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Anyone here ever repaired a Hard Drive? MAME is toast.

Chris Bardon

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2012
1,309
169
63
Mississauga, ON
So the main IDE HDD in my MAME bit the dust, and I can't seem to get it to work anymore. I'd like to at least be able to clone it to a new drive, but it won't even come up in the BIOS. I think it's the power, since it doesn't spin at all, but nothing I've tried so far has worked. I've verified that the power connector and IDE connector are good with a different drive, and I've tried the drive in a couple of different PCs, but no good. I also tried taking off the PCB and cleaning the connection points with the rest of the drive. Nothing appears damaged either.

I'm thinking it's just toast at this point, and I'll have to rebuild the OS etc from scratch, but just thought I'd check to see if anyone has any other ideas to try. The rest of the PC still seems to work, and besides I have some spare parts to keep it that way, but the challenge now is that I have the whole thing running off a CRT with an SVideo connection. I should also have a complete backup of the emulators, roms, and configs from the old setup, but the challenge may be missing drivers etc.
 

eh97ac

Active Member
Nov 19, 2012
636
149
43
Mississauga
Old trick => put it in the freezer for an hour and then immediately try it. Same trick works well with axels and bearings although you need the big freezer in the basement for that ;)
 

dnewman

Active Member
Oct 29, 2013
282
83
28
Newmarket
Is there not a risk of condensation forming when you bring it out of the freezer, and causing shorts?
 

Chris Bardon

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2012
1,309
169
63
Mississauga, ON
Yeah, I'd seen the freezer trick online, as well as a suggestion to put it in a warm oven for 10 mins. The oven I get because it could reflow some solder-there was a similar trick back with the original Xbox 360s and wrapping them in a towel to overheat internally-but the freezer seemed suspect. Can't break things any worse though, so I'll give it a shot.
 

eh97ac

Active Member
Nov 19, 2012
636
149
43
Mississauga
The freezer is a last resort but the theory is a broken connection will shrink and MIGHT reconnect long enough to get your data. Another thing is finding the same HD and swap boards on the bottom of the HD. Since you said there is zero power, I'd look at a soldering hack to get it spinning again
 

Chris Bardon

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2012
1,309
169
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Mississauga, ON
Don't think a Linux box would make a difference-it's not even showing up in the BIOS, and the drive isn't spinning at all, so it's likely just dead. It is an old hard drive after all, and I've seen them fail much sooner, so it really was just a matter of time.

In any case, started over with a spare, and currently copying all the files from the backup back over, which will likely take all night (still a slow machine). I suppose I could try a newer machine with an HDMI to SVideo/composite adapter, but that's a problem for whenever my SVideo GPUs die completely, or when I decide that I want to have newer stuff running on the cabinet. I know none of the Sega Naomi stuff worked very well (although some dreamcast stuff did), but just about all the arcade/console games I wanted were just fine.
 

Luckydogg420

Member
May 12, 2013
825
24
18
Kitchener
Go to romcollector.com. Just get a new HD mailed to you that is already set up with the newest version of MAME and newest rom set running.

Not the cheapest fix, but you'll be back up running and good for years.
 

Chris Bardon

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2012
1,309
169
63
Mississauga, ON
Thanks for the link, but I'm OK on roms-those are definitely backed up, but it's some of the miscellaneous configs etc that I need to find where I have saved (or recreate them). I'm also not a hyperspin fan. It's flashy, but every time I've used it, it seems way harder to just find what you're looking for. I stumbled on MAMEWah when I first built the cab, and it's really fast, so I'll probably just install that again (plus, I still have the original installer for it that I used).

I managed to get it all set up once, so I should be able to do it again, it's just a question of how much time it'll take. Next time though-full OS level drive image backup :)
 

Chris Bardon

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2012
1,309
169
63
Mississauga, ON
It's alive (mostly)! Ran into a few challenges with getting windows set up on there (apparently it's really hard to activate an XP key now, but you can still do it), and had to dig through some graphics driver settings to force detection of the TV. There's a setting in the ATI Catalyst control center that forces detection of the TV, which seems to be required to get windows to recognize it (even though the BIOS is fine). Backups had all of the ROMs that I needed, and the frontend/MAME config, but none of the console emulators/configs. Needed to set some of those up by hand, and I'm still missing a couple, but the main stuff that I actually care about using it works. Also had to dig around online for some hardware drivers that I didn't have copies of anymore.