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Hard Disk Details(9)

November 28th, 2008

Slide 4500:  Doing a Platter Swap for a Single Platter

List of items needed:
The first step is to get a hard drive as close to identical as the bad drive you have that is a working drive. At the bottom of this paper you will find help about matching hard drives and serial numbers.
You need a clean area to work on with as little dust floating around as possible.
You will need about 1 hour to do this carefully
A screwdriver set with T3-T8.  These are my favorite http://www.wihatools.com/200seri/278serie.htm
Post-it Notes
Other tools depending on the drive
Anti-Static Gloves ($5 at the local store)
Patience

Just move the head as careful as you can to get it out of the way

NOTE:
This is a fairly simple task compared to a head swap. The hardest part is again getting the heads aligned and back on the platter correctly.
If you have a ramp on your drive it is fairly simple to get the head moved out of the way enough to get the platter in position.

Remove the platter from the good drive.

NOTE:
I usually will try to put a screwdriver in the shaft just to the edge of the center of the platter and turn the drive just enough to get the platter to slide on to the screw driver. I will do the same for the bad drive to move the platter to the good drive.

The platter will most likely never be used again so just get it out however you can without affecting the rest of the drive.

Again I use the Post-it notes in the shape of a V to get the heads back on the platter as I did in the head replacement.

Be very careful to keep the orientation in the same direction to so that the platter will be in the correct location when you put the platter back on the new drive.

Slide TBD: Doing a Platter Swap for a Multi-Platter

In order to do a Multi-Platter replacement you will need a special tool. If you have more than one platter and you take out the platters and any one of them turns at all, you will never get them aligned again or be able to read the data. This is because the data is written in a cylinder. Since the data is in a cylinder you must have the exact same alignment of the platters in order to move them to a new hard drive.

There is a special tool called a Platter Replacement Stand. You can get one at SalvationData.com  http://www.salvationdata.com for around $250 plus postage. It is a really heavy stand and weighs about 10 pounds.  The platter replacement tool is what you really need and it looks a lot like a coffee can with a slit in the side.  Once you have moved your heads out of the way, this can sits down around all the platters and you can push down on a piece of metal mounted in the slit to tighten it around the platters.  It also has a lid inside that sits on the top ring of the platters that will hold the screws and keep them from rolling around all over the platters.

The pressure from the “coffee can” will hold all the platters together; however you still have to be really careful about taking it out and turning it. It should go straight from one hard drive to the other as quickly as possible with as little movement as possible.

This is the best possible way to keep the drive platters lined up.

You will still reassemble the drive just like you do in a head stack replacement or a single platter replacement. The only difference is using this device to move the platters.

The plate inside the tool holds the screws so that they do not scratch the platter.

Realign the heads.

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