Thursday, August 16, 2007

Disassembling the external hard drive

Well, it had to happen one day... During last few weeks, ever since I'm back from my US trip - about which I need to write - this backup device of mine is giving me troubles. At 200 GB, it is still my primary backup device and when it starts showing signs of fatigue - it is 3 yr old - it is time to take stock. It has developed a problem of shutting itself off without any apparent reason. The music I'm playing stops and almost always data being transferred gets corrupted. Sometimes, it even refuses to start!

I was pretty annoyed with this. May be it is due to Wii, which I installed right next to it, or may be it is just jealous of a newer and smaller 160 GB pocket drive that I purchased recently, whatever it is, I wanted to dig deeper into the cause of its failure, so I got the screwdrivers and started the process of opening the external casing to see what could be the issue. The casing was hot, and I was surprised to find the hard drive inside too hot to hold. Guess, it could be overheating. I found no visible signs of dust inside but gave it a cleaning nonetheless. It took good 10 minutes to cool down. Looks like these drives are not designed for hot weather of India, or should I say Delhi, as it never gave me any problem in Bangalore. With heavy data transfers, it perhaps is getting too hot and shuts off as a precautionary measure. Air conditioner in my room is not enough to dissipate the heat and the casing design with no fans is proving a big deterrent in the thermal process.

The drive looks at peace now and I need to give it time enough to cool down between heavy activities as a workaround. But it was heartening to learn that it can open and replace the internal hard disk to higher capacity as I need. Next buy, 1 TB disk :)