Unsticking a Seagate ST-419 head

jim stephens jwsmail at jwsss.com
Thu Oct 20 04:05:31 CDT 2016

I actually years ago unstuck drives by removing them, hooking them to 
cables long enough to allow me to have access to them external to the 
system with power, and just holding them in the air and giving them a 
sharp twist around the axis of the drive.  That was enough to unstick 
most.  I also had ready a drive on the systems to drain or recover data 
immediately prepped on the system in advance (Windows 95 and NT days).

Never forced or heated them, may work as well.  I thought the force if 
applied quickly would cause not only "stiction" to be be overcome from 
heads temporarily stuck to the drive, but it also gives a bit of a boost 
in case the poles on the motor were not working well enough to give a 
kick to start the spin, which is a different problem.

The latter seemed to be the problem of at least a couple of drives, as 
they would start if you gave them a prod, but otherwise were either 
silent or humming (from the pole forces oscillating rather than causing 
successive action to spin the platters).


On 10/19/2016 6:40 PM, william degnan wrote:
> On Oct 19, 2016 9:25 PM, "Alexandre Souza" <alexandre.tabajara at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> A good bang in the side with the heavy side of a screwdriver uses to work
>> flawlessly ;) (sometimes 2 or 3 bangs :D )
>> 2016-10-19 23:20 GMT-02:00 Al Kossow <aek at bitsavers.org>:
>>> I have a couple of drives I would really like to recover the data from.
>>> On one of the two I've tried so far, the lowest head in the stack is
>>> really stuck on.
>>> Has anyone successfully unstuck a head from this era. I've tried the
>>> obvious things
>>> (gentle rotation in both axis, heating the platters) but there is a lot
> of
>>> surface
>>> area on those old heads and it is pretty badly stuck.
> Put in the oven, 150 degrees, 2 mins on a
> Side for 8 minutes total
> Bill Degnan
> twitter: billdeg
> vintagecomputer.net

More information about the cctalk mailing list