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Data recovery and disk repair questions and discussions related to old-fashioned SATA, SAS, SCSI, IDE, MFM hard drives - any type of storage device that has moving parts
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Samsung Sp1604n - old IDE - Data recovery

November 17th, 2018, 5:42

Hello guys,

sorry for my english! :D

i got an old Samsung HDD which has a broken PCB. I already bought 3 other kinds of this HDD an switched the boards. It spins up with another PCB but makes a endless clicking sound. I think it it trying to find the right "jump in point" but cannot because the firmware or the bios-chip is not exactly the same.

So i made some measurements and comapred them to the other boards. And just by making these measurements (just ohm, hdd turned off) i broke another PCB.. Oo

And it has the same symptoms now. So now i am stuck and don't know what to do. They diodes should be okay.

My idea now is just to fix the baord of my original HDD. I can't be something to hard to fix. Because i think it just lay around for years after workinmg good. And when i tried to start it again after years, the PCB is broken!? Furthermore you cannot see any damages on the board neither burned stuff or so.

I attach some measurements i made: (red is the original board, and green one of the other before it broke too :D .. both ohm continuity measurements) (yellow was the only "turn on" volt measurement of other boards and red the original)


Unfortunately my external HDD connector broke a few minutes ago because i pulled the wires too hard :S. Any advice of a cheap one?

Thanks in advance and cheers!!

Re: Samsung Sp1604n - old IDE - Data recovery

November 17th, 2018, 16:27

Yes ...

Only advice possible - send the drive to a REPUTABLE data recovery firm. Do not use a regular computer repair shop and don't power the drive anymore.

Most likely the drive have damaged head(s)/pre-amp and it's NOT a PCB problem.

If you did replace the PCB with a compatible one (from the same model) and if the drive just clicks then most likely the head(s) are gone and the drive have to be serviced by a professional using special tools inside a HEPA 100 clean room ...

Not do-it-yourself anymore.

You can try to get a TTL log by plugging a TTL adaptor to the drive but .... at this point most likely you will get the same diagnostic ....

You will see a lot of grey error for all heads, etc ...

If the problem were to be PCB related or ROM related the drive wouldn't even spin.

Re: Samsung Sp1604n - old IDE - Data recovery

November 17th, 2018, 19:31

If you do have compatible PCB from the same model but with diferent ROM drive will read Overal on platter will figure out that code is not compatible and will complain on terminal. For drive to read the overlay on the platter it does have to find servo and read SA, meaning that for this drive even if you have ROM that is not compatible with overlay on MC drive will still calibrate and will still read SA ...

If the drive is just clicking with several PCBs it does mean that the heads are not finding servo and the cause it's bad head(s) or pre-amp. On your Samsung as long as the PCB is compatible even if the ROM code is not the same the drive will not just click. You will not gain access to data and the drive will not properly initialize if the ROM is not compatible with the code on platters but the drive will not just click as well.
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