Fixing a Maxtor Hard Drive




Introduction: Fixing a Maxtor Hard Drive

I had an accident with my Maxtor hard drive .It was broken. I replaced the broken part.

Step 1: Identifying the Problem

Is your hard drive broken?
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

I needed a
soldering gun (red)
solder (spool)
desolder-er aka solder sucker. (blue item)

Replacement part.
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

I started off with a 25 watt iron, but I had to get a 30 watt one.
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

update on recovering data
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.



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    25 Discussions

    I just got an old external Maxtor drive from my dad yesterday and Mac, Windows and Linux all say its 20.2GB when its actually a 120GB disk. Does anyone know how to fix this problem?

    1 reply

    First thing, try different motherboards with no other hard drives attached ( minimum needed), see if any other motherboard can read the correct size.

    Second get a program that can rewrite the firmware on the hard drive ( after confirming the serial number does indicate 120 GB), with a firmware rewrite you can make the 20 a 120GB once again.

    I turned a 30 GB to a 10 GB changing the firmware, to try to get it to work with an older motherboard, it didn't work. Now I have to change the firmware back to 30, if I find the time.

    My Maxtor can no longer be detected in Windows but it does in BIOS. How can I work it out?
    Any assistance is highly appreciated.

    good instructable. good for taking very important data off but i think as a perminaant fix it wouldnt be a good idea seeing as hard drives are very important parts of your system

    HELP!!! I made the mistake of trying to move my Maxtor from my macbook pro to my regular windows computer and it can know longer be detected on any of the computers. I call to maxtor about it and they said I would have to pay them thousands of dollars to get them to turn the maxtor back on with my information on it. It will allow me to restart it if I am willing to lose all the information on it. I would like to know how to get the information off the maxtor before I restart it. HELP PLEASE!!!

    5 replies

    In the command prompt,of course. Example: C:>fixmbr D:

    I messed that command up.Through a bootable Windows OS command prompt(Vista install DVD has one,and XP live should have one too.) go to your HDD letter with the cd command and write just fixmbr.

    We all make mistakes... :-) Did u try any of the salvage apps for your Mac? There are lots of them. Did u try to rebuild your register (ctrl + alt when you start up)? I need to know more about what OS u are using, what u already tried to do and at what level u are in your Mac knowledge. Send me an email and I'll try to help you. PS: U don't live in Norway, do u? I thought that u could come here with your HD...

    sorry that is out of my area of knowledge. this is my 2 cents worth of information. you will probably lose what on the drive. study the format storage methods of macbooks.(of this i know nothing, i DONT think they use the 12345678.123 format) study PC storage methods. I know you need a boot track on the disk/platter of a hard drive. This is called MBR master boot record. I suggest you look for and maybe create this in Apple/Mac type of FDISK ? as that was the original file format of the disk. I only know PC kind of FDISK. so 1) learn about FDISK, see if in FDISK the hard drive exists. 2) if it doesnt exist make the MBR exist. 3) use recovery programs that scan all the digital data and through logic of data distribution, find and recover data. this can take hours. I used "zero assumption recovery" a few times on memory cards, I don't know how well it works on hard drives.

    On my Maxtor 6V250F0 the CR205 component turned into smoke yesterday. Really strange, since I do not think that I've done anything wrong!

    According to
    this might be a design fault...

    Really strange. The HDD with the blown CR205 still works fine though (funny, I wonder what CR205 is good for then, doesn't seem to be THAT important), so I was able to rescue all my data from it. Will buy a new HDD today.

    suggestion: Remove some of the solder from the legs. Use Flux Paste and allow heat to spread the solder smoothly under the chip - that backplane of the chip also acts as a heatsink.

    HI, My Maxtor Diamondmax 10 Sata Has Broken down in the same way, I would like to know where to get replacement parts for Maxtor. I've tried Ebay but cannot find any. After taking a look at my hard drive it looks like the cr205 has blown.

    The transistor isn't too far off as far as the actual units. But because you damaged it a bit with the soldering iron, make backups incase it does go again.

    4 replies

    " transistor isn't too far off " sorry but it is very far off. I didn't save the web page that had the specs. on the original part. and the part I replaced it with(unknown) just has the same form factor/size/shape. Transistors have specific and fixed tolerances of currents, voltages and frequency etc. you can't expect any random transistor to work in place of a broken one.(assuming they also have the same base/emitor/collector pin assignment)

    So if you know this, then why did you use that instead of waiting to get the right part?

    Yes I am foolishly impatient. Lots of reasons. I didn't know what else was broken when it didn't work / I didn't think that just one part was broken. I don't have a car to visit the stores that sell electronic parts .

    hey man, it's alright, I'm just saying that because if it didn't work, all the data on that hard drive would most likely had gotten corrupt.