Don’t throw that old hard drive away from your computer! Yes, that’s even if you have a fancy new solid state drive (SSD) or hard drive (HDD) that has finally given up. Whether it works or not, your old drive still has a cool use.

What you do with it depends on whether the hard drive is working or not. But surprisingly, a functional old hard drive has fewer uses than a dead one.

So roll up your sleeves and check out some of these DIY projects to recycle, reuse or repurpose your old hard drive.

Hard Drive Projects

If the disk is still working, don’t waste that space. It’s still valuable storage for your data. The thing is, you don’t have to use it anymore. inside computer.

1. Turn it into a portable drive

HDD Enclosure

Once you upgrade your laptop’s storage or free up space on your PC, you’ll have a functional hard drive in your hands. Use it again by inserting it into an external hard drive case: you will have a DIY external hard drive.

Depending on the drive and case, you may be able to use it with or without a power adapter. Generally, power adapters are useful for desktop (3.5″) hard drives, while adapters are usually not needed for laptops (2.5″).

You’ll find a variety of cases and cases on Amazon, including a simple AmazonBasics hard drive case. You might even want to look into a multi-hard drive docking station.

2. Create a NAS box with an old hard drive

nas diy hard drive

If you already have an external drive or aren’t using one, it might be time to build your own network-attached storage (NAS). Essentially, the contents of your hard drive will be accessible from any device connected to your Wi-Fi.

There are different levels of NAS. If you can spend some money, you can buy a NAS box like the TerraMaster F2-220 and just pop it into the drive.

How to use dead hard drives

If the hard drive is no longer working, the data store is missing. But you can still recover data from a dead drive, and its physical parts are still valuable. For any of the projects below, you will need to open it up and strip the pieces, which is a fairly simple process.

The above video has all the steps required to disassemble the disc and use its parts.

3. DIY magnetic knife

hard drive block

Hard drives contain large neodymium magnets. We have a complete guide to safely removing magnets from a hard drive. Each disc will bring you two strong magnets.

User tzhy’s tutorial shows how to use two boards to create this magnetic knife block. You won’t need any special tools for this, but if you don’t have wood glue or other simple hardware, your local store should have it.

Once you’re done, you’ll have a neat magnetic knife to hang above your kitchen. Knives will stick to this block like magic, making it very handy.

4. Cabin Mirror (or other mirrors)

hard drives cockpit mirror
Image credit: Michael Hiemstra/Flickr

The platters inside a hard drive can act like perfectly polished mirrors. Be careful when taking them apart, you don’t want them to be chipped or scratched. But if you pull it out in its entirety, it’s the perfect mirror.

You can get creative in your cockpit by turning this into a rear view mirror. All you need is a big thumb. Mount it on your closet, place your thumb nail in the center and you’ll always see who’s trying to sneak up on you from behind.

Use old hard drives as a pocket mirror

Platforms can also turn into signal mirrors (i.e. a mirror that reflects sunlight to show your location). Besides being handy in survival scenarios, it can also be a good safety tool for cyclists.

In case you just need a simple mirror, then plates can also become pocket mirrors. This is a good arts and crafts project.

5. Turn Platters Into a Wind Chime Caller

If you have some old CDs, collect the cymbals and turn them into a bell. This is a simple DIY project that will help you see the world.

Most projects use parts that you remove from the drive, such as the base plate and mounting ring. You will need a strong line to hold all the cymbals, of course. Draw lines through the ring and into the corners of the plate. Attach a dish at the end of each row.

Here you go, your personal wind chime caller. This is one of the most creative disc recycling ideas. recycling ideas for .

6. Make a hidden safe with a hard drive case

hard drive safe

Once you remove all the parts from the inside, what will you do with the hard drive case? Instructables user bobert610 says he makes a cool safe to keep your stash somewhere where no one will suspect it.

It is also the easiest safe to build. Take out all the parts, then insert one of the screws into the corner. Your «secure hard drive» will act as a turning point to hide your urgent money.

7. Unusual hard drive clock

Parts of an old hard drive are perfect for creating a brand new clock with LEDs and other interesting details. You will need to buy the clockwork and hands separately.

DIY guru Kipkai, host of one of the best technology channels on YouTube, offers a wonderful video guide for this project. Kipkay’s method is more perfect, and the final product looks fantastic:

However, it uses a few parts that DIY beginners may not have, or would have to go to their local hack space for. Here’s a simpler version for a vertical desktop clock that looks really cool when you add keyboard keys.

For work or broken hard drives

hard drive open

Whether it works or not, if you do not use a floppy drive, sell it . Heck, even if you removed parts of the dead drive and used some, you can still sell the rest.

You’ll find buyers for everything on BoardSort, a forum for electronic scrap. And as always, you can sell broken items on eBay for cash.

In case you are selling a functional drive, make sure you remove the hard drive completely and securely. completely and securely clean the hard drive. completely and securely remove just formatting is not enough. You don’t want sensitive data to fall into the hands of the wrong people.

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