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I have a Seagate drive that died that I would like to recover data off of. I diagnosed the drive as having a failed TVS diode so I removed the diode and the drive began to function again.

My concern is: I have to transfer a large amount of data off this drive that will take many hours to complete. During that time the drive will be running with no ESD protection on the 5v rail due to the missing TVS diode.

I have an old 5v voltage regulator board I made for a robotics project a long time ago. I was wondering if it would be beneficial to insert this board onto the +5v rail coming into the drive to take the place of the TVS diode. If that's not advised, is there anything else I could do to protect the drive during recovery?

Also, about how much over voltage does it take to fry the other components on the drive? Am I over-reacting to the drive not having ESD protection or is it absolutely critical to have?

closed as off-topic by ceejayoz, kubanczyk, Ward, MadHatter, Jenny D May 26 '18 at 8:20

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave these specific reasons:

  • "Questions on Server Fault must be about managing information technology systems in a business environment. Home and end-user computing questions may be asked on Super User, and questions about development, testing and development tools may be asked on Stack Overflow." – Ward, Jenny D
  • "Questions should demonstrate reasonable business information technology management practices. Questions that relate to unsupported hardware or software platforms or unmaintained environments may not be suitable for Server Fault - see the help center." – ceejayoz, kubanczyk, MadHatter
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For the purposes of recovery, ESD protection isn't completely necessary - but you would feel pretty silly if your attempt was foiled by a discharge so be careful.

As for how much voltage is too much over ~5, assume any. It varies from drive to drive. However, your voltage regulator is likely to drop a significant amount of voltage (often more than a volt, sometimes a bit less). If you go this route, drive it with slightly more from your power supply to compensate for drop - but if you're using a desktop power supply then that already has a regulator in it, making this paragraph pointless.

Put a diode inline with the 5V rail that is roughly equivalent and drops the same amount of voltage. If it causes problems, take it out and have a beer for good luck.

The less strict answer: It's probably going to be fine. I've done this before and did not regret it. I also bought No Man's Sky pre-ordered, so take that into consideration.

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