Category Archives: Computer Hardware

How Did I Fix Samsung Thin 64gb USATA MLC SSD Hard Drive – Revive From Dead

Months ago I was experimenting with USATA SSD hard drive and use it with my PC for a while. After a few days, I went for a driver update on my system and then System was suddenly frozen. So I had to restart the PC and after that HDD wasn’t recognized by the PC. So I did the almost every trick in the book to get it back to work again, but it was a really dead and nothing could detect that hard drive again. However, I thought it’s a driver update that kills the HDD, but later I found out my power supply is not good as I thought and I had to replace it later.

However a few days ago I had time to look at that SSD Drive again and as expected, it doesn’t show any response when connect to the PC, even BIOS couldn’t detect it. So I assumed it had hardware issues and went to find some resources over the internet. I expected to find datasheet and check it’s for possible faulty units. But unfortunately I couldn’t find datasheet, so I went to check the HDD board without any clue.

First, I checked USATA power unit for getting an idea and I got a low resistance reading for both polarities around 200 ohms and it was odd because of it should be having a one way resistance if it use any of rectifier diodes in the circuit. And I was guessing 200 ohms is acceptable because its drive in only 3.3V so it need lower internal resistance to get more power inside to get to work done. So, according to V=IR it’s draws 15mA in ideal but I had no idea it’s good or bad without any reference.

So I went further on the path for something looks bad and for my luck, I notice something looks like a capacitor, in the middle of path of +3.3V, given me readings of resistor but when the polarity change it’s given me a different reading than first one. So I immediately remove it from the circuit and check it and it’s again given me to the same result.

Since I didn’t have any reference I couldn’t find what that was exactly. So I draw the paths so I can see clearly what it could be.

As it’s clear it could be diode or resistor or inductor or fuse to go DC current through it. Anyway, there is no point of adding a resistor in this place so I could remove resistor from guess list. And also, no point of using inductor here unless frequency filter is needed. Since it’s getting already smoothed DC voltage it could be eliminated from the list. Then there is a possible chance to be it a diode but because of the same reason it doesn’t make any sense. Also adding diode here would add a voltage drop, possibly between 0.7V – 0.3V and it doesn’t seem right. However, it does look like capacitor, but it’s not possible to be a capacitor, so my only guess was it could be some sort of fuse. And it was acting as 1st line defense and my faulty power supply blow it. That all makes perfect sense. The only thing bothering me was, if it was a fuse and it is blow up by higher current it shouldn’t be giving me resistance reading between its terminals.

Anyway, I was out of options and I could not find anything similar to that in other hard drives I had. So I decided to go for fuse and take a risk for already dead SSD Drive. Then I short the paths like if it was a fuse. Then check the internal resistance between GND and +3.3 terminal and make sure nothing shorted in the paths. And then connect SSD Drive to the power and check for unusual heating. At this point I could have tested how much current it draws from the power supply and compare it with before, but I forgot to do that. So I connect SSD HDD to the PC and turn it on. Boom! It worked!

After that, I install windows 10 on the drive, test benchmark and everything was looking good. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any reference about how it was performed before, so I could have compared it. In my test, it was heat up around 400C without any cooling. I’m guessing it’s ok to be heating up without blows up anything.

In summary, this is not universal fixing method for fixing everyone’s SSD hard drives. My point is, you could possibly fix your SSD hard drives by following something similar steps. But you have to be extremely lucky.

DIY LED Computer Cooling Fan – For Light Up Computer Case

LED Case Cooling Fans are a good deal of nice looking clear PC cases in any type. And you can replace those fans with ordinary fans without any problem. So I went to upgrade my ordinary PC into cooler PC and then I find out good quality LED fans are quite expensive and lower price fans are not quality enough. So I decide to make my own LED fans and see how hard it can be.


First, I thought use handmade LED arrays for the lightning, but then I decide to use ready-made LED strips which is more suitable and very easy to work with. And you have to go with bigger cooling fan, because they have bigger space between the fans and housing than smaller once. Or you have to cut some fan blades to make enough space to put LED between them.

So here is the list I needed for the job.


1. LED strip (12V is better, make sure they can cut in the middle)
2. 120mm Regular cooling fan (Transparent ones are better)
3. Some white/ silver paint (If you couldn’t find a transparent fan)
4. Wires, Soldering iron, Glue or Double tape (you might want to check LED strip with that)
5. Paper cutter

Step 1
Dissemble cooling fan by removing the fan from its housing. Usually in the middle of back side you can find the lock for the axis. Removing it by safely you can remove the fan blade along with the magnet. Some of the fans are sealed and you may want to use some force to break, but if it’s sealed try to do the next step by skipping this.


Step 2
Measure the outer diameter of fan cover and cut the LED strip. Some strips contain transparent rubber cover for its looks and protection. You can remove it carefully to make LED strip more thin.

Step 3
Attach required wire to strip by soldering and attach LED strip into the fan housing as you planned. It’s better to use the thinnest wire you could find. Or use some coil instead.


Step 4
Check for any conflicts between fan blades and LED’s. If needed, use a paper cutter to peel off some material from the blades. when do that, make sure all the blades are getting the same amount of cuts or otherwise unbalanced load will be make vibration when the fan is rotating.


Step 5
Connect LED strip to power. If you use 12V LED strip and 12V cooling fan you can simply connect together with correct terminal. Or you may need to have different power sources to power them up.
After finishing this, I replaced my power supply fan with this and find out my power supply use 5V to power up the fan in initial state and only use 12V when the system generate more heat. So I had to connect separate 12V power to lighting LED strip. You can always get 12V from directly from PC power supply.

If you are not using a transparent fan, you should apply some paint over the blades. It will add a nice effect to the fan. And that’s it. Enjoy the new look of your PC.

Something To Do With Broken Screen – Turn LCD Panel in to Illuminated Backlit Picture Frames

When you have some LCD panel from old laptop or monitor or TV, there are lot of interesting projects you can try to do. However lot of projects are limited on usability of panel and it’s condition. Anyway last week I got 2 broken LCD panels from laptop and I was too excited to do something interesting with it. Since both panels are broken I’m going to make good old Illuminated Picture Frame or Backlit Picture Frame withing those. So if you got working LCD panel you can try some other projects like, Smart Mirror or Secret Monitor and projects like those. 

So my plan was remove LCD or TFT panel from it’s back panel and power up that backlit panel alone and make picture frame withing it.

My LCD panels are comes from Dell inspiron series laptops, so it’s contains LED back lit panel which is suitable for my project. Unless your panel is too old or too good, model number isn’t going to be problem. If your panel too old it will contain florescent bulbs to illuminate back lit panel instead LED’s on newer panels. It won’t be problem but those will consume more energy than LED panels and unlike LED’s you will need special driving circuit to use it. If your panel is too good, if it’s something like OLED or AMOLED panels, you won’t be able to find separable backlit panal and you have to go for another project to try. 

If you got separate your panel from it’s housing or from whatever it’s source like these you are good to go.

First step is separate back lit panel from whole unit. It’s depend on type of panel and usually panel is stick together by tapes or ticks. In this panel, it’s easily separated after all tapes removed.

After separate you can see there is some connectors coming from back lit panel witch is used to power up panel. Usually those connectors connected to LCD control board by somehow. You should be carefully separate those from each other. 

Next thing is find paths and power up back lit panel. In my case there is 5 lines comes from panel and I assumed widest line for V 0 ( Ground ) and others are different set of led +V Lines. Anyway in this step I have connected this to the power supply and tried to power up panel by starting with 3V but couldn’t get anything up to 19V. So I deiced to break through panel and see what it’s made of.  

After break through I found one LED strip with 3 set of 9 LED series, which is total 27 Led’s on the line. And also I found out I need  27V (3V * 9LED) for the power up this strip in rough estimation and unfortunately it’s turns out I don’t have the right equipments to make enough voltage to run this panel.  

 

So for now I’m stuck with this step but I’m going to find solution for that pretty soon. So if you have same problem and couldn’t power up panel, remember that dissemble back lit panel will almost screwed the panel. It will be not same as before it was.

LG X-Note LGE-DMLGA51(B) Review – Dissemble

Type: Notebook
System Model
LG Electronics Inc. A560-XH55K 03

Board: Quanta QLGA
Bus Clock: 100 megahertz

Processor:
2.60 gigahertz Intel Core i5-3230M
64 kilobyte primary memory cache
256 kilobyte secondary memory cache
3072 kilobyte tertiary memory cache
64-bit ready
Multi-core (2 total)
Hyper-threaded (4 total)

Controllers
Intel(R) 7 Series Chipset Family SATA AHCI Controller

Display
NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M [Display adapter]

Memory Modules
DDR 3 – 2 Slots
Communications

Bluetooth(R) 4.0
Wireless-N 2230 Wi-Fi Adapter
Qualcomm Atheros AR8161 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller

LG HD WebCam

1 x USB 3.0
2 x USB 2.0
1 x HDMI
1 x VGA
1 x Card Reader

uSATA to SATA converter – Use uSATA Hard drive with SATA port

Serial ATA is one of most widely used bus interface for storage devices for years. Within its technology SATA 3.2 can achieve 16Gbit/s data transfer rate. However in this post I concern about use uSATA drive with normal SATA 2 or SATA 3 port.

uSATA or also known as a micro SATA usually can be seen in Laptop hard drives. In SATA interface there are 2 connectors that use for transfer DATA and POWER separately. In general term there is no physical difference between DATA connector with between SATA and Micro SATA (uSATA). It can be connect to regular SATA cable and supported by SATA 2 or 3 ports in motherboard. But the power connector cannot be connect to the standard one.

In this post I’m going to use my uSATA SSD hard drive with ordinary PC. First we must understand power segments with standard connector and uSATA power connector.

  <Source – Wikipedia>

 

So let’s begin

Step 1 – Identify the pins and voltages for uSATA connector.

According to chart +3.3 V for pin 1,2 , +5 V for pin 5,6 , Ground or 0V for pin 3,4 and 7,8,9 are unknown.

However in this case I have laptop that with uSATA port. So I have measure the voltages while working and find out for this specific SSD HDD only use +3.3 V for it’s power requirement.

Step 2 – Connect to the power as required.

For the power we can use standard SATA power connector supply wires. in power supply Orange wires carries +3.3 V, Red wires +5 V , Yellow wires +12 V and Black wires Ground. however in some causes there are no 3.3 V in some SATA power connectors. when that happens we have to bypass wire to ATX power supply connector and get power from there.

 In first cable doesn’t include orange wire. which means no 3.3V supply

In my case I only need 3.3V and ground , and I’m going to get that power from bypass ATX connector.

Then I connect + 3.3 V and Ground cables to uSATA HDD by solder wires to socket.

Step 3 – Connect Data cable and do the final check ups for short circuits then good to go for test.

I have successfully connected and fully tested my uSATA Samsung SSD Hard drive (64Gb) to my PC without any error. I used both SATA 3 and SATA 2 ports for test and both works. In summery I only needed 3.3 V because of my device requirement specify for that. if anyone willing to following this method I’m warning, another device may have deferent requirement of power. try with your own risk.

* UPDATE

After using this HDD for few Days, It stopped working suddenly. However I could recover it successfully and here is the post about it.