Submitted for your approval, one enthusiastic amateur. Put on earth with a screwdriver, a broken drive, and wholly too much time on his hands. In a moment, we will be shown a miracle brought by magical DVD lasers. Although it’s a fact that he should have trusted the professionals, he will tempt fate by converting a 500Gb hard drive to a 1Gb Linux boot CD, in… The Recovery Zone.
We recently ran across this video, and saw some confused comments. The creator of the video definitely intended this as a joke: opening a damaged hard drive in a non-clean environment is strongly discouraged and is one of the reasons manufacturers typically use non-common fasteners to secure the drive and protect against tampering.
We open drives only under carefully controlled circumstances, and only if the failure indicates it being necessary. The platters where the data is written would only ever be removed if there was an issue with the motor inside the drive. Platter removal is one of the most difficult types of recovery situations we face as the platters need to be kept in absolute alignment to each other. Shifting even one platter in a stack just a fraction during removal or re-insertion would almost always render the data unrecoverable, as the tolerances for alignment are so small and there is no physical indication on the platters on how they were aligned at manufacture.
Only the read/write heads designed for that specific model or series of drive can be used to read that data, and with great variation between individual drives. Aside from the physical handling, a DVD-ROM drive is not where your platter wants to be.
So great job to Hungry Gizmo on this light-hearted video. But on this Friday the 13th, watch out for horrors on the internet!