Computer won’t start when my hard drive is connected

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QUESTION :

I have a custom built PC with two hard drives. All was working fine until one day I tried to power on and it came on for a second and immediately turned off. I smelled a burning smell and assumed the power supply went dead. I replaced the power supply but now it wasn’t turning on at all.

I wanted to backup one of my hard drives so I took it out and plugged it into a friend’s desktop. When this hard drive was connected, his desktop did not start either. When I took it out, it started. I tested my own machine now without that hard drive and it started as well! It seems like something is messed up with the hard drive, which is disappointing because I have a lot of files on it.

Does anyone know what could be wrong with the hard drive and if there is any way to fix it? Perhaps replacing the power connector?

ANSWER :

You could buy an absolutely identical drive and swap the circuit board.

However the easiest solution is to toss it in the bin, buy a new drive and restore your important data from your backup.

The burning smell implies that some electrical component(s) heated up and failed.
Seems like you isolated the failed subsystem to one harddrive. Have you visually inspected the electronics on that HDD for damaged components?

The good news is that it’s probably an electrical failure on the HDD rather than a mechanical failure, so data recovery might be possible. But that data recovery might involve a professional service, i.e. $$$.

You could also try inserting the drive into an external HDD USB enclosure, and connecting it via USB to the computer.

This would bypass whatever malfunction was preventing the computer from starting.

If the drive is dead, it simply won’t be detected by the computer, and won’t be listed, but at least it won’t prevent the computer from starting.

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