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Help! I've burned up 3 SATA drives today

R

root

Jan 1, 1970
0
I got a used computer on Saturday at a yard sale. I bought
it for the case, although it came with a motherboard and power supply
but no drives or video card.

I put a video card into the machine, along with an IDE drive
and the system ran fine.

I replaced the motherboard with one known to be good: I pulled
it from a working computer. I wanted to be able to use SATA
drives in the "new" case. The power supply did not have any
SATA power cables so I used the molex-sata power adapter cables.

When I turned the system on with the first SATA drive in
the system a component on the drive smoked and the
drive is dead. The component is a surface mount plastic
two-terminal (I think) device about 1/8 x 3/16 inch.
I can just barely read C651 on the device.

I swapped out the power supply for a second unit,
and put in another SATA drive. I checked voltage to the
molex and it was 11.86 volts and 5.09 volts.

It happened again, when I turned on the power I killed
the second SATA drive.

I took my motherboard out of the new case and put it
back in the my old case. Everything runs fine.

I put another power supply in the "new" case, this
power supply did have SATA power cables. Back into
the case went my motherboard. Again, upon power up
a third SATA drive was blown. The SATA cables coming
from the power supply had an extra orange wire that
the molex adapter cables do not have.


Three SATA drives down the drain. IDE drives work
fine.

The last drive that burned up had only the SATA
power cable connected. That means the motherboard
is out of the picture.

I have run out of expendable SATA drives. Any idea of
what might be the problem?
 
M

Mike Tomlinson

Jan 1, 1970
0
root <[email protected]> said:
I have run out of expendable SATA drives. Any idea of
what might be the problem?

If the drives had both Molex and SATA power connectors - not all do -
and you were connecting both (you don't say), that would damage it.
Connect either the Molex or the SATA but never both.

I would have said you might have a mis-wired Molex-to-SATA adapter (it's
not unknown, especially with cheap crap coming out of China), but you
ruled that out by using the PSU's own SATA connector.
 
R

root

Jan 1, 1970
0
Mike Tomlinson said:
If the drives had both Molex and SATA power connectors - not all do -
and you were connecting both (you don't say), that would damage it.
Connect either the Molex or the SATA but never both.

I would have said you might have a mis-wired Molex-to-SATA adapter (it's
not unknown, especially with cheap crap coming out of China), but you
ruled that out by using the PSU's own SATA connector.

Thanks for responding. A long time ago I had a SATA drive with both
power connectors. None of the drives I ruined were the dual power
socket types. I have a lot of the Chinese adapter cables, and
the ones I used were from China: Deal Extreme.

I have put a brand new ThermalTake power supply in. I have to
wait until I can round up some old SATA drives for testing.
 
M

Mike Tomlinson

Jan 1, 1970
0
root <[email protected]> said:
Thanks for responding. A long time ago I had a SATA drive with both
power connectors. None of the drives I ruined were the dual power
socket types.

OK, so that rules that out. Worth mentioning though.
I have a lot of the Chinese adapter cables, and
the ones I used were from China: Deal Extreme.

I've bought stuff from them via ebay and have been happy.
I have put a brand new ThermalTake power supply in. I have to
wait until I can round up some old SATA drives for testing.

I can't imagine what the problem might be, but hope you don't blow up
any more drives ;o)

There's some knowledgeable people on

news://comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage

Suggest you post there. Beware of the group troll, Rod Speed. Best
killfiled.
 
L

Lee

Jan 1, 1970
0
The last drive that burned up had only the SATA
power cable connected. That means the motherboard
is out of the picture.

I have run out of expendable SATA drives. Any idea of
what might be the problem?

So, the motherboard works in another case but causes problems if
installed in this one?
When you checked the voltages with the data lead disconnected, was the
motherboard still connected/powered?

Pure conjecture of course, but maybe there is a partial short causing an
odd voltage issue at the sata connector, sata drives in general do seem
to be more prone/sensitive to power issues than ide ones.
 
R

root

Jan 1, 1970
0
Lee said:
So, the motherboard works in another case but causes problems if
installed in this one?
When you checked the voltages with the data lead disconnected, was the
motherboard still connected/powered?

Yes, when I checked voltages at the molex connector the
motherboard was still powered up and running.
 
R

root

Jan 1, 1970
0
Big advance since my last post. I scrounged up
another expendable SATA drive and powered up
the system with the new ThermalTake PS. All went
well. That gave me the courage to put in two
more SATA drives and the system is running now
with all three drives in.

No progress in resolving the 3 burned drives
but my immediate goal of bringing up the system
in the new case is near complete.

All this, BTW, was because of the case: it is
a D-Vine Home theater case. Something suitable
for putting in a living room home entertainment
system.
 
M

Mike Tomlinson

Jan 1, 1970
0
root <[email protected]> said:
Big advance since my last post. I scrounged up
another expendable SATA drive and powered up
the system with the new ThermalTake PS.

this is the one with the included SATA power plugs?

Perhaps you should check the Molex-to-SATA power adapters you were using
previously. It isn't unknown for that sort of thing to arrive
incorrectly wired. Quality checks - they've heard of 'em.
 
R

root

Jan 1, 1970
0
Mike Tomlinson said:
this is the one with the included SATA power plugs?

Yes, this PS has the SATA power plugs.>
Perhaps you should check the Molex-to-SATA power adapters you were using
previously. It isn't unknown for that sort of thing to arrive
incorrectly wired. Quality checks - they've heard of 'em.

Before closing up the new system, I tried the Chinese molex-SATA
cables and they were OK.

I intend to pursue an explanation of what happened. If I find
out I will post here.

Thanks for the suggestions.
 
B

Baron

Jan 1, 1970
0
root Inscribed thus:
I got a used computer on Saturday at a yard sale. I bought
it for the case, although it came with a motherboard and power supply
but no drives or video card.

I put a video card into the machine, along with an IDE drive
and the system ran fine.

I replaced the motherboard with one known to be good: I pulled
it from a working computer. I wanted to be able to use SATA
drives in the "new" case. The power supply did not have any
SATA power cables so I used the molex-sata power adapter cables.

When I turned the system on with the first SATA drive in
the system a component on the drive smoked and the
drive is dead. The component is a surface mount plastic
two-terminal (I think) device about 1/8 x 3/16 inch.
I can just barely read C651 on the device.

I swapped out the power supply for a second unit,
and put in another SATA drive. I checked voltage to the
molex and it was 11.86 volts and 5.09 volts.

It happened again, when I turned on the power I killed
the second SATA drive.

I took my motherboard out of the new case and put it
back in the my old case. Everything runs fine.

I put another power supply in the "new" case, this
power supply did have SATA power cables. Back into
the case went my motherboard. Again, upon power up
a third SATA drive was blown. The SATA cables coming
from the power supply had an extra orange wire that
the molex adapter cables do not have.


Three SATA drives down the drain. IDE drives work
fine.

The last drive that burned up had only the SATA
power cable connected. That means the motherboard
is out of the picture.

I have run out of expendable SATA drives. Any idea of
what might be the problem?

Possibly open circuit grounds on the power connector...
 
B

Baron

Jan 1, 1970
0
root Inscribed thus:
Yes, this PS has the SATA power plugs.>


Before closing up the new system, I tried the Chinese molex-SATA
cables and they were OK.

In that case please ignore my last post. Thanks.
 
R

root

Jan 1, 1970
0
Baron said:
root Inscribed thus:


Possibly open circuit grounds on the power connector...

Using my last expendable SATA drive, I retraced my steps
as closely as I could remember what I did on Saturday.
Starting with the original MB that was in my new case,
I put back the original power supply, and plugged in the
SATA drive. No Problem. I used the same Chinese SATA adapter
cables as I did. I have no idea of what the problem
might have been since it is not reproducible.

It might be that, in my haste, I didn't push the SATA power
plug all the way in and it might have been askew.
This is really a stretch because I have pushed on
SATA cables for a long time, and I would have had
to repeat that screw up two more times.
 
B

Baron

Jan 1, 1970
0
root Inscribed thus:
Using my last expendable SATA drive, I retraced my steps
as closely as I could remember what I did on Saturday.
Starting with the original MB that was in my new case,
I put back the original power supply, and plugged in the
SATA drive. No Problem. I used the same Chinese SATA adapter
cables as I did. I have no idea of what the problem
might have been since it is not reproducible.

It might be that, in my haste, I didn't push the SATA power
plug all the way in and it might have been askew.
This is really a stretch because I have pushed on
SATA cables for a long time, and I would have had
to repeat that screw up two more times.

The mental picture was of an OC ground could put 7volts on the drives 5V
rail. As an aside I suspect the device which let out the smoke could
have been a transient voltage protection device. A bit like a pair of
back to back zener diodes. These tend to go SC when they fail.
 
F

Franc Zabkar

Jan 1, 1970
0
I replaced the motherboard with one known to be good: I pulled
it from a working computer. I wanted to be able to use SATA
drives in the "new" case. The power supply did not have any
SATA power cables so I used the molex-sata power adapter cables.

When I turned the system on with the first SATA drive in
the system a component on the drive smoked and the
drive is dead. The component is a surface mount plastic
two-terminal (I think) device about 1/8 x 3/16 inch.
I can just barely read C651 on the device.

I see this problem several times per week in various storage forums.

In fact it's a FAQ:
http://www.users.on.net/~fzabkar/HDD/TVS_diode_FAQ.html

Here are several photo clips:
http://www.users.on.net/~fzabkar/HDD/

- Franc Zabkar
 
R

root

Jan 1, 1970
0
root said:
Thanks. I will clean out the debris and see if the drive
works. I had already put the drives in the recycle bin.

Well that was really worthwhile. First I tried the
drive that I saw burning. I clipped out the burned part
and removed all the parts. The drive came alive and,
apart from being sensitive to spikes, is working.

I had caught the other two drives before the part burned
up completely. No problem, when I connected them up the
fuse finished its burn and was easy to identify. Again
I clipped the fuse out, cleaned up the debris, and
both drives were seen.

If the drives had contained vital information I guess
this would give me a chance to pull the data.

Thanks, this has been very informative. I hope
those following this thread can profit.

I will scrap the power supply that is the likely
cause of the spikes.
 
B

Baron

Jan 1, 1970
0
root Inscribed thus:
Well that was really worthwhile. First I tried the
drive that I saw burning. I clipped out the burned part
and removed all the parts. The drive came alive and,
apart from being sensitive to spikes, is working.

I had caught the other two drives before the part burned
up completely. No problem, when I connected them up the
fuse finished its burn and was easy to identify. Again
I clipped the fuse out, cleaned up the debris, and
both drives were seen.

If the drives had contained vital information I guess
this would give me a chance to pull the data.

Thanks, this has been very informative. I hope
those following this thread can profit.

I will scrap the power supply that is the likely
cause of the spikes.

That sort of confirms an open ground issue ! Though I don't think the
PSU itself is the culprit.
 
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