How to Recycle Old Computer Hard Drives

Let’s say that you have an old hard drive that you want to get rid of but you want to make sure that any information that was on it can not be recovered. You can accomplish this and create something useful at the same time. As an added bonus you recycle the metal and help save the environment by keeping the hard drive out of the land fill.

Steps

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    Collect what's in the "Things You'll Need" section.
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    The drive used here is an old Western Digital 2GB IDE drive.
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    With the label facing up remove the six visible screws with the 8x60 Torx driver.
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    There is usually at least one screw covered by the label, use you fingers to search for the depression under the label. Then use the utility knife to expose the screw so that it can be removed.
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    Turn the drive over and remove the screws that fasten the drive controller card to the drive.
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    Using the utility knife cut the seal that runs along the side of the drive on all four sides.
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    Open the drive cover and remove all visible screws.
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    Use the flat head screwdriver to remove the first rare earth magnet.
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    Next use the flat head screwdriver to unscrew the drive read / write arm.
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    Remove the read / write arm.
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    Now remove the 2nd magnet..
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    Now use the 7x60 torx driver to remove the round plate that retains the data disk.
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    Now remove the retaining ring and data disk.
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    Next use the 8x60 torx driver to remove the drive motor.
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    The drive is now completely disassembled and now you repeat the process until you have all the magnets you need.
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    The remaining parts are almost all aluminum; the exception is the motor. The average hard drive produces one half pound of recyclable aluminum.
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    It takes a great deal of electricity to create aluminum from raw materials so not only are you saving space in the land fill, you are also conserving energy.
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    Now that you have your magnets it is time to create your tool / knife holder.
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    Now it is time to take all that money you made by taking your aluminum to the recycling dealer and purchase a few items from the local home building supply store.
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    Here is what you need:
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    A piece of wood 1’ x 3” x 2“
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    (You can use any type of wood you like; red oak is good because of its strength and natural unfinished color.)
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    Small metal screws 4 x ½
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    Power drill and a 5/64 bit
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    Philips head screwdriver
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    Measuring tape or ruler
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    Pencil
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    You can cut the wood in half for two tool / knife holders or keep it the same size for one large tool / knife holder.
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    Use your measuring tape to find the center of the wood and mark it lightly with a pencil.
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    Arrange the magnets to your liking. Different drive manufactures have different shaped magnets so use your creativity and artistic ability.
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    The magnets are bonded on to a piece of metal that has holes for connecting to the drive; use these holes to connect the magnet to the wood.
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    Mark each hole with a pencil and drill a hole a half inch deep into the wood.
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    Now just insert the screws, you can mount the tool / knife holder on the wall or you can install two or three magnets on the back of the wood and mount to a refrigerator or any other metal surface.

Warnings

  • The magnets are very strong and can cause injury if placed too close together.

Things You'll Need

  • Two Torx Drivers
  • 2 x60's
  • Sharp Utility Knife
  • Flat screwdriver

Article Info

Categories: Hard Drives | Reduce Recycle and Reuse