Hard Drive Tear Down For Precious Metals! In Detail HD

Here is my video on details of scrap hard
drive. This is not a video on how to take a part a hard drive. If you want to see that,
Watch my first video. Taking of the retaining ring it is held in with 4 or 5 aluminum machined
aluminum. If you have a bag of them they sell quite well on Ebay. They can be used in arts
and crafts. Here is the read-write actuator. It moves back and forth reading and writing
information on to these very shiny platters. Now these platters are made of either aluminum
or glass and are coated with cobalt and then a very thin layer 1 micron thick of palladium
or platinum. These discs have to be absolutely perfect or they do not work. The manufacturers
put the palladium on the disc, by a process called sputtering. I am basically saying it
is an oxidized layer of palladium. Do not waste your time trying to recover the palladium.
You need 1000s of discs just to get one gram! Now here is my favorite part of every single
hard drive I take a part. The neodymium magnets. this is the most valuable part for me in scrapping
hard drives. If you put 10 of these together, you can get anywhere from 15-75 dollars on
Ebay! The neodymium magnets are mounted on a bracket made of MU-metal. When scrapping
hard drives for profit leave the magnet attached to the bracket. Here is the read-write actuator.
The actuator is made up mainly of aluminum. It has a copper coil at the end and a ball
bearing assembly in the middle. I took this macro shot just to show you the size and scale
of the read-write actuator tip. This shows you actually how much gold is in there. It
is not a lot, but as you can see it is quite bright and pretty when you can get a close
up view of it. Now attached to the side of the actuator, is a ribbon and in that ribbon
there can be gold tracing or copper trace wiring, leading up to the data connections.
Now the metal actually inside the ribbon is copper. You will find gold plate leaf underneath
the ribbon around the data head. the gold leaf is extremely thin and separating it from
ribbon is extremely tedious! the only way I can see to efficiently separate the metals
from all of the plastic and the ribbons, would be to incinerate them. Then seperate the metals
chemically. Here is the second half to our pair of magnets. What makes the neodymium
magnets so great is how strong they are. They are VERY powerful, for their size and EXTREMELY
fun to play with! If you can get hard drives from the early 90s, the magnets are much larger.
on newer drives you are going to find, smaller magnets. But just as powerful. Now the next
part is what most scrappers go after. Some people just unscrew the logic circuit board
and toss the rest of the drive into the aluminum pile. the hard drive circuit board is where
you are going to find most of your precious metals. Starting with the gold plated connection
pins. The layer of gold on the connection pins is actually quite thick in comparison
with typical gold plating. You are also going to find contacts with partial gold plating.
Where just the tips of them are gold plated. Manufacturers have gotten pretty good over
the years at using less and less gold. In the end all data connections and pins are
gold plated. Now on these high grade boards yor are going to find large square and rectangular
chips. If you were to take the top of that chip and remove it, you would find multiple
gold bonding wires, 1 micron thick. Attached to each one of the silver contacts on the
side of the chip. Next valuable item located on the board is the monolithic ceramic capacitors.
these rectangular shaped components can vary in size and in color. They will be marked
on the board with a “C” and then a number.In this one “C45”. they are extremely valuable
due to the silver and palladium content. They can easily be removed from the board with
low heat and a spatula. here is the bottom side of the hard drive motor. You will find
gold leaf contacts. There is not a lot of gold here. Now this is an older hard drive.
On newer hard drives you will not find screws to remove the whole motor. The only way to
remove the motor is with a punch and really not worth the time. This one actually had
three screws holding it in. You are not going to find many hard drives like this anymore.
If you get a bunch of them, you can sell them on Ebay. If not they go straight into the
aluminum bin. here is the forged aluminum housing. this particular housing weighed half
a pound. Like Comment and Subscribe. Let me know what you think. And again… Thanks for

Glenn Chapman


  1. Now where did I put that sharp long needle thing …I took out when taking apart the hard drives.??? Had no idea….

  2. Guess thats why houston had drop off your computer equipment …for proper disposal…lol…promoted by the fake mainstream news…go figure …guess they knew what we didn't. Someone got LOTS of money from that drive….

  3. How much is the gold worth in an old and in a newer HDD? i threw away many during the past 2 decades.

  4. 0:47 lmao it's already has a thumb mark plus tons of dust inside, who is he trying to fool wearing the gloves.

  5. Indeed a very well presented video. The only downside is the ratio of effort versus the rewards to be earned isnt worthy of the time spent. It would be better to get as many hard drives as possible, strip them down to the various metals and just weigh them in. The steel and aluminium per kilo although less valuable than any gold would turn over more money and it would be far less hassle.

  6. I just grab the magnets from them and toss the rest. Maybe I need to look into recycling the aluminum housing (or maybe try my hand at smelting??).

  7. MU Metal?
    test this with a grinder. the spark analysis tells U that this metal part is steel 🙂

  8. What i think is i found that you discribed more than most vids do. To scrap anything one must know what to scrap that is valuable. Im still learning and im egar for more detailed info on these boards. I would like to know what each component has of value
    and what type of metals they contain. The IC chips. Would pulverizing them be a way to expose the metals? Ill keep watching for your vids. Thanks for the info

  9. Very interesting…. big thumbs up. Where do you source all your hard drives…. are they easy to find or do you need to go hunting? Also do you have a forge where you melt all this stuff down. If so have you done any videos on this process? Thanks….

  10. I've never removed a hard drive magnet with a utility knife, they're often bonded with a process that's similar to a weld.
    As for the small amounts of gold, you ultimately have to use a nasty chemical process. Bad for you and bad for the environment. Wish there was a better way to recycle these materials but this time, there is not!

  11. and so many people just look at the surface of the case and toss it. The variety of saleable material is interesting.

  12. I used to collect newspapers for scrapping … when the price was 200.00 a ton. I made a decent living until the price went down to under 20.00 a ton. I scrappws computer paper, which was still fetching a good price. I moved to an area where there were noi recycling facilities and had to get a "regular job".

  13. This video was produced in December of 13 things have changed considerably since then you may want to update

  14. Holy guacamole… i have about 2 lbs of those magnets, various sizes and taken off the metal part. None broken. Started collecting them many years ago.

  15. Rob the plumber you should not believe everything that is written in Wikipedia. Here is an experiment you can try, grind the backing plates for the rare earth magnets and leave them in the rain for a couple of days. They will rust very quickly where they are ground and will not rust where it has not been ground as they are nickel plated. Nickel alloys ( MU metal ) do not rust.

  16. I like the close ups those help a lot . Learning of the parts what they do. Very cool

  17. I've decided my time is more valuable than the hours it would take to painstakingly squeeze a few bucks out of a defunct hard drive. >.<

  18. Is it actually worth it, being that plating is just a very micro thin layer and the gold is not in it's purest form? Other metals are pure but again quantity or weight per drive almost nothing. Sure if you are recycling thousands of drives, but 10 drives…guess if you have plenty of time on your hands. I know nothing of magnets and take your word they are worth what is shown here. Very informative and great recording…

  19. WOW! No mention of the airborne hazard associated with the recovery of these so called precious metals…ERMINATATE PREDOSES 24, Why?

  20. I make art sculptures with hard-drive parts all the time! It means I have precious metals in my media 🕵😆📈💻📂📁

  21. Some decades ago when companies were tossing out old computers (because they quickly became obsolete), a few smart individuals made $Millions because they knew there was plenty of gold in them. They hired some high school kids tear them down and remove all gold colored connectors and plugs for melting down to separate the gold.

  22. Just tore down 50 hard drives today. What a pain in the rump. I got a lot of gold and aluminum though.

  23. Thanks for the great informative video! I'm looking forward to more, keep on taping (or whatever they call it these days – I know they don't use videotape any more)

  24. I have a load of old computers I wanted to scrap cause I am spring cleaning, thank you for this information, I will take some time taking them apart for cash. I want to use the side panels to create some sculptures, any suggestions on how best to do it?

  25. Awesome video, thank you it was very educational. I have already been trying to do some of this, starting just a few months ago. This is one of my favorite hobbies, but the only thing I have saved so far is a little gold, not much though, but I’m very interested in your videos so I have subscribed.

  26. Wow even today this video is useful. I just don't have time to trouble with gold "plating".. that's like working for minimal wage.

  27. Fhj baby but hum chunk cg but Ann mg GB mob mu joy fib butt bf gym vhbbhyuuuu7UNO hey you guys uhhy

  28. that hard drive motor is fine to play with you can spin it using a microcontroller and a driver 🙂 you can make a nice little grinder for example it is not very strong but it can do quite a lot of rpm


  30. So, if you hold the platter up to a strong light source the documents can be viewed by the naked eye…. well this is the best I could do, I missed April Fools Day! I have to thank you Rob for your time making this video, great job!

  31. Is there really enough gold in a hard drive to justify the time it takes to process it as far as value?

  32. I have approx 30 lbs of magnets from all the drives I've torn down mostly for the aluminum. What would those magnets be worth?

  33. What do you need recover gold or other precious metals..just asking please share👍

  34. Do you have any idea how many hard drives you would need to get any significant amount of Gold?
    There are only MICROGRAMS of Gold in each one.
    Aluminum you can get about half a pound from each one worth about 15 cents at a metal recycler.

  35. Late to the party. I found the easiest way to remove magnets is to grab either end of the metal the magnet is attached to, grab with bare hands or use tools if need be. basically any tool than can pinch will do,- bend and grab the magnet like it was nothing. 100 % succesrate

  36. What is the total value of all precious metal included and mags from 1 hard drive? Ty!

  37. Thanks, I learned it's way to time consuming to try to salvage any precious metals from computers. Maybe if I was locked up in prison and had nothing to do with my time.

  38. good video do you know scrap value of gold silver etc in the drive in dollars ?

  39. When I was young i used to take apart electronic things just to see what was in there. This drove my dad nuts. Something about electronics fascinated me.

  40. How many drives do you need to take apart to make $10 on the gold? 1,000?
    Not worth the time. Leave it to the pro companies that do this in bulk.

  41. Great video!!!!!can i ask why you left out the fact that every piece you touched on the drive is gold plated???and that the"copper " coil at the back of the actuator is either gold wiring,or gold plated wiring??and the magnets!!omg,,nice touch by entering the quote,,and trekking people to keep them together during shipping..the magnets are worthless,when selling,,it's the housing that's covered in gold..
    And also,thou failed to mention that in a computer,, ,,"by wieght',,the hard drive has the most amount of gold in them???
    I saw a guy leave a comment,,saying he had 150 of them..can thou imagine how much money you caused him to loose!!!???
    Like i said,great video,,
    But you should b ashamed of yourself…

  42. ahhh. that disk is like better than an mirror. once in my school they teard apart a 1 tb WORKING hardrive. i got mad but i took the parts. And i thought i could fix it. but whell its broken so….. anyway.

    that disk is better than a mirror. it's better than the mirror on the wall. in that movie.

  43. See I just go out to a local creek , river or beach and mine for gold!!!! Its great excersize and you get to be outside….
    But good luck to you!!!! 🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺

  44. I just decommissioned a large number of SANs 4 pallets filled with hard drives

  45. Hi my name's Guillermo from the Dominican Republic,thank you for sharing this information with us, many people and by people, I'm referring to the vast majority, do not know this information thank you again I love recycling and that's very useful information. From the Dominican Republic Guillermo keep it up. I'll follow your videos and share with my friends.

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