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Where can I purchase a replacement "reader arm" for the harddrive?

I have managed to identify that it is the “reader arm” that is causing the harddrive to make a “clicking” sound, and as a result, will not read the internal disk. Since I do not have the money it takes to send it to a professional, I’m hoping to purchase a replacement for this part. Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated. I have 15 years’ worth of design files on the drive and I am desperate. (I apologize for any incorrect terminology I may have used) Thank you so much for your amazing website and for your help. (Apple Time Capsule Model A125)

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head replacements are 1200-2000+. If the data isnt worth this much to you, but you want to run a hail mary, then just look at the model number of the drive. You want the exact same drive. You also need a head comb tool. Without these two things, then its not worth even attempting. But it sure as heck will not cost more to do it yourself vs. sending it to a shop. cost of donar drive, 30$ for the comb. This site is "iFixIt" - not iSendItIn.

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Hard Drives are sealed and very delicate internally!

You need proper special fixtures for the drive and a clean room!

Give these a view:

These are just the Seagate drives and you still need to salvage the full head assembly from another drive (same maker & series)

Hopefully you haven’t opened the can yet and just find a new drive to replace your bad one.

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Dan,

Thank you so much for the advice. I have one more question for you. When searching for a surrogate drive, how important is it that the SATA version match? I found one on ebay, and everything matches, except the SATA. Mine is SATA 3.0Gb/s, the ebay listing is SATA II, I'm guessing 6.0 Gb/s. It is used, not refurbished, which scares me a little, although this seller has excellent ratings and tests each unit prior to selling. What do you think?

@artbymeadowlark - SATA II and 3.0 Gb/s are the same thing.

The Standards group originally defined a spec number 1, 2 & 3 but people were often confused on what that meant from a data rate. During one meeting it was decided to use the Roman number to help isolate the version from the data rate so we have the following:

∙ SATA I - 1.5 Gb/s

∙ SATA II - 3.0 GB/s

∙ SATA III - 6.0 Gb/s

I often write the two together as in SATA I (1.5 Gb/s), SATA II (3.0 GB/s) & SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) so its abundantly clear. Sadly, the standards group reversed course! And now they only want the data rate listed. Which is what left you confused.

I'm not budging! That makes things more confusing! In Rome do as the romans do! Just like the USB standards group mixed things up altering things so people just don't know what the spec means and its data rate to expect.

Is this wise? Even still you do risk killing the drive as the head assembly needs to be held off the platter when taking it off and putting on otherwise you risk killing heads and/or scratching the platters.

I would just get a new drive to get your system going now and when you can get your drive serviced by someone with the needed clean room and tools

@danj Oh !&&*'s bells! lol Well, thank you so much for shedding some light on this for me. You are amazing. I hope you are making a good living from all of this knowledge you possess! I'm a graphic artist with a healthy curiosity that often leads to me getting in trouble. :D I appreciate your insight.

@artbymeadowlark - I'm here helping people as I'm now retired from working full time as my hands are stiff with arthritis, pecking a keyboard is about all I can do.

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You CANNOT repair an HDD with mechanical issues. Send it to a professional data recovery shop.

Doing it yourself actually costs probably ten times more than just sending it in, and that’s when you don’t break it.

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Dan is right about the make and series. From experience I would suggest obtaining a working hard drive, remove the heads and reinstall them and see if you can still read from it.

Relacing the arm and head assembly might look easy but it is extremely difficult to get it right. There is also a good chance you will need some expansive software like PC 3000 which will take a bit of knowledge to use.

Be aware, a lot of reputable data recovery companies will not except your device if it has been opened. 15 years of device files might be worth saving up for a professional.

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