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Connor Mac Portable 3045 40MB Drives


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Ok so I have 3 working drives.. I de-gooed them and sealed them with some good silicone adhesive. They are in perfect shape. The problem is the boards... I've got a pile of connor hdd boards that are bad... I assume it was during when people tried to fire them up while capacitors were leaking everywhere and it did something to a chip on the hdd boards. If I swap boards from a good unit it they power up and run just perfectly fine. If I only knew what to fix on this pile of bad connor CP-3045 hard drive controller boards........

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Edited by aplmak
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I think those fail for the same reasons the PC on the IDE versions of these drives do. One of the machines I am very fond of is the Compaq SLT/286, which uses the IDE version of this drive.

 

The reason the PCB fails in the IDE versions is the foam insulation between the PCB and the drive frame degrades, causing the PCB to short-out to the metal drive body, rendering the completely non-functional. To this day I have still never fixed one after that has happened. I replaced the foam on my working drives with a piece of thick, rigid paper, and they have continued to work so far.

 

This is likely the reason these 3045s are failing too, so I’d remove the PCB from your working ones, dig that old foam off, and replace it with a piece of thick paper (or you could use foam again if you could find the right thickness).

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Hmmmm I have several drives with absolutely no foam. And are working normal. Aren’t the metal standoff’s long enough to clear the bottom of the drive?? I’ll have to check that out.. 

 

The other question about fixing the goo is a lot of patience and to be very careful. As long as the goo hasn’t hit the heads or the platters yet. I use a qtip and go around and around the edging.. and then use qtips with 90% alcohol to thoroughly clean. There are two tricky spots where you get close to the platter. Also if you have a drive with black head bumpers that has to be removed and thrown out. You can only use the ones with the clear bumpers. I’ve also seen where the goo or chemical reaction lifts the coating off the magnets for the heads and flakes.. it will stop the head from moving.. and you certainly don’t want flakes flying around inside. Not all can be saved but some can!! I keep bad ones for parts like the bumpers or boards. Everyone can say replace it with SSD... but some collectors like original parts. 

 

Of course dont forget to clean the cover edges.. and remove the little filter if it’s got goo in it.. and finally silicone it carefully back together after you have tested it.

Edited by aplmak
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On 6/25/2020 at 6:31 PM, PB145B said:

I think those fail for the same reasons the PC on the IDE versions of these drives do. One of the machines I am very fond of is the Compaq SLT/286, which uses the IDE version of this drive.

 

The reason the PCB fails in the IDE versions is the foam insulation between the PCB and the drive frame degrades, causing the PCB to short-out to the metal drive body, rendering the completely non-functional. To this day I have still never fixed one after that has happened. I replaced the foam on my working drives with a piece of thick, rigid paper, and they have continued to work so far.

 

This is likely the reason these 3045s are failing too, so I’d remove the PCB from your working ones, dig that old foam off, and replace it with a piece of thick paper (or you could use foam again if you could find the right thickness).

I’ve used a paint brush and the foam just comes right off easily.. 

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8 hours ago, aplmak said:

Aren’t the metal standoff’s long enough to clear the bottom of the drive?? I’ll have to check that out.. 

Not entirely. There are several areas where the circuit board can make contact with with drive body. That foam is there for a reason. 
 

I remember on the first replacement I got for a CP-3041 IDE drive, I installed it (with no insulation), sparked and fried instantly. Second one, used some thick paper, been working ever since.

 

It’s likely the raised area where the spindle mounts that’s contacting the circuit board. 
 

They even started putting a piece of paper along with the foam on the newer revisions of these Conners, so they must have felt the foam itself wasn’t quite sufficient.

Edited by PB145B
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Ok so here’s some photos.. the three drives work I just need working boards.. 

 

And also the silicone seal I use when they are all cleaned.. also is a picture of a bad head magnet! The black bumpers always turn gooey and sticky.. you can also see the magnets flaking..

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9 hours ago, PB145B said:

Not entirely. There are several areas where the circuit board can make contact with with drive body. That foam is there for a reason. 
 

I remember on the first replacement I got for a CP-3041 IDE drive, I installed it (with no insulation), sparked and fried instantly. Second one, used some thick paper, been working ever since.

 

It’s likely the raised area where the spindle mounts that’s contacting the circuit board. 
 

They even started putting a piece of paper along with the foam on the newer revisions of these Conners, so they must have felt the foam itself wasn’t quite sufficient.

I’m just surprised.. because even when that foam was new I can’t see a solder lead not piercing through it.. now if it was plastic that would make sense.

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8 hours ago, aplmak said:

I’m just surprised.. because even when that foam was new I can’t see a solder lead not piercing through it.. now if it was plastic that would make sense.

It’s what a lot of hard drive manufacturers used for PCB insulation, so I guess it’s fairly effective (when it’s not rotten).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Techknight it’s the boards that aren’t working.. if I take a board from a working drive they are fine. I have no idea what’s gone on all these boards.. 

 

I’ve stuck a regular envelope between the boards and the drive each one.. each do strange things.. but don’t boot. Again a board from a working drive just fine... 

Edited by aplmak
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That is such a valuable post. I am trying to restore my Portable and my hard drive stoped working, maybe you guys can give me some light. 

 

All started when I tried to format the drive to install a clean system. While running the HD SC Setup I did clean the partitions, create new ones and when I initialised it failed to format. I toke the drive off, build a 34 pin to 50pin adapter and got it running on my LCII. Got Lido running. Lido could find it in the bus. I could then work the partitions out and then when going to initialise (format) it failed formatting. Tried this process several times always with the same outcome.  Can create partitions but cannot format it.

 

The drive does not make any weird sound. Seems pretty healthy. When formatting I can hear the normal sound a head does when formatting. 

 

What sort of diagnostic would give? Bad logic, bad head, bad disk?

 

Also, have you guys ever come across a service manual for these drives?

 

Edited by gkmaia
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I think I got the answer for my question. But I guess will be valuable to share. 

 

I have two connor 40mb drives. One 34 pin from my portable. One 50 pin from my LC.

 

I swapped the logic board between the portable 34 pin case and the LC 50pin case. Turns out that my 34pin logic board + my adapator + 50pin case works perfectly on my LC. 

 

Would you recommend opening the faulty case? is there anything that can be fixed in there? Or that is pretty much a lost cause?

Edited by gkmaia
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You mean open up the actual drive? I'd check for signs of goo around the top and bottom cover... If there is a good gasket inbetween you should see a black rubber gasket by pressing your fingernail. If not it's probably turned to goo. I carefully replace top and bottom (don't forget to remove round warranty stickers first). then separate the drives. Take a peek inside. If the head assembly has rubber bumpers on it just forget it.. or if you can get a replacement with clear bumpers you should be ok. Next is to clean all around the edges with a q-tip careful not to get any goo on the platters. If you see any goo on the platters anywhere just forget it. Don't forget to remove the little white filter if it is full with goo. You need to thoroughly clean the goo all around the indentation of the top and bottom halves. I do it over and over again with qtips and denatured alcohol. And up until you see no more goo anywhere. Like I said I have 3 good drives but without controller boards as I have no extra and there are issues with the ones I have a pile of.. Only Techknight could probably figure out what "chip" is bad on them. I am suspecting it is a result of starting a portable with failed capacitors and it sending back bad voltage or something which destroys a chip of somekind... 

 

Oh and if you successfully do this you should silicone the top and bottom halves so no dust and air can get in. It also helps with the heads moving properly across the platters.. the force of the air contained keeps them from touching the platters in some cases I believe. So letting no air in is really good practice..

Edited by aplmak
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I do not have any goo on the head bumpers. But lots of white goo at the seal edges. The plate filter was soaked in good as well.

 

Is there any drawback in terms of alignment  if I remove the plates? Would be good to take them out and clean the whole assembly and look under the plates.

 

What would you use to clean a plate? IPA alchool?

 

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Edited by gkmaia
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  • 1 month later...

I haven’t messed with the platters really.. a few times I used denatured alcohol or 90% rubbing alcohol to clean some stuff on the top plate and it didn’t affect anything. But taking them apart will be tricky. You have to make sure the heads do not touch each other. It’s a big risk but you have nothing to loose if it’s not working I guess. As I’ve said I’ve removed goo and the gooed filter successfully.. and silicone sealed top and bottom. I have a few working drives but bad boards on them. 

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It can bend the thin pieces of metal that the heads are attached to, causing a cylinder misalignment, therefore rendering the drive useless. It’s not a given that it will happen, but it’s not impossible, so letting them clamp together is best avoided.

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9 hours ago, PB145B said:

It can bend the thin pieces of metal that the heads are attached to, causing a cylinder misalignment, therefore rendering the drive useless. It’s not a given that it will happen, but it’s not impossible, so letting them clamp together is best avoided.

Cool, thanks. that makes sense. I've made a little clip on my 3 printer to hold them safe so that wont be a problem.

 

One interesting thing is on the conners the platter does not fit perfectly to the motor spindle. It has a bit of play. And with that in mind I did an experiment by swapping 2 PCBs, each with it is own calibration, in the same platter assembly to check how the radial calibration would react.

 

And they both run perfectly. That tells me either there is a cosmic coincidence these platters had the exact same physical alignment or the tolerances for radial alignment are pretty high on these conners. 

Edited by gkmaia
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