Teardown Seagate SATA Hard Disk Drive




Introduction: Teardown Seagate SATA Hard Disk Drive

About: An Open Source and IoT Enthusiast

This tutorial will help the readers to carefully remove all the components of a Hard Disk Drive and understand the different components in it.

This experiment can be conducted by kids under the strict supervision of parents. All kids who wanted to understand what lies inside a hard disk can get a step by step instructions from this Instructable.


Following will be required to conduct this instructable:

  1. An unrecoverable and completely spoiled hard disk drive (I made use of a Seagate SATA Hard Disk Drive)
  2. A Screwdriver with multiple heads that will fit in the star screws of the Hard Disk Drive.
  3. A Screwdriver with a flat head to open the hard disk platter arm inside the drive.
  4. A sharp blade (or) knife to peel off the stickers that hide screws and to separate the top cover from the base of the hard disk drive.

Step 1: Removal of Top Cover

Please follow the below step by step instructions:

  1. Using a sharp blade (or) a knife, peel off the top sticker with specifications of the hard disk drive
  2. Continue to peel off a protective sticker that will hide another screw (This screw actually holds the hard disk drive platter arm)
  3. After making sure to remove all the screws of the top cover, place the blade in the gap between the top cover and the base to which it is attached and slowly negotiate it to loosen the top cover. Please note that the top cover protects the hard disk platter and does not allow any dust (or) unwanted particles into it.
  4. On successful completion of this step, one could clearly see all the components in the hard disk drive.

Step 2: Removal of the Read/Write Arm

Now that we have seen all the components inside the hard disk drive, the first step for us will be to attempt to remove the "Arm" that helps us read/write data to the hard disk.

The first step would be to remove the top bracket of the "Arm" holder. Find a suitable star screw head to unscrew it and carefully remove the top portion with help of a flat screwdriver trying to pull away from the top bracket (This operation could need careful attention not to damage other parts as the "Arm" is held by two brackets which have Neodymium magnets. These magnets are very strong and little amount of strength is required to remove the top bracket.

The second step will be to remove the Read/Write arm. A suitable star screw head is required to carefully unscrew and to actually remove the "Arm", a center screw has to be removed with help of a flat screwdriver and the "Arm" needs to be moved away from the platter (Circle Disk) allowing us to easily remove the "Arm" without damaging the other components inside.

The "Arm" is also attached to the PCB on the other side of the hard disk drive and we can continue to remove the associated circuit by unscrewing the PCB connector.

Step 3: Removal of the "Platter" (Primary Storage of a PC/Laptop)

As soon as the "Read/Write Arm" is removed the bottom bracket that holds the arm is visible, we can now safely remove that and we can continue to remove the screws holding the "Platter". Please check for a suitable star screw head to remove the platter holder carefully.

Step 4: The Final Step. Removal of PCB

We have now come to the final stage of disassembling the hard disk drive.

Turn over the hard disk drive and unscrew the star screws to remove the PCB and separate it from the main base.

This completes our disassembling of a SATA hard disk drive and all of us get to understand different components of it.

Hope it helps. Please do not hesitate to reach me on amruth@smaragdine.work (or) ping me on WhatsApp on +91 9398472594

Step 5: A List of All "Hard Disk Drive (HDD)" Components

Finally, the list of components is as follows:

  1. Base plate.
  2. Platter (The main storage component)
  3. PCB Controller
  4. Circular bracket - TO handle the Platter
  5. Read/Write Arm
  6. Top & Bottom Arm holding brackets

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    3 months ago

    What should be mentioned is that the 2 brackets have the most powerful magnets you can get . Screw them to the front of your workbench and they will hold 20 screwdrivers each.


    Reply 2 months ago

    Thanks for indicating it. I hope the readers will make note of it.