Stripped screw heads badly in a Tivo HD

GoldenTiger

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Dec 2, 2004
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20,768
Hey all... I have a TiVo HD which has Torx T10 screws. The heads got stripped badly enough on the hard drive bracket (not directly attached to the hard drive, but more screws inaccessible until I get this bracket out are underneath, I'm fairly sure they will unscrew normally) that I can't get them out no matter what I've tried so far. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for getting stripped screws out... I've tried the following so far:

1) Press down hard with a short, manual phillips head and unscrew. Didn't work and stripped it further.

2) Same as #1 but with a flathead.

3) Power drill with a "screw extractor" bit: I drilled in a little at medium speeds, then tried to back it out by using reverse on the drill. Not sure if I did it too quickly or something but it didn't even grip the screw's shaft, and basically stripped the head in a circle now.

4) Rubber Band: I tried putting a rubber band between a Torx screwdriver and the screw head, then pressed down hard and slowly unscrewed. This didn't budge anything.

5) Superglue Gel: I applied some of it to the head of the screw inside, and pressed a screwdriver onto it figuring if I could get it to bond maybe I could just get the screw out and throw the screwdriver away after. It didn't stick... any time I tried unscrewing it would pretty much come right off.

6) My last try now is letting some Superglue Gel settle in the head of the screw, and then I will try unscrewing, hopefully the gel will harden to let me get a grip.


Anyone have any ideas? The drive is a 1.5tb unit that I can't get out due to the bracket. One of the two screws is the one on the motherboard's area, so anything I try needs to be able to be done carefully and not hit the motherboard. The heads are still attached to the shaft, and the shaft's threading is NOT stripped as far as I know, just the heads.

Thanks for reading. I figure if anyone's going to have some good ideas in this kind of situation, it would be the case mod forum :p.
 

Gimpy04

Limp Gawd
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Apr 5, 2007
Messages
135
I've used the power drill and extractors several times on stripped screws without issue. Try again. Use the cutting tip and switch over to the other side of the bit then extract.
 

Thor

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Jul 23, 2001
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3,881
if you have access to a dremel, use a cut off wheel to slice a flat head slot into the top of the screw, then use a flat head screw driver to extract, if that fails, use the dremel to grind off the screw head all together.
 

GoldenTiger

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Dec 2, 2004
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I've used the power drill and extractors several times on stripped screws without issue. Try again. Use the cutting tip and switch over to the other side of the bit then extract.

Heh, I thought you were supposed to use the cutting tip to extract, as well :eek: that's clearly something I did wrong. I'll try that next.

if you have access to a dremel, use a cut off wheel to slice a flat head slot into the top of the screw, then use a flat head screw driver to extract, if that fails, use the dremel to grind off the screw head all together.

I don't, unfortunately, but I might buy one if it looks like I could get a cut-off wheel in there (I'll look at it). Thanks for the idea :).
 

rickss69

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Jan 3, 2010
Messages
328
Use a small left hand drill bit...chances are good before you go far it will extract itself.
 

GoldenTiger

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Dec 2, 2004
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Use a small left hand drill bit...chances are good before you go far it will extract itself.

Ordered a set off amazon with prime, due Tuesday :). 13 sizes from really tiny to medium, should be able to find one that would be right amongst those! Home Depot and my local hardware store didn't stock any left-hand or reverse-threaded bits :eek:.
 

jiminator

[H]F Junkie
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Feb 2, 2007
Messages
11,618
eh, you can always use a bigger drill bit and drill out the tops of the screws. that should allow you to remove the bracket. if you have access to the back you can use pliers to remove the rest of the screw.
 

GoldenTiger

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Dec 2, 2004
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Hey everyone... I got it out with the reverse-threaded drill bits (left hand ones). I ended up buying a kit of 13 off amazon for around $10 with Prime... I had to use ones larger than I'd have thought, but they worked! Thanks again for all the ideas and thoughts.
 

Jarod888

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Dec 19, 2005
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2,630
I know you solved your issue, but have you ever tried JB weld? Mix up a small batch and fill in the screw head completely. After the JB weld sets up a bit, press a torx bit into it so that it makes an impression, and then let the JB weld dry completely, usually 24 hours or so. After it dries see if you can then break the screw loose.
 

Izza

Gawd
Joined
Mar 23, 2004
Messages
753
Use a dremel to cut a slot in the screw head. Had to do this all the time when rebuilding dirty old drill packs with rusty torx screws.

Edit: A drill bit in a dremel works well too.
 
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