These hard disks are bad so now what?

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Duckpaddle

Well-known member
Oct 1, 2020
64
20
Being a tester, I now own a box of known bad hard drives. Any thoughts on repurposing them?

Starter Ideas: Gyro camera stabilizer or disk sander or ???
 
My fridge has about 4cm of hard drive magnets in a stack on the door, and I have found a whole host of uses for them as well, for various things, like mounting a GPS without needing a hole in the dash, and using one with a reed switch as a large distance operation switch. others are in use as parts holders, and to keep remote controls in position on a steel plate so they do not go walkabout so easily.
 
I kept one on my monitor (back when a CRT monitor had a flat spot on top) with the silvery platters facing behind me, when I worked in a location where I had to have my back to the traffic going past my cube entrance. It made a nice rear-view mirror without looking like I had a rear-view mirror. It meant that no one could sneak up on me, and kept my 'fight or flight' instincts at bay. In those days, it also doubled as a conversation piece.
 
I say label them with "interesting" labels... and leave them around so that an attacker finds them first. "Top Secret - Moon Base" for example. ;) (or maybe "Extreme Birthday Cake Porn" or something LOL)
I had a floppy that was bad out of the box. I labeled it BACKUP and stuck it to my whiteboard with a magnet. So many great reactions!!!
 
I agree with pulling the magnets. Not much practical use, but amazing how strong the larger ones are. I heard this somewhere long ago for CDs, but HD platters would work even better. Use them in sunlight for signaling. Probably my favorite one from the floppy days came from the cover of a magazine. It was a picture of the familiar fire alarm box with a glass window and small hammer to break the glass and trigger the fire alarm. This was modified with a stack of floppies behind the glass, and the text read "in case of hard drive crash break glass". I probably have the image saved somewhere in terabytes of saved files.
 
how strong the larger ones
Do be careful with strong magnets, you can more easily pinch your fingers/skin than you may at first be aware. I bought a pack of small round magnets hoping to use them as weights on a curtain that is near a travel path and the air currents kept blowing it into people's face. They came with little plastic separators which at first I thought were silly. After removing the separator and mishandling two of the magnets, I got me a right painful blister by accident. (BTW the magnets weren't really heavy enough (each being about the size of a quarter) but the metal in the A/C vent below was attractive enough to a pair to solve the problem in an accidentally different way. ;) )
 
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Do be careful with strong magnets, you can more easily pinch your fingers/skin than you may at first be aware. I bought a pack of small round magnets hoping to use them as weights on a curtain that is near a travel path and the air currents kept blowing it into people's face. They came with little plastic separators which at first I thought were silly. After removing the separator and mishandling two of the magnets, I got me a right painful blister by accident. (BTW the magnets weren't really heavy enough (each being about the size of a quarter) but the metal in the A/C vent below was attractive enough to a pair to solve the problem in an accidentally different way. ;) )
No kidding, I got an extreme magnet from Germany, it could pick up a dollar bill (magnetic ink on currency). It almost got me a couple of times. I approached that beast with a lot of respect!
 
No kidding, I got an extreme magnet from Germany, it could pick up a dollar bill (magnetic ink on currency). It almost got me a couple of times. I approached that beast with a lot of respect!
Neodymium magnets have no conscience, don't ask how I know.
 
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I've bought some magnets from KJ magnetics. There is a lot of info there including how to safely handle strong magnets. I re-read the safety info from time to time. Among the dangers is that neodymium magnets can shatter if they slam into something, or another magnet. I've had a couple do that when they were pulled out of my hand. I keep a piece of plastic between strong magnets and whatever I have them stuck on to help get them off.