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help disassembling and repairing maxtor diamond max 8 drive data recovery

Hi, I have a Diamond Max 8 hard drive that failed.  Actually I have had allot of these go, and found out that they are a special drive to repair.  I think when they go its the electronics that go, whatever, I usually send them out, but fee to get the data off these is usually 1,200, instead of the usual 300 for most drives.  

I have a working drive, same drive, and would like to try to physically swap as many parts as I can from the working one, to the broken one in a weak stab to repair it.  The client will not pay the 1k to fix the drive, so I figure this would be a good attempt to repair the drive, and learn something.

Question, I have taken out all of those star screws from the bottom, and removed the circuit board thing from the bottom, and also removed the 3 star screws from the top (under stickers), how do I split the drive, and open it up.

Thanks a ton...
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SlickTech
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SlickTech
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1 Solution
 
Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
If the client can suffer the loss of all the data, then OK..go for it.

Crack the drive open by inserting a screwdriver into the side of the drive, and pry away.

You'll expose the platters, make sure that you do your best to avoid the dust.  Depending on who manufactured the drive

Practice on the faulty drive first, then apply to the new drive..  make sure you  get the same drive
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SlickTechAuthor Commented:
I don't see any seams in this drive, I think i took out all the screws, but its just not opening
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
pry harder
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purfusCommented:
irwin is correct.  Pry harder.  However dont be surprised if you crack some of the internals.  The old drives were a lot easier to do this with.  The new drives, I'm sure because of manufacturing efficiency methods, are a lot harder to take apart.  One thing I do suggest is to use as close to a dust free environment as posible because when you put the old platters into the working drive any dust inside the drive will reap havoc.  My father did this once back in the 90's (like i said the old drives were much easier) and he built a plexy glass box with rubber glove holes and a hepa filter.  Got the environment as dust free as posible in that way and he did succesfully swap out the platters and retreaved the data.  

There is a seam there somewhere.  But if you think its the electronics have you tried just swapping out the circuit board?  Might save some trouble of swapping out the internals if thats the only problem.
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
@Purfus...good idea on the plexi-box.
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purfusCommented:
Lol, thx.  Credit goes to my dear ol' Papa  ;)  Worked well for him, and you know what the drive never crashed after he reassembled it either.
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purfusCommented:
To give you an idea of the timeline the drive was a 400MB drive, lol.  Computer it's in ran up till a couple years ago though.
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NicoLaanCommented:
Did you try special software to get the data of the bad drive?
See my old Q:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Q_20846360.html

Also I'd definetly first try to swap only the electronics.
I opened a few (old broken) drives lately for fun, but couldn't remove the platters without scratching them.
So I'm impressed what purfus's dad did with that drive!
You have maybe 4 platters with 8 heads (2 for each platter).
So you have to remove the first head, the 1st platter, the 2nd head, the 3rd head, the 2nd platter and so on.
And you have to do it so you can put things back again, without breaking or bending anything!

Another small tip, usually the bathroom is the room with the smallest amount of dust.
Make sure you didn't just use the shower.
Make the bathroom warm so the little water left in the air will condense less easily.
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arthurjbCommented:
Wow, everybody is telling you to pry open the drive, when that seems to me to be the last thing to do.

First take the electronics off the good drive, and plug it into the one you are trying to repair.  Hook it up as a slave drive on a test computer.  If you can read it great, pull off the data!

If it doesn't work, take the electronics off and plug it into the good drive, and test it again.  The bad part is if it doesn't work, then there is something in the drive case that damaged the electronics.  It is unlikely that you have the ability to repair the electronics, since it is surface mount, and you have no circuit diagram.

If the electronics still works, now is the time to think about opening the drive case, but not before you examine all the connections entering the case to see if there are any broken wires, of if something is partially unplugged.

Opening the drive case is the last resort, since there is likely nothing inside that you can fix.  If you do happen to fix it after opening, make sure that you pull the data off asap.  Remember that drives are assembled in clean rooms and any particle of dust will ruin the drive, so while you may think that you have fixed it, you have only made it readable...
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purfusCommented:
Well actually we didn't all say rip open the bugger and let it roll, we said, in response to his request for help on opening the drive, that he will have to pry it open to do that.  Anyway, another thing to remember if you do get into the bowols of the drive is the heads that rest on the platters need to be positioned correctly and are VERY delicate.  Also you need to have be sure the drive platters are at position zero.  Which IIRC is nearly imposible on the newer drivers because of the number of posible positions for it to take place in.  On the old drivers it was only posible for the drive platter to land in about a degree's accuracy or so.  The new drives are a fraction of that and if the phsyical position zero does not correspond with the position set in the drive's firmware it wont know what its looking at.  I think (remembering back to a conversation with my father a few years back) it is nearly imposible to do this on the new drives without any special equipment.  I could be wrong about it but I'm pretty sure that was the last conversation I had with my father over this stuff when he had tried to do this with a newer drive.  Also the bathroom is a good idea although I think you've got it backwards on the condensation thing.  Colder air will contain fewer water particles.  Also the condensation occurs when there is a temperature difference between a surface and the air.  So the closer the air temperature is to the temp of the drive the better.  I would suggest allowing the drive to sit in whatever air your going to do this in long enough for the temperatures to equalize.
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purfusCommented:
Only other thing I can say on this subject is Good Luck...   Also, better you than me  lol
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scrathcyboyCommented:
Principles in drive repair --

1. YOu NEVER NEVER open the chamber that holds the discs and platters.  If you do that, you have trashed the drive.
2. if the seek mechanism is gone inside the sealed housing, the drive is DEAD -- i.e. GONE.
3.  The only safe way to fix the drive, if the electronics PCB baord has gone, is to swap for IDENTICAL.
4.  Anything else than that, you are kidding yourself.
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
@scratchyboy...the position has been assumed that the asker is aware of this, and the Experts here are providing methods to the madness in participating as Dr. Frankestein
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NicoLaanCommented:
>>Colder air will contain fewer water particles.

Colder air can contain less.
So if the air contains 1000 molecules, they will stay in the air more easily if it's warm.
If you make it warmer and no water is added the humidity will drop from i.e. 80% to 70%.
If it's gets colder humidity will increase and these molecules will try to condensate.

>>Experts here are providing methods to the madness in participating as Dr. Frankestein

Excellent description!

None of us advise to open it. But if you must, this is how to do it.
I give it less than 1% chance he can repair anything by opening it.
I'd give it even less if purfus his dad hadn't done this trick before and succeeded.
I'm still amazed anyone could do this.

Maybe we should have more strongly discouraged him, but I guess we all love to open stuff and look at the guts.
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
"Maybe we should have more strongly discouraged him, but I guess we all love to open stuff and look at the guts."

Better him that us ;-)
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citylistCommented:
You can change the circuit board ONLY!!!!!!!!!! if ALL the serial #s are EXACT.
Then it will work flawlessly. These exact matches are usually HD's from the SAME batch.
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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
cool. thank you!
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NicoLaanCommented:
Can you tell us what you did in the end?
I'm rather curious. :-)
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