Instructables

Reusing Old Hard Drive Magnets

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2012-09-02_15-13-42_835.jpg
Old hard drives have a way of hanging around past their useful life. Recently, I found I still had a lot of 2 to 30 GB drives in a box, so I decided to take the magnets out and reuse them. The magnets are great because they are very strong Neodymium that will hold anything firmly in place. These magnets are usually mounted to some sort of metal bracket with holes which will help you mount them and gives strength to the brittle magnets.

To take apart hard drives you need a few small Torx drivers, usually T6, T7 and T8. Usually there are a few screws that are hidden under the stickers. Feel the tops of the stickers to see if there is a screw underneath and run a razor around the outline to expose it. Once the lid is off, you usually have to take the read/write heads off to get the magnets off. Careful with these magnets, they are very strong and will probably pinch your fingers if they get between them.
 
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Step 1: Fish tape retriever

I find new uses for this thing all the time. Originally I made it to pull a fish tape out of a wall when it wouldn't come near the opening. It worked great for that so I wrapped it up and stuck it to my tool box. Since then I have used it to pull seat belts through poorly designed child car seats and retrieved a nail punch that got stuck inside a door jam.

The dental floss is great because it doesn't really knot up and its incredibly strong for how light it is. It also wraps up really tightly and doesn't unravel unless you want it to.
vvulovic6 months ago

Any guidance on where to find old hard drives? i heard freecycle is useful. Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

ProfMuggs (author)  vvulovic6 months ago

Freecycle would work, but I haven't looked on there in a long time. You might try putting up an ad on craigslist to say you are looking for them. You would be surprised what people have laying around.

wolfgang641 year ago
Three years ago I bought a top end fridge,two years ago the closer magnets stopped working. I glued in two of these and they works great!
AndyGadget1 year ago
 
A person who has not taken apart a hard drive is a person with no sense of curiosity!
HERE's another use for the magnet from one.
Unless they've been taking apart radios and hasn't got round to the hard drive.....lol!
I love your router table. I hope you do do an 'ible for this, I could use it!
yanni501 year ago
I found a really easy but good use for these magnets too.
One of my bedroom doors would not shut completely and always left a gap. I bought a small rounded metal bar and screwed the bar to protrude slightly near the bottom of the door and I screwed the magnet on the frame side. Now the door just snaps shut when close properly.
That's a great idea!
darman121 year ago
I have an Instructable outlining how to take a hard drive apart....if you want to check it out: GEEK-TO-YOU: How to take apart a hard-drive (humor included)!
wazzup1051 year ago
I mounted one on the underside of the roof of each of the a guinea pig cages so I could relocate the portable camera system from cage to cage just by picking it off one magnet and clicking it onto the new desired location.

Turning the camera just so it would face exactly the right way we wanted it was the hard part.
Phil B1 year ago
A friend with a lot of computer repair expertise first made me aware of hard drive magnets, and gave me a few. I have used them in a couple of Instructables. See this one and this one.
ProfMuggs (author)  Phil B1 year ago
Those are great! Thanks Phil, I especially liked the wire caddy for your welder. Does it ever slip down and scratch the side of your welder?
I leave the wooden form on the welder. I wind the cables, etc. around it only when I want to transport the welder to another site. It has never slipped. The only scratches to the paint have come from trying to pry it off of the side of the welder.

My wife's cousin (by marriage) gave me the Craftsman angle grinder that I turned into a cut-off saw. Some months after I made the cut-off saw he was at our house and I showed it to him. He asked about the magnet. I put one of the mounting bolts on the magnet, but very carefully and slowly so he had no idea the magnet was very strong. Then I asked him to pull the bolt off of the magnet. He was very surprised at its strength.

Thanks for looking.
I use HDD magnets for all kinds of stuff...

There is another super small neo magnet in the parking mech on the back of the swing arm. I sometimes remove the magnet from the metal base. I soak the magnets with the holder (usually high nickel stainless) in acetone. They will separate easier from the holder/base without damaging the chrome coating.

There are some really useful neo mags in an old CD or DVD drive too. Specifically a washer shaped magnet in the spindle of the cd holder. There are usually a matched pair of rectangle magnets in the focus mech too.

Inner tube glued to the magnet with contact cement makes for a great non-slip/non-scratch surface.

A word of caution, neo magnets do not like heat of any type. Heat above about 140deg F will kill the magnetic properties.