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Fixing Or Scrapping Computer Hard Drives

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For almost two decades, the personal computer industry has been pushing in new computer models while encouraging users to throw out or donate the old. With computers becoming faster and more affordable, you may be tempted to just kick your old computer to the curb.

Before throwing it out, consider a few inspection points that can help you decide whether to keep the hard drive or tear it apart for scrap:

How Broken Is The Computer?

Aside from simply upgrading to a new system, some people think that their computers may be "broken." When it comes to complex, modular systems like desktops and laptops, the term can mean a lot.

In many cases it means that the computer has a virus, which is malicious programming designed to slow down or stop the computer. Viruses do not physically break a computer and can be handled by virus removers or wiping the computer completely, but some people may elect to get a newer computer out of convenience.

Other computers may have been damaged by water spills, electrical surges or other physical problems. This may mean that the computer as a whole has failed, but some of the components may still work. Assess each component for individual performance.

Hard drives can be tested by attaching the component to another computer and attempting to browse through the contents like any folder on a computer. The good news is that same process is used to keep all of your old information on a new computer. It can be used as extra storage or as a new main drive with a small amount of technical skill applied.

Pulling Recyclable Materials From Hard Drives

If the hard drive isn't working, you can take it apart for the rare earth magnets inside. Hard drives operate by spinning a set of silicon-like platters at high speeds and allowing small arms to move across the platters. The arms are held together by rare earth magnets instead of screws or adhesive to reduce weight and to avoid the future wear and tear of loose screw and cracking adhesive.

Rare earth magnets are sought after by other industry professionals for similar reasons. Many precision assemblies need the magnets to keep different parts together with a strong force when screws or other standard hardware are not viable.

Although hard drives may seem heavy, there isn't much in the form of metal to recycle. The casing is made out of aluminum or steel in most cases, but most of the weight comes from the aforementioned silicon platters. If you need help taking the components apart or figuring out what you need to remove for recycling, get in contact with a recycling professional with experience in scrap metals to get an updated statement of scrap metal demand.

To learn more, contact a company like Full Circle Recycling with any questions you have.