OS: Windows 7
Like quite a few othesr, I also had my USB port break off my external hard drive controller (PCB or printed circuit board).
I freaked out…typical, no backup to almost 1T of data. (we won’t do that again!)
The drive was powered and showing active (blue light on steady) but did not have a drive letter assigned and did not show up in MY COMPUTER. It did show up in Disk Management but said it needed to be initialized and there were no partitions. This seems to be the typical scenario occurring from what I’ve read.
I’ve read that initializing possibly will put your data in jeopardy so that was not an option for me…
Tried a new Dynex enclosure - no help. Western Digital Smartware encryption prevented the data from being ‘seen’ by Windows although the activity light on the enclosure did show activity (steady blue)
Here’s what I did to repair it…
-Carefully removed it from the WD enclosure (of course voiding the warranty but who cares?? Data was more important.
-found the broken USB inside and took it and the PCB to a repairman who has micro soldering tools and is skillful in this type of repair.
he used 5 minute epoxy to resecure 3 of the 4 leg mounts on the USB to the PCB (while the epoxy was hardening, he carefully alligned the broken pins between the USB connector and the pins remaining on the PCB to get them in the best position to make a solder connection…
the 4th leg mount is a circuit GND so that was soldered back in place.
he then soldered the 5 prongs from the USB back to the ones on the board, ck’d it with an oscilloscope to make sure there were no short circuits …so far , so good
I reconnected the PCB to the hard drive, plugged the hard drive into my laptop AND…
IT WORKED LIKE A CHARM!!!
Drive E; appeared (the correct letter for my configuration)
Should this happen to you, find a computer repairman, radio repairman, tv repairman…etc. Anyone who can solder micro connections, works with PCB’s etc. if it’s just a mechanical breakage, there’s a good chance that this is the most effective and cost efficient way to get your drive back in working condition.
The whole process took him about 45min to 1 hr.