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Is is possible to replace hard drive motor

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August 30, 2011 5:18:02 AM

Hello.



I have this really old Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 80GB ATA/133 HDD which stopped working not long ago. What I would like to find out is which part is not working. Also can someone tell me if it turns out to be the motor then is it possible to have this part replaced. Its easy to see that the PCB can be replaced but I am not sure if the motor can be replaced. It seems unlikely because its not easy to see how the motor can be removed as the casing seems to be sealed. Can someone tell me if the motor, if found to be non working, can be replaced ?

Thanking in advance

Victor
August 30, 2011 5:32:16 AM

It can be replaced... not by you if the info on the hard drive is valuable to you you can contact Seagate and see what they will charge for data recovery
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August 30, 2011 5:50:32 AM

Last words of the last post: " will charge for data recovery " That is most likely Not Cheap.
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August 30, 2011 5:56:44 AM

Nope, not without that exact motor and access to a clean room. If you take it appart, once the smallest amount of dust gets on the plate or trapped in there putting it back together it is useless. That's because any dust would scratch it whenever it moved rendering it useless pretty darn quick.

If it's the PCB though those are easy enough to swap out if you have a hard drive of the exact same model. If that doesn't work than you can always pay a specialty repair shop to take the hard drive apart for you, put it in a special machine, and attempt to get what they can off of it. Of course it's not their data so I doubt they will take the utmost care in taking it apart, placing the platters in the machine, and getting as much as they can off of it. Charge you a pretty penny too mainly because the machine to do that isn't cheap.
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a c 288 G Storage
August 30, 2011 9:35:06 PM

A data recovery company will not replace the motor. Instead they will transfer your drive's platters to a compatible donor using a precision tool that maintains the platter alignment.

Head replacement and platter swap demo:
http://www.datarecoverytools.co.uk/2010/06/22/head-repl...

If you wish to test your motor, then measure the resistance between the motor's CT terminal and each of its MOTA, MOTB, MOTC phases. You could either measure these resistances at the motor itself, or at the test points on the PCB near the SMOOTH motor controller, while the board is assembled on the drive.

You could also measure the onboard supply voltages, including the -5V supply for the preamp (near the SMOOTH, at the edge of the PCB), the +3.3V supply for the SDRAM and the Ardent MCU's Vio rail (near the SDRAM, on the side closest to the jumper pins), and the output voltage of Q400 (on the other side of the SDRAM). I believe Q400 supplies the Vcore rail for the MCU. The voltage on pins 5,6,7, and 8 should be around +1.7V, but I'll need to confirm that.

If you need help identifying the components, then my HDD IC database should help:
http://www.users.on.net/~fzabkar/HDD/HDD_ICs.txt
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August 31, 2011 3:39:35 AM

secolliyn said:
It can be replaced... not by you if the info on the hard drive is valuable to you you can contact Seagate and see what they will charge for data recovery


Hello and thanks for the reply.

Tbis is an exercise just for the fun of it and not to recover any data whatsoever. My apologies for not making this clear in my original post. So may I ask is how is it possible to replace the motor since I cannot see any access ways ? I can see how the PCB can be swapped and done very easily and also how the platters can be removed but cannot find any means of accessing the actual motor which looks as though its completely sealed inside ? Can anyone tell me what the actual motor inside is made of ? What parts make up the motor ? Are there any PCB or MicroControllers or is it just mechanical components ?

Thanks

Victor
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August 31, 2011 4:44:09 AM

fzabkar said:
A data recovery company will not replace the motor. Instead they will transfer your drive's platters to a compatible donor using a precision tool that maintains the platter alignment.

Head replacement and platter swap demo:
http://www.datarecoverytools.co.uk/2010/06/22/head-repl...

If you wish to test your motor, then measure the resistance between the motor's CT terminal and each of its MOTA, MOTB, MOTC phases. You could either measure these resistances at the motor itself, or at the test points on the PCB near the SMOOTH motor controller, while the board is assembled on the drive.

You could also measure the onboard supply voltages, including the -5V supply for the preamp (near the SMOOTH, at the edge of the PCB), the +3.3V supply for the SDRAM and the Ardent MCU's Vio rail (near the SDRAM, on the side closest to the jumper pins), and the output voltage of Q400 (on the other side of the SDRAM). I believe Q400 supplies the Vcore rail for the MCU. The voltage on pins 5,6,7, and 8 should be around +1.7V, but I'll need to confirm that.

If you need help identifying the components, then my HDD IC database should help:
http://www.users.on.net/~fzabkar/HDD/HDD_ICs.txt


Thanks fzabkar for the reply. You mentioned measuring the resistance at the motor itself which brings to me my next question. How can I get access to the motor since it appears to be completely sealed ? Except for the leads you have mentioned that are visible near the bottom of the PCB located on the underside of the drive I don't know how to test the resistance on the motor could you explain further ?

Thanks again

Victor
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a c 288 G Storage
August 31, 2011 5:23:20 AM

Here is a cheap multimeter (US$5):

Cen-Tech 90899 7 Function Digital Multimeter:
http://www.harborfreight.com/7-function-digital-multime...

Cen-Tech 90899 7 Function Digital Multimeter User Manual:
http://manuals.harborfreight.com/manuals/90000-90999/90...

To measure the resistance , connect the black lead to the COMmon terminal of the meter, and the red lead to the Volt/Ohm terminal. Select the 200 ohms range. Now connect the black probe to the CT test point and the red probe to points MOTA, MOTB and MOTC, in turn.

A resistance of 0 ohms indicates a short circuit.

If the meter displays OL or 1 (not 1.0), then this indicates that the meter has overranged on that scale, in which case the winding is open circuit.

I believe each motor phase should measure around 5 ohms or so.
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August 31, 2011 5:54:03 AM

fzabkar said:
Here is a cheap multimeter (US$5):

Cen-Tech 90899 7 Function Digital Multimeter:
http://www.harborfreight.com/7-function-digital-multime...

Cen-Tech 90899 7 Function Digital Multimeter User Manual:
http://manuals.harborfreight.com/manuals/90000-90999/90...

To measure the resistance , connect the black lead to the COMmon terminal of the meter, and the red lead to the Volt/Ohm terminal. Select the 200 ohms range. Now connect the black probe to the CT test point and the red probe to points MOTA, MOTB and MOTC, in turn.

A resistance of 0 ohms indicates a short circuit.

If the meter displays OL or 1 (not 1.0), then this indicates that the meter has overranged on that scale, in which case the winding is open circuit.

I believe each motor phase should measure around 5 ohms or so.


Thanks alot for the picture as it gave me a real look at whats inside of a hard drive motor. I will definitely try testing out the measurement of resistance at the test points you have indicated. Thanks for this.

Would you mind answering one more question ? What is happening when a drive makes a single click sound and then the OS freezes completely ? What could cause that ? I have read that its causes by the heads and the platter colliding ? What could cause this to happen ? Could it be caused by the MicroController located on the PCB of the hard drive sending an incorrect command to the drive assembly ?

Appreciate the help

Victor
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a c 288 G Storage
August 31, 2011 10:49:57 PM

AIUI, modern high capacity drives often suffer from weak heads. The typical cause is a degradation of magnetic characteristics as a consequence of thermal asperities. That is, when the head slaps the platter, or encounters a contaminant particle, it heats up to a very high temperature, causing its magnetoresistive materials to permanently degrade. This results in reduced signal amplitude which can manifest itself as a media fault.

I don't know for certain what causes the pauses and stutters in HDD operation, but I believe it is due to the drive retrying "difficult" sectors. Sometimes the drive will hang or spin down.

That said, certain HDD models (eg WD's Tornado family) suffer from MCU faults whose symptoms mimic head or media faults. I suspect that in those cases the problem may be in the read channel logic.

The following article should give you some insight into the drive's working parts:
http://hddscan.com/doc/HDD_from_inside.html

FYI, the following datasheets will give you the nitty gritty information about the functions of a typical SMOOTH motor controller, a GMR head preamplifier, and a read channel. They make heavy reading, though. :-)

L7250, SMOOTH, spindle motor + VCM controller, ST Microelectronics:
http://wandrew.regruppa.ru/PCInfo/TechDoc/L7250(Smooth).pdf
http://www.datasheetcatalog.org/datasheet/SGSThomsonMic...

L6327, L6332, ST Microelectronics, 6 / 4 CHANNEL VOLTAGE SENSE GMR PREAMPLIFIER, +5V, -5V:
http://www.datasheetcatalog.org/datasheet/stmicroelectr...
http://www.st.com/internet/com/TECHNICAL_RESOURCES/TECH...

P32P4911A, Philips, PRML Read Channel with PR4, ENDEC, Servo:
http://www.datasheetarchive.com/indexdl/Datasheet-021/D...
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September 13, 2011 4:01:14 AM

Best answer selected by victor43.
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