Have old hard drives laying around? Then check out our “Top 10 Strangest Hard Drive Projects” list. Which ones are your favorites?

10. Hard Drive Belt Buckle

Who knew an old hard drive platter could be so fashionable?

Ingredients: Hard Drive platter (Jaz disk), paper clip, hacksaw, screw(s), and small sheet of basswood (for guide). Out of the recent “technology” on a belt projects, I think I like this one the most – it’s subtle but still recognizable


9. Hard Drive Coffee Table

This nifty hard drive coffee table measures 19.5-inch high and weighs a whopping 64-pounds.

The Hard Drive Coffee Table top is an original 26″ diameter hard drive platter from an early storage device (circa 1970). The center hub of the platter is solid aluminum. The custom-created pedestal is also solid aluminum; a cylinder measuring 5.9″ in diameter and 18.5″ in length. It has a machined top and bottom to fit into the hard drive hub and base, respectively


8. NES Cartridge Hard Drive Mod

All you need is an NES cartridge, a laptop hard drive, and a USB/drive converter to make the “Zelda Drive 1.0”. Here’s how to make one yourself:

The first thing that you need to do, is get a NES cartridge. If you dont have one, used video game stores usually still have a few. I had two copies of Zelda, so I chose to use that one. Next, you need a laptop drive of some sort. I started this with an OLD ~1000 RPM laptop drive. I swear I could piss bits faster than this thing could read/write. BUT it worked. And then you need to get a hold of a USB/drive converter appropriate to the drive you are using. I got mine from geeks.com. It came with this steel black enclosure that my old drive didnt even fit in, which is why I did this


7. Hard Drive Dominoes

Here’s a fun project if you have 90 old hard drives — create a domino effect.

We have about 90 dead hard drives (most of them Desk Stars). What to do with them?

6. Hard Drive Oscilloscope

This device uses a laser mounted on the HDD’s body to produce an oscilloscope effect — when the output is bounced off a mirror.

We have all seen an oscilloscope hooked up to a speaker output to allow us to “watch” the music. Well now you can see a standard oscilloscope and a Hard Drive Oscilloscope side by side!


5. 15,000rpm HDD Tesla Turbine

Here’s an interesting project: a tesla turbine built from old hard drives that’s capable of spinning at up to 15,000rpm. To build your own, you’ll need a few broken hard drives, stock material (aluminum/acrylic), milling machine w/rotary table, and a lathe w/4 jaw chuck. Video clip after the jump.

A regular blade turbine operates by transferring kinetic energy from the moving fluid to the turbine fan blades. In the Tesla Turbine, the kinetic energy transfer to the edges of the thin platters is very small. Instead, it uses the boundary layer effect, i.e. adhesion between the moving fluid and the rigid disk


4. Hard Drive Speakers

Afrotech created this functional speaker system using old hard drives and a custom built amplifier. What you see above is the entire system, complete with woofer, midrange, and tweeter HDDs. Video clip after the jump.

Why pay 500$ for Klipsch’s latest speaker system? You can make something that looks way cooler for the price of a DIY amplifier and some HDDs out of a dumpster. It doesn’t sound quite as good but who cares!


3. Hard Drive Case Mod

Have old hard drives laying around? Why not make a PC case out of them — aside from the heating issues. Here’s what the creator has to say:

While waiting for parts to arrive and new ideas to sprout up on my CLOWNED project, I’ve started another. I’m building a custom case made of Hard Drives. All of the HD’s are DEAD. Many are 2GB and below, 1 is the 120GB HD I had in Air Force One that died. My teachers were happy to unload the mounting piles of dead HD’s they had and I was happy to take ‘em. To start, see the 2 boxes worth of dead HD’s I’ve gotten.


2. Hard Drive Clock

Alan Parekh converted an old hard drive into a fully functional clock. It uses twelve high power LEDs to display the clock hands and a custom programmed PIC16F628 microcontroller for clock operation. Unfortunately, this creation isn’t very practical as older hard drives are quite noisy.

Slot cut into upper drive platter and white tape on center drive platter provides a slot that when illuminated by the LED’s will represent a clock hand. Minute hand is represented by blue light, hour hand is represented by red light and the second hand is represented by purple (both blue and red on at the same time). Infrared Beam sensor and drilled index hole in lower drive platter. Three micro switches to set hours, minutes and seconds.


1. Hard Drive Grinder

Metku presents their latest creation, a fully functional “HDD Grinder”. Video clip after the jump.

HDDs have only tiny stepper motors, so this thing doesn’t have much torque. Nevertheless it runs fast enought to slit fingertips open and cause nasty cuts



A technology, gadget and video game enthusiast that loves covering the latest industry news. Favorite trade show? Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

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