View Full Version : Stuck IDE Power Connector?
13th July 2008, 10:22 PM
Wibble or hardware, it's a tossup. So I elected here because it has nothing to do with Linux.
Got home from vacation and it seems my Raptor died while I was gone (it wasn't running or plugged in... curious). So while I've got the box open, I want to pull out another IDE hard drive that's in the machine.
But... THE $()*&)#(*$ power connector on the IDE drive seems to be "stuck."
Is that supposed to happen? :confused:
It doesn't appear to be a "pinch type" connector - looks like it should just slide out but it's clearly not budging. The IDE connectors of the same type on my optical drives slide out just fine (well, a little wiggle is needed but that's standard fair for four-pin IDE connectors).
Is there any other way to pull this out, preferably without damaging anything? And - the million dollar question - why is it stuck? (Trust me - I didn't put it in the wrong way.)
13th July 2008, 10:32 PM
I'm assuming that you are trying this with just your fingers ?
Try using a pair of pliers, it may need a wee bit extra.
13th July 2008, 11:51 PM
leigh is just kidding of course. Don't spray any liquids, especially flammable ones, near power connectors.
Just pull harder or use a small flat-head screwdriver to pry it loose.
14th July 2008, 12:00 AM
Whole PC off and unplugged.
WD-40 as Leigh says, just a very little squirt. Let it settle and wiggle the connect out sideways, not up and down ways.
You would have noticed you didn't plug it in wrong, yellow on the far edge side. Same for the colored side of IDE cables.
14th July 2008, 02:21 PM
I'm with Seve .... I've often had to revert to a pair of long nose pliers - those Molex connectors can be a *****.
I've used a spray cleaner on electronics before, but not WD-40 - just checked the MSDS to be sure:
Harmful by inhalation. Irritating to the eyes.
Risk of explosion if heated under confinement.
Cumulative effects may result following exposure*.
May produce discomfort of the respiratory tract and skin*.
Vapours potentially cause drowsiness and dizziness*.
* (limited evidence)
Do not breathe gas/fumes/vapour/spray.
Wear eye/face protection.
Use only in well ventilated areas.
Keep container in a well ventilated place.
Keep container tightly closed.
Take off immediately all contaminated clothing.
In case of contact with eyes, rinse with plenty of water and contact Doctor or
Poisons Information Centre.
If you feel unwell contact Doctor or Poisons Information Centre. (Show the label
Hope that helps.
14th July 2008, 02:47 PM
The Molex connector is what is known as an "interference" fit, it's another way of saying that you jam it together and use force to pull it apart.
Usually it's reasonable force, but I did have one once that clung on so well that when it eventually did come away it did so with one of the pins from the drive still within it!
We all subscribe to the theory, but I hope your data was well backed up.
14th July 2008, 03:22 PM
WD-40 is just an all-round bad idea. I'm sure others may have previously used it on electronics without negative effects, but it is simply not suited for the job. WD-40 is penetrating oil. It's designed to get in and spread all over. Meaning it has a good chance of causing shorts. There is also a low, but real fire risk invloved any time you combine flammable liquids with electronics. It's fine for squeeky doors, but not for spraying inside a PC.
14th July 2008, 04:33 PM
Sounds like you live in a humid environment, and moisture has caused a slight corrosion on the mating surfaces of the metal elements of the molex plug. If that is the problem, it might well explain the sudden drive failure as well. Such corrosion can cause the junction between two metal surfaces to take on semiconductor attributes.
Either way, If you are having to pull as hard as I think you are, damage to the drive may well be the results. Therefore, you probably need to find a way to support the plug structure on the drive itself while you're man-handling the plug. If you can, pull the drive out of the case, extend it to the limits allowed by the wires, firmly yet gently clamp the drive/connector in a vise to keep the power plug socket from breaking away from the drive, and using a pair of needle nose pliers, or diagonal cutters in a worst case scenario, worry/cut/nibble the male molex out of the female socket. Those plastic shells are available from any Radio-Shack store, so you needn't worry about ruining the power supply.
When re-assembling the thing, with a Q-tip, put a small amount of white litium grease on the connector pins and the outside surface of the male plastic part to ensure the problem doesn't repeat itself.
14th July 2008, 04:36 PM
I'd probably agree with the thumbs down for WD40. It's bound to get in places where it shouldn't.
If I were going to use that approach then I have a spray can of something called "Super Servisol". It's marketed as a switch cleaner/lubricant and is designed for use inside electronics.
The can I've got was manufactured in UK so I've no idea how universal it is but there are sure to be equivalents.
15th July 2008, 04:51 AM
Thanks, all. I didn't even have to immerse the case in soap to get it out!
Needlenose did the trick. Should have tried that before going into panic mode. :rolleyes: Once I had some grip, I managed to pull it out pretty easily.
Now to troubleshoot this raptor and see if it really is dead.
EDIT: Yup. She's dead. Not "spinning up" - you can hear it try to start spinning, but then it makes a low-pitched click and stops, then tries to start spinning again. Well, time to reinstall. :mad:
I knew I should have just gone with a small RAID array rather than one disk for the OSs and one for the storage. :rolleyes:
15th July 2008, 07:08 AM
Good to hear ya got it loose...but not the DOA drive part. :(
WD40 is shorthand for "water displacing---40th formula"
It's a water displacing solution for getting water out of stuff...not a lubricant.
It does work wonders for helping keep a distributor cap dry inside in an off road vehicle though...for a few hours anyway.
Folks use it for lubing squeeky things, but it usually just deteriates rubber or plastic seals or bushings and doesn;t "lube" as such.
It dries quickly and leaves a film that surely isn't lube. It is slow to meduim speed death for bearings. :(
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