How to Separate the Magnets From an Old Harddisk

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Introduction: How to Separate the Magnets From an Old Harddisk

Harddisks have a pair off very strong magnets in it, Unfortunately, they are placed on a metal plate for fixing them in the drive. It's very hard to remove them from the metal without breaking the magnet.
But if you know the trick, it's very easy...
This is the trick:....

Step 1: What U Need

You just need the magnets you want to seperate from the metal and two large grippers, the bigger the better
:-)

Step 2: Holding

Now take the Metalplade on both ends with the grippers.
Be careful just to put the gipper on the metal, not on the magnet or you will berak it for sure!

Step 3: Bending

Bend now the metal until the magnet is only held by its on force.
Just take it off and you have a very good and strong magnet
Be careful not to bring the magnets to close together, because they could snap and break!

Step 4: Finished

You're finished.

By the way: Sorry if my english isn't that good, but english is not my native language...

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57 Comments

All of these magnets are apparantly chrome plated, but chrome isn't magnetic, so why does the chrome plate pieces stick?

Here's to hoping that you'll see this at some point and/or that it will help someone else who was pondering the same thing to grok the electroplated coating!

The coating is nickel usually and nickel is actually type of ferromagnetic metal (who knew that metals that weren't Iron based were also FERROmagnetic ['ferro' of course referring to Iron] right?). No, a magnet doesn't stick to a block of nickel; however, you can wrap nickel in wire and make an electromagnet with it. Also, you can directly magnetize nickel as well, which is why it was used in older permanent magnets of the "AlNiCo" type which were made from an alloy of the metals Aluminum, Nickel and Cobalt which are all ferromagnetic metals.

As far as if they for some reason had actually used chrome to plate them instead of nickel, they would still work just fine. The main problem would be how brittle chrome can be and its proclivity for flaking easily under stress. Nickel performs MUCH better in this regard.

I tried out your method and it worked great. I was about to try some hazardous chemicals before I performed a google search and landed on your instructable.

I find that the ones that have the flat metal backing are useful just the way they are because they lay flat and they are easy to mount with screws. That said, I think the ones with the bent metal are good candidates for magnet removal because I can't find any use for them in that configuration.

My little locking pliers and my short-nose pliers don't work with the thicker metal backing. I'm going to look for some "big boy" tools. A table vise and plumbing pliers should prove more useful.

Thanks for solving the how-do-I-separate-the-damn-HDD-magnet-from-its-mount mystery.

Brilliant. Thanks! I was about to shove em in the oven!

That would have destroyed them sinc higher temps will soften (demagnetise) the neodymum magnets.

yes never heat them above 80 C°

Many thanks, this is exactly what I was looking for.

Thanks so much man, there was recently an e-waste collection by my local council, and I managed to get 43 hard-drive magnets, while snapping 3 screwdriver heads

Glad I asked before i destroyed a screwdriver.

This is just what I needed, thanks man!