Dead HDD Smartphone Stand Still Holds Secret Data

We’ve actually got a few dead hard drives collecting dust so when we hear about a project that finds a use for one we perk up a bit. But we were somewhat disappointed when we discovered this was a smartphone stand, pen holder, and LED lamp in one. We just don’t have a use for this kind of triple-tasker. But wait… the dead drive has a secret. It still serves as data storage, if you know how to enabling the drive within.

As you can seen, [Samimiy] removed all the guts of the HDD, repurposing the platters and mounting brackets as the phone holder, and mounting plate for a couple handfuls of LEDs. The lamp portion can be adjusted thanks to the articulated based from a small desk lamp he had in his parts bin. The device receives power from the USB connector you can see in the upper right. That’s where the first part of the secret comes in. This isn’t just supplying power, it provides a USB connection to the thumb drive hidden inside the HDD case. But just connecting it to your computer won’t mount it. [Samimy] took the light sensor from an automatic nightlight and set it up below the pen holder. If you shine a flashlight down the hole in that piece of wood it will routed power to the secret USB drive causing it to enumerate on your system. Pretty clever! Take a look at his build video after the break.

We wonder if there’s a way to incorporate this light-based lock system into that mouse-mounted thumb drive.


17 thoughts on “Dead HDD Smartphone Stand Still Holds Secret Data

  1. Nice workmanship in the build. Would recommend including a USB lipo battery within the HD enclosure. You never know what you might want to add in the future and POWERED HUBS rock when you get multiple electronics projects plugged into USB. 500mA only goes so far….

  2. hmmmmmmmmm … mmm

    never thought of that kind of thing before, electrically easy and oh the possibilities.

    two usb drives in one, one with music, the other,,, you will never know! lol imagine…

    maybe the 2nd usb drive letter only shows up when you press lock on your car’s keyfob when plugging…


  3. Cool build, but I would prefer using magnetic switches for hidden triggers. Less chances to be triggered by error/chance. Simplest one is a spring from a cheap lighter (the one pushing the flint) set about 1mm from aluminum paper. When the magnet is near, it closes the circuit. Only cables needed !

  4. Yay grammatical errors that even a five year old from Kazakhstan would have noticed if they actually proof-read the article!

    Though actually, it sounds like Borat-speak, so perhaps Kazakhstan isn’t the best choice for this example…

  5. if you’d had put the usb-stick in a keyboard that is usb anywho, than your even more stealthier and you can replaced a signal led with a foto resister you hook up to an arduino too make it 1337

    1. Agreed, the dude had to be stoned, how else would you explain making such a contraption in the first place?

      However, I must say that I do like the idea of the HD platters to hold the smart phone…

  6. That has to be the strangest collection of random functionality stuck to the outside of a device. And I don’t mean that in a good way.

    What next? Maybe PC case that contains a pencil sharpener, a gieger counter and a fridge that chills Coke to 3.7C but Pepsi to 4.1C. Except if you’re whistling when you put it in – then it shakes the cans up to prank an unsuspecting colleague.

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