Hard Drive Disassembly is Easy and Rewarding

Have any dead hard drives kicking around? Hackaday alum [Jeremy Cook] shows how easy it is to disassemble a hard drive to scavenge its goodies. The hardest part is having the patience and the tools to get past all those screws that stand between you and the treasure inside.

The case screws are frequently of the Torx variety. Any self-respecting hacker probably has one or two of these already, but if you’re in the market, [Jeremy] recommends a nice set that looks way better than ours. Once the case is open, you can find rare earth magnets, bearings, and one or more platters.

Those terrifically strong magnets are good for all kinds of projects. Glue a couple of them to the back of an attractive piece of wood, mount it on the kitchen wall, and you have yourself a knife block. Keep a couple on the bench to temporarily magnetize tools. Use them to build a pickup to amplify a cigar box guitar or thumb piano. Or run the pickup into a small amplified speaker and wave it like a stethoscope near your electronics to hear them hum. As far as liberating the magnets goes, [Jeremy] resorted to clamping his in a vise and using a hammer and chisel to pry it away from the actuator hardware.

You’ve no doubt seen clocks made from old hard drives that were kept mostly intact. Many makers including [Jeremy] will extract the shiny platters to use as bases for clock faces and engrave the numbers, etch them, or glue them on. Those platters also make excellent chimes. Even if you just hang one platter off of a finger and tap it with a fingernail, it sounds really nice.

If simple chimes don’t really butter your muffin, there are all kinds of sonic projects for dead hard drives. How about making a microphone or speakers? Maybe an HDD MIDI controller or a synthesizer is more your speed. Speaking of synths, watch [Jeremy] take a hard drive apart to some sweet sounds after the break.

Continue reading “Hard Drive Disassembly is Easy and Rewarding”

Trashed Hard Drive? Why not an Engraved Clock?

So your hard drive quit working.  Don’t despair, with a “little” work your disk can be repurposed into a clock like the one seen above. I made this clock after several iterations of various success, including the first revision, which was simply the platter with a clock kit from a hobby store screwed into the middle. Still a very neat effect, but if you want to actually tell what time it is, it helps to have the numbers available.

For this, you’ll need some sort of CNC machine (a kit-build router in this case), and some way to generate the Gcode to get everything cut correctly. A guide to how the logo was eventually turned into something a machine could understand is provided here. Of course if you’re not sure what logo would look good on your clock, you can always skip a few steps and engrave the our logo. In this [HAD] article, it’s conveniently provided in .dxf format, which can be converted by a CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) program into code that your machine can understand.

Check out after the break for a video of two “platter clocks” being engraved using these methods: Continue reading “Trashed Hard Drive? Why not an Engraved Clock?”