Things Not to Do to a Hard Drive Part 1

Episode 3.1 of the podcast is still available on this site and via iTunes.

This is no doubt the first of many experiments in the name of Forensic 4Cast. It really depends on what other strange stuff I may feel like doing in the future.

This first experiment involves an already broken hard drive, an inkjet refill syringe, and a carbonated drink. I think you know where I’m going with this!

Hard Drive and Syringe

First of all I took an old Western Digital hard drive of a standard PATA connection. This hard drive had an issue regarding dodgy jumper pins, meaning when connected to a computer it would not recognise any PATA devices at all.n Rather than fix it, I thought I’d play around a little bit.

I remember reading somewhere that an interesting way of rendering a hard drive unusable was to inject a soft drink into the air hole, sticking together the mechanisms, and allowing the carbonation of the drink to wear away at the platters. I thought I’d give it a try.

Hard Drive Inside

Hard Drive Platters Close Up

Having prepared my drink and syringe, and taken “before” pictures, I injected a carbonated pineapple and grapefruit drink (hoping citric acid would have an affect too) into the air hole.

I next left the hard drive to marinade in this drink overnight, and checked it the next day.

Hard Drive Draining

Hard Drive Platters Close Up

I expected to find some kind of damage, and maybe a slight sheen taken off the platters of the hard drive. To my disappointment, other than being much wetter than the day before, nothing else had changed. I don’t know what I was expecting really, but I hoped for something interesting.

Hard Drive Draining

Nonetheless, I took my “after” pictures, and I am left wondering what effect the drink actually had on the data held on the hard drive. I would still fancy my chances of recovering something from the disk if the correct machinery was available. As it isn’t the hard drive is sat soggy and unworking in my kitchen.

Hard Drive is Pretty Wet

Reflection in Hard Drive Platters

Hard Drive in Wet Pieces

Anyone want a slightly damp, rattling paperweight?

Following shortly is a video of the experiment.

3 responses to “Things Not to Do to a Hard Drive Part 1”

  1. Hi,

    Sorry I dont want a slightly damp, rattling paperweight. I already have one 🙂 I had an old drive laying around so I decided to put the platters in bleach and to my surprise It has no damage other than to fact that its broken open.

  2. Last Drive I did that with I created a new spinner knob for my MAME machine from the parts that I had left.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.