Browse Prior Art Database

Periodic Cleaning of the Head-Disk Interface in a Hard Drive by Using Seek Measurements

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000123247D
Original Publication Date: 1998-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-04
Document File: 2 page(s) / 39K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Smith, GJ: AUTHOR

Abstract

In a hard drive, contamination on a slider airbearing can cause an incorrect slider flying height above the surface of a disk. In some cases, if the amount of contamination debris is excessive, a slider can crash into the disk surface destroying data. To avoid excessive contamination buildup, the sliders in a drive are periodically stopped and started in the take-off and landing zone located on the disk surfaces. This operation is known to remove debris from the airbearings. In an environment where drive performance is crucial, for example a server, unnecessary stopping and starting a drive is wasteful of resources. To ensure that drives are stopped and restarted at an appropriate interval in time (threshold), a measure of the seek lengths is used to determine the correct interval.

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Periodic Cleaning of the Head-Disk Interface in a Hard Drive by Using
Seek Measurements

   In a hard drive, contamination on a slider airbearing can
cause an incorrect slider flying height above the surface of a disk.
In some cases, if the amount of contamination debris is excessive, a
slider can crash into the disk surface destroying data.  To avoid
excessive contamination buildup, the sliders in a drive are
periodically stopped and started in the take-off and landing zone
located on the disk surfaces.  This operation is known to remove
debris from the airbearings.  In an environment where drive
performance is crucial, for example a server, unnecessary stopping
and starting a drive is wasteful of resources.  To ensure that drives
are stopped and restarted at an appropriate interval in time
(threshold), a measure of the seek lengths is used to determine the
correct interval.  The total seek length is a measure of the total
area swept out by the sliders over the disk surfaces in a drive.
Alternatively, counting the number of seeks can also be used to give
the same indication of the potential contamination collection of the
sliders.  After a seek number or total seek length threshold is
reached, a stop and start operation is performed.  If a normal stop
command is received by the drive before the threshold is reached, the
drive is stopped.  The seek number or seek length counter is reset to
zero the next time that the drive is started (see the figure).