(Internal) Hard Disk Drive (HDD) not detected

This message can appear when you start a Toppy. As implied by the message the Toppy cannot find its internal HDD.

There are many possible causes, including the following:

  1. There is a loose connection to the internal HDD
  2. There is a very serious file system damage such that the Toppys does not recognise the HDD
  3. The internal HDD has a physical problem
  4. The Toppys power supply PCB is not providing sufficient power to the internal HDD drive

Trouble shooting steps

  1. The first thing to do is to determine if the internal HDD is powering up when the power is turned on. This can be detected by a very low humming noise and a slight vibrations (the amount of vibration depends on the type of drive; 2.5" HDDs tend to be more difficult to detect than 3.5" drives). If the drive is spinning up, then it is unlikely that a power supply problem is the cause. (The power supply PCB for TMS Toppys have been known to fail, but they much more robust than those used in SD Toppys and the MPEG2 only HD Toppys.) You can confirm the presence or absence of power PCB problem by trying another SATA HDD; if it works, then the problem is unlikely to be the power supply.
  2. If the HDD does not appear to be powering up, you need to check the connections. Vibration and movement of the Toppy may result in the connection for either the SATA or Power cables attached to the HDD coming loose (either on the drive itself, or less frequently on the main board). Check that the connection to the HDD is OK; it is a good idea to disconnect the cables from the HDD and then reconnect them. If this does not fix the problem, it is possible that the connection cable (usually the SATA cable) is physically damaged. This can result from stress placed on the cable by the limited space within the unit. While the Toppy uses a combined SATA and power connector to the HDD, separate connectors can be used. It is best to use separate SATA and power cables. A special Molex to SATA power cable is required. They can be obtained from decisivecomputersolutions.com.au or for more information see Molex to SATA power cable.
  1. The drive is either physically damaged or there is a major file system problem. Remove the HDD from the Toppy, put it in a USB docking station, attach the docking station to a PC and run the drive diagnostics for the particular brand of HDD. Most recent Toppys and Seagate AV or Seagate Pipeline HDD, so you will need to use Seatools. Once you run the diagnostics, you will know if there is a physical problem with the HDD. If no issues are reported, deleting all partitions on the HDD may be all that is needed to get it working again.

WARNING Opening the Toppys case may void the warranty and if you do the wrong thing you could get an electric shock or damage either the main board or power supply PCB. See the instructions on how to replace a Toppys internal HDD for more information.

If you suspect the power supply is the problem you will need to send to Toppy to Topfield Service or have the power supply repaired by a qualified technician. Topfield Australia does not sell power supply PCBs to consumers. While it is possible to repair the power supply PCB yourself, you really need to know what you are doing.

There are probably some causes that I have forgotten about - I will add them as they come to mind.

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