Fun things to do with recycled hard drives

Knife or tool holder 


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.  

Most drives contain two rare earth magnets, these are very strong permanent magnets and we are going to use these to create the Tool / knife holder.

To get started you will need the following tools to disasemble the drive:


Two Torx drivers




One sharp utility knife


On flat head screw driver


 warning! these magnets are very strong and may cause injury when the are placed too close together!


The drive I will use here is an old Western Digital 2GB IDE drive.


1. With the label facing up remove the six visible screws with the 8x60 Torx driver.



 2. 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.

 3.Turn the drive over and remove the screws that fasten the drive controller card to the drive.


4.Using the utility knife cut the seal that runs along the side of the drive on all four sides.

5.Open the drive cover and remove all visible screws.


6.Use the flat head screw driver to remove the first rare earth magnet.

7. Next use the flat head screw driver to unscrew the drive read / write arm.

8. Remove the read / write arm.

9. Now remove the 2nd magnet..

10. Now you are going to use the 7x60 torx driver to remove the round plate that retains the data disk.

11. Now remove the retaining ring and data disk.

12. Next use the 8x60 torx driver to remove the drive motor.

The drive is now completely disassembled and now you repeat the process until you have all the magnets you need. I use at least six and sometimes up to 18.


 The remaining parts are almost all aluminum; the exception is the driver motor. I have found that the average hard drive produces one half pound of recyclable aluminum.

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.

Now that we have our magnets it is time to create our tool / knife holder.

Follow the link below to the