Cleaning HDD Heads & Platters

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Jared

Administrator
Staff member
I'm thinking of rigging up one or two ultrasonic cleaning units to attempt cleaning of dirty read/write heads & possibly platters in some cases. I see talk on this thread of using 99-100% pure isopropyl alcohol to do it. However I know others claim that alcohol leaves a residue behind.

So I'm just wondering what would be a good solution to try besides the alcohol. I've heard of using water for injection or distilled water too, but seems to me that wouldn't clean very well. Suggestions?
 

LarrySabo

Member
This post by Infofaster in HDDGuru has some suggestion based on what he has used successfully. I've tried IPA 99.9% but it leaves streaks/smears on platters. Acetone left absolutely nothing, when used with fresh cleanroom wipes. I've tried cleaning sliders with ACE but the sliders end up curling away from the HGA for reasons I don't understand (whether it was the ACE or pressure on the slider, IDK). I've also astonishingly use just a dry cleanroom wipe to clean residue from a badly contaminated slider and could not believe how good a job it did. Don't bother trying those cheap Chinese foam tipped swabs--they leave all kinds of crap behind. I've been meaning to buy some proper knitted polypropylene swabs but just never get around to it. These BCS400 swabs came highly recommended but damn, these swabs and others like them are expensive, if you can even find a supplier for smaller quantities.
 

pclab

Moderator
I once had a HDD with a fingerprint on it and I had to clean it first. So I tried on a donor, several things: IPA 99%, acetone... The way I cleaned it without a problem it was with a dry cleanroom wipe. Gently it removed the fingerprint.
 

Jared

Administrator
Staff member
jol":wgvbwhmu said:
Jared":wgvbwhmu said:
[post]4474[/post] I've heard of using water for injection
there are 2 types (that i know of) of liquids thats been used for i.v., the first one is saline and the second is ringer's lactate solution.
judging from what they are made of (contains) i doubt that it's not gonna leave residue.

Water for injection is just really pure distilled sterile water. It's used to dilute certain medications where saline wouldn't work. It's just really pure water, so pure it won't leave any residue behind when it dries.
 

jol

New member
Jared":3uam28ei said:
[post]4481[/post] Water for injection is just really pure distilled sterile water.
thats what I'm trying to tell you, its not.
it's not pure distilled sterile water like you think it is, it's designed to be a substitute (or to be exact to fill up the missing body fluids (dehydration or whatever)) for the human water, which contains acids, bases and sodium chloride (see the links above).
 

Jared

Administrator
Staff member
jol":1vhb00k2 said:
Jared":1vhb00k2 said:
[post]4481[/post] Water for injection is just really pure distilled sterile water.
thats what I'm trying to tell you, its not.
it's not pure distilled sterile water like you think it is, it's designed to be a substitute (or to be exact to fill up the missing body fluids (dehydration or whatever)) for the human water, which contains acids, bases and sodium chloride (see the links above).

You're talking about IV fluid, I'm not. I'm talking about just water for injection like this: http://www.mountainside-medical.com/pro ... 5649592388

Nothing but distilled water that's been UV serilized. Here's the "drug facts" which clearly show the ingredients: http://www.drugs.com/pro/water-for-injection.html nothing but H20.
 
This is an interesting topic, I have once used a cotton board and 99% alcohol to clean up a portion of HDD with fingerprints, I was able to read data off the Platter, but I changed r/w heads three times. Don't know if it was as a result of the cleaning.
 

Jared

Administrator
Staff member
LarrySabo":2qpa4lnb said:
I've been meaning to buy some proper knitted polypropylene swabs but just never get around to it. These BCS400 swabs came highly recommended but darn, these swabs and others like them are expensive, if you can even find a supplier for smaller quantities.

Might you or anyone else here be interested in going in on a supply of these? I can get a box of 1000 for around $1000 US. I don't think I'll need that many so perhaps we can split it up.... just a thought.
 
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