Bent pins on an IDE hard drive can make connecting the drive impossible until the damage is corrected. The pins connect the hard drive to the motherboard via an IDE ribbon and allow a flow of information between the device and the CPU. Without a proper connection, your computer won't be able to communicate with the drive or boot from the drive. Correcting the damage may be a simple matter or bending the pins back in place, or you may need to replace the logic board on the drive.
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Things you need
- Replacement logic board of the same exact model
- T8 Torx driver
- Thin needle-nose pliers
Try to bend the pins back in place using very thin needle-nose pliers to straighten the pins. Work carefully so that you don't break the pin or bend other pins in the process. This method of repair is usually not recommended, but the drive is useless without the pins straight. If you are able to straighten the pins so that all of the pins connect correctly, then you are done. It is highly recommended, however, that you back up your data and replace the drive at the earliest opportunity since it may not be entirely reliable. If you are unable to straighten the pins, or one or more of the pins break, then you'll have to replace the logic board, which is the green circuit board to which the pins are attached.
Remove the four screws using the T8 Torx driver and pull out the thin cable attached from the far end of the logic board (away from the pins) to the centre "hole" of the drive. Remove the logic board.
Replace the logic board with a working logic board taken from an identical hard drive; it must be the exact same model. Align the new logic board, attach the thin cable you removed previously and secure in place with the four screws. You will now have a new logic board, complete with unbent pins, so you'll be able to connect your drive again.