How to Clean a Hard Drive Disk Platter

By Brad Hostetter

Sometimes a hard disk drive becomes sluggish or stops working because it needs to be cleaned. However, cleaning a hard drive disk platter is a delicate operation. Be sure to prepare yourself with the proper cleaning tools and procedure in order to give yourself the best possible chance to improve your hard drive's performance instead of damaging it.

Things You'll Need

  • Powder-free latex gloves
  • Anti-static wrist strap
  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Air can

Step 1

Take your hard drive into a room that is as clean as possible to avoid dust that could damage the heads of the drive. Find a room with very little air movement if possible.

Step 2

Put on your powder-free latex gloves and anti-static wrist strap. You are now ready to work on your drive without causing damage from powder, moisture or static electricity.

Step 3

Use your Phillips-head screwdriver to unscrew any screws necessary to remove the drive from the CPU and the platter from the drive.

Step 4

Spray the air can to remove any dust and other foreign material on the platter. Be sure to read the directions on the air can in order to know how far to hold the can from the target when spraying.

Step 5

Reassemble your hard drive and properly store or dispose of your cleaning and assembly materials.

Step 6

Try using your newly cleaned hard drive after you reinstall it. If it still is not performing to your satisfaction, try contacting a professional computer hardware maintenance service.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try putting your hard drive on a table or desk so you can be seated while working on it. This could help you clean the drive with more accuracy and stability.Work in a well-lit area so you can get the best possible view of your hard drive and the dust or dirt on it.
  • If you don't wear an anti-static wrist strap, then at least touch a metal object before working on your hard disk drive. Otherwise, you could damage sensitive parts of the drive with static electricity. Also, don't use a cloth or chemicals to clean the hard drive platter because you could damage it.

References & Resources