Hard Disk Drive Recovery From Being Squeezed
Original Publication Date: 2002-May-11
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Disclosed is a method to protect a hard disk drive from losing the data due to pressure being applied to the top cover. The drive will sense the drop in rotational velocity due to the cover pressure and immediately retract the heads and place them on the load/unload ramps. This will keep the heads from being stuck to the media, which would occur if the heads were left on the media while the media was not rotating. Current mobile drives do not want pressure on the top cover of the drive. If enough pressure is applied to the top cover, it will rub on the spindle and can cause the spindle to stop spinning. If the heads were flying over the media at that time, they may get 'stuck' to the media and the drive would not be able to spin up after this happens. All the customers' data on the drive would be inaccessible. This problem can be demonstrated in some new super slim laptop computers. These laptops do not leave much room to mount a 9.5 mm height 2.5" drive. Holding the laptop with just one hand while the drive is spinning can provide enough case deflection to apply pressure on the drive's top cover and stop the spindle from spinning. The operating system would then crash and when the laptop would attempt to reboot, it would not be able to since the drive would not spin up. Any data on the drive would no longer be accessible. A user may not even notice that they were applying pressure to the drive and causing the problem. This problem can be easily reproduced by manually pressing on the top cover of an unmounted drive. The spindle stopping can be heard and then the drive will not spin up again. To recover the data from the drive, F/A personnel can remove the cover and physically unstick the heads and re-park them in the appropriate location. After the cover has been replaced, the drives may work fine: the data may be able to be recovered.