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Do hard drives fail from open covers?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Sam Nickaby, Aug 6, 2005.

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  1. Sam Nickaby

    Sam Nickaby Guest

    Three of my 60-80 Gig Maxtor hard drives failed. First it will not look
    for datas. Later it will not format. Then finally it will click forever and
    won't boot. All three have the same thing in common, there covers
    were opened for a second in a clean, dust free room out of curiosity.
    Do hard drives fail from a quick cover removal?

    Thanks
     
  2. Why would you open all 3 in the first place? Was one not enough?
    Did you think the GIGs in the other drives looked different??
    Hard drives use very precise floating head. they are very close to the
    plattens.
    As much as you feel you are in a dust free area when you open then, there is
    still alot of dust. It is possible that the regular airbourne dust in your
    place has damaged the heads or plattens.
    Or the controller boards have just crapped out. Check the connections from
    the board to the heads, as these are usually delicate.
     
  3. Gerard Bok

    Gerard Bok Guest

    Yes.
    That's why it says: 'do not open' or 'warranty void if seal
    broken' on the sticker.
     
  4. John Doe

    John Doe Guest

    I accidentally broke the foil seal on one of my Western Digital
    hard disk drives. I tried taping it shut but it failed anyway. So
    then I tried spraying some WD-40 into it but that didn't do any
    good. So I sprayed a lot more in there and it just kept clicking
    and clicking. Heheh.

    Yes, the fact you opened them and exposed the heads and platter,
    and then they failed is a good proof of what those who know will
    tell you. The required ultimate physical precision is probably why
    recovering data from a hard disk drive is so expensive. On the
    other hand, backups are cheap and easy.
     
  5. BobG

    BobG Guest

    Clean rooms have micron filters. The gap between head and disk is
    smaller than the dust particles!
     
  6. Nog

    Nog Guest

    It's just like throwing a shovel full of gravel on a vinyl record.
    Air is filthy. Harddrives are delicate. They are sealed for a reason.
     
  7. John Fields

    John Fields Guest

    ---
    Yeah, they do.

    You may _think_ you were in a dust-free room, but as far as the
    drives are concerned, when you opened them up they thought you were
    throwing in a bunch of boulders.
     
  8. Where did you find a dust free room? Did you rent a clean room or did
    you borrow a laminar flow hood?
     
  9. Ol' Duffer

    Ol' Duffer Guest

    Maybe this is a troll, but...

    In general, there's no such thing as a dust free room.
    Hard drive heads fly over the surface of the disk on a
    microscopic thin cushion of air, and even tiny bits of
    dust will scratch the surface. They are assembled and
    sealed in a *very* clean environment. Even clean rooms
    where you put on a bunny suit and go through an airlock
    are questionable for the level of cleanliness you would
    need to open a drive. More appropriate would be the
    glove box approach, but you would have to clean the drive
    meticulously first, or the dust accumulated on the outside
    of the drive from the real world would contaminate the
    "clean" environment upon introduction. There are ways
    and means to do it, but all are beyond the realm of
    "out of curiousity". Do not open working hard drives!
    Doing so renders them junk.
     
  10. Does anyone have that diagram DEC used to include with
    disk drive user/service info? You know the one - it
    shows the heads flying over the surface of the disk
    next to a particle of dust and cigarette smoke, which
    looked like boulders in comparison.

    And that was in the days where the flying height was
    10 or 100 times greater than it is today!

    --- sam | Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ Mirror: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/
    Repair | Main Table of Contents: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/REPAIR/
    +Lasers | Sam's Laser FAQ: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/sam/lasersam.htm
    | Mirror Sites: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/REPAIR/F_mirror.html

    Note: These links are hopefully temporary until we can sort out the excessive
    traffic on Repairfaq.org.

    Important: Anything sent to the email address in the message header above is
    ignored unless my full name is included in the subject line. Or, you can
    contact me via the Feedback Form in the FAQs.
     
  11. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    Three of my 60-80 Gig Maxtor hard drives failed.
    Yeah. That's the 1st thing that came to my mind.
    I tried to Google it, but I'm not finding anything.
    It looked like this:
    : View in monospaced font (Courier).
    : ________
    : /
    : /
    : /
    : /
    : /
    : /
    : /
    : __________ |
    : / \ | human
    : / \ | hair
    : / \ |
    : / \ |
    :============== | dust | \
    : |_____| ___ | particle | \
    : head | | | \
    : | \ / \
    : air gap \ / \
    : | \ / \
    : platter | \ / \
    :=================================================================
    :=================================================================
     
  12. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest


    You may get lucky once in a while, but opening the cover will almost always
    kill the drive. Sometimes it'll die moments later, other times it'll go a
    few weeks then start developing read errors but once the seal has been
    broken the drive should never be trusted again.
     
  13. Anna Daptor

    Anna Daptor Guest



    The image included on this page by any chance?
    http://www.storagereview.com/guide2000/ref/hdd/op/heads/opHeight.html
     
  14. Sam Nickaby

    Sam Nickaby Guest

    The 20 Gig contains two platters. The 130 Gigs contains 3 platters. How
    could 3 platters holds so much data? Straight from its factory wrapper,
    I crack the lids open inside a large clean, clear plastic bag inside a hepa
    filtered closet which still doesn't help.
     
  15. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    Does anyone have that diagram
    That's the idea, but as Sam said it showed smoke and dust.
    (I'll add that it also included a hair for comparison.)

    All the contaminants were shown as perfect circles
    to clearly demonstrate the relative diameters.
    It was a black & white line drawing IIRC.
     
  16. Your mistake was in opening drives that you wanted.

    There are loads of smaller drives that people don't want, which would
    have fulfilled your curiosity. And ironically, you might find that
    the smaller the capacity the more the platters.

    But you didn't need to open the drives to find out how so few
    platters could hold so much capacity. Indeed, opening them didn't
    do a bit in answering that.

    Michael
     
  17. John Doe

    John Doe Guest

    (Michael Black) wrote:

    ....
    more the platters.

    That might be interesting trivia if it were true.

    http://westerndigital.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=85

    Click on the Configuration tab for each of the sizes and look at a
    number of platters.

    If you can find data for a series which supports your contention,
    please post the link.
     
  18. John Doe

    John Doe Guest

    ....
    To be clear. No hard disk drive should be trusted. Doesn't really
    matter what the apparent condition or known
    reliability/MTBF/whatever. Always keep backups of data you
    consider important, preferably on removable media.
     
  19. But technology is changing so fast that indeed, a drive that appears
    similar on the outside may have a different bit density on the platters.

    The contention that an older, lower capacity drive, may have more platters
    is certainly true!

    --- sam | Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ Mirror: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/
    Repair | Main Table of Contents: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/REPAIR/
    +Lasers | Sam's Laser FAQ: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/sam/lasersam.htm
    | Mirror Sites: http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/REPAIR/F_mirror.html

    Note: These links are hopefully temporary until we can sort out the excessive
    traffic on Repairfaq.org.

    Important: Anything sent to the email address in the message header above is
    ignored unless my full name is included in the subject line. Or, you can
    contact me via the Feedback Form in the FAQs.
    But technology is changing so fast that indeed, a drive that appears
    similar on the outside may have a different bit density on the platters.
     
  20. Especially if you have any idiots anywhere nearby that think it's
    "ok" to take the protective cover off and gawk at the insides.
     
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