HDD Samsung SP1253N recovery

Artem Makarov aka Robin

A Samsung SP1253N vol. 120 Gb hard drive was brought for repair. The client told the following story:

- One day the computer did not switch on. Nothing happened at pressing the Start button. The enumerative technique was used to find out, that the problem was in the hard drive, as after it was disconnected the system unit started. As I have sufficient knowledge of electronics, I have decided to repair it all by myself.

The electrician with sufficient knowledge of electronics at first switched on the disc when the computer power unit was started (before that it started un a safe mode). The result of it was a track burn-out on the printed circuit board which led to +5 V. Then the electrician, having judged that cunning Chinese saved on wire thickness of the track, soldered in a piece of a thick wire.

The mega-crosspiece

The mega-crosspiece

The computer did not switch on again. Then the experiment, with connection of HDD to the power unit on run was repeated. The wire was a great "success" - at that time the power unit in the computer case burned down.

Then, the electrician bravely assumed, that his knowledge of electronics was not enough, and brought me his HDD. Due to "competent" actions of the electrician, the printed circuit board processor with the integrated ROM burned down. Repair was possible only by means of printed circuit board replacement with subsequent ROM programming using the necessary microprogram version.

The story reminded me events traced back fifteen years. I had an additional job as a security guard at the curtains and jalousie shop. The main advantage of the work was in access to the computer in the shop office; at that time I could not allow a computer of my own, and this computer was used to study all different things and to play Quake and Warcraft. The chemist's store was located just above my office, and my friend worked as a security guard there, and there also was a computer. We arranged a local network, and our friends came with the purpose to play DeathMatch. The office chief did not approve the use of expensive computer equipment in the non-productive way, so passwords were changed to block the game access, power cords were hidden and other methods were used to stop computer self-education of night security guards. We had to use computers secretly, so we had power cords of our own and entered universal passwords in BIOS.

One night my friend from the store called to me and asked for help:

- Come here! We have a big problem with a computer!

I came and saw a sad face of my friend.

- What is up? - I asked.

- The computer failed, - was the answer.

The system unit did not respond on switching on, for the unknown reason. It was clear that in the morning office clerks would find out that the computer was damaged, and we had to expect nothing else but severe penalties for our night games.

The only way was to simulate the situation of the computer damage at the moment when a secretary would switch it on. The result of our brainstorming led to the following decision: we inserted a wire into the power cord, having short-circuited the outlets. At power on there would be just a slight crack with a smell of burning. Everyone in the office had to take that for the computer failure moment. We did so and held a test power on. The effect was up to our idea. We decided to do so.

In the following morning it turned out, that my friend short-circuited the power cord not with a thin wire, but with a big piece of a thick one! When the secretary pressed the power button, a mini-explosion was heard, a cloud of smoke and put out electricity on the entire floor completed the picture.

The computer was brought on repair, and there, to our great joy, it was upgraded up to Pentium 133. The Warcraft Orks started to run much quicker.

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