosted: July 7th, 2018, 19:36 
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Joined: January 29th, 2012, 1:43
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Spildit wrote:
maximus wrote:
Wishful EDIT: I got interrupted and posted before I wanted to. Then while trying to edit, it was too late...

@ Spildit, So after reading your post again, I am just curious what you think happened to the drive from the wrong power applied that would cause that, and why you say that the data recovered is likely no good.


Assume that the PCB does have further damage, how can you be sure that the data is 100% intact ?

Makes sense. I was writing my original post and was not ready to post yet, and may not have, but sometimes things happen and the submit button gets pushed :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Samsung HD501LJ Failure - keeps dropping randomly
PostPosted: July 7th, 2018, 20:15 
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I did buy a lot of damaged drives on eBay to refurb. I'm writting a BIG (huge) post on it. It's a lot of 26 drives of several brands and models and the majority of them do have LBA access but with bad surface, etc ... There are many typical problems .... I will post later on when i do finish my testings. I also have another set of drives that should be arriving soon from another "listing" that i won for $8 USD ... It's 28 drives from several brands from 40 GB to 3 TB or something ... It's good to "see" the typical problems that you get with some drives ...

MAXTORS (Not Quantum re-branded to MAXTOR) are just ..... BAD ... they do very funny stuff ... I do have some that once you hit bad spot / bad sector the drive will go to BSY and you have to send hardware re-set, etc ... without HRT the drive just hangs and you have to power off/on just because you hit bad sector ... Some problems can be avoided by disabling the re-location , etc ... but there are many interesting stuff.

I have some HGST/Hitachi one ARM and another M24 that takes time to detect, have cache disabled when checking but all modules are ok and when the drive does detect i can access all sectors ... very strange problem, most likely faults to heads or even PCB .. i will have to check ...

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 Post subject: Re: Samsung HD501LJ Failure - keeps dropping randomly
PostPosted: July 8th, 2018, 2:30 
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Joined: July 6th, 2018, 22:52
Posts: 3
Location: Melbourne
rogfanther wrote:
BattleXer, the picture is of your own board, isn´t it, or is it from another disk ?


Yeah it's a photo from my own board. I did not remove the PCB when I removed the diode.
So not sure about the condition of the ports on the other side.

I had the drive connected to an internal SATA port and power, which is confirmed good, running another drive without issues.

fzabkar wrote:
So the drive spins down during read access?

I agree with @rogfanther -- try to clean up the corrosion at the HDA contacts with a soft white pencil eraser. Don't rub too hard. Also measure the voltage at the TVS diode pad. Is it right on +5V, or is it a little low?


Yes, the drive would just spin sown randomly as if it lost all power and become unavailable.
This would have been good advice yesterday. I thought something wasn't entirely clean and might cause the sort of behaviour the drive was displaying.
Damage to the pre-amp seems plausible, too. In this case I would have definitely been out of my depth and gone the profesional help route.

Spildit wrote:
At this point a professional recovery should still be cheap and accesible. You will not pay a fortune. Seek advice of a professional data recovery firm.


I did approach several DR firms, and the quotes I got were between $800-$1400 Australian. I guess we pay the down-under tax on everything and anything... :cry: The other problem I had was that I had 2 identical Samsung drives, both of which got fried at the same time, and I wasn't sure which one was containing my data. So all of a sudden I was looking at potentially 3 grand to get my data back without guarantees...

Hence the DIY approach to see what I could do about it.

As I stated above, the drive did have a couple of bad sectors, one of which I was aware of prior to the problems. Hitting those, the drive would just sit and tick, not copying any further. I got around this problem by omitting the affected files, and copying everything else.

Anyhow, thank you for your insights. I am pretty sure the data I have retrieved is very much intact.
And I have invested in some backup-software to avoid this problem in the future.

Cheers!


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