Monday, March 31, 2008

Adventure in Maxtor OneTouch III Disassembly

My Time Machine drive is a Maxtor OneTouch III connected to my iMac via FireWire 800. Everything is working swimmingly, until recently, when it began to make a grinding noise. Yikes!

Actually, it's happened before. When the grinding starts, if I stop Time Machine, eject/unmount the drive, and re-mount it using Disk Utility, the sound goes away. But, it's been happening more often. So when it happened again today, I decided that I needed to do something about it.

I Googled around for disassembly instructions. The best I came up with are here. The instructions are for a different model altogether, but close enough. Being hardware-challenged, I broke a few plastic tabs along the way, but I managed.

At first I feared the worst, that the drive mechanism bit the dust. After I took the drive apart, I realized the noise was coming from the fan. The drive itself makes a quiet whisper. Whew. Then I thought perhaps the fan's bearings have gone bad. Wrong again. Turns out the screws fastening the fan to the housing are a bit loose. After re-fastening the screws, the fan quieted down.

Not sure how long this will last. Perhaps I should look into buying a Time Capsule?

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