How to Recycle a Hard Drive

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How to Recycle a Hard Drive

Hard drives store and retrieve digital information by operating rapidly rotating magnetic-coated discs. As one of the integral computer components, hard drives read software and hardware data by random accessing blocks of data. Most hard drive manufacturers construct durable hard drives that last computer users several years before they lose their efficiency or simply fail to operate. Inevitably, consumers must purchase new hard drives or entire computer systems. They can find new hard drives by shopping on one of the leading e-commerce sites, eBay. First, consumers should learn how to remove expired hard drives and learn how to recycle the hard drives to enhance the environment.

How to Remove Hard Drives

Installing a new hard drive represents one of the best ways to upgrade a desktop or laptop system. Before installing a new hard drive, computer users must remove the old one to free up space. Removing most hard drives requires a simple-to-execute, five-step process.


1. Do-it-yourselfers should remove jewellery and static-producing clothing before attempting to extract a computer hard drive. They should wear an ESD wrist strap to provide further static protection.

2. Unplug the desktop or laptop computer from the electrical outlet. Unscrew the screws or unfasten the clips that secure the computer case.

3. Locate the hard drive, which should sit within a removable metal cage. Hard drives typically connect to a power cable and serial ATA cable.

4. Gently pull the plastic or metal SATA cable by using the thumb and forefinger. Some hard drives require users to push a clip in and then pull the cable.

5. Unscrew the screws that secure the drive to the metal drive cage. Carefully remove the hard drive and place it on a clean cloth.


After reassembling the computer cage, place the hard drive inside of an antistatic bag and enclose the hard drive with a protective layer of bubble wrap. Avoid hitting the motherboard and other internal components during extraction. Computer experts consider hard drives as one of the most sensitive computer components to cold, heat, and impacts.

Recycling Hard Drives

Australians have several options when it comes to recycling their desktop or laptop hard drives. They can donate their hard drives to Computerbank, SITA, electronics shops, or one of Australia's local, state, and national government agencies responsible for protecting the environment.


Melbourne-located Computerbank handles the recycling of a wide variety of computer components, including hard drives and software programmes. The company understands the implications of overflowing landfills and it works closely with the Australian government to dismantle and recycle the metal and plastic components that comprise most hard drives. Computerbank knows how to extract the metal from hard drives for use in building other computer components and it removes excess polystyrene from hard drives and sends it to a compaction centre. Australians do not have to live in, or near, Melbourne to utilise this invaluable service. Computerbank accepts deliveries from anywhere within the country.


As the leading non-profit recycling organisation in Australia, SITA provides vast resources to businesses and individuals to recycle antiquated desktop and laptop hard drives. SITA services include the collection and recycling of several different types of electronic components, including computers and batteries. Recyclers can drop fully assembled computers that contain hard drives to one of the SITA recycling centres operated within Australia. In addition, people can organise a recycling drive in their neighbourhood by requesting containers from SITA that they use to store discarded hard drives. SITA provides contact information on its website for Australians who want to recycle their hard drives.

Electronics Shops

Large electronics chains have the resources to provide recycling services for obsolete hard drives. Although each chain promotes different recycling features, the underlying theme of the recycling programmes entails that consumers bring their hard drives to one of the chain outlets. Some chains offer trade-in or rebate deals for customers who want to recycle their hard drives. Other chains simply accept discarded hard drives that customers place in a large bin that contains other recyclable electronics parts and products. Since the policies vary among large chains, consumers should review the recycling policies of large chains before deciding to which chain to return an antiquated hard drive. Moreover, some electronics manufacturers, such as Sony and Samsung, accept recyclable hard drives through the post.

Australian Government

In November 2009, the Australian government issued a new environmentally sound approach to recovering and recycling electronics. The national waste policy includes detailed instructions on how to deliver electronics, such as hard drives, to one of several government-operated recycling centres. Since 2009, the Australian government has tweaked its waste recovery and recycling policy. Therefore, Australians should refer to the government website to learn about the most recent policy changes. Moreover, most Australian state and municipal governing bodies run some type of recycling programme that may involve the pickup of hard drives.

How to Buy a Hard Drive on eBay

The hard drive of a desktop or laptop computer acts as the heart of the system by randomly retrieving software and hardware information. Even the most durable hard drives succumb to years of use, which requires computer users to buy replacement hard drives or an entirely new computer system. Once do-it-yourselfers understand how to remove hard drives, they have several options for recycling them in Australia. You should go online to eBay to find a replacement hard drive. You can type buying criteria keywords into the search engine to find the right hard drive sellers. Many hard drive buyers on eBay shop for hard drives by capacity, such as





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