Burnt Hard Drive Circuit Board
If you see or smell smoke
Unplug your computer immediately! If you have a laptop, remove your battery.
Every second your computer is on will make matters worse.
The most common failure is the Servo Chip burns out.
The servo chip is the square chip in the top left corner of the circuit board below.
The Servo Chip provides the power that runs the motor that spins the disks.
The most common thing that burns out the Servo Chip are bad bearings.
When a hard drive gets old (after about 3 to 4 years) the power required to run the main drive motor goes up because the bearings are going bad.
The servo chip provides more and more power to the main drive motor to keep it running at the same speed. Eventually the chip reach a point that it can’t provide enough power to drive the motor and it burns out.
You can’t simply replace the circuit board because there are tuning parameters in your original circuit board that are required for your drive to read. If you do have the correct equipment to transfer the tuning parameters over to the new circuit board you still have a bearing problem that most likely will burn out your new circuit board.
Sometimes the circuit board burns out after a drop because the motor shaft is bent.
Sometimes the circuit board burns out because of a power surge.
Sometimes the heads and pre-amplifier burn out inside the drive when the circuit board burns out. In this case the drive will start clicking when the circuit board is replaced.
It is best to leave a burnt circuit board to professionals like us.
If you do swap the circuit board you have to make sure you mark the old board.
If you loses your old circuit board with the tuning parameters you could make your job unrecoverable.
If you use the wrong circuit board you risk causing more damage to your drive.
Our probability of recovering all of your files with this failure is high if you did not try to fix it yourself.