Hard drive still works after catching on fire [Image]

burnt hard drive

Story has it, this hard drive caught fire. Afterwards, the owner replaced the burnt bit and now the drive still works.

Lucky guy, especially if his hard drive is house to a lot of important files. Since the NSA incident, I have been very reluctant in using cloud services, but one never knows when their physical drives could one day get up and commit suicide. So what the heck? Look on NSA scums, you might not like what you see. ;-]

[via Reddit]

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  1. New Moon

    The component in question looks like a tantalum capacitor (but it’s not), possibly about 200/300uF value. They do fail very frequently as the manufacturers use just above threshold values for voltage ratings. For example, if the hard drive voltage is 5V, they use 6.3V capacitor! It’s totally ridiculous. If they use proper x2 or x3 value, there won’t be many computer failures.

    There are two possible failure modes for capacitors, short or open. If it’s short circuited, it won’t work anymore, however, in this case, I guess it’s open, so yes the hard drive may continue to work, but the peak to peak ripple voltage on the voltage line, be it 5V or 12V, is increased significantly, possibly 3 to 10 times more, which could effect digital logic operation of the hard drive in the long run.

    If it’s a clamping diode, its failure modes are the same as the capacitor, but the consequence to the hard drive is more lethal, in a way that the hard drive may receive occasional start up voltage and current over dose every time you switch on your PC. This can happen at any time, especially if the power supply is not good enough.