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I have a WD 1.5 TB External HD. I carelessly left the device plugged in, stepped off my bed, foot landed on the cord stuck in the USB port and now the USB port is broken. It's loose inside the external casing now. Would I be able to fix this myself? If I opened the casing, would it somehow damage the hard drive? Should it be a simple fix?

Any help would be appreciated. Besides posting here I'm also searching Google and the Western Digital forums & site and haven't found an answer just yet.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Whether you can fix it yourself depends entirely on exactly what has happened, and you won't know that until you have opened the box.

You shouldn’t damage the hard drive if you open the box - you’ll just find a standard internal hard drive in there.

In a worst case scenario the circuit board will have snapped, and it will be beyond repair.

Best case? You have ripped the socket off the board and a new one could possibly be soldered back in.

My tip: Open the box, take some pictures, and post them on the Electrical Engineering Stack Exchange site.

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A similar thing happened to many people with this model; unfortunately the USB port on this drive is very fragile, and mine broke off after 6 months of regular use. When it first happened I was devastated as I had nearly 400 GB of data on the drive that was not backed up (because I was in the middle of reinstalling Slackware on my linux box). After taking the drive out of the case, I realized that it was a basic SATA drive that will fit in any modern desktop computer. The drive still works great internally in a desktop computer, so it isn't a complete loss. –  user86588 Jun 19 '11 at 20:37
I'm actually going to be taking a "MyBook" HD apart for my mom and setting it up in an OLD computer as a network share. –  Rob Oct 11 '11 at 15:45
FWIW, advice on taking the drive out is fine. But if you want to use it as an external drive again, my advice is to just get a generic case and pop the drive in there. There’s nothing magical about a SATA drive in an external enclosure. And the nice thing about getting your own external enclosure is you can always swap another bare drive in there if you need more space. –  JakeGould Sep 28 at 0:58

Opening the case won't damage the external drive. The simplest solution may be to buy an empty external drive case and take the disk out of the broken case and put it in the new one. It's easy. Just a matter of undoing a few screws and plugging the cable. No messy soldering is required. You could pick up a usb powered external case for about twenty bucks or so.

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