Where there's smoke there's... a hard disk!?!

Tony Duell ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk
Sat Feb 24 17:47:25 CST 2007

> Recently, an accquaintaince was cleaning up his house
> and came upon some old hardware, and asked - do I want
> some old hard disks? Sure! He gave me a pair of old
> Avid external 9 gig hard drives. Basically just 9 gig

I have a great oroblem regarding any 9GB hard disk as 'old'...


> than the drive..), and flipped it over. There was a
> burnt mark on the board the size of a nickel, and the
> board had started to delaminate. In the center, a
> charred husk of a something that resembled a surface
> mount capacitor of some sort, a small rectangular
> component about the size of a standard jumper laying
> flat. Hmm, I haven't got anything to lose at this


I'll bet it was an SMD tantalum capacitor, and that it was a decoupling 
(bypass) capacitor on one of the power lines. Such capacitors (both 
wire-ended and SMD) are well-known for going short-circuit, and if 
they're across a power line they generally catch fire (they glow red...) 
and emit vast amounts of magixc smoke. And the device just carries on 

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