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Hard Drive Repairs & Hard Drive Platters

Hard Drive Repairs & Hard Drive Platters
Why Certified Clean Rooms Are Essential For Hard Drive Repair


A hard drive platter is essentially a disc made from aluminium or glass and ceramic substrate. During the manufacturing process of the disc, a thin coating of various metallic alloys is deposited on the surface of the disc by a process called magnetic sputtering.

A cobalt-based magnetic media layer is deposited on top of the alloy coating and a carbon-based overcoat is deposited as the top layer.

Inside the hard drive and positioned on above and below the platter are the hard drive heads which float on a pocket of air between the platter surface and the head, if the drives seizes or a power outage causes the drive to stall a head landing can be caused despite the auto “return to park” feature of the drive intended to prevent the heads coming in to contact with the platters.

The hard drive heads move radially over the surface of the disc and performs the read or write operations. In hard drive repair scenarios it is imperative that the quality of finish is smooth, durable and perfectly free of any dust particles large enough to become trapped between the head and the platter (i.e. particles of 0.3 microns in size are sufficient to cause sticktion / head crashes hence modern high density drives need ever more stringent clean room facilities for their preparation and repair / rebuild.)

With spin speeds varying from 4200rpm to 20,000rpm even the smallest amount of contamination at this molecular level can prove to be a disaster to the data held on the platter.

The high density modern drives can store 2TB but these drives will eventually be superseded by drives of 6TB thanks to ever smaller read write heads being able to access smaller and smaller areas of the platter without error.

Mechanical hard drives will continue to be developed as they have the ability to store more data with current research pointing to platter density of 10TB per square inch - seems the Petabyte drive may be with us sooner than we think.

SSD Drives and Hybrid drives like the Momentus X10 and even USB 3.0 will improve data transfer speeds, but this always is countered by the vast quantity of data we all have including increasing amounts of HD video. 

Article courtesy of ABC Data Recovery