Head Crash on 1.8″ 60GB Toshiba ZIF Hard Drive

 

We received an iPod containing a Toshiba MK6008GAH 1.8″ drive for data recovery recently. The iPod was rattling when inspected so we thought the ipod itself may have been broken. Upon removing the drive we observed that the rattle noise was in fact coming from inside the tiny drive.

More than a head crash with this drive
More than a head crash with this drive

We checked if the client wanted us to move into the cleanroom phase of recovery which is more expensive. The client said yes and so we took the drive in for its diagnosis.

After removing the cover the level of damage was very clear. The top disk platter was completely shattered leaving no chance of recovery. The other intact disk was scratched to pieces by the loose fragments of glass that were knocking around inside the drive enclosure. The read/write mechanism had not even left the ramp as you can see in the photographs although it would be clearly contaminated by the glass dust.

Looking at the severity of the damage it is difficult to understand the reasoning behind using glass disks inside such a portable hard drive. We do not know how much shock caused the disk to shatter but the fact that it is possible at all seems strange.

Hermetically Sealed Hard Drives

With drive capacity nearing the Terabyte mark, track density increases along with the gap between read / write heads and platters. Therefore are Hermetically sealed drives the the way forward for Manufacturers?

See link below to read more

http://www.touchbriefings.com/pdf/22/data031_t_MOUNTOP.PDF

 (Link Now broken, Provided for reference)