drive repair tips?
Dwight K. Elvey
dwight.elvey at amd.com
Tue Aug 16 13:14:31 CDT 2005
>From: "Sridhar Ayengar" <ploopster at gmail.com>
>der Mouse wrote:
>> I have a disk drive - a (relatively) modern sealed unit - which appears
>> to have mechanical trouble. The noise it makes spinning up says to my
>> ear "bearing friction".
>> I'm considering taking it apart and lubing the bearing. Of course,
>> this would at best be a temporary fix, since it is on its way out at
>> this point; this is more to gain experience on a throwaway device than
>> to actually recover the drive. (All the bits from it are safe; live
>> mirroring is great for that.)
>> Any tips from the collective wisdom? Obviously, I want to do this in
>> as close to a cleanroom as I can reasonably find, and have the platter
>> assembly open as short a time as I can. But I don't, for example, have
>> any idea what would be a suitable lubricant to use - assuming the
>> bearing isn't a totally sealed assembly itself....
>> ObOTness thread: the disk itself may be formally on-topic; it's
>> certainly close to - it is stamped "MAR 31 1996".
>I've done it before, but I find it's not usually worth it, unless you
>can't access data on the drive, and you really need that data. I'd say
>if that drive is still working, find an identical drive and dd the data
>The drive is nowhere near as valuable as the data, at least for newish
It sounds like a fun project. Don't expect to get good results
but consider it as an experiment in how to analyze a drive failure.
One problem you may find is that in order to get to the bearing,
you'll need to unmount the disk platters. It will be almost
impossible to get these mounted in the same concentric location
as they came out from. Also, note that rotating the disk surface,
even a little backwards while the heads are in contact will
most likely destroy the surface.
One last thing is that you may need to make some special spanners
to undo some of the fasteners.
You can make a clean work area by getting some plastic sheeting, a
small blower and a HEPA filter from a vacuum cleaner. Wipe the
inside and the outside of the plastic sheet with a 10:1 diluted
mixture of liquid dish soap and water. Let this dry. This
stops most all of the static that would hold or transfer
dust on the plastic sheet. Try to get some clear plastic
so you can see but a small piece of glass should work.
The bearing will be sealed but if you can access it from
the motor side, you can get some lubricant by lifting the
seal. Remember, you can't rotate the disk while the heads
are on the surface. You'll need to make a comb like tool
to lift them off while banging and digging on things.
Hope this doesn't scare you. I do wish to hear what results
you have. Also any observations you have while disassembling.
The brand and type of drive are also of interest here.
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