Step 1: Identifying the problem
Is it hardware or software?
Powers on but BIOS doesn't see it correctly (size and partition) DOS tools don't work.Windows doesn't work
Software. Go to the Hard drive manufacturer site and download and make their boot floppy or boot CD.
Use their software tools. For example low level format the drive, which takes a few hours but makes the drive workable again. The drive is empty but not broken. FDISK format etc.
Doesn't power on.
Find broken part and replace it.
Difficulty is high as it's hard to tell what part is broken.
I accidentally broke my hard drive. I had my tower case on its side and powered on, the hard drive was on its component side down. The hard drive accidentally moved and short circuited on a mounting screw on the grounded frame of the case.I was lucky in the sense I could easily see the broken part. A transisitor on the circuit board broke/exploded/popped in a second.Hopefully this was the only broken part.
Step 2: Get your tools and parts
soldering gun (red)
desolder-er aka solder sucker. (blue item)
I went to a local electronics store and had a very difficult time.
I didn't go to the famous store that sells a 20 cent part for $5.00. I went to a well know one here in Montreal it starts with something similar to a "+".
I knew the part number D1758 aka BTD1758J3 type TO-252 NPN epitaxial planar transistor
from a google search.
This store that sells all electronic parts resistor,capacitors, transistors etc would not sell me a replacement.
They had the NTE master replacement book but they don't sell NTE.
Out of curiousity I asked for another common electronics part and amongst their 5 massive shelves of raw parts couldn't find it. So I have to conclude their shelving is all for show to impress costumers or people working there have no knowledge of electronics.
So desperate times calls for desperate measures.
A friend had given me some old motherboards, I was going to test them as I don't know if they are working, but to test them I would have to buy parts.So I decided to scrap them for parts.
I found on one motherboard a part that looks very similar to the part I needed.
On a google of the part B1202 I find out its a transistor.
I decided to test my luck and switch it for the broken part.
(scroll through the 3 images bellow)
Step 3: Pulling/placing the parts
To unsolder this TO-252 without damaging the part, was very difficult for me.
I started with the two small legs.
I heated and desoldered them but could not fully desolder them as they had firm contact with the board.
I had to bend them , when the legs were hot and I was unlucky as the case broke both times I bent them.
But I didn't give up hope, I was gentle and the legs stayed attached.
So the 25 watt iron wasn't transfering enough heat to the big case and I switched to a 30 watt one.
I pulled the good B1202 from the motherboard
and I pulled the D1758 from the hard drive
I then carefully attached the B1202 to where the D1758 had been
Step 4: Testing it
Man I was lucky, and yes I know my solder job looks like crap, but it works.
I used an old power supply to see if the hard drive would (you tell by the sound and feel)) turn on with no IDE cable connected. It worked!
I don't think it will work for long with this wildly different transistor, but it will work long enough for me to get all my data off of it.
I then attached it to my good working computer on the second IDE channel with a high speed ATA IDE cable.
The motherboard BIOS saw its correct size. My operating system booted normally from the first IDE channel and properly mounted the secondhard drive and I could browse it.
I quickly powered down from the test.
I will make space on my existing hard drive and transfer all the data over before the drive dies.
Its life expectancy now is unknown
Step 5: Update:not a step
The drive only worked for short periods of time before shutting down automatically. Some kind of failsafe. When I reboot it would work again for a period of time. I moved individual files as large as 700MB, but it would fail if I tried to copy whole directories. I'm not going to push my luck any further , so now I will find and install the CORRECT replacement transistor and see if it is stable afterwards.