Cleaning HDD Heads & Platters

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Jared

Administrator
Staff member
I've heard mixed opinions on it, but never tried it myself. Wicked expensive from what I hear.
 

Blizzard

Member
I contacted 3M and the rep that called me said that I could use 3m Novec contact cleaner to remove fingerprints from platters. I purchased an 11Oz can for $33. You can get it cheaper in multipacks. I plan on testing it by fingerprinting a platter from edge to edge and then clean it with the Novec contact cleaner. I'm not sure the best way to contaminate heads for a test so if anyone has any recommendations for that test procedure let me know. The contact cleaner is a hard blast so I'll have to spray it on a wipe first. It evaporates very fast, in seconds. Hopefully I can get to the test next week.
 

LarrySabo

Member
Michael, that is foam tape with an adhesive coating on each surface, so I don't understand how that could possibly be used to clean platters. I'm looking forward to reading how @Blizzard's tests turn out, and where one can buy the stuff. I've found that Actetone and a clean room wipe does a very good job. IPA always leaves a smudge, for me -- even 99.9% pure.

Edit: Actually, it's easy to find, apparently. Just Google "3m Novec contact cleaner 11 oz" with your country name appended to list lots of suppliers. It's just $30 CAD from DigiKey.ca and they have a very reasonable delivery charge (~$8 CAD). I'm just not so sure it's the same stuff as recommended for cleaning platters, though.

Edit #2: According to the Data Sheet, "3M™ Novec™ Contact Cleaner/Lubricant cleans sensitive electrical/electronic equipment and leaves a thin protective silicone coating." That doesn't sound good!
 

Blizzard

Member
Larry is right to be cautious. The 3m Rep explained there are different levels of degreasing for Novec products. He seemed pretty sure that the contact cleaner was on the low end so it wouldn't damage plastics or other parts. In the end, he's just one guy working for 3M and he had no knowledge of the DR industry. He did ask a lot of questions before answering though.
 

Blizzard

Member
LarrySabo":15is3vv1 said:
Edit #2: According to the Data Sheet, "3M™ Novec™ Contact Cleaner/Lubricant cleans sensitive electrical/electronic equipment and leaves a thin protective silicone coating." That doesn't sound good!
Larry, that's the wrong product. Look for the orange/gold can that only says "Contact Cleaner". I think you are looking at the product that is actually labeled "Cleaner/Lubricant" and it's in a purple can.
 

LarrySabo

Member
@Blizzard, here is the product whose data sheet i thought I was reading. But when I look at its data sheet, it doesn't mention the silicon lubricant so I must have read the wrong data sheet. Thanks for picking me up on that! I'm more hopeful now and am keen to read how it works for you.
 
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