Working hard drive innards recorded at 1000fps, a thing of beauty

By on June 18, 2012, 8:00 AM

Hard drives are more often than not taken for granted, and to be completely honest, we'll be the first ones to tell you upgrading to a much faster solid state drive is the perfect upgrade for any PC still relying on a standark disk drive. Having that said, it's easy to forget mechanical disk drives are pretty impressive technology.

A popular YouTube channel called The Slow Mo guys recently posted a video of a hard drive cracked open and then shot at 1000fps. Check out the video and judge for yourself.




User Comments: 31

Got something to say? Post a comment
Zoltan Head said:

I think you would need faster than 1000fps to clock the electrons in a SSD!

treeski treeski said:

Way cool, thanks for sharing.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I only thought it would be cooler =(

Guest said:

The beauty of a relic in motion. lol

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I was going to say, I wonder how long that thing continued to work with its cover off. Then they dumped water on it and I had my answer. Still curious how long it would work without the cover on, I know the answer would likely be 'not very, unless it was in a clean room', but how long is 'not very'.

Guest said:

It would last a long time, the ******* thing is hollow!

Guest said:

He should be using vodka and light it up to get nicer effects, maybe next time \m/

p51d007 said:

Had they used deionized water, the mechanical nature probably would have continued. Being not sealed up, dust probably would destroy it first.

But, they are "correct" in as much as saying water (pure H2O) wouldn't bother it.

It is the impurities in water that would bother it. Haven't you seen those commercials where

they dunk a live operating television in a fish tank? (the older ones with a vacuum tube CRT). The TV continues to operate, because they use pure water, not tap water. Deionized water most likely won't bother electronics because at its purest form, it is non conductive.

1 person liked this | Camikazi said:

I was going to say, I wonder how long that thing continued to work with its cover off. Then they dumped water on it and I had my answer. Still curious how long it would work without the cover on, I know the answer would likely be 'not very, unless it was in a clean room', but how long is 'not very'.

It will keep working as long as there is power, the question you want to ask is how long before it starts getting errors and is no longer usable to store information. My guess is quiet a while since I'm not sure dust will stick with the heads spinning at that speed but once they slow down or go idle then it's all over. Just an FYI but they fibbed in the video, that is not a 500GB HDD, the drive is a Quantum Fireball Plus LM 30GB.

Guest said:

Just for arguments sake, there is no such think as deionized water since when water is at equilibrium it still contains 1x10^-14 ions. Not a lot but still they're there...

Guest said:

Zoltan Head electrons actually move very slowly, I could run faster than an electron moving round an SSD, in fact I could walk faster,.

PC nerd PC nerd said:

It's beautiful.

Guest said:

"Zoltan Head electrons actually move very slowly, I could run faster than an electron moving round an SSD, in fact I could walk faster," This is total baloney! Where did you get this garbage, did you just make it up? If you must contradict sensible posts, at least include a few facts, guest!

Zoltan Head said:

Yes, although I might use more circumspect language, that's right - where did you get this from? I accept that electrons are not all uniformly zipping around at half the speed of light, like the sportiest of their brethren, but they are pretty nippy you know!

PC nerd PC nerd said:

Electrons... Slow?

Did your back-country school allow you to learn science? Or was it all creationism?

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Electrons... Slow?

Did your back-country school allow you to learn science? Or was it all creationism?

You might want to retract that statement.

I personally don't know how fast a single electron can travel. What I do know is the speed of electricity and the speed of a single electron is two different things. Electricity is not the product of one electron but all the electrons within a conductive material. Electrons don't have to move fast to produce an electron flow of all electrons within the material. A magnetically charged field from the starting point to the finish point is what drives the flow of electrons. Once again, I don't know how fast this flow is but it allows for a simultaneous swap of electrons at the starting point and finish point.

Doctor John Doctor John said:

I seem to recall from my uni Physics that they can go from effectively almost stationary (in a carefully applied magnetic field), to 99.999etc.% of the speed of light! So probably someone can walk faster than some electrons but not generally!

Guest said:

a relic? do you know what relic means? A HDD is far from a relic

Guest said:

an irrelevance? do you know what an irrelevance is?

Zeromus said:

Never get's old watching actuators.

Guest said:

The combined life of my 4 hard drives that are running 24/7 is according to S.M.A.R.T. data 16.6 years old. Eat that SSD, you got the speed, we got the reliability.

PC nerd PC nerd said:

Yet my Samsung F3 only lasted 11 months

Guest said:

Stop beating up the guest!

Electrons in an electric field flowing along a copper wire can move incredibly slowly. Please see here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drift_velocity

In this example the electrons move about 1m an hour - I can certianly walk that fast.

Pan Wah said:

Stop beating up the guest!

Electrons in an electric field flowing along a copper wire can move incredibly slowly. Please see here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drift_velocity

In this example the electrons move about 1m an hour - I can certianly walk that fast.

Did no-one read Doctor John's post above - I'm sure he's right, and what he said covers ALL these scenarii, so we can all stop arguing!

Guest said:

Make no mistake, electrons in a conductor move fast, about 0.5% the speed of light. What they don't do is consistently and coherently move in the same direction very quickly. They bounce around and scatter so much that their net motion is very small, around the 1 meter per hour figure quote above.

Pan Wah said:

Make no mistake, electrons in a conductor move fast, about 0.5% the speed of light. What they don't do is consistently and coherently move in the same direction very quickly. They bounce around and scatter so much that their net motion is very small, around the 1 meter per hour figure quote above.

Absolutely, so the average velocity of a bunch of electrons can approach zero, but the individuals are zooming and bouncing off each other & atoms in the conductor (which is why cables get warm!). Nice one, Guest (y)

valentyn0 valentyn0 said:

Yet my Samsung F3 only lasted 11 months

Probably a defective one, have a samsung myself (hdtune reports 1100 days in function, that means somwhere around 3 years and smth always ON) and still this model was a Spinpoint.

Guest said:

Old video...sigh

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

My god, why did we start allowing guest comments. Waste of my time.

Zoltan Head said:

Old video...sigh

That's what you get for opening old threads...(sigh)

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.