[plug] [OT] Harddrive surgery

Mark J Gaynor mark at mjg.id.au
Sun May 18 19:31:38 WST 2008

One of your biggest problems is in cleanliness.

Mechanics would be a small challenge in comparison. A single dust particle
on the platter is likened to a 767 flying at full throttle ten metres off
the deck and hitting a twelve metre granite rock. What comes next is not a
pretty sight. In another life I have worked with the original television
slow motion recorders that gave a whole thirty six seconds of replay at any
speed from still to four or six times normal speed. awesome in its time.
Needed a stable, level footing free from vibration. You needed that type of
environment when you are spinning a highly polished one metre disk of
hardened metal about 12mm thick at 3600 RPM on a magnetic bearing, with a
filtered positive pressure air flow.

Saying clean will be your major issue followed by replacing the 'clean
atmosphere' you let escape when you broke the seal.

Its a big challenge and is probably why there are not a lot of people
providing this sort of service.

Enjoy the challenge.


*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

On 18/05/2008 at 11:35 AM Chris Caston wrote:
Hi guys,

Long time since my last post. I'm wanting to tap your brains a bit and
gather some information, links and advice about about harddrive surgery.
I'd like to learn how to repair drives. Mainly along the lines of moving
platters, fixing or replacing heads or changing curcuit boards. 

There are of course companies that do this but I'd like to be able to help
people in sitations where those services are outside their budget.

Has anyone here fixed a failed drive before and if we what tools would you
recommend. Anything from jewellers and precision screwdrivers to
screwdriver heads that may be difficult to come by unless ordered online. 

Do you use an electronic airfilter (to remove or minimise dust) and special
lighting (limiting parts of the spectrum that may further damage platters)
in the workshop?

I guess in many times there is an element of luck and persistance in being
able to source and salvage replacement parts from other drives.

I'd like to first practice on failed drives with no datarecovery interest
or ones that do have data that people want but (a) isn't valaubale enough
to warrant going to a professional service and (b) they won't bite my head
off if I fail to recover the data.

At this time i'm more interested in the drive surery side of things rather
than specific software and data recovery algorithms. 

Here is one intersting link I have found by googling harddrive surgery:


best regards,

Chris Caston

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