How do I disassemble a Samsung HD501LJ hard drive?
February 26, 2011 11:39 AM   Subscribe

I am trying to disassemble a Samsung HD501LJ hard drive to destroy the platter, but the top cover will not remove from the casing. Help?

I removed all visible screws, and can slightly twist the cover, but not enough to get inside the case. Any suggestions?
posted by helios410 to Technology (12 answers total)
Not directly answering your question, but I've successfully hit a hard drive with a hammer to shatter the platter.
posted by Sonic_Molson at 11:46 AM on February 26, 2011

There is usually a screw or two that are under the sticker. This is so they know that you have voided the warranty (not that this is relevant in your case).
posted by Ctrl_Alt_ep at 11:47 AM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yes, the spindle screw is under the sticker.
posted by Nothing at 11:51 AM on February 26, 2011

remove sticker
posted by bravowhiskey at 12:08 PM on February 26, 2011

I hammer a Philips head screwdriver through the casing and into the platters.
posted by Gungho at 12:17 PM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

The last time I faced that situation, I took a big metal chisel (a flathead screwdriver would work, too). Insert the chisel into whatever crack you can find, then start pounding on it with a hammer. It's noisy, satisfying, and a surprisingly effective way to just go sideways through whatever screws are holding the thing together.
posted by ErikaB at 12:21 PM on February 26, 2011

Only put them in the microwave if you also have a microwave you need to get rid of.
posted by Nothing at 12:32 PM on February 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

Standard operating procedure for drives that you can't erase because of their defect is to physically damage* them, rendering them unreadable even by sophisticated devices. Repeated exposure to a hammer will certainly do this; a sledge hammer would be even better if you have one readily available. Don't put them in a microwave.

* When we take software engineers on tours of our datacenters, crushing drives is one of the most popular parts of the tour. To the people who actually have to crush tens to hundreds of drives at a time, it's a royal pain in the ass.
posted by kdar at 12:42 PM on February 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

Or you could keep the disk - they make nice shiny coasters.
posted by episodic at 1:02 PM on February 26, 2011

I use a drill to remove the screw heads. Again, look under stickers.
Those silver platters DO make cool coasters, plus all the cool little fridge magnets you get!
posted by Ignorance at 2:24 PM on February 26, 2011

Seconding both the "it's probably under the warranty sticker" and "if you just want to destroy the platters, it's easy enough to hammer a nail through the drive and call it done" answers. I'm sure the NSA could still recover a lot of data from the glass shards of broken platters, but that's not something I worry about.

OTOH, I do like to recover the various tiny magnets from the drive, and I enjoy seeing how different manufacturers arrange their drives' innards, but then, I am a geek.
posted by hattifattener at 4:23 PM on February 26, 2011

Unscrew then use a flathead to pry the top off. There is a bit of sticky substance there that you need some leverage on
posted by zombieApoc at 7:25 PM on February 26, 2011

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