Hard drives – breaking them down

So, I spent some time this weekend breaking down some of the huge pile of dead drives I’ve gotten from work. It was more work than I thought it would be. A LOT more.

The easiest way to break them down begins by using a razor blade to cut a small flap out of the label on the drive cover. Why, you ask? Well, there is always at least one but more often than not, two screws through the cover holding down the middle of the cover. Along with that are usually six, three on each side.

Once the top is unscrewed, it’s time to flip it over. The circuit board can be held by anything from four to eight screws, and once they’re removed the board just lifts away. The reason for this is apparent when you lift the board off, there is usually a pass-through on the corner of the drive and board that has ‘fingers’ that make the contact between the inside and outside of the drive.

Once the cover is lifted away you’ll see the magnet, the head assembly, the platter assembly, and the pass through. There are usually two screws holding down the pass through, and one or two holding down the bottom magnet plate. The head assembly or arm is usually held in by a screw from the top or the bottom. The platters are usually held to the motor by six screws through a hold down plate.

That’s about it. Pull the guts out, peel the aluminum stickers off and any gaskets and you’re done. On to the next one.

By now you’re wondering – Why? Why is this guy dismantling drives? I want the drive chassis’ for the metal – I’m melting down drives for the raw materials for my metal work projects. Part one is to make a lathe. More in later posts… 🙂