Hard Drive Cables, Logic Boards and Jumpers

While the actuator, spindle and platters carry out a hard drive's main tasks of reading and writing data, the drive needs to communicate with a computer in order to carry out these tasks effectively. The cable and logic board of a hard drive provide an interface and allow this communication to take place.

Hard Drive Cables, Logic Boards and Jumpers

Logic board issues can present a variety of symptoms, and our teams can safely identify and treat any hard drive failure.

Because the logic board often controls the interactions between the hard drive and the computer, it is often called a controller board. However, some SCSI drives have separate controller modules.

Common hard drive interfaces include:

  • IDE / PATA
  • SCSI and Serial Attached SCSI
  • Serial ATA (SATA)
  • Fibre Channel

Of these interfaces, SATA and PATA are most commonly associated with personal computers. Servers and high-end systems often use SCSI or Fibre Channel.

IDE, EIDE and SCSI hard drives have jumpers, which are short conductors that close breaks to send certain signals to a computer. The most common usage for jumpers is to tell the computer whether the hard disk drive is a primary or secondary device, which is determined by the jumpers' placement on the drive. Many SATA hard drives use jumperless settings, but still contain jumpers that set advanced drive options such as data transfer limits.

Controller Boards and Data Loss

A hard drive's controller board serves several purposes: it delivers power to other hard drive components, sends tracking information to the read/write heads, receives signals from the heads, removes erroneous signals and relays information back to the computer.

Most hard drive controllers also contain a small section of the drive's firmware, which tells the hard drive how to operate. The rest of the firmware is located on the platters (the magnetic disks) inside the drive.

Common causes of logic board damage include:

  • Power Surges
  • Inconsistent or Malfunctioning Power Supply Unit (PSU)
  • Blackouts, Brownouts and Other Electrical Events
  • Fire, Smoke and Flood Damage
  • Overheating
  • Damage from Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)

If the controller board is seriously damaged, the hard drive will stop functioning normally. Damage to the logic board's firmware chip can cause the read/write heads to malfunction, and in some cases, controller board failures lead to significant platter damage.

Common Logic Board Failure Symptoms

Logic board issues often cause immediate symptoms. However, symptoms will vary depending on the type and extent of the damage.

Logic board failure symptoms include mounting issues, bad sector error messages and extensive file corruption. If the hard drive's firmware is damaged, it may not report an accurate model number to the computer's BIOS. Hard drives with logic board issues can also appear full or show an inaccurate drive capacity.

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should immediately turn your drive off. Do not attempt to boot your hard drive or run data recovery software, as this can sometimes cause additional media damage.

Data Recovery Techniques for Damaged Logic Boards

Secure Data Recovery Services' engineers carefully evaluate damaged hard drives to determine an appropriate course for recovery. Unfortunately, we cannot simply replace damaged logic boards, as modern controllers have unique chips with drive-specific information. Our engineers use specialized equipment to copy, repair or replace drive-specific data.

Logic board failures often cause damage to the actuator heads and platters of a hard drive. Our engineers treat these mechanical issues in a Certified Class 10 ISO 4 Cleanroom, which prevents potentially harmful media contamination. Without the protection of a certified Cleanroom, data recovery engineers cannot safely work with physically damaged media.

After repairing physical and electronic issues, we make a complete copy of damaged media and repair any corrupt or damaged files. Secure Data Recovery Services' engineers have decades of combined experience, and we provide excellent turnaround times and success rates for hard drive data recovery. We offer several service options, including a 24/7/365 service for emergency data loss disasters.

Choosing a Secure Data Recovery Provider

Secure Data Recovery Services is a safe hard drive repair and recovery provider. We store all recovered files on secure networks and regularly test our security controls to prevent unauthorized access to client media and data.

We hold the following certifications:

  • FERPA, PCI Certification
  • SAS 70 Certification
  • SSAE 18 Type II Certification
  • Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) Member
  • General Services Administration (GSA) Contractor Certification
  • Green Business Certification

We offer free media evaluations for all hard drive brands and interface types. Our engineers can provide you with a price quote, turnaround estimate and other important case information within 24 hours of receiving your hard disk.

To schedule free media diagnostics at one of our facilities, contact our customer service team today.