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About TomD

  1. Thanks for the guide, I've managed to fix mine. I have a few troubleshooting tips for those having problems. I used a serial cable and RS232 to TTL converter. If you are not getting any response from the drive at all, you can use a loopback test to test if your setup is working. Note: The following tests do not need the hard drive at any point! Start off with just your serial cable. To perform the loopback test, simply connect TX and RX directly to each other, so that anything you send is sent straight back. On a 9 pin RS232 cable this is done by connecting pin 2 to pin 3, I simply used a bit of wire. Make sure the wire has a good connection. Now start up HyperTerminal with the settings required for fixing the drive. Type anything in to the terminal, it should be echoed back (make sure this isn't because you have it set to echo input localy). If this does not work then there is a problem with your cable or serial port. If the cable functions fine, you can now try connecting it to the RS232 to TTL converter. Hook the converter up to the power supply, whether this be a battery or the PCs PSU. Find the TX and RX connections on your converter and connect these to each other. Perform the test with HyperTerminal as described previously. If you get something back, but not what you sent, then you could have a problem with a poor connection or not enough power. You now need the hard drive. If the loopback tests work fine then you can proceed to connecting the TX and RX to the correct pins on your hard drive. You can leave the PCB in place for now, just while you check that you can get a response. Connect TX and RX on your converter to the hard drive, power up your converter and start up HyperTerminal. With HyperTerminal connected, you can now connect the power to your hard drive. Once the hard drive has spun up you should get a message in your terminal about some errors, from the hard drive. If you got a response from the hard drive you can now power it off and start at the beginning of the guide to fix it! If you did not, check your TX and RX connections, or try swapping them round. If you get a response from the drive with corrupted characters around it, you may have a poor connection or poor power supply somewhere. A problem I had with mine was that I was using a serial cable, while the RS232-TTL converter required a null modem cable. These are not the same! And just trying to create the crossovers required for the null modem connection with bits of wire doesn't work either! It gave me some results, but in the end I needed the proper cable. Handy hint: It's not neccessary to remove any screws. I used a thin piece of plastic packaging, and slid it between the PCB and the 3 little wire bits coming from the "circle". This did the job of seperating the PCB and when I had to "reattach" the PCB I simply pulled the plastic out. Beware though, I'm sure there are sensitive electronics under there and poking bits of plastic in it may well break it! But then you might gouge a screwdriver across it.