Thursday, December 17, 2009

Takeapart: hard drive

It's been forever since I did one of these posts, but I got an old hard disk yesterday with instructions to make the privacy-protected patient data on it unreadable. That I did.

The thing was hard to open, with seven very tight torx screws. I got the outer six off with a standard flat-blade screwdriver, but then it began to slip, so I beat the last one with a hammer till it ripped out of the aluminium frame. It was a pretty simple design - circuit board on the bottom, single platter taking up most of the space. I took some pliers and flipped up a metal plate which held one of the two magnets. I pounded on the aluminum hard drive frame to bend the other plate, allowing me to slip a screwdriver under and lift up the other.

Thus, two perfectly good small hard drive magnets. The two of em held an office chair hanging from a hammer to a steel I-beam. Strong stuff - neodymium iron boron. At least 20 pounds of pull between the two, maybe more. Stick em together and slide em up and down the fall till they stick to a nail, you got yourself a stud-finder. They'll clamp thin wood like balsa real well. Also good for wiping hard drives and credit cards, wrecking speakers, and making spots on CRTs.

I then beat the metal frame till it spit out the platter, which I then beat with a hammer, ran with magnets, and otherwise turned into a nice piece of modern metal sculpture. The feebees could maybe salvage it, but prolly not.

Defintiely worth the effort.


Maelstrom said...

As interesting as it is to take one apart, lately I've settled with just running a 1/4" drill bit through the whole deal several times.

The EGE said...

Eh, I love the hard drive magnets. I have 6 or 8 of them.

Maelstrom said...

I have a few that I keep on my desk at work because it amuses me when people fiddle with them and get pinched because they don't expect them to be so strong.