Introduction: Hard Drive Speaker

Picture of Hard Drive Speaker

In this instructable we turn a hard drive into a speaker. 

Step 1: Items Needed

Picture of Items Needed

Items needed for this project :
1. Hard Disk Drive
2. Soldering Iron
3. Wire Cutter
4. T9 Torx Screw Driver

Step 2: Disassemble the Hard Disc Drive.

Picture of Disassemble the Hard Disc Drive.

Disassemble the HDD.Use the T9 torx screw driver to remove the screws.Some of the screws are hidden under the label on top of the cover.

Step 3: Remove the Magnet on the Top.

Picture of Remove the Magnet on the Top.

Remove the magnet on the top. First remove the screw that holds it in place and lift the magnet out slowly.

Step 4: Remove the Lock of the Head.

Picture of Remove the Lock of the Head.

Remove the lock of the head.

Step 5: Remove the Head of the HDD.

Picture of Remove the Head of the HDD.

Remove the contact terminal (the plastic thingy) shown in the first picture.Then turn the head off the platter and lift it straight up(second picture).

Step 6: Now for Some Hacking.

Picture of Now for Some Hacking.

Solder a piece of long wire on to the terminals shown in the picture. (sorry about the blurry picture) This is the wire to be connected to the amplifier.

Note: The thinner the wires are, the better, because then the read/write head will have enough room to move freely. 

Step 7: Spindle Motor Hack.

Picture of Spindle Motor Hack.

Connect another piece of long wire to the spindle motor terminals (at the bottom of the HD)

This step isn't necessary but adds to it.

Step 8: Reassemble the HD.

Picture of Reassemble the HD.

Now put all parts together except the head lock and the top cover and Don't forget to screw the read/write head back on. 

Step 9: Completed.

Picture of Completed.

The mod is complete. Connect the wires to your amp. Mine is 30w x 2 so that i can connect the spindle motor and the read/write head seperate and each of them gets 30w = 60w total.

Step 10: Play Some Music!

Picture of Play Some Music!


rah187 (author)2016-11-27

Cool! A very unconventional use of a hard drive! Unfortunautly I do not have any hard drives (computers have very few components that would be useful in my projects, so I stopped taking them apart), but if I find one in the future will try this out.

SerhiiB1 (author)2016-08-02

I made it!

_Scratch_ (author)2011-06-25

Korn in the vid! lol

_Scratch_ (author)_Scratch_2011-06-25

Also, can anyone give me an explanation on how this works?

ToXiCATOM (author)_Scratch_2015-06-04

There are 2 magnets (at bottom and at the top of the head), and there is a coil (winding) at the end of the head; so when you give the coil some sound it starts to move because of the magnets

rohitshetty00 made it! (author)2014-12-27

I had no amplifier lying around so used OpAmp from Expeyes (pocket oscilloscope) and worked fine! Thanks

Lunsel (author)2012-07-06

Really it works. Now i have done it with an old hard drive. Really cool!

thecrazymagnetman (author)2012-06-14

if you could find something to do with the disks other than a turbine i'd be impressed because i have about three inches of the disks and i'm not exagarating

GASSYPOOTS (author)2012-03-24

thats annoying X_X

frostybob (author)2011-09-24

Hey guys did as per instructable and nothing happens. Tried it on two HDD and still nothing on either. HELP???? and sorry.... It is possible I broke something because the reading things on the end looked pretty munted

Ace Winget (author)2011-07-13

I just use a small flat head and you can get those torx screws to loosen. If you have a drill the you could always just drill those out. I found an image of a hard drive dis-assembly here that I found really cool and helpful. Thanks sybyabraham great info!

Jords001 (author)2010-04-18

Very cool. Has anybody tried this as a microphone? Just curious what the quality would be like.

cody777 (author)Jords0012011-02-25

doesnt work well

ametz (author)2009-11-10

I do not have a torx screwdriver or a drill press. I have all of the outside screws off by using a wrench, but the hidden screws are impossible to get to without the screwdriver. what can I do?

cody777 (author)ametz2011-02-25

if you have a dremel you can cut a slit into the screw and use a flat-head, i do it a lot

apb2390 (author)ametz2010-04-30

I'd say it's very hard to do that, but you can get a T9 Torx screwdriver set for 8.95 USD at a large hardware store.

Pyrice4 (author)2011-01-02

You can follow these two all the way through the ribbon wire into the back of the main PCB so you dont have to take the arm off.

Moglizorz (author)Pyrice42011-02-20

Yea, that's what I'm doing now. Seems alot easier soldering to the existing PCB (especially on this old 90's hard drive I'm using where the components are massive) than doing this delicate stuff.

eravulgaris68 (author)2007-12-27

sweet aw gee i wish i had a busted hard drive lying around now oh well ill find one soon nice job anyways cool setup LINKIN PARK ROCKS

XZ3R0 (author)eravulgaris682009-02-21

its Korn. how does that sound anything like linkin park?

rabbitkillrun (author)XZ3R02009-02-28

The cd in the second last step is linkin park...

XZ3R0 (author)rabbitkillrun2009-02-28

but your comment is on the front page with korn.

wupme (author)XZ3R02010-11-25

Because all comments from all pages show up on the front page

madd0g (author)XZ3R02009-09-02


rabbitkillrun (author)XZ3R02009-02-28

that's not my comment... maybe they posted the comment on the all steps page...

strcrusher (author)eravulgaris682009-07-30

i think u can get one at a local computer repair shop cant you?

Joxson (author)2009-02-28

It´s not a speaker in there. I made one for myself today. It works great!!!! Can I make so the volume is higher? Sorry for my English!

mettaurlover (author)Joxson2009-03-31

my suggestion: make multiples, and then solder the like ends to make the proper amount, solder wires onto those ends, and plug it in. more speakers=more sound.

Joxson (author)mettaurlover2010-09-26

Sorry for so late but a fun thing.

I wanted volume so I pushed in 130 Watt in it! HAHAHA, it starded to smoke^^
But the volume was high.

The harddrive speakers can stand aboud 110 Watt:D

mettaurlover (author)Joxson2010-09-26


bioerror (author)2010-06-10

what u do is get 2 ppl, 1 person holds the HDD down and the other uses 2 pliers and grabs the metal on either side of the magnet and pulls up with all their might!

anonymousrandomguy (author)2010-03-16

Korn (Y)

dakiller546 (author)2009-04-10

mine only has three terminals :( witch do i use

 yes it will work
one is a ground and danymw just has a different hard drive
test out each terminal with test leads
youll find the two that work

danymw (author)dakiller5462010-02-22

 it won't work

danymw (author)2007-06-10

are you sure? i allmost smashed my fingers with it,and broked the hdd...when connecting the wires.i'll get another one

Mr.Grinch (author)danymw2010-02-22

I had issues with mine also, did yours twist off, or slide off? it took me five minutes to realize that my WD drive magnet twists off, and my Seagate... doesn't

danymw (author)Mr.Grinch2010-02-22

 i opened up about 10 hdd,all damaged or low memory space, but they were all different. rarely,the magnet just comes out,but usually you have to use a screw driver to remove the top magnet (after removing the screws). if you twist it, you'll hit the head or even the plates and damage the hdd,which i did once, and it's not good. 
good luck

ametz (author)2009-11-10

It wont come up... help??

Mr.Grinch (author)ametz2010-02-22

I had the same issue with the arm, I think he forgot to mention that there is another screw on top, where you removed the screw to get the cover off. Mine happened to be an hexagonal screw that had another screw in it

zack247 (author)ametz2009-11-26

you may need a flat screwdriver to unscrew it

ShotPain (author)2010-01-25

 i was hoping you could make a turntable out of a HDD :D

Helder4u (author)2009-12-27

I would not try to connect to the motor drive.. but only to the arm assembly.
That should take care of burning amplifiers and sound inconsistencies.

beauwalker23 (author)2009-04-26

congratulations on making it on!

sybyabraham (author)beauwalker232009-11-27

WOW!! That's amazing! :D

zack247 (author)2009-11-26

i have a problem: did you connect the wires to the reader head, or the coil thing? (i know i sound stupid)

monorail (author)2009-11-22

I made one of these just now and theres sound coming out, however the read-write head itself is not moving at all as seen in the video in this instructable. I have connected it with a speaker wire to my laptop and didn't do the spindle motor hack part. Is this why the head isn't moving?

mae-kitty (author)2009-11-20

 Remember. Not all hard drives are the same. ATA and IDE and Parallel Drives can all be different. Not all that you see this person doing can be of use to you. But it gives you an idea of what to expect and look for.

pyrorower (author)2009-10-30

Damn, now I wish I hadn't maimed my old hard drive. Nice song choice btw.
I better start keeping an eye out for computers on the side of the road now :P

Trevor114 (author)2009-07-16

here is my issue i don't want to hook it up to my amp because it reads 16 resistance on a meter thing and a speaker runs a 8 resistance it will blow my amp up what do i do

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