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Flimsy SATA connectors

 
 
Lawrence D'Oliveiro
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      06-03-2007
I'd heard about SATA connectors being potentially troublesome, but today it
happened to me.

I opened up my Shuttle SN25P box to investigate a problem with the DVD
writer not recognizing inserted media. I had to disconnect the hard drive
as well before I could remove the carriage holding both drives. Then,
trying to put it all back, the SATA data cable simply would not go back on
the hard drive. Looking closely, I noticed one pin on the drive was quite
severely bent, and the others were not quite in a straight line.

(I use the term "pin" in a rather broad sense--they were just soft, flimsy
strips of copper.)

Carefully I straightened them all, but still the cable wouldn't go back on.
I had a look at the cable connector--odd, there seemed to be something
stuck inside, covering up the opening. I tried a few times to lever it out
with a screwdriver, then gave up, and went to get a replacement SATA cable.
That would go on the drive, but then it would fall off very easily.

Then I realized what had happened: the plastic guard that was supposed to be
giving support to the pins on the drive--and providing something for the
cable connector to grip onto--had broken off and become stuck inside the
cable connector. Hence those frail, exposed copper strips were all that
were left.

Very carefully, I put the replacement cable onto those unsupported copper
strips. Since there was nothing preventing me from connecting the cable the
wrong way round, I was careful to check the orientation against a spare
SATA drive I happened to have handy. The natural springiness of the cable
was pulling in the right direction (I hoped) to ensure a good electrical
connection--assuming the pins didn't become misaligned and short out.

I connected it all up, powered it on, and--it booted!

This is the machine I'm using right now. I have the spare SATA drive
connected externally via an R-Driver III USB adapter kit, and I'm currently
backing up everything. It's only a 120GB drive, but it'll do until I can
get the 300GB one either fixed or replaced. (Trust this sort of thing to
happen on a long weekend...)

Of course, the DVD writer still won't recognize any media, but that's a
separate problem.

So, does anybody have any idea--would it be feasible to glue on a new
support for the pins, or does such a simple breakage mean the drive is a
writeoff?
 
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Shane
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      06-03-2007
Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:

> So, does anybody have any idea--would it be feasible to glue on a new
> support for the pins, or does such a simple breakage mean the drive is a
> writeoff?



If it is working as you say, then it seems the only thing to do is make sure
it stays working. So get the glue gun out and go for it.
Of course, back **** up takes on special meaning.

--
Q: What is hallucinogenic and exists for every group with order divisible by
p^k?
A: A psilocybin p-subgroup.

 
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Lawrence D'Oliveiro
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      06-03-2007
In message <f3t6v7$8vb$(E-Mail Removed)>, Shane wrote:

> So get the glue gun out and go for it.


You mean, try to dig out the broken-off piece and reattach it?

I'm not hardware-competent enough to attempt a thing like that.

Anyway, I'm back on-line with the spare drive now. I also swapped optical
drives between my two Shuttles. The dodgy one is still misbehaving in the
older Shuttle, which definitely points the finger at the drive.
 
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Gordon
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      06-03-2007
On Sun, 03 Jun 2007 13:19:12 +1200, Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:

> I'd heard about SATA connectors being potentially troublesome, but today
> it happened to me.


It seems to me that many people expect these connectors, or any
connectors to a HD etc to be as robust as a connector on a very large
piece of machinery.

I agree the Accounts may have some say in the matter, but plastic can be
made as good as steel. ABS it is called.
 
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Richard
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      06-03-2007
Gordon wrote:
> On Sun, 03 Jun 2007 13:19:12 +1200, Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
>
>> I'd heard about SATA connectors being potentially troublesome, but today
>> it happened to me.

>
> It seems to me that many people expect these connectors, or any
> connectors to a HD etc to be as robust as a connector on a very large
> piece of machinery.
>
> I agree the Accounts may have some say in the matter, but plastic can be
> made as good as steel. ABS it is called.


They are some cheap nasty brittle stuff on my seagate drives.

I have had the tongue in the middle break off on 2 drives. I just
carefully reconnected the cable to it with the broken bit in the cable
still and applied arildite to the surfaces to it would hopefully not be
going anywhere. Means it has a captive cable now (data on one drive, and
power on another) but they are worth stuff all now for a 120 so when I
upgrade the raid those 2 will prob end up binned, unless I have another
drive that has a mechanical failure in which case I will try swapping
the boards over.
 
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Don Hills
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      06-03-2007
In article <f3tc8o$jng$(E-Mail Removed)>,
Lawrence D'Oliveiro <(E-Mail Removed)_zealand> wrote:
>
>You mean, try to dig out the broken-off piece and reattach it?
>
>I'm not hardware-competent enough to attempt a thing like that.


No, hold the plug firmly in the right postion on the drive and cover it
liberally with hot-melt glue. The cable will now be part of the drive, but
it's cheaper than binning it if it's otherwise working OK.

--
Don Hills (dmhills at attglobaldotnet) Wellington, New Zealand
"New interface closely resembles Presentation Manager,
preparing you for the wonders of OS/2!"
-- Advertisement on the box for Microsoft Windows 2.11 for 286
 
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Lawrence D'Oliveiro
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      06-03-2007
In message <f3t6v7$8vb$(E-Mail Removed)>, Shane wrote:

> Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
>
>> So, does anybody have any idea--would it be feasible to glue on a new
>> support for the pins, or does such a simple breakage mean the drive is a
>> writeoff?

>
> If it is working as you say, then it seems the only thing to do is make
> sure it stays working.


Actuall, it's less than 12 months old (and so is the optical drive). So I'll
go round the shop on Tuesday and see what they say about warranty
replacements.
 
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~misfit~
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Posts: n/a
 
      06-04-2007
Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
> I'd heard about SATA connectors being potentially troublesome, but
> today it happened to me.
>
> I opened up my Shuttle SN25P box to investigate a problem with the DVD
> writer not recognizing inserted media. I had to disconnect the hard
> drive as well before I could remove the carriage holding both drives.
> Then, trying to put it all back, the SATA data cable simply would not
> go back on the hard drive. Looking closely, I noticed one pin on the
> drive was quite severely bent, and the others were not quite in a
> straight line.
>
> (I use the term "pin" in a rather broad sense--they were just soft,
> flimsy strips of copper.)
>
> Carefully I straightened them all, but still the cable wouldn't go
> back on. I had a look at the cable connector--odd, there seemed to be
> something stuck inside, covering up the opening. I tried a few times
> to lever it out with a screwdriver, then gave up, and went to get a
> replacement SATA cable. That would go on the drive, but then it would
> fall off very easily.
>
> Then I realized what had happened: the plastic guard that was
> supposed to be giving support to the pins on the drive--and providing
> something for the cable connector to grip onto--had broken off and
> become stuck inside the cable connector. Hence those frail, exposed
> copper strips were all that were left.
>
> Very carefully, I put the replacement cable onto those unsupported
> copper strips. Since there was nothing preventing me from connecting
> the cable the wrong way round, I was careful to check the orientation
> against a spare SATA drive I happened to have handy. The natural
> springiness of the cable was pulling in the right direction (I hoped)
> to ensure a good electrical connection--assuming the pins didn't
> become misaligned and short out.
>
> I connected it all up, powered it on, and--it booted!
>
> This is the machine I'm using right now. I have the spare SATA drive
> connected externally via an R-Driver III USB adapter kit, and I'm
> currently backing up everything. It's only a 120GB drive, but it'll
> do until I can get the 300GB one either fixed or replaced. (Trust
> this sort of thing to happen on a long weekend...)
>
> Of course, the DVD writer still won't recognize any media, but that's
> a separate problem.
>
> So, does anybody have any idea--would it be feasible to glue on a new
> support for the pins, or does such a simple breakage mean the drive
> is a writeoff?


Hold it in place, where it is now, working, and add layers of hot glue
(allowing time to cool inbetween) until it's encased in a goodly amount. The
cable will then be an integral part of the drive.
--
Shaun.


 
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~misfit~
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      06-04-2007
Don Hills wrote:
> In article <f3tc8o$jng$(E-Mail Removed)>,
> Lawrence D'Oliveiro <(E-Mail Removed)_zealand> wrote:
> >
> > You mean, try to dig out the broken-off piece and reattach it?
> >
> > I'm not hardware-competent enough to attempt a thing like that.

>
> No, hold the plug firmly in the right postion on the drive and cover
> it liberally with hot-melt glue. The cable will now be part of the
> drive, but it's cheaper than binning it if it's otherwise working OK.


Oh, I should have read other replies before replying.

GMTA.
--
Shaun.


 
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~misfit~
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Posts: n/a
 
      06-04-2007
Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
> In message <f3t6v7$8vb$(E-Mail Removed)>, Shane wrote:
>
> > Lawrence D'Oliveiro wrote:
> >
> > > So, does anybody have any idea--would it be feasible to glue on a
> > > new support for the pins, or does such a simple breakage mean the
> > > drive is a writeoff?

> >
> > If it is working as you say, then it seems the only thing to do is
> > make sure it stays working.

>
> Actuall, it's less than 12 months old (and so is the optical drive).
> So I'll go round the shop on Tuesday and see what they say about
> warranty replacements.


User error. You were too rough with it. Not covered.

(You might get lucky but I wouldn't hold my breath. I'd glue the cable on
instead)
--
Shaun.


 
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