Spindle Motor Seizure

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Motor seizure arises due to a sharp momentary increase in friction in the motor/bearing mechanism in the hard drive.

As with all types of physical hard drive recovery, the hard drive must first be returned to a temporarily fully working state. In cases of motor seizure, sometimes the seizure can be relieved in the existing mechanism (with the magnetic heads removed), while in most cases, the platters, heads, magnets and controller card must be transplanted to a new hard drive housing which provides a new motor, spindle and bearing. Such a transplant constitutes a full disassembly of two hard drives (patient and the donor), as well as a rebuild of the ‘hybrid’ drive.

In the majority of cases, the sudden stop in platter rotation at the moment of seizure can also cause the floating read/write heads to come in contact with the platters and may result in the need to use replacement heads during the hard drive rebuild. Any damage to the platter surfaces will usually result in a futile hard drive recovery attempt.