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Hard drives are hermetically sealed

 
 
Timothy Daniels
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      27th Feb 2004
Just for the record:

http://www.tbwt.com/interaction/pcparts/html/1a.htm
"... If smoke, dust or hair got trapped between the head and the platter, the
hard drive would be ruined. That is why the hard drive is hermetically sealed
against dust, smoke and moisture."

http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/vol_4/chpt_15/6.html
"If the hermetically-sealed environment inside a hard disk drive is contaminated
with outside air, the hard drive will be rendered useless. Dust will lodge
between the heads and the platters, causing damage to the surface of the media."

http://www.atarimagazines.com/startv3n4/stcare.html
"Finally, never, ever open up your hard disk to clean its heads. Hard drives are
hermetically sealed and need no head cleaning"

http://www.wsd1.org/kelvin/Departmen...AL/harddrv.htm
"The container is open in this illustration; however, it is normally
hermetically sealed to keep out dust."

http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/...98/hdrive.html
"The very close working tolerances is partly why the hard drive has to be
hermetically sealed, as tiny dust particles or any hint of condensation would
interfere with its reliable operation. When I dismantled the drive there was a
small woven pad enclosed, possibly a drying agent, to remove last traces of
moisture."


*TimDaniels

 
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Alien Zord
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      27th Feb 2004
"Timothy Daniels" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Just for the record:
>
> http://www.tbwt.com/interaction/pcparts/html/1a.htm
> http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/vol_4/chpt_15/6.html
> http://www.atarimagazines.com/startv3n4/stcare.html
> http://www.wsd1.org/kelvin/Departmen...AL/harddrv.htm
>

http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/...98/hdrive.html
>
> *TimDaniels
>
>

No they are NOT! They are sealed against dust but they do have filtered
breathing holes to allow air inside to expand and contract with temperature
and atmospheric pressure. Over the years I've dismantled many failed drives
and saw the filters and breathing holes for myself. Some drives even have
warning labels on the outside showing where the hole is and warning not to
cover it (Hitachi DK23FB notebook drive and I've seen others).

Internet is a wonderful medium for gathering information but do not always
believe everything you read because there are frequently errors,
inaccuracies and sometimes utter rubbish too.


 
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kony
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      27th Feb 2004
On Fri, 27 Feb 2004 14:01:12 -0000, "Alien Zord"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>"Timothy Daniels" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>> Just for the record:
>>
>> http://www.tbwt.com/interaction/pcparts/html/1a.htm
>> http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/vol_4/chpt_15/6.html
>> http://www.atarimagazines.com/startv3n4/stcare.html
>> http://www.wsd1.org/kelvin/Departmen...AL/harddrv.htm
>>

>http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/...98/hdrive.html
>>
>> *TimDaniels
>>
>>

>No they are NOT! They are sealed against dust but they do have filtered
>breathing holes to allow air inside to expand and contract with temperature
>and atmospheric pressure. Over the years I've dismantled many failed drives
>and saw the filters and breathing holes for myself. Some drives even have
>warning labels on the outside showing where the hole is and warning not to
>cover it (Hitachi DK23FB notebook drive and I've seen others).
>
>Internet is a wonderful medium for gathering information but do not always
>believe everything you read because there are frequently errors,
>inaccuracies and sometimes utter rubbish too.
>


I too have dismantled many drives, and saw those filters & holes.
However, some of the more recent drives I've opened, did not have any
filter or vent I could find.

 
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Alien Zord
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      27th Feb 2004
"kony" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news(E-Mail Removed)...
> On Fri, 27 Feb 2004 14:01:12 -0000, "Alien Zord"
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> >"Timothy Daniels" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> >news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> >> Just for the record:
> >>
> >> http://www.tbwt.com/interaction/pcparts/html/1a.htm
> >> http://www.allaboutcircuits.com/vol_4/chpt_15/6.html
> >> http://www.atarimagazines.com/startv3n4/stcare.html
> >> http://www.wsd1.org/kelvin/Departmen...AL/harddrv.htm
> >>

>
>http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/....microscopy-uk.

org.uk/mag/art98/hdrive.html
> >>
> >> *TimDaniels
> >>
> >>

> >No they are NOT! They are sealed against dust but they do have filtered
> >breathing holes to allow air inside to expand and contract with

temperature
> >and atmospheric pressure. Over the years I've dismantled many failed

drives
> >and saw the filters and breathing holes for myself. Some drives even have
> >warning labels on the outside showing where the hole is and warning not

to
> >cover it (Hitachi DK23FB notebook drive and I've seen others).
> >
> >Internet is a wonderful medium for gathering information but do not

always
> >believe everything you read because there are frequently errors,
> >inaccuracies and sometimes utter rubbish too.
> >

>
> I too have dismantled many drives, and saw those filters & holes.
> However, some of the more recent drives I've opened, did not have any
> filter or vent I could find.
>
>

Neither could I on some of them but then I came across this Seagate patent:
"Breather vent assembly formed in a sealed disk drive housing"
http://www.priorartdatabase.com/IPCOM/000001062/

Also for more interesting reading just type
hard+disk+drive+air+vent
into Google.


 
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Noozer
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      27th Feb 2004

"Timothy Daniels" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Just for the record:
>
> http://www.tbwt.com/interaction/pcparts/html/1a.htm
> "... If smoke, dust or hair got trapped between the head and the platter,

the
> hard drive would be ruined. That is why the hard drive is hermetically

sealed
> against dust, smoke and moisture."


Wrong... Some drives may be sealed, but not all!!!

I'm looking at a drive right now with a hole that specifically says DO NOT
COVER!


 
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Timothy Daniels
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      27th Feb 2004
"Alien Zord" shared:
> "kony" wrote:
> > I too have dismantled many drives, and saw those filters & holes.
> > However, some of the more recent drives I've opened, did not
> > have any filter or vent I could find.
> >
> >

> Neither could I on some of them but then I came across this
> Seagate patent:
> "Breather vent assembly formed in a sealed disk drive housing"
> http://www.priorartdatabase.com/IPCOM/000001062/



Evidently, Seagate thought it was worth patenting, and the
patent office granted it in June of 1992, but did they or anyone
else ever use it?

I called Maxtor and spoke to their senior tech support supervisor,
asking if Maxtor currently makes a HD with a vent hole that would
allow at least equilization of air pressure between the platter chamber
and the environment. He said no, but that he recalls one a vent hole
that allowed air to get behind the circuit board for cooling. He stressed
that the HDs are assembled inside a class 10 clean room and that
even a smoke particle would be a problem for a HD, much less
condensation. The following link is to Maxtor's tech manual for their
DiamondMax Plus 9 line of HDs, which you may find interesting,
but I couldn't find any mention of a vent hole or hermetic seal:
http://maxtor.com/en/documentation/m...s_9_manual.pdf

*TimDaniels*
 
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Timothy Daniels
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      27th Feb 2004
"Noozer" wrote:
>
> I'm looking at a drive right now with a hole that specifically
> says DO NOT COVER!



So? That hole may not go through to the platter chamber
but merely ventilate the back of the circuit board. Would
you care to give the make and model no. of that hard drive?

*TimDaniels*
 
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R. Anton Rave
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      29th Feb 2004
"Alien Zord" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<c1nnma$1js331$(E-Mail Removed)-berlin.de>...

> "kony" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news(E-Mail Removed)...


> > I too have dismantled many drives, and saw those filters &
> > holes. However, some of the more recent drives I've opened,
> > did not have any filter or vent I could find.


> Neither could I on some of them but then I came across this
> Seagate patent:
> "Breather vent assembly formed in a sealed disk drive housing"
> http://www.priorartdatabase.com/IPCOM/000001062/
>
> Also for more interesting reading just type
> hard+disk+drive+air+vent
> into Google.


So the vent can be a groove molded or machined into the casting?

If there wasn't any vent, could the liquid magnetic shaft seal blow
out? Are liquid magnetic seals still even used in hard drives?
 
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jamarno
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      29th Feb 2004
"Timothy Daniels" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message news:<(E-Mail Removed)>...

> I called Maxtor and spoke to their senior tech support
>supervisor, asking if Maxtor currently makes a HD with a
>vent hole that would allow at least equilization of air
>pressure between the platter chamber and the environment.
>He said no, but that he recalls one a vent hole that
>allowed air to get behind the circuit board for cooling.


What were his qualifications? Most tech support people simply
memorize a very basic training manual and have no understanding of its
contents and unwittingly give out completely wrong information at
times. For example I once spoke with a Panasonic monitor "technician"
who didn't even know about convergence - "I don't know what
convergence are." (sic), yet he was described by his manager as being
one of the best "technicians." Another time I called CTX, another
monitor maker but one that had been known for staffing its tech
support with real technicians, to ask about what changes should be
made when the horizontal output transistor was replaced (CTX had
issued a bulletin about them), and a person who proudly referred to
herself as a "technician" was clueless about this, and when I doubted
her qualifications she pouted, "What makes you think that I'm not a
technician?" It turned out that CTX had laid off all the real
technicians from tech support.

>He stressed that the HDs are assembled inside a class 10
>clean room and that even a smoke particle would be a problem
>for a HD, much less condensation.


It's common for manual memorizers to embelish their words with
irrelevant facts like that. I once asked Maxtor about their motor and
voice coil driver chips running at 70 deg. Celcius. The tech support
person said that it was exceeding the maximum allowed 55C and wanted
to replace the drive, proof that he cared about customers but didn't
understand the difference between maximum allowed ambient temperature
and maximum allowed device temperature. I had to speak to 3 people
before someone seemed to know about the chips themselves.
 
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Timothy Daniels
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      1st Mar 2004
"jamarno" wrote:
> "Timothy Daniels" wrote:
>
> > I called Maxtor and spoke to their senior tech support
> >supervisor...

> What were his qualifications? Most tech support people simply
> memorize a very basic training manual...



In view of the qualifications presented on Usenet or the Web,
how could his have been any worse? He said he was a direct
employee of Maxtor, had access to the engineering department
to ask questions, and that he had been around the longest
among the tech support personnel. Admittedly, he may not
know proprietary information, and if he did, he wouldn't
divulge it if it would harm his employer, but who else here has
presented anyone as a more convincing authority? As for
an hermetic seal being possible, why not? I'd think that
14.5 lbs/sq. in. is pretty easy pressure to seal against given
the casting and there being no need for shaft seals. In most
situations, the inside pressure and the outside pressure would
be nearly equal. And just think about it - why would there be
any need for pressure equalization at all?

*TimDaniels*
 
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