Stripped Torx screws

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I'm trying to deal with small Torx screws on a drive case. They're about T8, maybe T7. Tough to tell cause the screws are 'pre-stripped.' In other words, there's not much edge for a Torx driver to grip them. They almost look like rounded allen-head screws. I'm trying to figure out how to deal with them.
These are not the tamper-proof variety, so I don't need a hollow-point Torx driver (if they even make them that small).
The first thing that occurred to me was to place a small Torx driver in the holes and tap the end lightly with a mallet. That could do more harm than good though, as this looks like very soft metal. It's also a working disk drive case, so I don't want to damage the drive.
I could try a tiny screw extractor, but the risk is that it wouldn't work and then the remainder of the screw would really jam things up.
Any other ideas?
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Small drill bit or grinding bit in a Dremel (other small drills are available) should allow you to take the head off. If it's a drive, chances are that once you've taken the head off the screw, the actual shank will unscrew without any trouble because there won't be any pressure on it any more. It's not as if it will be rusted in place, or if it is, you're probably wasting your time anyway.
HTH Mike.

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Mike wrote:

_________________________________________________
I use a Dremel too, but not to take the head off. Use a thin cutting wheel and grind a screwdriver slot in the head, then use a regular screwdriver to remove it. Works great if done carefully.
--
BT


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Bill Turner wrote:

Back in the days when I used to help do aircraft annual inspections, we often used this technique for inspection port screw heads that were stripped. It works great most of the time.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN

snipped-for-privacy@carolina.rr.com.REMOVE
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On Wed, 06 Jul 2005 03:26:46 GMT, "Mortimer Schnerd, RN"

It is good for many situations but I believe OP already described this as one of the more typical plastic enclosure methods where the screws are well-recessed, it would require cutting a fair distance through the casing around the screw, maybe even enough to make the casing structurally unsound due to cutting the slots.
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Line the depression with paper, with the screw-head poking through. Then mix up a wad of 2-part epoxy, and stuff it in the hole.
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On Wed, 06 Jul 2005 11:05:13 -0400, Goedjn

This epoxy idea may work, but it seems you left out a few details as a hole filled with epoxy isn't much easier to get out than one with an odd head pattern. I have used epoxy before though, sometimes with success and other times it just tore up the epoxy. This was using JDWeld, do you have a better suggestion for a stronger epoxy? I'd also thought about saving some aluminum filings the next time I did any metalwork (non-computer related, just fine almost dustlike Al) then mixing that into the epoxy to fortify it.
I still like my idea of filing down a bit because if you ever come across that pattern & size again you'd already have the bit.
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case? Such operations are strictly for the experts in a cleanroom environment as even a tiny spec of dust getting in can ruin a HDD. If on the other hand you're referring to screws which hold the drive in the PC case/cage then a dremel with a cutting disk in it could be used to cut a groove in the head to suit a flat blade screwdriver.
Paul
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_ZZ wrote:

I frequently use a soldering iron on the offending screw to loosen it before attempting to turn it with a screw extractor
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Get a life...
: _ZZ wrote: : > I'm trying to deal with small Torx screws on a drive case. They're : > about T8, maybe T7. Tough to tell cause the screws are : > 'pre-stripped.' : : I frequently use a soldering iron on the offending screw to loosen it : before attempting to turn it with a screw extractor :
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I've found that a fractional drop of Kroil let to soak overnite will work wonders. Beware that it will likely creep inside the drive with unknown but seldom beneficial results - I've only used it on dead drives.
--
Free men own guns, slaves don\'t
www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/5357/
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wrote:

with guns !!

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Bolt splitter and a mallet. If that fails I usually get out the angle grinder.
ss.
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_ZZ wrote:

Use a small (3/32"?) left-handed drill bit and start drilling out the screw *very* slowly with a variable speed drill. Once the drill bit bites into the screw, it will back the screw out. I've done this will several very small computer philips screws -- I don't know why torx would be any different.
Best regards, Bob
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wrote:

"Pre-stripped" as-in, their head used to be better but a tool has stripped it some, or pre-stripped as-in, this is an unusual screw head that is still in pristine condition?

You should not tap it with a mallet. Sudden shock to a working (viable) drive is a bad idea ignoring the screws.

Find the closest shaped bit you can that's a little oversized. From your description it would be an allen bit. Since that is not a complex shaped pattern you can probably replicate it with minimal effort. Take a fine file and reduce the bit just enough to fit with minimal-to-no force to insert it.
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Thanks to all for some great ideas that never occurred to me.
I should have explained a bit better: By 'Drive Case' I meant that this is an external USB 2.0 case. I'm not dismantling the actual drive--it's intact, inside this case.
The original objective was to buy the external USB2 case with a larger drive, then swap the drive in the laptop with the drive in the case. Imagine my surprise. 'Pre-stripped' means that the original Torx (if that's even what they are) have barely any edge...very rounded, almost like an allen indent, but even rounder. They obviously didn't want people messing with their drive case. I've seen tons of cases like this, and this is the only one that uses such a bizarre screw.
Also, the screws are slightly indented. Metal from the enclosure forms a shoulder around it. But the idea of sawing a flat-blade slot may work. I may be able to get a small blade in there.
Then I should probably find replacement screws. They'll probably be some odd Martian thread.
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_ZZ wrote:

They may *not* be Torx screws. Google "safety screws" for more info on head/driver designs.
Notan
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Notan wrote:

You might also want to check Sears or your local hardware store. They've got "damaged screw removers," that, if small enough, might do the trick.
Notan
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Are you sure these aren't a "pop-rivet" sort of fastener - IE: not a "screw" at all? If so, you'll have to drill them out.
FWIW, I've see external USB Hard Drive cases available for under $10 US (actually there are a few on Ebay right now for $1, (plus like $8 shipping). You might be better off just to get a new one (unless you're bored and this is a "challenge" <g>).

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_ZZ wrote:

I would use an easyout. I would also tape up the drive so everything was covered before beginning as you will be creating small bits of metal that could destroy the drive it any at all got inside.
I would suggest the tape idea for any method you come up with.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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