Dead external drive - assistance required

Discussion in 'Storage & Backup' started by kingjam, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. kingjam

    kingjam Member

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    Hi - I have an Iomega MDHD10T-U2, would be several years old now that appears to have died.

    Its an external drive with two 500GB drives presented as one 1TB unit, so I believe the problem to be with the controller (see picture below). Powering it up it no longer detects (active LED is on on the transformer) and after pulling it apart note that the fan doesn't spin and the power LED isn't firing.

    What are the chances the transformer is giving an active light but being dead?

    My trusty USB to SATA recovery cable is no use to me as the drives just come up as uninitialised when connected singly.

    Any thoughts on my options to recover the data? I have a backup of *most* of it stashed somewhere, probably only a couple of months out of date, so not as bad as it could be (given its holds my music and photo colletion) but would rather not have to go through a restoration process if I don't have to.

    Thanks


    Click to view full size!
     
  2. Slyda

    Slyda Member

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    try running one of the data recovery apps (eg getdataback) on the disks individually, dunno bout this product but if theyre in a JBOD span instead of RAID0 youll get 'most' if the data back
     
  3. OP
    OP
    kingjam

    kingjam Member

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    Worth a look.

    Correction to my original post - one drive comes up 'Uninitialised', the other, Unformatted'.
     
  4. fabricator

    fabricator Member

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    Pretty high I'd say, I had one enclosure act like this, faulty power brick.

    Given the fan doesn't work, then it proves the 12v rail is dead.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    kingjam

    kingjam Member

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    Went looking for a replacement power supply today without success, due to the craphouse connector employed.

    None of the Jaycar kits have the 4 pronged connection required. Any other thoughts on where I might obtain one?

    Paying > 16 pounds seems a little excessive - http://go.iomega.com/en/products/external-hard-drive-desktop/accessories-for-desktop-hard-drive/accessories/?partner=4735#overviewItem_tab

    Specs of power brick:

    12V,5V-2A
    Pin 1-5V
    Pin 2-12V
    Pin 3-Ground
    Pin 3-Ground


    Click to view full size!


    (Will cross post this in the WTB forum)
     
  6. s3kemo

    s3kemo Member

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    how handy are you with a soldering iron?

    you could probably hack the plug and a bit of extra cable off the end of your dead power brick, and sort that out with a molex from a PC PSU purely for troubleshooting on the cheap. then if it works, you can assume it was your power brick that's fucked up you know exactly what to buy and it won't potentially be a waste of money.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    kingjam

    kingjam Member

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    Reasonable, under normal circumstances...
    This is yet another task I can't attempt since breaking my right hand 3 weeks ago :sick:

    I think I get what you're saying though - the brick should be able to power a drive to test on.

    Conversely (if I could solder) could I connect the wires from a molex connection directly to the board? It would be getting the same 12V,5V combination or is the brick doing something else as well?
     
  8. s3kemo

    s3kemo Member

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    if you're looking to get away from the soldering (understandable with only 1 good hand) then you can do it this way without any soldering:
    - buy a cheap molex extension cable from a computer shop (or butcher one of your own)
    - take the molex plug off it so you have 4 bare wires
    - cut off the power brick's plug (the end that goes into the drive bay) as close to the transformer as possible, so we lots of cable to play with. split the transformer-end of this cable so you have 4 bare wires
    - hope to fuck you know which wires are which (could probably do a simple test with a small battery and a hobby lightbulb/LED), and twist them around the appropriate bare molex cable, and wrap with electrical tape
    - plug the plug into the back of the iomega drive bay
    - plug the good end of the molex cable into the PSU
    - either power on the PC or trip the PSU's ATX plug to power it on. probably best to use a spare PSU if you have one in case things go pear-shaped

    Probably a good idea to get this dodgy idea double-checked by others :) I may have missed something minor or fucking monstrous along the line!
     
  9. fabricator

    fabricator Member

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    A terminal block would be a safer option, given the OP can't solder with only one good hand. Use it to join the old power cable to any spare molex to fan adapters or the like you have lying around.

    Just use a multimeter to check the correct voltages to each pin, compare the old PSU and the new adapter.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    kingjam

    kingjam Member

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    Thanks gents.

    Will have a dig around in the spare parts bin at home tonight (this is where I have a sinking feeling I was extremely organised a couple of months ago and threw out all my "crap" at the wife's insistence).

    Terminal block sounds like a good idea :thumbup:
     
  11. Phool

    Phool Member

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    That connector looks very much like the powerpack plug connector off some nextstar? external hard drive enclosures I had a while back. They are common enclosures. Not sure about the volts. Hard to say from your pic but if its the one im thinking of its the same size pretty much as a PS2 connector (which some of the other external enclosure brands use). Ill dig around at work tomorrow.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    kingjam

    kingjam Member

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    Yep - that sounds about like it.

    I'm up in brissie all week, so will not have a chance to try the block metod.

    If you had one that matched that'd be great. I know I've seen them before as well.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    kingjam

    kingjam Member

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    So finally had a chance to look at this. Chopped the power cable off the brick, expected to see four individual cables going to the pins.

    But there are only two - one red, one white plus they are surrounded by 'loose' (ie, not in plenum) copper.

    Any suggestions?
     
  14. a777

    a777 Member

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    I have numerous Vantec Nexstar3 external drives. They all seem to use a similar power cable like you describe. They seem to have changed the power ratings on some of them but they all seem to work. One is a model made by Opti and is Model: PA-225. Output is +5V 2A max and +12V 2A max. Some of the other ones are labelled Welland and are a Model PA-215, +5V 1.5A, +12V 1.8A.

    You should be able to find someone in Sydney with a Vantec Nexstar3 3.5" external HDD and borrow the power pack for a while to test I'd guess? Alternatively, I think the Welland enclosures will also have the same power pack. The whole enclosures are worth $50 or so. Alternatively, I might be able to ship you down a spare one to test if you get stuck.
     
  15. MrSmoke

    MrSmoke Member

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    red and white would be the 12 and 5v and the loose copper the ground? Get a multimeter
     
  16. OP
    OP
    kingjam

    kingjam Member

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    That was my assumption, but I don't really want to go and buy a multimeter - its not something I'm going to use that often I don't think. Present circumstances excluded obviously.

    Now that I've hacked the cable off, is it not fairly dangerous to go plugging it in to the mains in order to test it? The bare wires would be live.
     
  17. OP
    OP
    kingjam

    kingjam Member

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    Thanks for the info, will see what i can track down. My hand has greatly improved, so maybe I'll give the soldering route a crack shortly....
     
  18. nunya_bizness

    nunya_bizness New Member

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  19. OP
    OP
    kingjam

    kingjam Member

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    With the notch at 12, per the diagram on the brick:

    Pins:

    2 1
    4 3

    1 = 5V
    2 = 12V
    3 = GND
    4 = GND
     
  20. Cape_Horn

    Cape_Horn Member

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    Just be careful with the pinout

    I blew up a 500g drive in an external case, as CM and a different company (starts with r? dodgey/cheap crap) use the same power connector, but the pinout was different

    bang - dead drive :( dead usb/sata convertor :(
     

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