Why does a damaged hard disk drive not spin?

An HDD not spinning could be caused by a couple of failures, most times could be mechanically related, while some times electronically related. This article explains when a hard drive does not spin as result of PCB electronic failure.

HDD PCB Repair Electronics Oxidation.jpg

When a hard disk drive operates in a moderate to very humid environment, certain metal alloy components may deteriorate and no longer work accordingly due to oxidation. As seen in the picture, oxidation can build up on PCB contacts communicating with the preamp component on the head stack assembly inside the hard drive.

Oxidation on the printed circuit board contacts often could be cleaned with an old school soft rubber eraser and isopropyl alcohol. This type of problem does not occur often, however it does occasionally in more humid environments.

If coming across a situation where your failed hard disk drive does not mount or register on the computer, then cleaning the contacts from oxidation may be a hardware solution in getting it to work again. If checking the HDD’s PCB for oxidation, it is highly recommended to ensure proper grounding with the goal of preventing any further hardware damage to the electronics.

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