This article is about replacing hard drive platters. This procedure is not for the technically inept or the faint of heart. The information below does not make any guarantees and will certainly void and nullify any existing warranty. It may be best to try swapping the controller board before attempting to replace the plates. This is a less disruptive process, and in any case, you need an identical drive for both processes.
Step 1. Be aware that these steps are only used as a last resort
You have tried your best, your data is not extremely important, and / or the size of your wallet limits your access to professional help.
Step 2. Create a clean work environment
You can't create a super clean environment in your home, but use common sense and organize everything as best you can. Keep air flow to a minimum.
Step 3. Collect and arrange your tools
Step 4. Use powder-free latex gloves
Step 5. Ground yourself
If you don't know what it is, or how to do it, ask Google.
Step 6. Remove the cover of your failed drive
If the cover just doesn't come off, look for more screws! The screws are under the labels.
Step 7. After the cover is removed, inspect the plates
If they are scratched, scorched, deformed, or otherwise damaged, stop moving on!
Step 8. Replace the cover - if the platters are physically damaged, most likely you will not be able to recover any data
You can still try it if you like.
Step 9. Purchase a new HDD with the same model number and firmware version
Step 10. Test the new HDD
Make sure you can read data from it and write information to it.
Step 11. Remove the cover from your donor HDD
Step 12. Remove the plates from the donor HDD
This is your chance to find out how they are assembled, if you miss and damage parts, you can get a new donor. NOTE: if you are dealing with multiple platters, they cannot be removed without the proper hardware, because shifting the platters will destroy all chances of data recovery. You need a plate removal tool.
The next steps are only if you are dealing with one plate.
Step 13. Remove the platter from the failed HDD
Step 14. Re-assemble the donor disk with the platters of the failed disk inside (make sure all platters are aligned in the same way in relation to each other as they were on the old disk)
Step 15. Install the donor disc
Step 16. Quickly copy the data
You may only have one or two chances to read information from your hard drive. It can make some awful sounds.
Step 17. Disconnect the HDD and discard it
Continuing to use the HDD is unwise.
- You may have to remove the heads to remove the plates.
- When replacing inserts, be very careful with the head! Make sure the head is in place before attempting to remove the plates.
- Do your homework. Take a look at the pictures of the properties of the hard drive before opening it.
- Before deciding to remove the platters, try freezing the HDD (in a sealed container) and try creating a disk image using a tool such as DD_Rescue (http://www.gnu.org/software/ddrescue/ddrescue.html). Sometimes freezing the HDD will compress the bearings enough to read the information from the HDD for the last time. Freezing a hard drive can cause condensation to form on the platters, which can damage the platters by the heads when the hard drive is turned on.
- Hard Drive PCB online store: http://www. HDDZone.com (provides PCBs from Seagate, Maxtor, Samsung, western digital and IBM / Hitachi).
- This procedure is not for logically erased data. This procedure is for physically inoperable disks with intact data.
- HDD = hard disk drive
- Use the right tools!
- Hard drives are mounted in sealed clean rooms, free of any dust. One speck of foreign material released onto the platter will destroy the disc in most cases. If this happens, try using a can of air and spray it, but don't wipe it off or use chemicals.
- This will void any existing warranty.
- In most cases, this will also void the warranty of the ENTIRE computer; read the warranty information very carefully.