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Harvesting Magnets

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Bottom Feeder, May 1, 2017.



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  1. Bottom Feeder

    Bottom Feeder Hypophthalmichthys molitrix Gold Chaser Site Supporter

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    In the past I had an assignment of data destruction of a collection of hard drives. When an old computer was surplused we would remove the hard drive from the machine. At first we were just running an erasure program to clean them, but it was pointed out by our ‘security team’ that this simple erasure program wasn’t in compliance with HIPAA policy. The program they directed us to use took about four hours to run so we started pulling them out and storing them. It wasn’t long before we had piled up a couple dozen hard drives. I volunteered (I know, bad word) to destruct them with disassembly. I kept a box of the old drives at my desk and during slack time I would distructo them. Took me about ½ hour to do each one. I wound up with about a hundred very strong, rare-earth magnets from this little bit of work. (And miscellaneous tiny screws, bearings, and assorted bits plus the drive platters – which I bent in half to destroy the data.) Oh, BTW, watch out if you're doing this part (bending) because some of the newer HDs have glass platters, and that's a surprise when you come across that.

    If you have an old, useless HD laying around, looking for a use, take it apart and explore. Be forewarned, opening the case on a hard drive will render it inoperable – it needs clean room conditions to function correctly, so this is a one way journey. You will need some torx wrenches to take them apart. Here’s some pics (not mine) on disassembly. And a YouTube I found.

    HDD_Inside.jpg
    hard-drives-magent-extract-1.jpg HDD_Magnet_Removed.jpg
    hard-drives-magent-extract-2.jpg HDD_Magnets_On_Backing_Plates.jpg

    From here you can remove the magnets from the backing plate, but if you're ham-handed, like me you will break the magnet up several times before you stumble on a way to get them off. I usually used a vise to grip one end of the plate and slowly bent the plate with a pair of pliers until the magnet popped off (or broke in half). Here's the YouTube



    Photo Source: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/take-apart-hard-drive-magnets/
    (more disassembly photos there)

    have fun,
    BF
     
  2. ErrosionOfAccord

    ErrosionOfAccord #1 Global Warmer Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    I've taken them apart just out of curiosity in the past. Be careful of those magnets, they are strong enough to bite small nibbles of flesh if it gets between them.
     
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  3. TAEZZAR

    TAEZZAR LADY JUSTICE ISNT BLIND, SHES JUST AFRAID TO WATCH Midas Member Site Supporter

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    I have done this & you will have the strongest magnet in your life.
    Yes, it is hard to get it out, pry with a flat blade screw driver, it will feel like it is glued down, but it is not.
    Beware, once out & you go to use it, KEEP YOUR FINGERS FROM GETTING BETWEEN THE MAGNET & WHERE IT IS GOING - OUCHIE !!!!
     
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  4. Bottom Feeder

    Bottom Feeder Hypophthalmichthys molitrix Gold Chaser Site Supporter

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    Aw, come on you guys yer ruinin all the fun. Been got more than once.
    I have so many magnets from this operation I bet my location shows up on some satellite scan the .gov is running. heh

    BF
     
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  5. TAEZZAR

    TAEZZAR LADY JUSTICE ISNT BLIND, SHES JUST AFRAID TO WATCH Midas Member Site Supporter

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    Why not just blowtorch'em, fast & effective ??
     
  6. D-FENZ

    D-FENZ Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    Fascinating magnets they are. Not only are they crazy strong but they have some MU metal on the backside which completely shields or disrupts the magnetic field. Seems to be miraculous, that MU metal. Common sense and physics says there is not a way to get free power but if there is, I would think it would involve magnets and MU metal on a rotor somehow turning the magnet on and off.

    Meanwhile, I keep one in my pants pocket, shield toward my leg. It's handy for checking materials just by touching them to the outside of my pocket. I have to turn it around sometimes when working on vehicles or other metals because it's so sticky.

    Here's a fun fact: The ladders and platforms for access inside many of those monster wind turbine towers are held in place by neodymium magnets.
     
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  7. TAEZZAR

    TAEZZAR LADY JUSTICE ISNT BLIND, SHES JUST AFRAID TO WATCH Midas Member Site Supporter

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    I wonder how much hell would be raised if you went thru airport security with that magnet in your pocket ? :ponder:
     
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  8. Professur

    Professur Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    Applying heat ruins the magnetic. Been there. A mild heat gun rendered one inert. I usually drive an X-acto blade behind it to lever it up. Most times the chrome coating with break. HD magnets are terribly brittle, so be careful. Two slamming together WILL produce shrapnel.
     
  9. Joe King

    Joe King Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    That, or just take a bit of sandpaper to them? Then chunk 'em in the trash?


    Btw, anyone know if those things are shiny enough to be used as a signaling device?
     
  10. ErrosionOfAccord

    ErrosionOfAccord #1 Global Warmer Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    Had some big wig engineers on my mining shovel a while back. CAT was looking at using rare earth magnets in the giant 1200 HP motors to lighten and minimize the space the motors require. Don't know if it's been applied to the new shovels yet.
     
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  11. southfork

    southfork Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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    What are you using the magnets for ??
     
  12. Bottom Feeder

    Bottom Feeder Hypophthalmichthys molitrix Gold Chaser Site Supporter

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    Fenz, yer a brave guy, carrying one of those around in yer pocket. Workin on a car I'd be afraid I'd get in the wrong place there and it would stick my balls to the car fender.

    Bending the platters is easy, once distorted they can no longer spin without a hellasious vibration - not good when head spacing is measured in microns. Easy and effective.
    Secret stuff. :D
    BF
     
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  13. Bottom Feeder

    Bottom Feeder Hypophthalmichthys molitrix Gold Chaser Site Supporter

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    Oh yeah, Joe, they're way shiny. Font surface coating though and subject to scratches. I've used them for an inspection mirror when tinkerin.

    BF
     
  14. Joseph

    Joseph Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    I can vouch for that
     
  15. Irons

    Irons Deep Sixed Site Supporter Mother Lode

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    You can sell those hard drive magnets all day long on ebay. A lot of treasure hunters put the nice flat ones in their scoops to snag the bobby pins, nails and other ferrous junk metal that we all scoop up. A quick hit with a stainless steel or bronze wire brush cleans them right off.

    rs3.jpg
     
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  16. Bottom Feeder

    Bottom Feeder Hypophthalmichthys molitrix Gold Chaser Site Supporter

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    Iron man, I saw those in yer posts on treasure hunting threads and wondered why you had them in there. I see, I see.
    I'm keepin 'em - there's no end to stuff you can do with these STRONG assed magnets.
    BF
     
  17. Bottom Feeder

    Bottom Feeder Hypophthalmichthys molitrix Gold Chaser Site Supporter

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    A few of my magnets


    P1000667.JPG
    All those rings are aluminium platter separator rings. Of no use to me yet, I just couldn't throw them away. :D.
    BF
     
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  18. Professur

    Professur Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    That looks familiar.
     
  19. Bottom Feeder

    Bottom Feeder Hypophthalmichthys molitrix Gold Chaser Site Supporter

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    Familiar? What looks familiar? Is that you Johnstone?

    BF
     
  20. Professur

    Professur Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    I've got a metal cabinet covered in the same magnets. I particularly love the small round magnets out of laptop speakers. I've managed to lock a steel door by putting 50 of them on the jam. Each one is tiny, but together, it takes 2 men to pull the door open.
     
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  21. Bottom Feeder

    Bottom Feeder Hypophthalmichthys molitrix Gold Chaser Site Supporter

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    Ahhhh, uhuh. Great minds act alike. 50, huh? Use 50 of these onto a mild steel strip and you ain't getting that door open with anything less that five or six pry bars. The laptop HDs have pretty small magnets in them and the old ones (large) have a tiny (but strong) magnet that holds the arm locked when you power down the drive.

    Those metal bookshelves are a handy storage system, eh? Almost as good as exercise equipment.

    BF
     
  22. ttazzman

    ttazzman Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter

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    ....was mentioned heat gun caused demaginification ....i wonder what temp is critical in demag.....i know hard drives get hot while in use in a computer but obviously dont demag....
     
  23. nickndfl

    nickndfl Midas Member Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    I have been collecting magnets for years. I keep them in the same box with my vintage cassette and VCR tapes.
     
  24. Joe King

    Joe King Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    That sounds like a great place for them. The tapes, I mean.
     

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