Hackaday Podcast 076: Grinding Compression Screws, Scratching PCBs, And Melting Foam

Hackaday editors Elliot Williams and Mike Szczys are enamored by this week’s fabrication hacks. There’s a PCB mill that isolates traces by scratching rather than cutting. You won’t believe how awesome this angle-cutter jig is at creating tapered augers for injection molding/extruding plastic. And you may not need an interactive way to cut foam, but the art from the cut pieces is more than a mere shadow of excellence. Plus we gab about a clever rotary encoder circuit, which IDE is the least frustrating, and the go-to tools for hard drive recovery.

Take a look at the links below if you want to follow along, and as always, tell us what you think about this episode in the comments!

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Failing Hard Drive Sounds

Not all hard drives fail the same way. DataCent, a data recovery service based in Canada, has an impressive archive of failing hard drive sounds. If you’re ever in doubt about whether your hard drive needs help, this is your guide. From bad heads to stuck spindles, bad hard drives click, grind, hum, and scratch. It’s almost musical in its regularity. Who will be the first person to string of these samples together into a ringtone or techno song.

[photo: Boja]

[via MetaFilter]

ShmooCon 2008: Hard Drive Highlights


Today wrapped up with a talk on recovering data from solid state hard drives by [Scott Moulton]. The talk focused on the differences in data storage between SSD and platter technology. I did come away with a few interesting bits of knowledge. In an effort to extend device life, flash based drives store changed data to a new location, leaving the old data intact until a garbage removal subroutine gets around to clearing it out. Probably the best way to recover data from them will be altering or replacing the controller chip so you can access old data.

Yesterday I caught an interesting talk on recovering passwords from drive images by [David Smith]. He found that he could take a system image, strip out all the strings that were stored by various programs and use them to build a dictionary of possible passwords. By limiting string lengths and matching for known password policies, he was able to further filter his dictionary for likely passwords.