Top 8 Creative Answers To What To Do With Old Hard Drives

If you are asking what to do with old hard drives of yours?

You, my friend, are going to have 7 creative uses you can deploy your old hard drives for.

Interestingly enough you will find there are more than one creative use for dead hard drives too.

Technology is booming!. True that.

Gadgets are slowing morphing into us!. A bit creepy, yes, but also true.

But what are the other things that are increasing that we oddly enough aren’t paying too much attention to?

e-waste and environmental detrimental by-products.

In one of my previous posts, I also discussed 6 creative ways using your old RAM and there also I highlighted the need for proper management of electronic wastes.

And computers are the foremost runners in the technology space that seem to produce the majority of e-waste.

It’s not a surprise because technology as far as computers are concerned, seems to obsolete itself quite rapidly.

There are softwares launching every day meeting different purposes.

Different softwares have different hardware requirements. Some require faster CPUs (multithreaded workloads and gaming) and some require sheer graphical gruntwork (professional design softwares) and therefore new graphics card.

The result is old hardware in your hand that you don’t know what to do with.

And old hard drives are forming the bulk of e-waste generated from computers very quickly due to the now rapidly evolving Solid State Drives.

In this post let’s see what you can do with your old hard drives and do your share of managing e-waste in creative ways beneficial for you.

what to do with old hard drives

What To Do With Old Hard Drives If It Is Still Working?

Yes, I know how excited you are after that shiny new Solid State Drive made your computer more responsive.

I have been there.

But don’t throw off your old hard drive just yet. You may find some very good uses for it viz.

1. Use It As An Alternate Storage Drive

More often than not your computer’s motherboard almost always has excess SATA ports to which you can connect your old hard drive to act as an archive drive.

You can keep and install all the apps, software and games that you use on a frequent basis on the solid-state drive.

And you can keep everything else on your old hard drive.

We discussed this in great depth on how to build your own pc guide.

There I pointed out how a combination of a great low capacity solid state drive and a high capacity hard drive is the best way to manage your storage if you are conscious about your budget and can’t afford to spend on getting a high capacity solid-state drive.

You will be aware of this if you are a tech-savvy person.

But if you ask a technician to do most of your computer stuff this is a good DIY project for you.

Don’t worry. It’s very easy to do this.

2. Convert It Into An External Portable Hard Drive

Things are looking pretty interesting now.

If you are a creator like me. Then you know whatever storage space you have, It will never be enough.

The more space you have, the more quickly it seems to get used up.

It’s very much like money.

Everyone thinks you seem to have a lot of it. But you know the real story, isn’t it?

Anyhoo, you get my point right.

And not just creators everyone needs space.

We are more concerned about capturing that sunset on our iPhones rather than observing the beauty of it, ourselves.

And we are gonna need more space for that, don’t we?

It’s pretty easy to do this, and everyone can do it.

All you will need are these hard drive enclosures.

The 3.5-inch HDD enclosure that I listed here comes with a power adaptor that you will be needing with the 3.5-inches SATA HDD enclosure.

For the 2.5-inch laptop HDD enclosures, power adapters aren’t usually needed.

Pretty Cool, Han!!.

3. Create A NAS Using Old Hard Drives

Let’s get a bit technical with this, shall we?

A NAS or Network Attached Storage is like your personal cloud, whose contents you can access via Wifi.

A NAS is a stand-alone storage unit and in most cases will offer you more space than an individual hard drive.

But those aren’t the only benefits of having a NAS.

The best benefit of having a Network Attached Storage in your workspace is its accessibility and redundancy.

You and your team members will have access to your data as long as they are part of the same network.

Plus, if you are using proper RAID you will ensure different layers of protection for your data.

This means even if one or more of your drives deployed in the NAS fails you will still not lose any of your data.

Sound pretty interesting and useful, right.

So if somehow you have a bunch of hard drives lying around, it’s time you build your own NAS.

Yes, it’s pretty technical stuff. Not difficult but definitely requires some technical know-how.

And if you are fine with spending some money get yourselves a NAS box like this and pop in your excess hard drives.

Stay subscribed to the blog because in one of my upcoming posts I am going to build a DIY NAS box for myself.

And I will guide you step by step as to how to do that even if you are not techy.

What To Do With Old Hard Drives If It Is Dead?

Alright here where things get really creative.

And I feel most of you will enjoy these ideas because while the technical stuff discussed above is useful will only appeal to a limited number of people.

The ideas discussed below will appeal to everyone.

Plus you are going to discover ways to put good use to hard drives which are entirely nonfunctional.

The epitome of creativity. Alright, let’s get into it.

4. Make A DIY Magnetic Knife Block

I told you things would get interesting.

what to do with old hard drives

Every functioning electronic circuitry has a magnet somewhere.

Literal or induced.

Hard drives are no different.

If you can manage to remove the neodymium magnets from within the hard drive, you can use it to make a DIY kitchen knife set as shown above.

Check Out This Video On How To Remove The Magnets From The Drive!.

Go through this post from Instructables on how to deploy those magnets to create the DIY knife holding set.

5. Create A Rear View Cubicle Mirror

Hey everyone wants to do something else apart from work in the office.

You don’t need to feel guilty about it.

All you need to do is make sure you never get caught by your boss.

And that can happen if you can somehow salvage the shiny platter from dead hard drives with care.

Be a little cautious while doing so because you don’t want the platter surface to have chips and scratches.

We want your boss to be clearly visible.

Cubicle mirrors aren’t the only mirrors you can make out of these things.

You can also use these platters to make signal mirrors (an inexpensive mirror that uses sunlight to send signals) or a pocket mirror like this one.

what to do with old hard drives

A nice DIY arts and crafts project to take on this weekend, don’t you think?

6. DIY Hard Drive Platter Wind Chimes

If you happen to have a lot of dead hard drives at your disposal how about creating a geeky wind chime out of it.

If you are a tech nerd, having one of these into your Batcave will show off the creative side of you.

Most of the elements that you will be needing will come out of the parts you dismantled from the hard drive, like the platters and the mount rings.

Next, drill holes in the corner of the platters and run a fishing line through them which ties it to a master platter above.

Tie each of these platters to different lengths and that’s it.

Refer to this video for applying this practically.

Hang it in a place in the room that is subjected to wind gushes and there you have it.

Your own geeky hard drive platter wind chimes.

7. Create A Safe To Hide Your Bucks

While in the projects discussed above we are making good use of the insides of the hard drives.

They will lead you to have a lot of external covers in your hands which you can very creatively use to make a safe for yourselves.

What you want to preserve in the safe will be up to you.

But they do indeed make a very secure enclosure to safeguard your precious goods.

Check out this simple instruction from Instructables to learn how to do just that.

8. What To Do With Old Hard Drives? : Why Not Build A Clock Using It.

Okay, so I saved the best for the last.

For all the people who were patient enough to go through every single idea that I put forth.

You can use your old hard drive to actually make a very fancy analog clock for yourself.

In order to do that you will have to get these clock hands which will get mounted on the hard drive to complete your clock.

Use this tutorial to know the precise steps that you need to take to create a fancy hard drive platter analog clock for yourself.

There may be certain parts used in the video that may not be readily available in your house.

Having said that you will be able to find them easily in the local radio shack.

Alright, guys! these were my recommended 8 creative ways that you can deploy your old hard drives for.

In no way, of course, these are the only ways to put an old hard drive to good use.

Tell me now in the comments section which of these creative ideas are you going to put into action.

Don’t shy away if you have some other ideas different from these in your mind.

Write them down in the comments section for others to see.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Take great care of yourselves and I will see you in the next one.


Electronics Engineer | Former Deputy Manager | Self-Taught Digital Marketer.Owner & Admin Of A Network Of Blogs and Global E-Commerce Stores

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