23rd December
written by Todd Harrison

(part 2 of 2)

You may want to read part 1 first.

The person whose Seagate micro USB drive I was trying to fix bought a second working unit from eBay for under $20 bucks.

Below are the two Seagate micro USB drives. One working unit from eBay the other not working and needing data recovery if possible.  The task? Switch the platters and hope the working unit will read the old disk.

Disassembling the new unit to get out the platter

READ —>:

Time for the delicate swap.  I feel like Dr. Frankenstein! (I hear evil laughing in the lab!!)

Disk that needs to be recovered going in the known good unit

Spinning up!!!!

NOTHING! *^@&+%$  :(

Yes, I tried several more times but no luck reading the disk. It was a long shot and was worth the $20 but in the end you can’t always win.


  1. 05/01/2011

    I’ve just discovered your amazing site. I also like to mess with electronics and try to repair things so I’m very happy to follow your posts. Sorry about the hard disk, they are really delicate. Nice work though 😉

  2. Fraser


    A word of advice regarding HDD recovery. Never, and I mean never try to transplant the actual platters before eliminating all other possibilities. The head flies over the platter and no contact is made, if you try transplantation you are sure to get microscopic particles on the platter which leads to a head crash. Many hard disk failures are in fact head crash related and cannot be recovered except in a lab. If you get lucky, the HDD controller on the bottom of the unit (not the USB controller seen in your pictures) fails and may be transplanted without risk to the platters. This is usually a failure of the firmware, I/O or head/motor drive. I have recovered data from at least 5 HDD’s after they suffered on board controller failure. Sadly I have lost count of the number that were unrepairable due to a head crash event as such failures are far more common, especially on portable HDD’s. Regards Fraser

  3. 21/05/2011

    @Fraser Thanks for the tips! I had to try. I don’t think I will ever try this again anyway. Too much work and not good success often I hear. I did try switching the controle board that is connected by the ribbon first but that didn’t work.

  4. Michail

    Another thing is that there are calibration records written on the plates. When one switches part of mechanic or plates – it needs to be recalibrated, which is impossible to do at home. Bumer….

  5. 04/12/2011

    @Michail, that would explain my problems. It was just a blind try.

  6. Carlos

    Next time, put in a Ziploc in freezer for 15 minutes, then let him reach the ambient temperature, extract the disk from the bag and try
    9 over 10 times work, just try

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