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 Post subject: Clicking Noise? Causes and solutions?
PostPosted: July 26th, 2007, 0:39 
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Joined: June 28th, 2007, 16:58
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Hi guys, I've started a new topic, because, well, it's a new topic.

MY Seagate Barracuda st3300831 makes clicking noises. The PCB is working, since it's a donor one. F/W and Model # are the same, so it's not a compatibility issue.

It was working fine, before a power surge fried the PCB and apparently did something else, too.

I've read that clicking noise is referred to as "noise of death"... Can anyone elaborate on that? I've also read that it might mean "head cannot find sector 0"...

I also read that a head-replacement can fix clicking noise (assuming access to clean "place"). But, I have a 3-platter, 6-head harddrive, and heads park on the inside, and if the video from myharddrivedied.com is correct, then it's nearly impossible to replace the heads w/o scraping them on the platters.

Since I have quite a bunch of these harddrives, I took one of them (already dead) apart, and really, did find it impossible to remove anything from there without killing the heads. Since it's a 3-platter, switching platters is also not an option, and not just because of the heads...

Can I please get a confirmation or "maybe not" on the clicking issue?

To be more specific: It makes a *click* about every two seconds or so, even when it's just the power that's on. As if the head stopper never releases the heads or something.

Now, I have only been digging deep into harddisks this past month, so I pretty much don't know much, yet.

My dad is currently working on making a serial terminal?... and I guess I'll try to handle the communication once he's done, but I think it's like diving into an abyss with your eyes closed.

So yeah.. any thoughts on the subject? - clicking noise.

Thanks a lot,

--Mac


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 Post subject: Re: Clicking Noise? Causes and solutions?
PostPosted: July 26th, 2007, 6:44 
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Well, in most cases, clicking noise is caused by danaged MHA (heads-). It is possible to replace the MHA even it has 3 or more heads, but you will need a clean room to do that. And yes, very much experience. :(

Using RS 232 schematic to communicate through terminal might help, but you must know some "ATA Comands" to understand what's going inside.

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 Post subject: Re: Clicking Noise? Causes and solutions?
PostPosted: July 26th, 2007, 6:54 
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Posts: 760
First of all you need to find out what is the real problem with your drive. You have to be 100% sure that you diagnosed the hard drive correctly. And serial port (so-called "Terminal") is the only "proper" way to diagnose a Seagate hard drive. Forget about swapping heads until you are absolutely sure they ARE the problem. There is no room for mistake.

There are lots of reasons why a hard drive can make clicking noise, and yes, the most common reason is malfunctioning headstack (either a head itself or the preamplifier chip that is located on the headstack). But there are chances that the problem is not the headstack. You need to find that out via Seagate's serial port.

Again, never open a drive unless you are 100% sure that the problem is inside. This applies to everyone, including all data recovery people out there ;-)

Now, speaking about heads, it is possible to change the headstack without damaging platters. Cool guys somehow manage to swap 14+ heads headstacks without it being something very special to them. You just need some good experience :). I believe it's been told hundreds of times here, but it is worth repeating: good data recovery people spent years to gain the knowledge and experience needed to perform something that is slightly more than just swapping PCBs and using Winhex.

I'm not telling that you shouldn't do it. Hope this will give you some better understanding of the situation.

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 Post subject: Re: Clicking Noise? Causes and solutions?
PostPosted: July 26th, 2007, 14:28 
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Joined: June 28th, 2007, 16:58
Posts: 22
Wow, thank you all for responses.

I had an expert e-mail me about my problem, and he mentioned that specialized tools for head replacement in my case cost $250, but he didn't mention what they were... and I don't want to bother him again about it.

Anyone has a clue to what tools he might've spoken of?

Thanks.

Also, I know it's probably a dumb question, but is it suicide to spin the motor, and try to unpark the heads while the platters are in motion (cushioning the heads)?


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 Post subject: Re: Clicking Noise? Causes and solutions?
PostPosted: July 26th, 2007, 19:20 
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Joined: September 27th, 2005, 8:21
Posts: 760
Quote:
I had an expert e-mail me about my problem, and he mentioned that specialized tools for head replacement in my case cost $250, but he didn't mention what they were... and I don't want to bother him again about it.

Well, true hdd gurus :) used to make their own tools.

Some cool topics:
Need some tips for offloading heads without them touching
Need advice on how to attack a HDD problem

Searching these forums will give you an enormous amount of information...

Quote:
is it suicide to spin the motor, and try to unpark the heads while the platters are in motion (cushioning the heads)?

If you spin it fast enough (at least 2-3 rotations per second), you should be fine. Anyway I wouldn't play too much with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Clicking Noise? Causes and solutions?
PostPosted: July 26th, 2007, 23:22 
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Joined: June 28th, 2007, 16:58
Posts: 22
Ooh.. I've a couple of questions along with an alpha plan to tackle this head replacement (I'm not actually going to do it any time soon (not sooner than a week)), but I want to plan everything, and then practice, practice and practice. I have another broken harddrive to molest, and a working one (same model) that I plant to try to remove the heads and then put them back and hope that it still works.

Anyhow, here's my plan:

1. Pop the cover
2. Make the platters spin to create air cushion

Question :?: : plugging in power, will make it spin to fast, right? Doing it manually will be too slow, right? Are the voltages going to the motor impulsive, or are they constant, so I could theoretically make the platters spin (as said 2-3rps) by hooking up batteries to the motor from the outside (with PCB off, duh).

3. Remove the top magnet:
Image

Question :?: : There is nothing wrong with moving the heads when the top magnet is removed, right?
So it'll look like this:
Image

4. Put the pieces of paper onto the platters, so that heads will slide down onto them, hopefully preventing the heads from crashing onto each other.
Image

Question :?: : The smooth surface of post-it notes shouldn't damage the platters, right? Kinda like thinking this is fine:
Image

Question :?: : What if the platters are spinning?

5. After the heads have come off, I hope it will look something like this:
Image

Now, these photos have been taken on a already messed up drive, so I wasn't being careful or anything, that's why the heads are already missing from the photos (didn't take effort for them to break off like that :( )

But, when I just opened it and took the heads off, i noticed that they came off the platters like so:
Image

Question :?: :From the photo above, it's evident that only the bottom two heads crash into each other when removed without anything padding them. Does this always happen? Why does this happen? Could it be enough to just separate just heads 5 and 6? I mean assuming that I don't shake, so that others never collide, is this theoretically possible?
Note: the last photo was taken when all the heads were still present, intact. i probably ruined them by taking them off non-spinning platters, though.

Please, any thoughts, comments, suggestions, success/failure stories, links, any information will be helpful :)

Still hopeful,

--Mac


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 Post subject: Re: Clicking Noise? Causes and solutions?
PostPosted: July 27th, 2007, 7:23 
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Joined: October 2nd, 2005, 0:30
Posts: 290
Location: Jakarta - Indonesia
mac22 wrote:
Ooh.. I've a couple of questions along with an alpha plan to tackle this head replacement (I'm not actually going to do it any time soon (not sooner than a week)), but I want to plan everything, and then practice, practice and practice. I have another broken harddrive to molest, and a working one (same model) that I plant to try to remove the heads and then put them back and hope that it still works.

Anyhow, here's my plan:

1. Pop the cover
2. Make the platters spin to create air cushion

Question :?: : plugging in power, will make it spin to fast, right? Doing it manually will be too slow, right? Are the voltages going to the motor impulsive, or are they constant, so I could theoretically make the platters spin (as said 2-3rps) by hooking up batteries to the motor from the outside (with PCB off, duh).

3. Remove the top magnet:

Question :?: : There is nothing wrong with moving the heads when the top magnet is removed, right?
So it'll look like this:

4. Put the pieces of paper onto the platters, so that heads will slide down onto them, hopefully preventing the heads from crashing onto each other.

Question :?: : The smooth surface of post-it notes shouldn't damage the platters, right? Kinda like thinking this is fine:


Question :?: : What if the platters are spinning?

5. After the heads have come off, I hope it will look something like this:

Now, these photos have been taken on a already messed up drive, so I wasn't being careful or anything, that's why the heads are already missing from the photos (didn't take effort for them to break off like that :( )

But, when I just opened it and took the heads off, i noticed that they came off the platters like so:

Question :?: :From the photo above, it's evident that only the bottom two heads crash into each other when removed without anything padding them. Does this always happen? Why does this happen? Could it be enough to just separate just heads 5 and 6? I mean assuming that I don't shake, so that others never collide, is this theoretically possible?
Note: the last photo was taken when all the heads were still present, intact. i probably ruined them by taking them off non-spinning platters, though.

Please, any thoughts, comments, suggestions, success/failure stories, links, any information will be helpful :)

Still hopeful,

--Mac


I just don't like the idea of putting the post note paper on the Cylinder anyway....It's kinda suicide if you need the data...
:D

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 Post subject: Re: Clicking Noise? Causes and solutions?
PostPosted: July 27th, 2007, 19:01 
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Joined: June 28th, 2007, 16:58
Posts: 22
@cryoborgofthevenus

Okay, so I have to catch it (the head) when it's just coming off the platter (say it's off half way, then for the half that's off, i put the paper?

Also, what materials (if any) can touch the platters gently w/o killing the data?


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 Post subject: Re: Clicking Noise? Causes and solutions?
PostPosted: July 28th, 2007, 5:13 
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Posts: 290
Location: Jakarta - Indonesia
1. Head(s) should not have contact with each other, you must separate them with anti static material between their gaps (0.05 mm-0.08 mm)
2. Cylinder surface is very sensitive. One particle dropped onto the surface is enough to make everything miserable for you. You must maintain the clean air around your workplace. Just don't even think to touch the platters surface with anything..... :roll:
3. Maintain your balance, any split of screwwdriver is very awful
4. As Stanislav Korb uses to say : Ground yourself ! (electrostatic surge is possible)
5. When you try to remove the MHA (Magnetic head assy), you must carefully spinning the cylinder (spin the rotor shaft slowly, put your fingers among those bolts, not cylinder surface ! :D )
6. get the new MHA ready (and don't forget the fill in the gaps before you implant it to the damaged HDA)
7. Slowly insert the new MHA between Cylinders, you can do this by spinning the rotor shaft, and pulling the anti static plastic among the heads at the same time. The heads will follow the movement of the Cylinders... :D . Just make sure the antistatic material will not have contact with the cylinder surface !
8. Keep your fingers and hands clean ! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Clicking Noise? Causes and solutions?
PostPosted: July 28th, 2007, 5:25 
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Location: Jakarta - Indonesia
Sorry I forgot...may be you can see a little practice about this @ http://www.salvationdata.com. Just browse the web, you'll find a short video about this...Hope that helps.

Cheers...
Jonathan Wijaya

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 Post subject: Re: Clicking Noise? Causes and solutions?
PostPosted: July 29th, 2007, 9:25 
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Joined: September 27th, 2005, 8:21
Posts: 760
And we also have this article here at HDDGURU: http://hddguru.com/content/en/articles/ ... k-Q-and-A/

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 Post subject: Re: Clicking Noise? Causes and solutions?
PostPosted: August 20th, 2007, 23:51 
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Joined: April 28th, 2007, 10:49
Posts: 161
I've seen the SalvationData video. It's the one that demonstrates the HPE platter swap tool(which by the way works well). They actually are shown letting the heads touch in the video. They only use strips when they are putting the heads back on the platters. So are letting heads touch when you spin them off the platter that bad? I've had successful head swaps when the heads have touched. Any thoughts?

Andy


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 Post subject: Re: Clicking Noise? Causes and solutions?
PostPosted: August 21st, 2007, 18:38 
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Joined: December 23rd, 2006, 16:08
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Location: NJ
I noticed that too :). Maybe Salvation will update their video? Those plastic pieces might work for keeping the heads apart as well with some slight mods...


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 Post subject: Re: Clicking Noise? Causes and solutions?
PostPosted: August 22nd, 2007, 2:17 
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Joined: November 1st, 2005, 10:04
Posts: 239
rchadwick wrote:
I noticed that too :). Maybe Salvation will update their video? Those plastic pieces might work for keeping the heads apart as well with some slight mods...

So why not do some "research"...

a. Take any mobile drive. (obviously clean environment)
b. remove stop, slide off heads and allow heads to touch, slide back heads, replace stop...

Start-up drive and scan (using MHDD of course - F4)

Repeat a. and b. above 100 times and make conclusion about heads touching.

Try same with Seagate desktop drive (good working)

Think about what can happen when "dirty" head touches clean main head.
So, using microscope to view heads gives very good indication if heads replacement
can be successful.

Quickly you can discover that when one head is "dirty" media is already broken
and heads replacement probably will fail very quickly.


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 Post subject: Re: Clicking Noise? Causes and solutions?
PostPosted: September 27th, 2007, 8:33 
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well we use plastic slice and 100% worked for data recovery and very usefull
for more details u can asked us.. feel free to contact us any time..

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 Post subject: Re: Clicking Noise? Causes and solutions?
PostPosted: October 18th, 2007, 5:37 
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Joined: October 17th, 2007, 21:00
Posts: 23
Location: California, USA
mac22 wrote:
Hi guys, I've started a new topic, because, well, it's a new topic.

MY Seagate Barracuda st3300831 makes clicking noises. The PCB is working, since it's a donor one. F/W and Model # are the same, so it's not a compatibility issue.

It was working fine, before a power surge fried the PCB and apparently did something else, too.

I've read that clicking noise is referred to as "noise of death"... Can anyone elaborate on that? I've also read that it might mean "head cannot find sector 0"...

It seems to me that there is a hidden assumption here. You did not say if the hard drive ever worked perfectly after the PCB swap. Did it? My first thought would be that matching the F/W and Model # was not enough. There could be differences in adaptive parts of the EEPROM. On my Maxtor Maxline II, for example, I tried three different donor drives of the same model, and one even has an identical firmware version. None of them make the drive accessable. (My Maxline II's PCB was fried by a power surge, just like yours.)

Maybe I'm missing something, since nobody else brought up this issue in this thread. But I would still like to ask — how did you arrive at the conclusion that the F/W is the same?


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 Post subject: Re: Clicking Noise? Causes and solutions?
PostPosted: December 12th, 2007, 12:52 
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Joined: December 5th, 2007, 22:28
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mac22 wrote:
MY Seagate Barracuda st3300831 makes clicking noises. The PCB is working, since it's a donor one. F/W and Model # are the same, so it's not a compatibility issue.


If you watch Scott Moulton's videos on youtube, you will learn that matching firmwares and model numbers isn't nearly enough to assume compatibility.

You can have same firmwares and models produced in different countries at the same time; i think you need to have at least the exact same main square chip on the PCB.

I have the same problem as you, even though nothing visibly fried on my PCB.
I made a PCB swap ( same model and F/M) and got the drive to spin again, and got the same clicking noise.

I would apreciate if knowledgeable posters try to help non profesional members as us, even if it means us not using their services.

Not everybody has 2000$ spare to spend on their broken drives; besides, hoping to charge big bucks for a simple PCB swap doesn't seem right to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Clicking Noise? Causes and solutions?
PostPosted: May 9th, 2008, 10:50 
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Joined: August 25th, 2007, 1:24
Posts: 299
Location: Western Australia, Australia
Gene , Sometimes a PCB swap is anything but simple, it can be time consuming, frustrating and takes patience as you have probably found yourself by now.

I know i have often purchased disks off ebay only to get them and find even the model, firmware and part # (in this case for Seagate) match, the disk is made in another country and the pcb is not compatible.
:(


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 Post subject: Re: Clicking Noise? Causes and solutions?
PostPosted: August 18th, 2008, 6:09 
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If PCB is not compatible, sure transferring of ROM would work?? :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Clicking Noise? Causes and solutions?
PostPosted: August 19th, 2008, 22:19 
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Joined: June 9th, 2008, 12:06
Posts: 214
That is why each and every family must be studied in depth. A few months ago I was working on a family in which I discovered the offset and this offset information was unique to each drive. I discovered identical PCBs that DID NOT work, and drastically DIFFERENT ones that did work. I think that it is difficult to generalize. I have a Seagate 80gb drive here that works perfectly with FW 3.xx or 8.xx, but a good working PCB with the exact same FW and chipset, etc won't work (without mod). I usually study and read a great deal on the family of drives i am working on. I found drastically different things even between same brand, slightly different drives. For instance, on many WD drives with know good motor and PCB, you can easily test preamp commutator. If not working, drive will NOT spin up. Insulated/isolated it will. However, this technique does NOT work on drives like Scorpio. Why? you have to RTM.

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