Hard Drive Technologies

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Soldering to a QFP that has broken pins – Maxtor HDD repair

October 25, 2017 Jon 14 Comments

Soldering to a QFP that has broken pins - Maxtor HDD repair

One of my Maxtor hard disk drives was hit by an object which happened to fall down from a shelf right onto the HDD. As a result, the main QFP chip got damaged with 5 pins completely broken off the IC and 2 more pins severely damaged. The QFP site on the PCB had also suffered some pad damage from the impact.
This is quite an old HDD, so getting a replacement chip for it (or a new PCB) is not an easy task. Maybe even impossible.
So what if there were a lot of important data on the hard disk drive that we didn’t want to lose? We would then be left with only one option: Repair the PCB! However, this can prove to be quite a challenging task considering how severely the PCB is damaged. A lot of people would probably write it off as being unrepairable.
But… is it really? I got curious about this and thought that I would try to find that out. So, having nothing to lose, I decided to have a go at repairing this hard drive, just as a little experiment.
Fortunately, I didn’t have any important data on this HDD, so I wasn’t really in any need of repairing it. This is more of a repair practice and a test of my own skill than anything else.

So, will I succeed in repairing this hard drive, or am I throwing myself into a battle that I just cannot possibly win?

(I do upload all the failed repair videos that I shoot as well. If I have taken the time to shoot a video, I’m going to upload it regardless of the outcome. I’m not being selective in that manner. After all, successful repairs are not the only repairs that we can learn something from. We can learn a lot from any repair attempt, regardless of the outcome.)

Removing some of the epoxy mold using a CO2-laser:

A very good presentation on HDD data recovery:

Video Rating: / 5

MAXTOR M3 (STSHX-M101TCBM) 1TB external 2.5''' Hard Disk Drive

This is my unboxing and quick testing of the MAXTOR M3 (STSHX-M101TCBM) 1TB external 2.5”’ Hard Disk Drive.
Results are from the following programs:
Crystal Disk Info 6.2.1
Hard Disk Scan 3.3
Disk CheckUp (by Passmark) 3.4
ATTO Disk Benchmark 3.05
Crystal Disk Mark 5.2.0 x64
Maxtor is now only a brand name since it is owned by Seagate.

MUSIC: “Majikk” by Jingle Punks
YouTube Audio Library
Video Rating: / 5

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  1. John Doe
    October 25, 2017 - 5:48 pm

    Worth mentioning that swapping boards has not been a viable option for ages now.
    Each drive's board has calibration information about the header servo and other stuff. Finding one with the exact same calibration values etc. and firmware version is like winning the Euro Jackpot.
    Now, you can (unless that part is damaged as well) hook up to the rx/tx (serial port) on most of the drives and use specialized programs to read/write these values, but at this stage, most people who really need their hard drive fixed would and should send it to a professional. Unless you are this guy right here 😉

    Good job fixing it yourself!

  2. SmokinJoe347
    October 25, 2017 - 6:16 pm

    Holy crap that was impressive & I watched out of curiosity more than anything else, I would never have thought that was even remotely possible. Take a bow Sir, I am not worthy 🙂

  3. totalrandomtechnolog
    October 25, 2017 - 6:44 pm

    I'm amazed! Here, have a like!

  4. RIB B
    October 25, 2017 - 7:41 pm

    Backup your important p**n before dropping speaker on harddrive

  5. Ivy Chen
    October 25, 2017 - 8:15 pm

    PCB Manufacturer and PCB Assembly services:http://www.raypcb.com
    Email/Skype :sales09@raypcb.com

  6. Simon Ashton
    October 25, 2017 - 8:45 pm

    Great video! I learned a few things for small part repair even though I've done a lot of electronics.

    Even so… What kind of PC are you running there, 20 years old?!

  7. e5frog
    October 25, 2017 - 8:56 pm

    … and you still have that speaker in the same place?

  8. Manu Stark
    October 25, 2017 - 9:06 pm

    what are you using to zoom?

  9. RayMing Technology
    October 25, 2017 - 9:19 pm

    PCB Manufacturing and PCB Assembly services http://www.raypcb.com

    October 25, 2017 - 9:35 pm

    Keith Richards ?

  11. Pablo Campos
    October 25, 2017 - 10:08 pm

    I tried this once, it was a total mess, great job!

  12. R. Wolf
    October 25, 2017 - 10:20 pm

    Ok. As a new solder person just getting into SMD and other things, this was awesome to watch. Really incredible! 🙂

  13. J Long
    October 25, 2017 - 10:25 pm

    LOL!!! Don't mean to laugh at your misfortune but it couldn't of happened to a more qualified person to fix it!!!

  14. puffyHamster69
    October 25, 2017 - 11:17 pm

    Παρήγγειλα και εγώ ένα σήμερα. 'Ωστε Seagate ST1000LM035 ο εσωτερικός σκληρός. Το ενδιαφέρον είναι ότι βρίσκω τον σκληρό μόνο του στα 54,90 ευρώ στο γαλλικό amazon, και τον Maxtor m3 1tb στα 50,09 😛

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