2 dead Harddrives. What is going on?

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2 dead Harddrives. What is going on?

Postposted on Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:36 pm

Ok, guys, I need some help.

I'm putting together a PC for a buddy.

Got it all put together and it boots fine w/o a harddrive into the BIOS.

So then I plug in the harddrive I was going to give him, a Seagate Baracuda 7200 1TB. And it doesn't recognize anything. Which is weird because I just had it plugged up to my system and it worked fine.

So I thought maybe the harddrive just finally kicked the bucket. So I ran up to the store and got a WD Blue 1TB. I got it home, plugged it up and it literally started smoking. I quickly pulled the powersupply and took the harddrive back to exchange it.

Thankfully I turned on the PC and none of the other parts seem to be damaged but what the **** is going on?

Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: 2 dead Harddrives. What is going on?

Postposted on Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:39 pm

Could be a defective PSU. If it is seriously over-volting one of the rails to the hard drive power connectors it could be frying drives.

Does the first drive (the one that originally worked in your system) still work if you connect it to your system again?
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Re: 2 dead Harddrives. What is going on?

Postposted on Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:53 pm

just brew it! wrote:Could be a defective PSU. If it is seriously over-volting one of the rails to the hard drive power connectors it could be frying drives.

Does the first drive (the one that originally worked in your system) still work if you connect it to your system again?


No. It seems dead now too. I returned the second drive, got replacement, double checked all the connections and same thing. I am pretty pissed at this point.
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Re: 2 dead Harddrives. What is going on?

Postposted on Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:00 pm

Almost definitely a bad PSU. What make/model?
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Re: 2 dead Harddrives. What is going on?

Postposted on Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:01 pm

Really sounds like that PSU is frying stuff. Either one of the rails is bad, or the hard drive power connector is mis-wired.
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Re: 2 dead Harddrives. What is going on?

Postposted on Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:06 pm

Rosewill Hive 750w.

I have a spare Antec Green 430watt. Would that be enough for a 3570k and Radeon 7970 if we are not over clocking?
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Re: 2 dead Harddrives. What is going on?

Postposted on Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:20 pm

Ahh...

Given that this is a modular supply, are you 100% certain you've got the power cable for the hard drive connected to the correct jack on the PSU? From the product pics at Newegg, it looks to me like the keying would allow the plugs on the SATA power cables to physically fit into the PCI-E jacks on the PSU.

Doing this would probably cause "really bad sh*t" (technical term) to happen, since the voltages would be all wrong. :cry:

Edit: And if you did get the cable plugged into the wrong jack, the side question becomes... did you also fry a rail on the PSU? :cry: :cry:

Edit 2: The Antec 430 would probably be OK. Somewhat less headroom than I'd like to see, but should still be within spec.
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Re: 2 dead Harddrives. What is going on?

Postposted on Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:37 pm

just brew it! wrote:Ahh...

Given that this is a modular supply, are you 100% certain you've got the power cable for the hard drive connected to the correct jack on the PSU? From the product pics at Newegg, it looks to me like the keying would allow the plugs on the SATA power cables to physically fit into the PCI-E jacks on the PSU.

Doing this would probably cause "really bad sh*t" (technical term) to happen, since the voltages would be all wrong. :cry:

Edit: And if you did get the cable plugged into the wrong jack, the side question becomes... did you also fry a rail on the PSU? :cry: :cry:


I just checked. Crap, you are right.

What happened was the Lian-Li case I'm using has the power supply up in a lip near the top away from the other parts. So when i went to plug in the harddrive modular power cable, I just reached my hand up under the lip and found an opening that would work. The previous modular power supplies I have had did not have this kind of problem. A stupid mistake but a real **** one that is obviously going to cost me a lot.

So I guess my question now is how do I know how screwed I am.

I moved the cable and turned on the PC (without a harddrive obviously) and it loads the bios fine. All fans seem to be working and it seems stable. The DVD drive was on the same rail and cable as that harddrive and it opens and closes alright anyway.

What should I do now? Dare to try another harddrive? :(
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Re: 2 dead Harddrives. What is going on?

Postposted on Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:40 pm

Have an old hard drive you can use as a guinea pig? It's probably pretty safe at this point; if you killed a rail the optical drive probably wouldn't open/close, and the most likely way for it to fail would be the rail would just be dead (0 volts), which isn't going to kill anything else.

Edit: And lest you feel silly for doing something like this, rest assured mistakes like this happen to even experienced system builders. In a moment of inattentiveness, I've plugged the 6-pin PCIe power plug into the motherboard 4-pin ATX12V (CPU) power connector; yes, that fits too. This has the effect of shorting +12V to ground through the ATX12V connector. D'oh! Depending on the PSU, this may simply cause the system to fail to power up, or it may cause sparks and smoke. Fortunately, in my case it was the former.

Just because a connector fits, doesn't necessarily mean it belongs there! Double-check everything before applying power, and don't mess around with hardware if you've been drinking high-octane alcoholic beverages! :lol:
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Re: 2 dead Harddrives. What is going on?

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 12:58 am

For what it's worth about five years ago I BBQ'd a floppy connector, along with the floppy, because I was off by one pin and shorted it. Oops. PSU still works to this day, though I don't use that cable for reasons that should be obvious.

...and that was the one time in recent memory that I wasn't half-drunk while assembling hardware. 8)
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Re: 2 dead Harddrives. What is going on?

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:11 am

NovusBogus wrote:For what it's worth about five years ago I BBQ'd a floppy connector, along with the floppy, because I was off by one pin and shorted it. Oops. PSU still works to this day, though I don't use that cable for reasons that should be obvious.

...and that was the one time in recent memory that I wasn't half-drunk while assembling hardware. 8)

Been there, done that. Both on the "off by one floppy connector" issue (in case anyone is wondering, the insulation on the wires leading to the off-by-one connector melts... smells *really* bad), and the SBUI (System Building Under the Influence) one. Though in my case, SBUI is more the exception than the rule these days; lesson learned... heh. But I'll still give bonus points to anyone else who can legitimately claim to have accidentally dumped a pint of beer onto a running motherboard! :lol:
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Re: 2 dead Harddrives. What is going on?

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:13 am

NovusBogus wrote:For what it's worth about five years ago I BBQ'd a floppy connector, along with the floppy, because I was off by one pin and shorted it. Oops. PSU still works to this day, though I don't use that cable for reasons that should be obvious.

...and that was the one time in recent memory that I wasn't half-drunk while assembling hardware. 8)


Thanks guys.

That really hurts losing one harddrive I had that was perfectly fine and now having to swallow the cost of a second. I guess I'll go buy a third tomorrow and proceed.

My biggest mistake was due to my inexperience with different brands of modular power supplies. The first one I bought, a Seasonic 12 has a bunch of universal ports and does not allow you to put the wrong voltage into the wrong slots. I just assumed this one was the same and just felt for an opening to reach up and install the cable.

It's a long show but maybe I can get WD to RMA the harddrive at least.
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Re: 2 dead Harddrives. What is going on?

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:22 am

Sadly, there's no industry-wide standard for modular power supplies. Each vendor has their own way of doing the connectors and cables. Some (apparently) do not key things in a way that prevents incorrect (and potentially destructive) connections.

http://xkcd.com/927/
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Re: 2 dead Harddrives. What is going on?

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 4:02 am

Y'know, this brings back to mind my long-standing wish for a comprehensive power supply and cable checker and power detector.

Sure, you can do a lot with a multimeter, but at this point I would just love to have a metal box with molex, fan, and SATA sockets in it that I can plug all manner of cables (including the main 24-pin bundle of snakes) from the PSU into it and see a reading next to each socket showing the status of that port, how much voltage is being applied, and anything else I might want to know about from that power supply.
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Re: 2 dead Harddrives. What is going on?

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 4:23 am

BIF wrote:Y'know, this brings back to mind my long-standing wish for a comprehensive power supply and cable checker and power detector.

Sure, you can do a lot with a multimeter, but at this point I would just love to have a metal box with molex, fan, and SATA sockets in it that I can plug all manner of cables (including the main 24-pin bundle of snakes) from the PSU into it and see a reading next to each socket showing the status of that port, how much voltage is being applied, and anything else I might want to know about from that power supply.

Doing this at no (or low) load conditions isn't hard; there are already products that will do this. But that doesn't tell you what you really want to know. When you start looking at testing at realistic loads, across the entire range of wattages, things get difficult in a hurry.
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Re: 2 dead Harddrives. What is going on?

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:21 pm

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Re: 2 dead Harddrives. What is going on?

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:29 pm

Wow, that's a really terrible design. And here I'd thought for the last few years Rosewill power supplies had become 'decent' given they are using good OEMs with modern topologies. Not keying the modular plugs differently is just terrible.
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Re: 2 dead Harddrives. What is going on?

Postposted on Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:00 pm

MadManOriginal wrote:Wow, that's a really terrible design. And here I'd thought for the last few years Rosewill power supplies had become 'decent' given they are using good OEMs with modern topologies. Not keying the modular plugs differently is just terrible.

Actually, they *are* keyed differently. Unfortunately, they are only different enough to prevent the PCIe cable from being plugged into the SATA connector, but not vice-versa. Those Molex connectors have two types of positions: square, or with two corners rounded off. A rounded plug contact will fit in a square hole, but not the other way around.

This is also how I once accidentally plugged a PCIe power plug into the motherboard ATX12V connector. The keying is different, but not different enough to prevent all possible combinations of mistakes.
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