From Inside the Hard Disk [bandwidth heavy thread]


Staff member
I was cleaning my PC for all the dust and mess stuck in CPU cooler and in the peripheral vision of my eyes I saw the worst happening. A slight nudge from my hand send the hard disk off the table, it was only an auxiliary hard disk with backup OS and Downloads partition. Not risking my data, I backed up what was already present in Downloads partition, and identified that the hard disk had trouble copying some data. What's a fun way to do away with hard disk, a bad one ? Let's dissect. I will learn more but for now just the pictures. If you have any suggestions then list out here. It's a sacrifice that I should make. Hard disk you will be missed.


Unscrewed all screws sans one. It's a 160GB SATA HDD. That Orange tape is for NZXT Sentry 2 temperature probe. Not using it anymore.


Reveal the remaining last screw. Don't break the seal if you don't want to compromise your HDD's warranty.


Entrails seen through the opened cavity. One can see the seal lining over the cover at left hand side. It reduces the contamination by dust. There is another seal (left of the circle with hidden screw) which dampens the vibration. Note: The head is in resting position where the locking mechanism prevent it from moving radially over platter.


As you can see, this can be a good replacement for mirror. However, one can find other good uses too.


This is the head assembly. Connected to a controller through ribbon connection.


Another shot of the assembly. Notice the dry silica bag at the top right corner. It keeps humidity away. I was surprised to see it here.


That plastic bit, caressed by my finger ever so gently, looks like the locking mechanism. If you flick the head to the radial center of the platter, the lock kicks in and the head will not move radially outward at all. I had to press the plastic bit to unlock the movement of head. I guess when the had disk is idle it sits in the resting position near the radial center and the lock becomes active. Must be used to prevent damage during transportation of hard disk by restricting the movement. I am not sure. Not a PhD in HDD.


Unlocked the mechanism and now I can move the head freely in any direction. Moving it to radial center will trigger the lock at the end.


Yes, that's a silica bag. To keep things dry.

Some other shots:




Fun Fact: My ceiling fan made cameo 5 times. And in one you can see my guitar. Any guesses ?


Stupid question ...
Does the HDD work after putting it back together ?
Also thanks for your post . Appreciate your effort .


The Power of x480
Staff member
Oh man... I have a couple of bad hdd lying around. Wanted to tear them down since long. Will do soon.


Sith Lord
Staff member
you didn't remove the head assembly?
there is a pretty powerful magnet in there

PS, done this too, but got soo excited that stopped taking photos




getting that platter out is tough. Broke and cut some things, including a screwdriver handle, which I was using to force stuff apart.
Hit a dead end. Check second last picture, need some specialized tools to disassemble any further.


yes, hdd should have neodymium magnets, look for them, very strong stuff ! :D

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