Cleaning Your Hard Drive

So you empty your temp folder, run scan disk and defrag your hard drive on a regular basis to clean up your data, but what about the drive itself? If you have ever opened the case of a computer you know how much dust, tumbleweeds, lost bytes and other household dirt collects inside the case over time. Today I’ll show you how to dismantle your hard drive for a thorough cleaning to ensure clean data and a longer life of your hard drive.

What you need

To achieve the best results, you should gather up these simple household items before you get started:

  • a screwdriver – you’ll probably get by with just a philips-head, but a flat-head one comes in handy as well for prying pieces apart etc.
  • a hammer – you know, for those ornery parts that just won’t budge
  • a can of compressed air – alternatively, the air hose at the gas station will do just fine
  • a clean cloth, e.g. one those nice linen napkins in the back of the kitchen cabinet for special occasions
  • a toothbrush – if you don’t want to use yours, take somebody else’s, they’ll never notice
  • dental floss – my hard drives prefer mint flavored/unwaxed, but check with your drive first
  • soap and water – or a dishwasher if you’re lazy like me
  • some oil – preferably a spray can of WD-40 for easy application

The subject

First you need to remove the drive from your computer of course, so remove the cover, find the hard drive (tip: if it has a heatsink attached to it, chances are it’s not your hard drive – try again, BillyBob), unplug the power connector and data cable, remove the mounting screws and pull it out. Place it on a clean cloth and take a look at this awesome piece of leading edge technology.

"The Tank" - a monster 1 Gig SCSI drive

What you see above is a monster SCSI drive with a capacity of a whopping 1 Gigabyte. It’s built like a German tank and weighs in at a sturdy 1.1 kilograms, or 2.5 pounds for all you non-metric heathens out there. The battery in the picture gives you an idea of the majestic size of this behemoth. You don’t find quality like that anymore, which is one more reason to take good care of your drive and clean it frequently to make it last.

Page 1: This page
Page 2: Dismantling the drive
Page 3: Bits and pieces
Page 4: Flossing is important
Page 5: Reassemble, reconnect, pull your hair out

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