How to fix a hard drive motor

prman_03

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Feb 28, 2011
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Hello,I have two identical Hitachi Deskstar 160 GB EIDE hard drives. The motor on one was shorted out and will not spin. The platters, however, have valuable data on them. Is there a feasible way to switch motors without damaging the data platters?
 

Pointertovoid

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Dec 31, 2008
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I can't imagine this operation at home.

As soon as you open the enclosure of a hard disk drive, it's dead, because of dust.

In this case, if you data is valuable enough, you should bring your disk to a specialized company. This failure will be an easy task for them. But ask for tariffs before ordering!
 

Traildriver

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Sep 10, 2010
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If that data is critical go with a data recovery service. Otherwise scrape together a dust free "clean room", avoid magnetic fields that would love to play with the platters, avoid all vibrations (those platter arms are really close to the platter surface and go for it. At this point you have nothing to loose. Practice with a couple of other drives first. Does sound like it's a lost cause though... Hindsight is always 20-20 when it comes to backing up data
 

Pointertovoid

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You have no single chance to build a clean room by yourself.

On a 160GB disk, bit are 100nm long and the heads fly closer to the platter than this length. Dust bigger than 100nm potentially destroy your disk.
 

FreeDataRecovery

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Are you sure it's the motor and not the printed circuit board? A problem with the board will also cause it to not spin up. Try switching boards and see if you get lucky.

Regarding clean rooms. I've experimented on old working drives where I've taken the cover off to see what would happen. The few drives I tested performed normaly for many hours with the cover removed and the platters exposed.

Some say you do not need a clean room for data recovery only. But you do need a clean room if you plan on re-using the drive.
 

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