Killing and Dismembering an HDD

My parents PC started to act up a few weekends ago. I knew the motherboard was defect already, so I have decided to buy everything new, including an SSD – but I thought the old HDD can still be used for data storage. I was ronk. When I built the thing, it was still acting up, and finally I got the message that S.M.A.R.T. detects problems with the drive. So I decided to nix it and throw it out. It did not contain any important information, but even so I wiped it repeatedly, then performed full format, and then I disassembled it, run the platters over with a screwdriver and with strong neodymium magnet. Hopefully not even Nick Fury should now be able to recover the data that once was there, and should he go through the trouble being pissed at finding a bunch of flowers and gingerbread pictures.

When building it back together I did not build in one crucial part – the two half-moon shaped neodymium magnets that you can see to the left of the center in the photo. They are very slim and very, very strong – it is not easy to pry them apart in hand. I decided that they are simply too nice in themselves to throw into recycling and they might be useful in my workshop later on.

Two days later I got an idea how to use them and they might prove to be THE solution to a problem that I was looking for for over a month now, or at least a good part towards a solution. I hope to try that out soon, the weather is getting warmer, the flu or whatever was trying to kill me seems to have failed, so hopefully next weekend I will be able to resume working on knives.

©Charly, all rights reserved. Click for full size.


  1. lochaber says

    Some platters are made of glass and shatter really easily.

    I discovered this the wrong way.

  2. jrkrideau says

    Now we have to wait for warm weather to hear the fate of the magnets? Humpf.

    I don’t know. I think back in the good-old-days I would have considered a heavy ball-peen hammer and the anvil.

  3. says

    The magnets from the HDD: how are those mounted to the metal plates? I recently took apart two drives, and no amount of prying with a flat-head screwdriver would get those magnets off those plates. Like they’re epoxied. But I’ve seen other people at work with those sorts of magnets with no plates.
    One of those drives was from my teen-aged kid’s old computer, and it had two aluminum spacer rings (I see one on the platters in the photo in the OP), one wider than the other. Put one of the rings on his keychain, and one on mine, and he was thrilled when I told him it was so that whenever we saw the rings, we’d remember how much fun we had together on that computer. Then he asked, “why do I get the thin ring?” I replied, “because I’m bigger than you.”

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