Introduction — continued
Here I've removed the screws holding the top cover and rotated the cover up and off. The black box with a white center that's mounted to the cover is an air filter for the breather hole. The breather ensures that there is no pressure differential between the inside and outside of the drive. However, a simple hole would allow dust, smoke, and other such contaminants to get inside the drive, causing Very Bad Things to happen. Thus, we have a filter.
It's difficult to see the platter itself in this shot, but you can at least see the ring directly under the drive head. You might think that this ring indicates the head has contacted the surface of the platter (i.e. a head crash) but actually, this is an area of the platter reserved for "parking" the head when the drive is powered down.
Normally, the head swings back and forth across the surface of the platter to read data from it, but as soon as power is removed, the head automatically pivots over the reserved area of the platter. That way, if the drive experiences a physical shock while the computer is off, the head doesn't come in contact with a part of the platter that holds actual data.
Here's a final close-up of the drive that gives you a slightly better view of the platter. Believe it or not, the surface of the platter is mirror-like, though it doesn't show very well in these photos. In higher capacity drives, there might be additional platters stacked on the spindle, but this is only a 40GB drive, so it makes do with a single platter. You can also see flecks of dust on the platter itself. It would be a disturbing sight if the thing weren't already garbage.
So there's a quick breakdown (literally) of a modern hard drive. Don't try this at home, kids. Well, unless it's an IBM 75GXP or 60GXP, in which case you can tell yourself that it was only a matter of time anyway.
36 comments — Last by Kurlon at 9:50 AM on 03/27/04
|The SSD Endurance Experiment: Testing data retention at 300TBA new wrinkle on the long road||106|
|WD's Black² notebook drive combines 120GB SSD with 1TB HDDTwo shades of the new Black||36|
|OCZ's Vector 150 solid-state drive reviewedHere we go again||39|
|The SSD Endurance Experiment: 200TB updateThe first bad blocks appear||96|
|Seagate's NAS HDD 4TB reviewedMeet the Desktop HDD.15's RAID-optimized twin||23|
|Seagate's Desktop SSHD 2TB hybrid drive reviewedHybrids hit the desktop||50|
|WD's Red 4TB hard drive reviewedThe new face of secondary PC storage||43|
|A quick look at Adata's DashDrive Durable HD710 waterproof hard driveExternal storage goes for a swim||15|
|Apple granted patent for head-mounted display||39|
|Dell introduces its first Chromebook||31|
|Race the Sun is on Steam, and you should play it||36|
|An update on Radeon R9 290X variance||103|
|Ubisoft's Snowdrop engine makes The Division look incredible||104|
|No Man's Sky has procedurally generated planets, looks amazing||55|
|Samsung brings 840 EVO to mSATA, drops new firmware for 2.5'' version||17|
|Next Windows release could be more desktop-friendly||165|
|Asus teases custom Radeon R9 290X with DirectCU II cooler||68|