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Thread: Hard Drive (dead=power) swapping platters?

  1. #1
    Member mrpickles's Avatar
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    Hard Drive (dead=power) swapping platters?

    I have a Maxtor 120gig hard drive that touched something in the case (wire, another hd) on the bottom where the chips etc are and the power died (smelled for a second of smoke). Doesn't power up anymore...so

    Q1: Is it possible to swap Disk Platters with same hard drive type?
    I have a few of the exact same Maxtor 120gigs.
    So I can do a backup the data and toss it away.

    Unless there is some other device out there to power dead hard drives?


    Q2: Where can I buy a "star" wrench for hard drives to open it up?
    If you take a looks at your drive, * looks pretty standard for all.

    thanks for any tech info :>

  2. #2
    Senior Member crusious31's Avatar
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    Those are torx screws, you can get a torx screwdriver at most places that carry tools. You have to find out what size it is though. If you dont want to buy a set, you might just take the drive with you to home depot or something.

    http://64.233.179.104/search?q=cache...wdriver+&hl=en

  3. #3
    Ultimate Member stix_kua's Avatar
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    You are SOL to some extent since when you get to the data you'll damage the platters...Dust can kill that drive. Be very caareful and do not get greasy prints on it. So you cannot have direct contact with the drive platters. Also, why waste a perfectly good brand new drive. You are better off swapping the drive's motherboard/controller and not the platters themselves.
    "I'm no technical supervisor, I'm a supervising technician."
    --Homer Simpson

  4. #4
    Mod w/ an attitude Sterling_Aug's Avatar
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    Check with the drive manufacturer.

    It should still be under warranty.

    The odds of getting any data off the drive after a platter swap is somewhere between slim and none.

  5. #5
    Member mrpickles's Avatar
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    swap power/controllers?

    Originally posted by Sterling_Aug
    Check with the drive manufacturer.

    It should still be under warranty.

    The odds of getting any data off the drive after a platter swap is somewhere between slim and none.
    Found that its near impossible to do it yourself, another guy tried it as an experiment and he now has a few mirrors(platters)hd's that don't work.

    Now is it possible to swap controllers(power) from exact same model of a working hard drive to the power dead hard drive to recover the files?

  6. #6
    Mod w/ an attitude Sterling_Aug's Avatar
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    Maybe, but the odds of finding an EXACT same model is slim. If the drives have even a slightly different model number then they may not work.

    Spend the ca$h to get the data recovered by a professional service ($500-$900 typical).

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    Yep, as you have exactly the same drives kicking around, just change the PCB and recover the data, simple as that!

  8. #8
    Member mrpickles's Avatar
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    fingers X'D

    Originally posted by Sterling_Aug
    Spend the ca$h to get the data recovered by a professional service ($500-$900 typical).
    Would but I wouldn't trust the place since my hard drive has important personal data on it (tax, stock, email, passwords) + other things.


    Originally posted by davewuk
    Yep, as you have exactly the same drives kicking around, just change the PCB and recover the data, simple as that!
    Might be possible...
    Found this info! http://www.deadharddrive.com/

    Just need to pickup a torq wrench, I'll try it this week and let ya know my finds.
    Last edited by mrpickles; 08-15-2004 at 02:53 PM.

  9. #9
    Member mrpickles's Avatar
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    IT WORKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    YES YES YES!!!! IT WORKED!!!!

    Just swapped the pcb/power board very very easily.

    All I did after getting a torq wrench from radioshack was undue 5 screws on the hd, swap boards and it showed up in Bios (WOW). Then crossed my fingers that the data was fine. (IT IS).
    There were no solder or connections to this drive.

    So on a Maxtor 120gig (ultra ata/133) dated
    oct2003 to a nov2003 drive.

    Im going to now try swapping a newer maxtor pcb board to an older drive see if that works too.

    Edit: I guess if anyone ever has a broken pins (thread) they could try the swap too!

    Test 2:
    Cool. Just swapped a New Maxtor 120gig 7200rpm (ultra ata/133) date code June 2004 pcb board on to a oct2003 hard drive!
    Works fine, but unsure how to tell if these oct/nov 2003 drives are 5400rpms to show that it does/doesn't matter.
    Last edited by mrpickles; 08-16-2004 at 05:53 AM.

  10. #10
    Mod w/ an attitude Sterling_Aug's Avatar
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    You got lucky, congrats.

    You did risk killing both drives, but you dodged the bullets fine.

  11. #11
    Senior Member crusious31's Avatar
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    I think you should copy the data to a new drive while you have the chance.

  12. #12
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    Good result - Backup the drive as per other suggestions and run several diagnostics over the next month. Start with Maxblast or whatever they call it now, use the burn in test and let it run for at least 12 hours. I did my drive over a year ago and not a single problem.

    Luck? I don't think so, drive manufacturers are hardly likely to customise each PCB for the same model drive! As long as the PCBs are the same and the drive parameters are the same then this method should work for all drives. The only way a problem can creep in is if the revision level of the firmware steps back as a fixed bug may be introduced. Homework pays off here by reviewing the manufacturers site.

    Oh and static!!
    Last edited by davewuk; 08-17-2004 at 03:30 PM.

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