Cleaning RK05 packs (Was: LGP-30 Memory Drum Update)

Rick Bensene rickb at
Thu Jan 5 10:48:54 CST 2017

The method I've used very successfully for unknown packs is:

1) I first mount the pack in a drive that has a good absolute filter,
and has had the head load disabled, and spin it for a few hours.  If the
pack shows any sign of excessive vibration, it is probably no good or
requires more serious attention.   This process moves a bunch of air
through the pack, removing any loose dust.
2) I then take the pack apart, in a relatively dust-free space.  Inspect
the platter for any obvious damage that may make it unusable, such as
warping, mis-centered on hub (caused by being dropped), divots in the
platter surface or signs of serious head crash(e.g., oxide gone).   I
set the platter assembly on a lint-free cloth and cover with another
lint free cloth.
3) I first use a vacuum cleaner with a light brush attachment to vacuum
loose dust out of the pack case.  Then I use a sink with a sprayer head
and warm soapy water to thoroughly clean the plastic parts of the disk
pack, and rinse thoroughly with clear water.  I use dried compressed air
to blow out all the moisture, and then set the pack parts aside on a
lint-free cloth to dry out thoroughly, usually for 24 hours
4) I use 3M LCD monitor cleaning pads (which are lint-free by nature) to
wipe the platter surfaces to remove excess oxide and remaining dust.  I
use a light pressure.  Any areas that are clearly discolored get extra
treatment.  I wipe in a circular (spiral) motion from the hub outward to
the edge of the platters.  It's a little tedious from a handling
perspective, juggling the platter with one hand, and managing the wiping
with the other.  I end up using quite a few of the wipes, as they get
dirty pretty fast. 
5) I use a bright flashlight to spot any remaining dust and canned air
to dislodge any that I find.  If air doesn't work, then I use more wipes
to remove any that I can see.
6) Once over with canned air to blow off any remaining dust.
7) Quickly reassemble the patter into the pack casing 
8) Spin the pack again for  a few hours with no head load.
9) Cross fingers, put in a "live" drive, spin it up, and hope for no bad

Based on Klemens' method, this is probably being overly cautious, but
it's worked well for me. 

Rick Bensene

More information about the cctalk mailing list