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Thomas

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Hard disk dissection part I [Monday 16th May 2005 at 7:39 pm]
Thomas

boggyb
[Feeling |busybusy]

So, the hard disk dissection has begun! And in the spirit of all things LJ-y, I'm a) uploading pics for the curious to fotobilder, and b) posting the whole lot behind an lj-cut!

Firstly, I checked with the website to see if I could claim on warranty (not that I'd have had much luck, considering that the Mighty Disk Tester claimed it was all in my head). Annnnd it turns out the warranty expired back mid-feburary (specifically, 11/2/2005 D/M/Y). Looks like I was lucky to have it last this long!

So, on with the dissection. Now this is where I realise that I need to install a bunch of stuff before I can get the pictures from the camera, so you'll have to do without those for now (there's so much else that needs installing here - SmartSuite, Visual Studio, Kodak camera software, HP printer/scanner software, DirectX 9, driver juggling to make the graphics card behave itself, possibly more driver juggling, and of course all my games - that a simply little SmartMedia reader that needs its own drivers is very low down on the priority list. Plus I'd need to upload the photos, and why use dialup when you can use the uni's big fat 155mb/s pipe?). Firstly I took the board off, which is where suprise number 1 appeared. Instead of using one of those PCB ribbon things, it has what looks like an upside-down IC embedded in the case. Except this one has spring-loaded pins.

I put that back on (as I'm toying with the idea of beheading it and then running it up to speed - there's a very nice rotary induction motor in there that I'd like to extract), and took the lid off. The platters inside are polished to a mirror finish (seriously - you will be able to see this in the photos) and are a couple of mm thick. And this is where suprise number two appeared - it's an IBM drive, so the heads are parked off the disk surface. There's a little plastic guide thing that catches a small stub on the tip of the head arm and guides it up and off the disk. The heads are held there by a small magnet at the other end of the head arm, so there should be no way for the heads to actually touch the disk surface.

The drive has 2 platters, of which 3 sides are being used. I wonder if I could use the 4th side by adding another head? It's not worth trying, considering that a) I've had it open in my room, and b) the drive is kaput anyway. And of course, there's the usual pair of neodynimum (sp?) magnets in there, held together and in place under their own magnetism. Those things are pretty powerful - I once stuck a pair together from an older drive, and I never managed to get them apart. I think I binned them as part of some big black-bagging of my room, so they're probably now stuck to the inside of a dustbin lorry. I shall have to find out from the uni what to do with these magnets to stop them wreaking their magnetic havoc on the semi-innocent electronic denizens of my room.

At this point I put the thing back together for now. I'm not certain that running it with the lid off is a good idea, considering that running speed is 7,200 rpm and would make a nice hole in stuff if things went wrong. Possibly they have some sort of blast shield thing here, where I could do this and be sure to catch any pieces. Ah well, I'll have to find out tomorrow.
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