However, be aware there is no possible way any of us can tell from this end if it's more than the TVS, and a board swap might not work either.
I figure it's a gamble either way, seeing that I don't have any diagnostic equipment that can determine the problem with any certainty. But it's the best shot I have at this point. I'd definitely prefer not to have to open the disk up to replace any internal parts. My operating environment is clean, but not that
Do you need the data, or just want to return the drive to service?
I'd prefer to return it to service, but it's not critical. Recovering the data is more important.
I suppose if the damage does not extend beyond the pcb, it would be possible to return the disk to service full-time. But I don't know if I'd feel comfortable with that. A quick and dirty fix for getting the data off the drive seems more practical at this point.
Just out of morbid curiosity though. What exactly could I have expected if I were to yank the disk out while the power was running? Ehh, I've heard horror stories but never actually seen anyone do it. I can't afford to waste hard disks like that. I also don't have a fire extinguisher handy.