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  Hard Drive Head Replacement 
 
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steve last name Jan 27, 2011, 02:34pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Hard Drive Head Replacement
At last some tools for the job, a bit on the late side for my use, although they look like they make things a lot easier, okay for the repair companies but one problem, far too expensive for the end user, for the excessive price of a small tool you can get your whole drive looked at in a class 100 clean room by professionals who have all the gear for the job and will get it done complete, definitely not an economic solution! ^^Goran HDDSurgery, maybe good if the price comes down by about 75+% Steve.

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john albrich Jan 27, 2011, 06:36pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Jan 27, 2011, 06:44pm EST

 
>> Re: Hard Drive Head Replacement

I'm with Joshua on this. If your data are unique and valuable, then get the drive to the pros. Some reputable companies will provide a free estimate and/or will NOT charge you if they can't recover your data (e.g. Seagate Recovery Services, "No Data-No Charge Guarantee").

I also can't see this as being very practical for the usual hobbyist, and many technically savvy types. Not only are there critical special handling and environmental requirements, but I think it's likely you'll run into unexpected difficulties (e.g. special tools, additional damage and/or failure created contamination and secondary damage inside the drive, etc) And of course, you're also not going to be able to calibrate the analog subsystem after replacing the head assembly...so you'll be fortunate if it works well enough to recover all your data.

I see it as something interesting to try...as long as you don't mind if you ultimately end up being unable to recover your data.


edit to add:
And of course, the usually fastest, most reliable, and inexpensive (both in money and especially in-situ time savings) method of data recovery is always...backup, backup, and oh yeah...backup.

steve last name Jan 27, 2011, 08:07pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Hard Drive Head Replacement
gets my vote, that's what you pay the pros for! although it'd be interesting to try with these custom tools but with those excessive prices not just for a one off basis, the backup rule is the hardest lesson and your best insurance, Steve.

Q &A Jan 31, 2011, 08:17pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Jan 31, 2011, 08:46pm EST

 
>> Re: Hard Drive Head Replacement
My 2 cents advice:

1) Hands off, Don't even THINK of doing-it-yourself-head-replacement!
2) Try an old school trick instead:
Wrap your HDD in plastic an/or a towel (To prevent condensation later on)
Place it the freezer overnight. (Better even might as well the the whole machine)
Take it out of the freezer or leave it in there and connect it, boot up your system
and be ready to "xcopy" "Ghost" or whatever software asap and as fast as
possible as you can your IMPORTANT DATA to a good drive..

Many HDD's seem to resurrect to brief life when way cooled down, I
personally successfully was able on several independent occasions to retrieve
data with this method.

3) Alternately thereafter you can try with SpinRite to see what you can revive.
4) Data recovery service but they can be $$$$$$

In the future setup either a daily backup or RAID1 (mirror) on your system!!

Lewis Baker Feb 02, 2012, 04:38am EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Hard Drive Head Replacement
Gentlemen, let me turn on a diifferent light, When did all these premature failures start?
First, it doesn't sound like this problem is hardware related in the strict sense of an discreet component failure. I've had problems in many areas of a similar and very frustrating nature, and my experiences have led me to blame one major culprit. These problems began to appear at about the same time that the industry abandoned its tried and true old friendf, Leaded Solder. Leadless solder is the bad guy in a considerable number of equipment failure historries, all the way frrom HPs video chip debacle to CFL lamp failure. It seems to have a tendency to crystallize , fragment and be very unreliable (intermittent). You might want to pursue this thought in relation to the behavior of that drive. I hope this helps. (I had to register here just to post this, as I ran onto it as a guest. If I missed any typos while editing this, bear in mind I'm retired and suffer from essential tremor, so my typing suffers right aloong with my use of a soldering iron. Thanks.

john albrich Feb 02, 2012, 01:53pm EST Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Feb 02, 2012, 01:57pm EST

 
>> Re: Hard Drive Head Replacement
Q &A said: (Jan 31, 2011)
My 2 cents advice:

1) Hands off, Don't even THINK of doing-it-yourself-head-replacement!
2) Try an old school trick instead:
Wrap your HDD in plastic an/or a towel (To prevent condensation later on)
Place it the freezer overnight. (Better even might as well the the whole machine)
Take it out of the freezer or leave it in there and connect it, boot up your system
and be ready to "xcopy" "Ghost" or whatever software asap and as fast as
possible as you can your IMPORTANT DATA to a good drive..

Many HDD's seem to resurrect to brief life when way cooled down, I
personally successfully was able on several independent occasions to retrieve
data with this method.

3) Alternately thereafter you can try with SpinRite to see what you can revive.
4) Data recovery service but they can be $$$$$$

In the future setup either a daily backup or RAID1 (mirror) on your system!!


Since this old thread was resurrected by Lewis Baker, I noticed the post from about a year ago and felt a warning is needed.

WARNING
Q &A's tactic should be used only as an absolutely last ditch effort as it is a potentially destructive procedure. You should be mentally prepared to throw-out/recycle the drive afterwards (or send it to a very expensive data recovery facility) if Q &A's "fix" doesn't work to let you recover your data to a different storage medium.


Putting the drive in a plastic bag/towel WILL NOT PREVENT CONDENSATION or the formation of ice crystals inside the drive and operating the drive with either on any platter/head surface could permanently render the drive useless. Further, operating the drive at such low temperatures (or probable temperature change gradients) is outside the operating specifications of hard drives. Home freezers are BELOW 0C, which is a common minimum operating temp for some hard drives (one example= WD "Caviar" drives) Other hard drives have even HIGHER minimum operating temps (one example= some WD velociraptor drives with a minimum operating temp of about +5C).

The least of the possible problems from running the drive at out of spec temperatures would be temporary physical calibration issues which (among other things) could result in huge regions of the platters being declared "bad sectors"...which could again ultimately permanently render the drive useless to the normal user. Another possible problem could be the starting current could be so elevated that it could permanently damage electronic circuitry on the drive when the drive starts-up.


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