Which Torx screwdriver for hard disk disassembly?

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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I want to give this a try:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7m5cil6KezI

But I haven't managed to find the correct size Torx screwdriver to unscrew the screws from a Seagate 2.5" HDD.

A bit of searching suggests I should use a T6 Torx screwdriver, but if anyone knows what size I should look for, that would be great.
 

dma0991

Platinum Member
Mar 17, 2011
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Just get them as a set of different sizes. They're pretty cheap and mine is shaped (L) like an allen/hex key. I wouldn't recommend getting a single size as there are Torx screw of different sizes in a particular HDD. Torx screw on the center hub that holds the platters or many of the internal components could be smaller or similar sized to the ones that holds the top cover.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
17,683
9,530
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I bought a couple of sets, but I wanted to be a bit more sure because the various sets including various sizes (not necessarily all of them). The T6 turned out to be the right one for this Seagate notebook HDD.

I followed the instructions in the clip and it worked :) The head was stuck in the middle of the platter. I reversed the direction of the platter as they suggested which worked for a while, but then the head got stuck again, so I carefully lifted it off and away from the platter (without touching the platter).

The drive has reported some bad sectors which is to be expected, but I've copied the important stuff.
 
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mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
17,683
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A further FYI:

Toshiba notebook drives require a smaller Torx screwdriver, perhaps T4 or T5, not sure.
 

readymix

Senior member
Jan 3, 2007
357
1
81
Husky makes a 8 in 1 torx set which I have been meaning to get. I already have the standard Philips/slotted job and it's great for the tiny screws found In pc's and elsewhere. $6 at home depot.
 

GuccizBud

Junior Member
May 30, 2016
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Almost 3 years old, but I'll answer this for posterity. What you want to try to do is measure, in mm, the "cross-section" distance of the screws, which you can think of as follows: if you were to draw a circle around the points of the "star", what would the diameter of that circle measure? It helps to have some magnification to do that. Since most people don't have rulers with fractions of millimeters on them, you need to just eyeball it, so if it looks to be about 2/3 of the way between 1 and 2 mm on the ruler, you would just call it 1.7 mm for example.

Once you have that figure, compare it to the chart below — it's the most common Torx screw sizes for hard drive enclosures :

 1.7 mm = T6 Torx
 2.0 mm = T7 Torx
 2.3 mm = T8 Torx
 2.5 mm = T9 Torx

In other words :

 • between 1½ and 2 mm, you're looking at a T6 driver
 • 2 mm even, that's T7
 • between 2 and 2½ mm is T8, and
 • 2½ mm is T9
 

bigboxes

Lifer
Apr 6, 2002
38,580
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I have a set of drivers, maybe four or five for bigger sizes, and a precision driver with different size bits for smaller. In a pinch, you can use a flathead.
 

Gillatt

Junior Member
Mar 17, 2018
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0
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I know this is an old thread, but I've done this recently for an old hard drive and thought I would share for others. I lost my set of Torx screwdrivers in a house move and forgot what sizes I needed and ended up here as this is the top result on Google currently.

I had an old Seagate 1TB HDD which has been on its last legs for a while, and following my data-paranoid traditions, I never throw away complete hard drives. What I do is remove the platters and bin/recycle the rest.

To do this I went on amazon and bought these Drill bits (as some HDD's are screwed in very tightly)
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B074QJH1VM/

The bits I needed were T5,T6 and T7.
For getting to the heads like the OP did in the Youtube video above, you will only need the T7. To remove the other components such as the magnets and the platters you'll need the smaller T5 and T6.

If you're using a drill like I did, make sure you try out the bit by hand to make sure you don't use the wrong one and shred the bit. You want the one which fits as snuggly as possible while fitting in the screw.

To completely remove the head, platters and magnets leaving an empty HDD case, it took around 5 mins with the drill.
Hopefully that'll be useful for someone.