Whilst messing around with my Mini ITX box, I managed to touch the power connector onto the drive backwards, blowing one of the components near the connector. I noticed that the controller board is screwed on with standard torx screws, so I took them out, curious about the connector to the main chassis.
After removing them, the board came away easily, and uses pressure pads as a connection mechanism, rather than ribbon cable or other methods. This set me wondering about whether this would be a replaceable part. I contacted Seagate, who told me that they don’t supply them separately. I then wondered about getting an identical drive, and replacing the old board with one from the new drive, so I went ahead and ordered a replacement; I’d need it anyway, even if this attempt at data recovery failed.
After it arrived, and I’d done the swap, I turned on the machine, and back came my drive with all my data on it, safe and sound. I did worry about whether the IDE controller boards carry some kind of mapping table that’s specific to a particular set of platters, but this isn’t the case, it seems. Unfortunately I’ve no way of repairing the original blown board. Replacing surface mount components is tricky.
For anybody wondering, you can replace the controller board for a Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 500GB drive with no ill effects.