Microsurgery for small hard drives

 In Postings

Hard disk drives are manufactured in a variety of form factors, sizes are 3.5”, 2.5”, 1.8”, 1” and a minuscule .85”.

Typically we receive a good mix of HDD brands; however 2 form factors are dominant which are 3.5” & 2.5”, occasionally we receive smaller devices.

The photographs can give you a scale of physical size differences and ultimately the engineering requirements to complete data recovery, the laptop devices are small, however the 1” HDD is quite a challenge.

Both of the disks HSA(head stack assembly) have been placed side by side to show the comparison in scale.

HSA scale

Scaling shown between msall 2.5″ HDD and 1″ micro drive.


The micrometer is calibrated to 0, then a single human hair is placed between the measuring points it shows between 8-9 microns, modern heads fly at much lower numbers than this.
A head crash is a generic term for the heads coming into contact with the disk surface which usually leaves the disk non functional and data access impossible at a user level , the laptop disk clearly shows a ring on the top platter where this has occurred, data recovery from this type of failure can be very difficult but not impossible!


scorn platter

Scoring on the platter due to a ‘head crash)

Engineers working on the very small have to have a keen eye and a steady hand just look how small the screws which hold the head cable into place are!

Size of screw

Very small screws used for 1″ micro drive


Recent Posts