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Author: Subject: Changing the platters in a HD
yobbo II
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[*] posted on 22-3-2020 at 16:19
Changing the platters in a HD


Hi,

Has anyone any experience in repair of HD's. I thought I might do this with a failed drive but it did not work for me. The laptop continues to say IO ERROR for the HD. It cannot see it.

Any publications or software would be great. Remember this is not a 'file recovery' operation as such my HD cannot be 'seen' by the laptop.

https://www.wikihow.com/Swap-Hard-Disk-Drive-Platters

Cheers,
Yob
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XeonTheMGPony
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[*] posted on 22-3-2020 at 16:46


head failure is most likely, second would be the control board.

assuming you haven't all ready ruled out the cables I'd check there first.

[Edited on 23-3-2020 by XeonTheMGPony]
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diddi
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[*] posted on 22-3-2020 at 17:48


swapping platters requires a dust proof work area and you would need identical spare drive to swap it into plus the ability to realign the RW head / calibrate etc. generally impossible for all but the most expert in the field. in my experience your chance of recovery from a drive with IO issues is pretty much zero. i dont waste time on them any more. if there are directory errors etc, then there is hope. sorry to be the bearer of bad news. unless the data is critical and unreplacable then you would need to send to the experts who charge a huge dollar



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Sulaiman
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[*] posted on 22-3-2020 at 17:58


Unless you have irreplaceable valuable data on the drive - scrap it.

If you MUST recover the drive then find or buy a similar (working) HDD and swap the pcb
... works often enough (when I was working) to attempt customer data recovery.




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andy1988
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[*] posted on 22-3-2020 at 18:49


Don't power it on again (detach power cable), might make things worse if it's a PCB issue. Inspect the board (and foam nearby may have burn marks on it).

WD community forums are nice. Clues such as hearing clicking or smelling burning helps diagnose the problem. Linux/Macs may have error messages in logs leading up to the failure.

https://community.wd.com/t/pcb-for-wd2500jb/13557/13 (can test motor windings)
http://www.hddoracle.com/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=1119&p...

HDD Guru forums are good too:
https://forum.hddguru.com/viewtopic.php?t=16966&start=
https://forum.hddguru.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=32673&...
https://forum.hddguru.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=17319&...

Replacement PCB suppliers I know of:
https://www.hddzone.com/faqs.html
https://www.hdd-parts.com/info.html
aliexpress (where I bought mine because it was cheapest)

[Edited on 23-3-2020 by andy1988]




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rockyit98
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[*] posted on 23-3-2020 at 11:34


Hard disc shortens to HDD not HD.
i also have a HDD that have one reader head stuck ,thinking of making a clean glove box to open up and unstuck it.




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yobbo II
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[*] posted on 24-3-2020 at 16:58



I have tried most of the above. Purchased an identical drive, swapped outside pcb but did not work. Made clean box, changed platter (only one platter in the HDD) and that did not work.
Some utube videos make it look simple enough.!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afUdR6c8ikY

@DIDDI
wap it into plus the ability to realign the RW head / calibrate etc.

What do you mean by realign the heads. If I use a known working drive and assuming I do not damage the heads when swapping will it not work.

The drive is the same? as this one:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Toshiba-MK3021GAS-30GB-2-5-IDE-Ha...

If I match the numbers MK3021 GAS to my drive is that a close enough match?
Do I have to have more numbers matching like the "HDD2181 'D' ZE01 T" the exact same. The replacement disk I used had a B instead of a D in the last number.

Will read the links.

Thanks for your time.
Yob


[Edited on 25-3-2020 by yobbo II]
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draculic acid69
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[*] posted on 24-3-2020 at 19:13


I've tried to do it before when I worked for a computer company and it won't work.you can't change hd platters or the heads bcoz those heads are aligned to like one millionth of an inch or something and u can't accomplish this in a non clean room setting without the ability to test down to one millionth of an inch which u don't have.also taking an identical hd and swapping out the boards even if that's where the problem is won't work ime.if it's an external USB he u can usually take the external plastic off and plug the actual sata connection into a sata port and use an ATX power supply to it as the problems with these are usually in the board between the usb connection and the sata port.
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RogueRose
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[*] posted on 24-3-2020 at 21:35


I'd look into swapping control boards. The problem, depending on the hard drive, is you have to find an identical donor drive that has the exact same board, complete with firmware version and other versions of software on the drive (manufacturer dependent - such as encryption software, NAS/RAID software, etc).

I needed to do this and the drive I was looking to swap boards had about 5-6 versions over 4 years. Some models had the same board, firmware & software but the drives had different platter counts (3 vs 4). It can be a real PITA depending on the model, but it's MUCH easier than swapping platters.

As for platters and needing a clean room, I think a glove box would work fine and I've even seen video's of people doing it on desk's w/o any protective measures. What you need to do is make sure the platters stay aligned. People do this by taping them together so they stay aligned. This seems like it would still leave the platters maybe off by a mm or a fraction of a mm. I can't imagine how they get them to align perfectly. I'd think single platter drives would be so much easier!
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draculic acid69
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[*] posted on 25-3-2020 at 00:08


Even with identical drives swapping control boards doesn't work.ive tried it.doesnt work.each board is "married" to its own drive and can't be changed.
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[*] posted on 25-3-2020 at 00:44


On the HDDOracle forum thread I linked to I thought this was interesting "What happens next [in PSU overvoltage] depends on the current limit of the external PSU. If the PSU is a 19V adapter such as is supplied with various laptops, then the supply's short-circuit protection circuitry usually shuts it down before it can damage resistor R." So I guess check your PSU's voltages to see if they're within specification. Bounds are published online per ATX specs or whatever... e.g. 4.75v to 5.25v is acceptable for +5V. The HDD could be shutting down before damage could be done. But I assume you already tried plugging the drive into a different laptop and it didn't work there either, so wouldn't be a PSU issue.

Quote: Originally posted by draculic acid69  
Even with identical drives swapping control boards doesn't work.ive tried it.doesnt work.each board is "married" to its own drive and can't be changed.

IIRC >10-20 years ago it used to be that just swapping PCBs from the same HDD model worked, but now there is a BIOS chip that has to be moved from the faulty PCB to the donor PCB. It contains unique data for the particular platters, IIRC it has something to do with a technology to get more storage capacity. If that BIOS chip containing the unique data for the arrangement of data on the platters was fried or damaged then a donor board wouldn't help, and I don't know how you'd recover from that problem.

[Edited on 25-3-2020 by andy1988]




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draculic acid69
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[*] posted on 29-3-2020 at 20:01


All the HDD I tried it with was ~10yrs old.they weren't new.maybe 20yr old ones but all the ones I tried were a no go.
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yobbo II
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[*] posted on 3-5-2020 at 15:07
Success


fall was what caused this HDD to fail. It makes a clicking noise for some time before the
laptop comes up with #IO FAILURE. It is a single platter HDD 30 Gigs


The key info. was that the outside board (or a chip on that board) is married to the platter. Thanks for that Andy1988.

I made a 'clean box' from some sheets of stiff plastic, a glass top window and a hold for a vaccuum
cleaner on one side and a large hold on the other side for a HEPA filter. It was rather a rickedy
slap-dash affair. You suck air out of the box and it eventually gets clean as it being replaced by
clean air through the HEPA filter. See Youtube.
I also had to make a tool to stop platter from spinning when removing the torque screw from its
center, not unlike the tool you use to take the blade out of an angle grinder only smaller.
I also needed a small staple of solder (sitting on platter in picture) for placing into
holes 1 and 2 to stop heads from going onto platter. The staple is placed into hole 2 only
to hold arm and heads out of the way when removing platter.
I ruined about 5 purchased hard disk drives ($15 each approx)
when attempting to transfer the platter to the purchased drives.
You need a powerful pair of glassed 4x min. or if you could get them, a pair of dental loupes
(magnifiers that you see surgeons etc wearing but they are not cheap for a good pair).
I had not got a clue what I was doing and made errors which ruined (I presume) the reading heads.
First I attempted to remove the magnet (not easy to do) and ruined the heads by crashing the arm
and heads into something (the edge of the platter I think).
Then I realized you do not have to remove the magnet at all. You can place a small piece of wire
(see picture of it sitting on the platter)
into holes in the arm mechanism to keep the arm from going where you do not want it going.
Next attempt I placed the parking spreader slighty off and the heads crashed into it
when I had the platter transfered.
Another disk I had an unfortunated clumsy incident with.
Other times the heads seemed to literally stick together and I could not get them seperated and back
onto/into the parking head without abusing them. I think it was the springness of the arms holding
the heads and my ignorance.
On the successful attempt I placed a small thin piece of plastic card between the heads to keep
them seperatred as they came out of the parking spreader.
Eventually I managed to get a successful transfer without any crashes or mess-ups
and put the disk into the laptop but it still give an #IO ERROR
when started up (similar to all my other ruined disks that I had ruined myself). I had so many HDD
boards and thinking (wrongly) that they could be switched 'willy nilly' with each HDD, it transpired
that I had the wrong board on the drive.
I tried all the boards on the drive and one give a 'DISK ERROR' as opposed
to an #IO ERROR. I started the laptop in DOS mode from the floppy and (lo and behold) the drive
showed up as C:> (when I did a C:) {not a smiley but a DOS command!!}
A dir command showed up all the directories on the root.
I could not use the cd rom on the laptop to get my stuff transferred as it does not work under DOS.
Could not link to internet as I could not run windows.
I attempted to use DOS interlink (DOS program for linking computers together via a cable) between
a desktop and the laptop but interlink said my disk was corrupted.
A USB to 44 pin adapter did not work as the (new) laptop running win 10 that I attempted to plug
the USB (with drive attached) into said the drive was currupted.
It also put the laptop 'haywire' for a few days which I could
not quite figure out but it started to work OK after some days.
Eventually I obtained a 40 pin to 44 pin interface (few dollars) and put the
recovered disk into a desktop machine. (the old laptop I have will not take two HDD's).
BTW laptop disks are 44 pin IDE, (older) desktop HDD's are 40 pin IDE.

Got alot of my stuff, will attempt to get more.

Are there any programs that work (under DOS) that are especially disigned to read files from dodgy
HDD's. Alot of the JPG's are showing up as only 'half' jpg's!

I have notices that some of the directies that I could display and read some time ago
(by doing a DIR at the DOS prompt) do not allow me to display them as if the disk is
deteriorating. If I changed the platter to a new drive would a fresh pair of heads
help?

Thanks for you time.

Yob

edit: Had to laugh the c follower by a colon follower by closing bracket comes up as a smiley.

outside.jpg - 82kB inside.jpg - 407kB

[Edited on 3-5-2020 by yobbo II]
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andy1988
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[*] posted on 3-5-2020 at 16:36


Quote: Originally posted by yobbo II  
Are there any programs that work (under DOS) that are especially disigned to read files from dodgy
HDD's. Alot of the JPG's are showing up as only 'half' jpg's!

The partial jpgs suggests bad sectors.

chkdsk should be available while you're in DOS, to fix bad sectors. Can take hours-days. It should be already installed as part of the DOS system. Run as:
chkdsk C: /R /F

IIRC chkdsk doesn't try as hard as other software to recover data from bad sectors (e.g. other software may try re-reading the bad sector multiple times). chkdisk is more for making the disk usable again by marking malfunctioning sectors as bad so they're not used again. So your partial jpgs will likely remain partial. But chkdisk is the easiest 'low hanging fruit'. I don't know how well chkdsk's /X will work for fixing filesystem problems (never tried it, I use testdisk instead), ask elsewhere.

After that if you still can't can't navigate some folders (likely filesystem problem) then I suggest seeing if Testdisk can help fix filesystem problems. It will prompt you as you navigate the menus on stuff it can fix (there are hidden redundancies, backups of the filesystem structures it can use to fix problems). It is top notch software and has fixed many problems for me. The prompts help me understand what problems there are. Try their forum.

If the data is super important (worth spending hours and hours of time) there may be intact duplicates on the jpgs on the unallocated space of the HDD recoverable with photorec (also on the testdisk website), but asking on that forum should give better advice.

[Edited on 4-5-2020 by andy1988]




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