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Thread: Anybody have opened a hard drive?

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    Senior Member JonathanB's Avatar
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    Anybody have opened a hard drive?

    Does anybody have done this? Or is there a link showing pictures of what's inside a hard drive if I try to repair it? I have an 8.4 gig Quantum which cannot be detected by the bios (the power connector and the ide cable worked with other drive, and jumper settings were checked and re-checked). But during bootup, the panel hd LED lit for a moment (quantum attached as primary master) and then off. Had entered CHS manually. Still no joy. If it's brain-dead, i might as well autopsy it. But need some guide.

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    Stark Raving MOD Midknyte's Avatar
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    don't expect to repair a hard drive without a "clean room". if you get a bit of dust or a hair in the drive, it's all over. I wouldn't open the drive if i were you.

    sounds like the controller board is dead. you would need to find the exact same model drive and swap the boards.

    I have opened drives before. the platters are very shiny.

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    Senior Member JonathanB's Avatar
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    The controller board... does it have to be very exact, say same 8.4 gig? I have another dead quantum but with lower cap. Will it not work? Do I have to desolder the board and solder the replacement? I'm used to pencil-soldering of electronic parts.

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    Stark Raving MOD Midknyte's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure it has to be the same exact model. if the other drive is already dead, then I guess it's worth a shot. You may just have to pull the card off of a socket. some boards had a ribbon cable. not too sure about those models.

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    Senior Member Terminator's Avatar
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    Yep. Completely dismantled an old 1 gig seagate ages ago. Forget opening up the drive for repair , as mentioned the platters/drive heads/etc are all manufactured in ultra clean rooms because even a spec of dust on the platters will ruin it because when the platters are spinning the drive heads are EXTREMELY CLOSE to the platters ( I mean microns). If the heads hit the dust etc when spinning them they'll destroy tracks etc and very likely misalign the heads.
    I mainly opened it up cuz I'm nosy and the drive was on it's last legs.

    As for the electronics. They are usually connected by a ribbon cable and you will need and identical controller to replace it but I don't think that will solve your problem because it's more than likely that it's the servo motor or steppa motor that drives the heads thats gone. Usually they just lock up or just plain wear out.

    The light on the drives is an indication that the drive is accessing data and the fact that it lights up then goes out suggests it's goosed.
    Drive electronics (as far as I know) are designed specifically for that drive and using the other drives electronics won't work.

    It's sound very frustrating as probably all thats needed would be some lubrication on the head servo's but you'll never do that without dirtying the platters.
    Another cause is sometimes the spindle ball bearings are just worn out . One reason why I now use the FLD(fluid liquid Dynamic) drives from Maxtor etc that don't use ball bearings but the spindle spins on fluid and also reduces noise.

    Sorry but it sounds dead. Open and have a look......... just to see how it works...hehe...you'll be amazed at how 'simple' they look inside.

    T




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    Re: Anybody have opened a hard drive?

    Originally posted by JonathanB
    I have an 8.4 gig Quantum which cannot be detected by the bios
    Forget any salvaging the drive...its history if it cannot be detected by your motherboard bios (unless the ribbon cable is bad or reversed connection). I have a Maxtor here the same way..my grand Neice musta touched the electronics and zapped it with a static charge when she took the drive out to ship to me for other tests (virus I think).

    I would think that you have a good one there to take apart to do a look-see to satisfy your future curosity.

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    Ultimate Member Kurylo's Avatar
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    Anybody have opened a hard drive?

    Me opened an old 40MB HDD!!!
    Last edited by Kurylo; 12-17-2002 at 03:17 PM.

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    Re: Anybody have opened a hard drive?

    Originally posted by Kurylo
    Me opened an old 40MB HDD!!!
    Yep...interesting view.......wasn't it?...

  9. #9
    Senior Member JonathanB's Avatar
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    Me opened an old 40MB HDD!!!
    That was your history today... I'm just making my own now he he... and thanks for your great experiences.

  10. #10
    Ultimate Member omega31's Avatar
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    Well, soimebody was crazy enough to mod his hard drive so he could see it as it was working.

    http://www.bit-tech.net/article/72



    I just opened one up (a WD Caviar 850mb) and took photos of the circuit board and disk platter chamber. I could post them...

  11. #11
    Ultimate Member genesound's Avatar
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    Yeah, I think there are some even with different revisions of the same model drives/controllers that aren't compatable and/or interchangable without mods.

    You need to make friends with a hard drive re-manufacture/repair guy.

    I don't know any around here, but in L.A. i did. It's fascinating.

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    Senior Member JonathanB's Avatar
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    I just opened one up (a WD Caviar 850mb) and took photos of the circuit board and disk platter chamber. I could post them...
    yes, please. Will appreciate very much. To those who want to learn, these photos are very very rare in the web.

  13. #13
    Ultimate Member Kurylo's Avatar
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    Re: Re: Anybody have opened a hard drive?

    Originally posted by Bovon
    Yep...interesting view.......wasn't it?...
    Yeah...

  14. #14
    Ultimate Member omega31's Avatar
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    Hard drive circuit board.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15
    Ultimate Member omega31's Avatar
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    Hard drive platter chamber.

    These pictures were resized from 2048 x 1536.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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