WD10EALX does not turn up, PCB "smells" and gets warm. Everything lost?


a few days ago I unmounted a WD Caviar Blue WD10EALX hard drive (produced 06 DEC 2010) which I had mounted in my PC but only accessed seldom. Yesterday I wanted to copy some data from it and plugged it to the ESATA port, however, the drive was not recognized correctly. Windows only turned up with a new generic hard drive which I could initialize (no partition was detected). I tried it with a SATA->USB adapter then, which surprisingly worked. Since copying 1 TB of data via USB takes a long amount of time, I postponed it until today.

At the momentent, the drive does not even turn up, the PCB smells like if something has been blown (the cheap PSU from the SATA->USB adapter caused an overvoltage on the board?) and it gets hot, very, very quickly. I put it in the fridge for about eight hours to cool it down, however, this hasn’t changed anything. I tried it with a better PSU, but the effect was the same.

If I send the device to WD, are they going to replace the PCB and send me the same device back? Can I replace the PCB all by myself? I’m willing to invest a maximum of 100 € and voiding the warranty is also an option. Any ideas are welcome.

P.S. I can make a hires picture of the back of the PCB, if that helps.


We strongly recommend you to contact WD for replacement, they will replace the entire drive.  You can do so either by phone or email.

To Contact WD for Technical Support

An overvoltage usually takes out a protection diode (TVS). In your case they are probably located at D4 (12V) and D3 (5V) near the SATA power connector. Zero-ohm resistors R64 and R67 may also be affected. A DIY fix involves snipping out the shorted diode. The drive will work without it, but you will no longer have overvoltage protection on the affected supply, so be sure your PSU is good.

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