Hard drive sabotaged

  Blackhat 13:49 06 Jan 2007

A friend has presented me with his hard drive which as a result of pure vandalism has had the ribbon cut, see photo click here

I am fully aware that to open the case outside of a sterile environment would render it useless, but does anyone know of a way to reconect the broken ribbon ends?

  rodriguez 13:57 06 Jan 2007

Not without opening the case. Opening the case wouldn't render the drive useless, just make sure that no dust gets on it. I once opened an old drive up and got it running while the case was off so you could see the head move backwards and forwards and it was fine. The other end of this ribbon cable though, could be connected and soldered directly to the head (click here) which means there is no way for you to replace it unless you take it in somewhere to get it repaired. The cable also can't be stuck back together as the metal conducting strips in the cable would never make proper contact with each other.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:02 06 Jan 2007

Repairing that ribbon cable will be virtually impossible.

Only hope is to replace the ribbon from anothe defunct drive.

You may find the other end connector of the ribbon under the plate with two screws on the photo.
This will mean not having to open the platters to atmosphere.

  vinnyT 14:06 06 Jan 2007

As Fruit Bat /\0/\ says, I 've done this a couple of times to repair laptop drives. Providing you can get a ribbon it's fairly non-invasive.

As for getting the ribbon, do you have any old drives lying around, or go to your local techno tip (council dump/recycling centre), you can normally pick up harddrives for a few quid.

  Blackhat 14:12 06 Jan 2007

I have removed the plate, it appears to be just a protective cover, the ribbon disapears into the case. I don't have any old hard drives but will try my local PC shop who, by the way offered to replace the drive into a new case under sterile conditions for approx £1000!

A replacement drive is not he main issue here as there is non backed up data on the drive, a draft of a new book, my friend is an author.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:20 06 Jan 2007

You can scrape off the laminate, but you would need to have a very stady hand with a soldering iron, and no gaurentees that it would work.

I have only ever managed to repair one cracked ribbon cable before (very old laptop) and that one was removeable and much longer allowing me several chance to resolder wires across the gap.

  terryf 14:32 06 Jan 2007

If you can get another ribbon, I would solder the 'new' ribbon ends to the cut one, transfer the data somewher and then buy a new disk

  €dstowe 14:41 06 Jan 2007

Despicable as this vandalism appears to be, is there really no backup of the data on this drive?

Even without deliberate interference to the drive, it was a huge risk keeping such valuable information on there without any protection against loss.

  Blackhat 14:53 06 Jan 2007


My elderly friend is not very computer aware. He only knows how to use word for his writing on an old windows 98 second hand PC.

The vandalism was caused by his retarded brother on a stay over.

If I asked him to back up his hard drive he would probably start trying to push it closer to the wall!

My wife, who is an expert solderer has just had a look. She has been working on circuit boards for 20 years and said no way could that be soldered. I will hunt down some old hard drives and go for the replacement option. If it gets contaminated its only a book draft lost and can be re-written, I used to create near sterile conditions when I had my own darkroom so its worth a go just for the experience. I have informed my friend that he has about a 1% chance of getting his book draft back.

My friend is not the sort to take advise about computing, educating him is not an option.

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