Sata connector for hard drive broken; need help!

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dannyk65

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Hi,

I've got a Samsung NP350v5c laptop and the Sata adapter for the HDD has a big crack through it. It won't recognize any drives and now I'm running Win 8.1 with an SSD in a caddy for the Sata2 optical drive. It's less than ideal and I cannot seem to find any info on the part I need to replace, which looks to be soldered to the mobo.

If I can't replace the adapter, is there a tricky way I can sneak a new Sata port onto the laptop and fool the CPU into thinking it's the OEM connector?

Thanks in advance!
DanSC_LI.jpg
 

dannyk65

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I'll just go external using the original HDD and a USB-Sata cable before replacing the mobo. I was just hoping there was a simpler way to tackle having a slower than ideal primary/windows ssd as well as a slower than than ideal storage hdd.

Thanks
 
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I looked at your Pic but I don't see any crack. Can you be more specific or take a photo that shows the actual crack? If the crack is causing the sata connectors to be loose perhaps using something like a hot glue gun on it to secure the cracked section back to it's original position would get it back. I have used hot glue guns in the past to do some remarkable repairs. You just want to be sure none of the glue gets inside where the connections are, and if it does get in there carefully clear the excess with a razor blade or an exacto knife.
Of course without a good photo of the crack I can't be more specific. If the adapter has come off the motherboard, gluing back will probably not do the trick since the solder joints may have become separated from the wires that make connection to the adapter.
 

dannyk65

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65BE07B8-7018-47DB-B45A-C96B56A5ACE1.jpeg
I looked at your Pic but I don't see any crack. Can you be more specific or take a photo that shows the actual crack? If the crack is causing the sata connectors to be loose perhaps using something like a hot glue gun on it to secure the cracked section back to it's original position would get it back. I have used hot glue guns in the past to do some remarkable repairs. You just want to be sure none of the glue gets inside where the connections are, and if it does get in there carefully clear the excess with a razor blade or an exacto knife.
Of course without a good photo of the crack I can't be more specific. If the adapter has come off the motherboard, gluing back will probably not do the trick since the solder joints may have become separated from the wires that make connection to the adapter.
The right side is actually sloping higher than the left, so after installing a drive and flipping the laptop upside down to use, it makes sense the connection is incomplete somewhere.

ETA: Please believe me when I tell you I've been tempted to try glue for a while...

SC (2).jpg
 
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Before replacing the board as mentioned above you might try re-soldering the joints on the other side after somehow clamping the adapter tight to the board if there are broken connections you might get lucky and they might reconnect if the wires pulled away from the solder joints. Then maybe if you duct tape the drive to the board before turning it over you might get lucky. Of course all this would ruin any manufacturers warranty you might have if this is a common failure for your model. Even if the laptop is just out of warranty, you might be able to argue that they might have known about the issue and didn't warn customers. The squeaky wheel gets the most grease. I like to e-mail the tech support from the manufacturers site and say how disappointed I am and that I have always been happy with their product but after this I may never purchase their products again.
I just saw your second photo and I now see that it is likely the wire connectors have pulled away from the solder points on the other side of the board.
 
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The following is from the pics in my replacement motherboard link above. As you can see, it doesn't appear the SATA solder connections go through to the back of the motherboard:

 

dannyk65

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It's an older model and was actually a brick from 2014-a couple months ago. One of Samsung's infamous Win7 laptops they chose to install Win8 on and sell...before developing adequate drivers and updates to prevent catastrophic failures between Bios/UEFI and MBR/GPT and...well, the list is long and thousands had their computers bricked in an irreversible non-booting loop of sadness.

When I fired it up recently for the first time in years, I didn't expect to find that the HDD wouldn't show up in UEFI permanently because the connector failed. I assumed when they forced Win8.1 upon us, I fell victim to the same problems regarding not being able to boot because of legacy MBR CSM vs NTFS UEFI....but hey, I've learned incredible things like repairing partitions required for Recovery, the importance of having an official Factory Image to rely on when things get bad, and creating a UEFI Secure Boot Fat32 USB windows installation disk because Bios is tough to navigate when there's nothing to boot from the broken Sata connector...
 

dannyk65

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The following is from the pics in my replacement motherboard link above. As you can see, it doesn't appear the SATA solder connections go through to the back of the motherboard:

I actually just read yesterday or the day before that those orange areas are mostly for grounding and not soldering. (Yep, I even watched endless YT videos about the mobo just hoping someone would have run into the same issue as me. Apparently, I'm the ONLY human being to EVER have the misfortune of a cheap connector breaking on this model)


Thank you, both of you guys for trying to help. I truly appreciate it!
 
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It looks like someone lifted the loose end of the hard drive up too high before sliding it out of the SATA connector.

Those two philips screws appear to be what is holding the SATA connector to the motherboard. Have no idea where the SATA traces might be though. They gotta be there somewhere.
 

dannyk65

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FC3F0589-EEC7-4C39-A36B-29645EDED78D.jpeg
Does this help at all?

Also, I can see wire gleaming through the crack near the far right side (near the screw, actually) but my phone's camera can't seem to capture it.
 
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In that last photo the connectors appear to be of the type called flex connectors which are a sort of plastic strip with the wires running inside the plastic flexible strip. It's possible your issue is ground related. You might try installing the drive and placing something on the drive to force it to be pressed tightly to the board when re-assembled. Something like a piece of rubber, a grommet or even folded cardboard which would prevent the drive from dropping down when inverted. It still might be a good idea to get some glue into the crack. One of the reasons I mentioned hot glue is it's liquid and the gun it's fed with helps force the liquid into the crack and after holding it tight with your finger for a few minutes it should remain down and tight. Then you can remove the excess with a razor or knife after it hardens completely to prevent the drive from going all the way in.
If the connections are indeed of the flex type, removing the screws would allow you to bend back the adapter and see the short flexible connector beneath. Finding a replacement for it would be half the problem, de-soldering and re-soldering a new part would be quite a task.
It is possible that the only issue is when you turn the laptop right side up the drive connectors drop down and are not connecting inside the adapter. If that's the case, hot glue and somehow securing the drive from dropping down might solve the problem. Flex connectors will not pull away from the board as easily as directly soldered pin connectors so I doubt the connections to the mobo are at fault.
 
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I've been doing off the cuff repairs of my own for some years now and have been quite successful using the old Sherlock Holmes method of deduction. Fix the obvious and see what happens before you go spending any of your hard earned money.
 
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