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hard disk drive repair

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by anon, Sep 25, 2003.

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  1. anon

    anon Guest

    We perform data recovery work. On a routine basis we open hard disk drives
    (hdd's) in a clean room environment.

    Generally we have a problem with removing screws roughly every second month
    or so. Most are torx (#8 is most common on case covers/control boards),
    but Quantum (now sold out to Maxtor) have a brass head phillips. When we
    have a hdd that is received with a head stripped screw or one that would
    prefer to head strip then to be removed the issue occurs.

    Other then trying to apply a penetrating type oil how can removal of the
    stripped screw be achieved. With the current situation it appears one screw
    was torqued too tight at the factory.

    Issues:
    - clearances are in the microns between the RW heads and the platter
    surfaces
    - shock, metal filings and electrical currents must be avoided
    - valuable client data is often on the hdd with a stripped screw.

    Suggestions are appreciated - either to the newsgroup or remove the nospam
    in

    [email protected]@@#hotmail.com
     
  2. Other then trying to apply a penetrating type oil how can removal of the
    You could try to remove the screw by gripping the screwhead with vise grips.

    Another thing you may have to resort to is to actually drill the screw out,
    which may not be an acceptable solution due to the nature of the device you are
    trying to service.

    There's not much more that can be done to take a stripped screw out. -
    Reinhart
     
  3. RE: Stripped head screw removal:

    1. Dremel to cut slot in heat, use flat blade.
    2. Grab head with fine pliers and turn.
    3. Jam small flat head in what remains of slot, apply a lot of pressure,
    and turn.
    4. Drill out screw.

    With care, even 1 and 4 can still be done.

    --- sam | Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ Home Page: http://www.repairfaq.org/
    Repair | Main Table of Contents: http://www.repairfaq.org/REPAIR/
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    Important: The email address in this message header may no longer work. To
    contact me, please use the Feedback Form at repairfaq.org. Thanks.
     
  4. Impmon

    Impmon Guest

    Dremmel, cutting wheel, carve a slot across the head and use slotted
    screwdriver to remove it. It won't work on pan head screw though as the
    head would be flush with the rest of the drive.
     
  5. L1ange bleu

    L1ange bleu Guest

    Maybe you can try to apply heat to the screw or part of the screw you're trying
    to remove...lets say a 40Watts soldering iron (just be sure that it is
    grounded)...once heated, use a very small vise grip to hold the part and try to
    turn it. I use a small Craftsman 5" gripping tool that looks similar to the
    Channelock tools. The gripping of this little tool is very good for its size.
    Hopefully this will help with your tasks.
    Cheers
    Alphie
     
  6. its you

    its you Guest

    I haven't used it on that small of screw, but I know they make what I
    think are called worm bits (correct me if I'm wrong). They're kind of
    like a reverse drill bit, but the teeth are not so much of a bit, more
    like a peice of twisted licorice (i know its spelled wrong). They
    grip the remaining teeth on the screw. I've used these on some really
    stripped screws with some success, but I usually just use a good pair
    of needlenose and grip the sides, or use a dremel to cut a slit, or
    drill-grind the head off like all the others mentioned. It probably
    wouldn't be of much help other than not grinding the metal..
     
  7. Michael Gray

    Michael Gray Guest

    :
    :

    They are called 'Easy-Outs'
     
  8. Easy Out is a trade name. A more generic term is "screw extractor".
    I've rarely found them to be useful though, particularly on small
    screws.

    --- sam | Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ Home Page: http://www.repairfaq.org/
    Repair | Main Table of Contents: http://www.repairfaq.org/REPAIR/
    +Lasers | Sam's Laser FAQ: http://www.repairfaq.org/sam/lasersam.htm
    | Mirror Site Info: http://www.repairfaq.org/REPAIR/F_mirror.html

    Important: The email address in this message header may no longer work. To
    contact me, please use the Feedback Form at repairfaq.org. Thanks.
     
  9. dgbear

    dgbear Guest

    Another approach may be to apply a special glue to the tool / screw head..

    This may provide additional support and adhesion need to break the screw
    loose.

    I find that marine tex can be helpful in these situations. You can speed the
    cure time to a few minutes if you use a infrared lamp...

    http://www.marinetex.com/MSDS/Marine-Tex White.pdf

    It's a bit messy but it works vey well on most any surface and application.
    If someone knows of a better product I'm all ears.

    This may be the "cleanest" way to remove the screw without having to drill
    or apply undue forces.

    It may also be the only way if screw is surrounded by other items that limit
    the access to the screw head.

    Good luck and let us know how you make out...

    Regards,

    DG
     
  10. anon

    anon Guest

    I appreciate the input by everyone in the group.

    I intended to use a three step approach this morning. I cooled the hdd in
    the fridge for an hour and was successful in removing the screw.
    If that had not worked I would have tried heating the screw with a soldering
    iron. My next step would have been using the dremel.

    I also like the epoxy idea and will try that process on a few junk drives I
    have in my inventory.

    Thanks guys.

    I have noticed this is one of the better NG's - generally helpful and not
    full of spam or the b.s that appears in many other groups.

    Dave
     
  11. Mike Berger

    Mike Berger Guest

    Heating the screw will expand it and make it harder to get out.
     
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