Feeds

Hard drive replacement sparks singed disk situation

Flash. Bang. Wallop

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Big data transfers can sometimes be painfully slow, but they shouldn’t cause you physical harm. Yet one Register Hardware reader feared he could have ended up in A&E after his new hard drive appeared to catch fire.

Karl Sorrenson told us that he’d just finished transferring data from a Seagate hard drive onto a four-day-old internal Samsung Spinpoint F1 750GB drive, when black smoke billowed out of his PC. After quickly shutting his system down, he was unable to reboot. Neither the BIOS nor Windows would recognise the drive.

Pictures show burns on the drive’s motor control chip, melted solder and smoke-scarring on the drive's printed circuit board (PCB).

Samsung_F1_fire

A smoke-scarred Samsung F1 750GB hard drive, yesterday

We spoke to hard drive specialist Duncan Clarke at data recovery firm Retrodata, who said that although the picture looks authentic, there could be many reasons for the combustion. Motor chips like the one shown scorched in the picture often suffer badly when a drive is subjected to overheating or a power surge, he said.

Samsung SpinPoint F1 scorched

Phew, what a scorcher

Clarke said the PC’s fan had probably been spinning at the time, indicated by the way the PCB was stained by the smoke in the direction of the airflow. This rules out system-wide overheating as the cause.

He said the drive’s bearings may simply have seized, causing a localised heat build up. Or the heat might be the result of the way Karl had installed the two drives.

Crucially, there's no reason to assume a systematic problem with hard drives of this make and model, he added.

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Apple iPhone 6: Missing sapphire glass screen FAIL explained
They just cannae do it in time, says analyst
Quit drooling, fanbois - haven't you SEEN what the iPhone 6 costs?
How keen will buyers be when exposed to the real price?
Slap my Imp up: Bullfrog's Dungeon Keeper
Monsters need to earn a living too
Amazon axes hated Fire Phone price: 99 pennies but a niche? Ain't none
Forgive the double negative but seriously, no one wants this mobe
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
The Apple Watch and CROTCH RUBBING. How are they related?
Plus: 'NostrilTime' wristjob vid action
Oh noes, fanbois! iPhone 6 Plus shipments 'DELAYED' in the UK
Is EMBIGGENED Apple mobile REALLY that popular?
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.