How to clean an external HDD's platter?

omareg94

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Oct 6, 2014
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My external hard drive's reading head was stuck on the platter month ago. Because my HDD was out of warranty and I don't have the budget to get it to a repairing center, I've tried to fix the problem myself.
I've followed this video to fix the stuck reading head problem:
[video="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5Y7BniaRXg"][/video]
I did all the steps with being very careful. After finishing, I closed the cover and brought things back and my HDD returned to life and worked well except a week ago, when I noticed this new problem: External HDD is detectable by Device Manager not File Explorer.
I've followed a solution discussed by using partition recovery software, but the partition recovery software took a lot of time with no result and seemed unresponsive. A lot of doubts came to me at this point. I've been hearing moderate sound made by the reading head going here and there on the platter, may be I shouldn't hear this sound?! Really I don't know!
Accidently, I've noticed that my room is full of small unseen dust particles everywhere in the air, which being seen only when turning all the room's light off and turning on a torch only. This increased my doubts that there were unseen dust particles on the platter from the last time I had opened it. I decided to check by opening my external HDD again. Unfortunately, I've found the tiny dust as I had expected on turning off all the room's light and using a torch light only.
I've followed this video to hopefully clean the platter:
[video="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umfY_SCSYms"][/video]
But at the end, I ended up with tiny juicy spots on the platter and don't know how to clean it!
This is a photo for the juicy spots on the platter:
(Notice that I am turning on my room's light, so the dust particles would be unseen)


This is a photo for the platter on turning off all the room's light and using only the camera's flash light:
(Here, the unseen dust particles become seen.)


I need help to make it working again and recover data via DIY process!
I am sorry if this seems to be too long!
Thanks in advance!
 

i7Baby

Titan
BANNED
I don't recommend pulling them apart like that. Especially if there's data there that is valuable.

If a hard drive starts to play up even a tiny bit, its time to copy the data that you want to keep off it and buy a replacement.

If you are too late, either pay a lot to get valuable data recovered or just replace it.
 

COLGeek

Cybernaut
Moderator
I would expect that your HDD is now little more than a paper-weight. You should not expect it to work properly after opening it.

That being the case, what problem are trying to solve exactly?
 
The hard drive is pretty much toast now.
Opening it was the worst thing you could do.
One speck of dust between the head and platter will destroy the surface of the platter or head. As you can see in your pictures. All of that dust is part of the platter surface coating or head. It is the same as a badly scratched CD or DVD, no way to repair or fix it.
The video you watched is a temporary solution to get the hard drive to run long enough to retrieve the data off of it. Not a permanent solution.
Hard drives are made and repaired in clean rooms with extremely filtered air. By technicians wearing protective coverings so that dust(SKIN CELLS) are not shed in the room.
 

omareg94

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Oct 6, 2014
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I need to make it working again and recover the data via DIY process as I don't have the budget now to give it to specialists!
 

omareg94

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Now, it's being detected only by the Device Manager as Seagate Expansion normally, but not showing at all in the File Explorer.
Do you recommend using a blower (13000rpm) to remove dust on it? It seems funny, but I'm afraid those dust particles do more damage!
I've no budget for repairing the HDD now in a repairing center unfortunately! So I am ready to do a DIY repair or at least data recovery.
Most of the files are moderate valuable, but the most valuable and sufficient for me is to be able to have a list for the files that were on the hard drive to be able to find them else where again and have them again from my friends if possible. Also returning it to work again normally is a target (however it seems impossible) as I've bought it for $80 three months ago, and unfortunately I've damaged warranty by mistake. :(
 

omareg94

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Oct 6, 2014
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Do you have any idea how much this process would cost me? The cost of recovering data, and the cost of repairing the hard drive itself separately please.
 

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