Sunday, December 19, 2010

Inside: Electronics Board of Hardisk

The best way to understand how a hard disk works is to take a look inside. (Note that OPENING A HARD DISK RUINS IT, so this is not something to try at home unless you have a defunct drive.)

Here is a typical hard-disk drive:

It is a sealed aluminum box with controller electronics attached to one side. The electronics control the read/write mechanism and the motor  that spins the platters. The electronics also assemble the magnetic domains on the drive into bytes (reading) and turn bytes into magnetic domains (writing). The electronics are all contained on a small board that detaches from the rest of the drive:

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