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
|Toshiba's OCZ RD400 512GB SSD reviewedNVMe inches towards attainability||21|
|Mushkin's Reactor 1TB SSD reviewedA familiar one-two punch||30|
|Adata's XPG SX930 240GB SSD reviewedAnother 16-nm Micron MLC challenger appears||24|
|OCZ's Trion 150 SSD reviewedOCZ and TLC, take two||18|
|Transcend's SSD370 solid-state drive reviewedPlanar MLC flash remains alive and well||25|
|Samsung turned our SSD Endurance Experiment into something incredibleAs long as I know how to write, I know I'll stay alive||59|
|OCZ's Trion 100 and Crucial's BX200 SSDs reviewedNew TLC drives promise entry-level value||72|
|Samsung's 950 Pro 512GB SSD reviewedV-NAND and NVMe collide||105|
|AMD's Polaris-powered Radeon RX 480 will ring in at $199||66|
|AMD teases Zen silicon at its Computex 2016 press conference||6|
|Intel Computex keynote confirms Kaby Lake and Optane for 2016||31|
|Asus shows off Avalon modular case and GX800 liquid-cooled laptop||6|
|Samsung designs minuscule single-package NVMe SSD||27|
|Thermaltake shows off The Tower and more at Computex||10|
|Adata shows NVMe and TLC SSDs at Computex||2|
|Corsair@Computex 2016: fans that levitate, fans that illuminate||8|
|Patriot adds 2TB model to Ignite SSD lineup||13|
|Everyone from Asus to Zotac has announced a non-reference GTX 1080. I see what you did there!||+46|