Sanyo Lunchbox, 1701, Stiction, and the Frisbee Toss

From: Scott Ware <>
Date: Thu Jul 3 15:35:45 1997

On Thu, 3 Jul 1997, Marvin wrote:

> 1701 on IBM and compatibles is the number for a Hard Disk error. The
> first thing I would do is listen to see if the HD is actually spinning
> up. If not, all is not necessarily lost. In that case, I pull the HD
> and give it a quick spin. Not sure how to describe it easily in words
> but the idea is that the casing is rotated quickly enough around the
> platter axis to get the disk to turn slightly. If sticktion is the
> problem, that will sometimes get it going again until the unit is shut
> off. I don't recommend beating on the HD although I have heard people
> say it works for them in cases of stiction.

I've heard this technique described as the "frisbee toss", which seems
like a relatively accurate description. Just remember not to let go of
the drive! A certain manufacturer of brightly-colored workstations
shipped quite a few machines with disks that were prone to stiction
problems, and the "frisbee toss" was the accepted fix until they released
a disk exerciser patch and agreed to replace the drives.

When performing this operation, try to make the disk platter spin in the
direction that it does in normal operation, if possible. I've had to use
this technique on a few older Seagate drives (in addition to the disks in
the workstations mentioned above) and have had good results. Don't put
too much trust in the disk afterwards, and remember that it will probably
not spin up again under its own power after it has been powered off and
allowed to cool down.

Scott Ware            
Received on Thu Jul 03 1997 - 15:35:45 BST

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