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Hard Disk dismantling

Discussion in 'Hobby Electronics' started by keithr, Oct 22, 2007.

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  1. keithr

    keithr Guest

    Sorry, but you are living in a past eon, for the last 20 years disk coatings
    have been sputtered metal. There is no way that you could get today's
    recording density with ferromagnetic particles suspended in epoxy.

    In the 37 years that I have been working in the computer business, I have
    seen all sorts of disk platters, but they were all made of aluminium.

  2. Suzy

    Suzy Guest

    Possibly OT.

    I am trying to dismantle some hard disks. I am encountering some fasteners
    that are meant to be tamperproof, one in particular that has a concave
    threaded head. Also the usual star point heads (not Phillips). Is there a
    source in Aust of hard disk dismantling "screwdrivers"?
  3. ian field

    ian field Guest

    The star screw heads are AKA torx, although the standard sizes seem to slip
    easily on HD screws. Sometimes its possible to grind an old flat blade
    screwdriver to catch two of the points, if all else fails bite the top of
    the screw with heavy duty diagonal cutters and twist, this usually loosens
    the screw enough to spin out with a ground flatblade.

    Not sure what you mean by concave threaded head but if you can get hold of
    it with the cutters you might have a chance.
  4. Suzy

    Suzy Guest

    Thanks Ian. Sounds like you've been there! Have also been considering
    drilling out the screws as I do not wish to reassemble and use!

    BTW, concave is like looking at the *inside* of the screw head and there
    appears to be a sort of thread there. Can't get at it with nippers as it's
  5. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Guest

    Torx is a brand name, the generic would be a spline driver.
  6. ian field

    ian field Guest

    Since you need clean room conditions and lots of other very expensive gear
    to service a HD, I'll hazard a guess that you're after the magnets maybe -
    in which case use a small chisel to bang a slot in the screw head.
  7. kreed

    kreed Guest

    Try these torx bits (I have T-4514 and its managed just about every
    "torx" job I have done in the last 10 years, including a hard drive).
    You will surely find them useful for other future jobs too
  8. Or try this from Jaycar, it has all the bits you will probably ever need.

    It has 100 bits in it. I've got one at home and found it great for taking
    just about anything apart including hdds. On the topic of old HDDs just be
    careful of the magnets, they can give a nasty bite. I've also found that the
    only way to get the magents apart if they attach to each other is to slide
    them off.


    Andrew W
  9. Terryc

    Terryc Guest

    magnets, platters, motors or that flexible conductors that go to the head?
    Uusally they are Torx and I think I obtained my set from Jaycar. The
    mixed pack in red rubber. Unfortunately, not the super small one I've
    encountered recently.
  10. Suzy

    Suzy Guest

    Thanks all for the reply. I was looking to extract actual components and not
    rebuild, so in the end I drilled out the screws OK. You are right about the
    magnets. Pretty powerful! Incidentally, what is the material the platters
    are made from? Some sortof magnetic glass compound?
  11. ian field

    ian field Guest

    Both glass & aluminium have been used for platters. AFAIK the magnetic
    coating is a ferromagnetic epoxy that is spun on to get a dead even coating
    and baked hard.
  12. Andy Wood

    Andy Wood Guest

    .. . .
    Those magnets are powerful enough that you can perform an interesting
    experiment. Find a strip of thickish aluminium that will fit through
    the gap in the magnet. If you touch the magnet you will confirm that
    you can't pick up aluminium with a magnet. Then dangle the strip so
    that the lower end hangs in the gap of the magnet and then let it drop
    while watching carefully.
    Andy Wood
  13. An even better demonstration of this is to drop a supermagnet down
    a length of copper pipe. I have a magnet the size of a marble that
    takes ~5 seconds to fall 30 cm, before dropping out the bottom.

    Clifford Heath.
  14. Terryc

    Terryc Guest

    All the platters I've extracted from 8", 5", 3.5" and 2.5" drives are
    aluminium based.

    I've seen ones from the old washing machine era that were glass(?).
  15. Bob Parker

    Bob Parker Guest

    What gets me is the data density ... 101 Gbits/square inch and
    137,000 tracks/inch average on my primary hard drive (according to the
    Seagate specs), and it's a very ordinary cheap one.

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