Convert an Old HDD to Fidget Mirror Disk

This blog post is a short story depicting the making of a video about finding platinum-coated disk platters during the teardown of an old dead HDD.

Lots of screws and moving parts to pick the HDD apart. But still a fun experiment. Felt like I am a sort of komisch engineer wannabe exploring old computer hardware stuff while searching for platinum. They say you have to have the right tools for the job, but I tried to wing it and succeeded.

However, my screwdriver with all the small bits fell apart. I had to use a different giant screwdriver with an adapter to make it work. Well, it did, but it’s really not fun when things are not magnetic and keeps falling apart. But hey, it was still fun.

HDD Teardown

But in reality, the data security reason I mention in the video is just a lame excuse. Always wanted to find what’s inside of those oldy time hard drives. Had them lying around, collecting dusts in all sorts of places. So I gathered them in one place and decided, and I will take them apart.

Platinum coated platters and the frame of hdd disks taken apart
Platinum coated platters and the frame of hdd disks taken apart

It was fascinating, and the first two I took apart were quite a challenge. I already mentioned that my tools were miserable. But for some reason, hard drive manufacturers always try to hide one screw in random places, so it would be challenging to disassemble the drive. It can take comically long to find where it is hidden.

I had no specific goal in mind when I took the disc apart, but shiny platinum-coated platters became my goal after the first one.

And then an idea popped into my head. Thought to myself – maybe I could make a video out of this. And so I tried.

Making platinum content

All the recording mostly I do is with the tripod and my phone. The terrible tripod I currently have is quite shaky and wobbly every time I accidentally touch it. So totally not looked good. Also angle when I was filming was all weird…

A smaller cute disk with a magnet on top

The hope is that I will be able to solve this because I bought a Zhiyun Smooth Q2 Smartphone Gimbal. So you should expect more, and way more better quality B-roll footage and more beautiful shots in general.

Yes, I am reinvesting Youtube revenue into my content. Always! For example, revenue pays for my Adobe subscription.

Also, I would like to mention that I still don’t have any proper lighting equipment, so everything looks super dark and weird all the time. That is in the future buying list. So expect an upgrade in 2021.

Powerful neodymium magnets

All in all, this was a fun project to do, and I hope my subscribers and viewers also enjoyed it. And maybe some of you will take time break those old hard drives open. Because not only it’s a fun project to work on, but you also get some impressive parts like the mentioned platinum platters, but also powerful neodymium magnets.

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