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Old 09-21-2010, 02:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Samsung HXMU050DA - Need help opening it

Greetings everyone,

I'm rather desperate trying to find a solution. If there is another site or forum that could help me with this issue instead of here, feel free to link me. I made the account just for this subject, may stay depending on how I see the community here. Now to the problem...

I have one of these , as the title suggests, an S2 Portable 500GB HXMU050DA External Hard Drive. My girlfriend threw it in my bookbag in a rush, with the USB cable still inserted in the port, resulting in the breaking of a piece inside most likely, as now when I try to insert the cable in the USB port, it sinks into the enclosure and the cable barely enters. There is no connection between PC and HDD at all.

I went to the local computer repair shop, but just as I am, they are afraid of opening the enclosure since they never worked with that one, and don't want to end up harming the hard drive within. The enclosure has no visible screws, just the top and bottom half, and the top half has what seems to be a plate on it, under which I'm sure is the little lightbulb that turns on when plugged in. it seems the only way to open it is by prying open the enclosure, trough either the top plate from the top half, or through both halves.

Now my main problem is, we don't know how the HDD is built as a whole. Sometimes, as in the case of replacement enclosures, you just slide the hard drive in and that's it, they are two separate entities. We believe this hard drive may be built along with the enclosure, so that the two "separate entities" are fused together and make a single one... so that prying open the enclosure would rip apart such "fusion", in turn harming the hard drive and the data within.

I have emailed Samsung's Costumer Service on Friday, nothing yet. But since the product is out of warranty, I have a feeling they will not respond. Such is my costumer service experience everywhere.

What I need is an explanation (or blueprints/images even) of the HDD's construction, so that we may understand what we're messing with, and then instructions on properly opening it without harming the hard drive.

If we can successfully open it, we'll see what the problem is, and if it can be fixed at the shop by soldering pieces back together, or try to get a replacement enclosure, which I'll get on ebay as the shop has them for 15-20 dollars.

Sorry for the awfully long started post, and thank you in advance for your time.
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Old 09-21-2010, 03:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Samsung HXMU050DA - Need help opening it

You cant use a jewelry screwdriver to take out the broken piece in the usb port of the drive?
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Samsung HXMU050DA - Need help opening it

The usb port can be put back into place (the metal piece inside the plastic hole) but simply goes back in with the cable. I tried using some tweezers to pull it out into place, and it goes out further than what it originally was, but it's a very small distance, dare I say a milimeter or less. I could try supplying a video from my camera tomorrow, uploaded to youtube, which shows the problem from the outside. As mentioned, the USB port sinking inside with the cable, pulling the USB port back out when trying to remove the cable, and the lack of connectivity to the computer. I need to leave for the day, so will check in tomorrow for more input.
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Old 09-21-2010, 05:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Samsung HXMU050DA - Need help opening it

Alright. If there are no apparent screws, there should be some under the label. You should be able to feel something.

If there are no screws, try and take a jewel flathead screw driver, and try to wedge it between the two sides. Possibly on the side where the USB port is. It might take some force. I never opened a case like that, bit that is the norm for most externals.
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Old 09-22-2010, 01:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Samsung HXMU050DA - Need help opening it

Very well ^^ Another forum told me that although the case is a samsung, odds are very high that it's not a samsung HDD in there. The case is supposed to be snap-on, to just pry it open, either way most snap-on cases break when opened. I will check the suggestion here to check under the plate/label for screws, if not, I shall try to find something to pry it open. Will report findings here when I do so.
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Old 09-22-2010, 02:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Samsung HXMU050DA - Need help opening it

Yea, most of them break after opened. They are one-way snaps.
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Old 09-22-2010, 02:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Samsung HXMU050DA - Need help opening it

Started the job...

Under the top plastic plate, nothing but the screen for the light and three "dots". But they aren't screws.

Going to try prying it open now.

edit:
I'll be darned, there WAS a Samsung HDD in there. As you can tell, nimble knifework got the case opened. The case itself is technically lost since the snaps are broken. Although I MAY put it back in the case if it's fixed and hold it together with duct tape or just put it in the leather pouch that came with it. I took some pictures to help you see.

Opened HDD pictures by Rico007 - Photobucket

Now, as you can see there's like a gray tape on the HDD, and the USB port is poking out of it from under. It seems the port was soldered or glued, or just plain somehow stuck to that part of the board, but it's now loose from it. I just now tested plugging the drive to the computer with the cable, effectively, there's no contact. It wiggles around and the tape is the only thing that prevents it from getting lost. Under the black cover that outlines the HDD, there's some screwholes, which I assume would be useful if I wanted to install it on a laptop, which is not the case.

Now there may be two options here. If all the USB port, and hence the HDD, needs to be back in full working order is to be soldered back to the board, the guy at the computer shop downtown said he could do that once I opened the case if it was just the USB. I would then just put it back in the enclosure as mentioned earlier.

Or, in case that's not an option, get another enclosure and set up the HDD with it. At least the HDD's I had in the past, once out of the enclosure, had an opening on the "front" side with the ports and all needed to just put it inside the enclosure. This one doesn't seem to have that. This being the case, and if this is the option to use, could someone point me to both a decent enclosure (that would offer some protection) and the parts needed to make this HDD connect to said enclosure?
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Samsung HXMU050DA - Need help opening it

That is NOT a standard hard drive what so ever, atleast, the logic board isn't. It appears the drive actually converts everything over to a USB standard and has the controller built into its logic board....

The only chance you have of pulling that data, is to pull the logic board from it, and have the shop re-solder it, and then you need to very carefully remove all the data.... That is, if the logic board wasn't cracked when the USB connection broke loose, worst case, if the tech is willing, he can directly solder a USB cable to the logic board in place of the jack, but that's difficult to do, but sometimes needed as the connectors can be broken in a way, that they can not be re-soldered to the board....

I just have a feeling though, that the logic board is done for, they are very fragile when they are that thin, and on that small of a drive.

BTW, there is no chance of using that drive in another enclosure AFAIK, as the drive already converts everything to a USB format, unless you can find an enclosure that supports a 2.5 inch drive, that also accepts internal USB connections. Most are PATA or SATA ONLY, internally.

After doing some research, this is a very difficult soldering job unless they have an incredibly fine tipped iron, and some good skills, the board still has SATA pinouts though, but, they are just as difficult to use, but will be your only option if the USB portion of the logic board is damaged.....

Copy this link and give it to your tech, hopefully he is the type that isn't afraid to try the unknown.
http://forum.hddguru.com/samsung-hm5...ly-t15310.html
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Samsung HXMU050DA - Need help opening it

Unfortunately, your post was not here yet when I left yesterday, and now the drive is in the shop since like 45 minutes ago to solder back the USB port. They're supposed to call me later today once they "finish" the job. If it works, it works. If not, I shall give that information you provided to the tech.

But I believe he is the type that's afraid to try the unknown, seeing as how he said he was not going to open the enclosure because he'd never worked with one like that, and was afraid of breaking it inside or something.
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Old 09-23-2010, 10:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Samsung HXMU050DA - Need help opening it

Well, soldering to the pins for direct SATA access is very, VERY tricky it appears, and if you can't use it via the SATA connection pins, you would have to connect to tx and rx pins on it, and access it via terminal it seems....

Not the best external drive setup I have seen, but, once accessed, if you can get it accessed, back the data up, and sad to say it, trash it.

I looked around, and it appears, you can't just throw any new logic board from the same drive on it, as it is very, very picky....


It is something I personally would attempt, but, I know the chance of it working is slim if I couldn't in any way get the USB connection to work, is slim to none due to the way that drive is built, and I would make sure the customer knew, there is a good change of burning the board up, or it not working what so ever.
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