2.5" HDD arms skipping. Bad head? (with video)

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Hi, all.

I dropped a Seagate 2.5" External HDD the other day. It stopped
working thereafter. When I would plug it in, I would hear it beep.
This sounded like an electronic sound, not from a motor or the HDD
head trying to seek.

I opened it up this morning and the arm was out so the head was on the
platter. When plugging it in, I heard the same beeping, but nothing
moved. No spinning and the arm didn't move. I physically reset the arm
to the default position and tried again. Now the platter will spin and
the arm tries to engage. The arm goes to same place where it was
stuck, about 1/3 of way into the platter. Then it jumps back off the
platter to the default position. It also makes a terrible "screeching"

Does anyone know if a bad head could cause this? I'd like to get the
disk back up long enough to copy the data off. Then it can go in the
trash as far as I care.

Here's a vid of arm trying to seek.


Re: 2.5" HDD arms skipping. Bad head? (with video)

On 8/26/2010 11:45 AM, Bozothedeathmachine wrote:
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There are no "bad" drive heads -- only badly-trained ones. Clearly yours
has forgotten what it is supposed to be doing. Retraining is easy if you
have the correct tools. For this sort of job you need a really small ball
peen hammer (I recommend
http://www.hobbylinc.com/htm/zon/zon37-109.htm?source=froogle )and some
patience. Then you simply need to start the drive again and when the head
passes the correct place on the platter you will say in a sharp voice
"stay!" and then whack the head with the hammer. Repeat at least 20 times
during each training session. Modern drives more clever than old ones but
are stubborn; they will learn but it takes a bit of time. You need to be
prepared to repeat the session daily for at least a week and then weekly
for at least six months before you can be sure the lesson is learned.

Pay no attention at all to the screeching. It is just the head's way of
gaining your sympathy and if you show weakness as a result of the noises
your training is bound to fail.

Glad to be of help.

Re: 2.5" HDD arms skipping. Bad head? (with video)

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Perhaps he could employ the 'naughty step' technique if the hammer fails?

Re: 2.5" HDD arms skipping. Bad head? (with video)

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I tried beating the drive with a rolled-up newspaper. Didn't help.

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