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I tried plugging a USB plug into my USB HDD and the connector broke off. What do I do now to get my data off? The damaged connector may be seen below.

USB external HDD

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  • There are two ways you can go to fix this: The simple way and the complicated way. The HDD is a SATA HDD, so you can just disconnect the disk itself, find a desktop computer or another enclosure and insert it there. The more complicated way would be to repair the USB connector itself. To me, it looks repairable, but to be sure, I'd need better picture of the connector's footprint on the PCB, especially near the part marked P2 and of the back side of the connector itself.
    – AndrejaKo
    Sep 22, 2014 at 5:48
  • You could buy a generic replacement USB to SATA adapter cable (e.g. Amazon) and forget about using the broken case. It's going to be hard to repair because it looks like the USB D+/D- pads got torn off of the board, so even if you're handy with a soldering iron there's some critical PCB wiring that has been damaged. Definitely worth a try though.
    – MarkU
    Sep 22, 2014 at 5:53

2 Answers 2

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Buy another external enclosure and move the drive over. It's probably not worth trying to fix this one as some of the pads have pulled off the board. Also, a new case is probably cheaper than the tools required to fix the connector (I'm presuming that you don't have tools to fix this, otherwise you probably wouldn't be asking about it).

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This board is effectively done for. You could try to get it resoldered to the board by taking it to a computer repair shop, but there is no guarantee it will work.

Your best bet is probably to buy a new board for the enclosure, or better yet a whole new enclosure. Further, it's unlikely a new board for the enclosure would even be available, especially from Thermaltake, which in my experience does not provide replacement parts for their devices in most cases.

This is the problem with cheap external enclosures. Thermaltake is a well-known brand but I have had problems with their parts breaking on me before as well. Unless you were abusive with your hard drive enclosure, the most probable thing is that the enclosure was either defective or poorly made.

You could also try returning it to the store and exchanging for a new one, if it is not too late.

You can get your data off by plugging the hard drive itself directly to your PC, if the cable is available in your tower; or by buy a new enclosure for the sole purpose of using it to get the data off and then returning the enclosure if you are too cheap to keep it.

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