Disassembly Gone Too Far

Some parts are not meant to be taken apart. I’m not trying to get you to empty your wallet, but some parts may never be usable again once you disassemble them, even part way.

If you don’t believe it, buy similar parts and experiment on them instead of ramming into your good stuff. For example, buy a used hard drive of a similar type (like magnetic with a similar interface), maybe smaller capacity. You might find one in the trash, for free. Save something onto it that you don’t care about but can read. If you disassemble it all the way to being able to hold the platters in your hand, separately, you will never be able to read that content again (outside of a rare lab specializing in data recovery). The pieces of the file won’t line up again. And the dirt you introduced will jam the read-write heads and scratch the disks. You didn’t introduce dirt? For that to be true, you’d need a clean room that’s cleaner than a top doctor’s surgical suite. For the kind of money it takes to get that, you could buy a new hard drive, use your backup, and have enough change left over to keep everyone talking.

I took a laptop lid apart, to fix the display. It was important, since I’d walked in a heavy rainstorm and the display got soaked inside. (I should’ve wrapped it in plastic before leaving the store, but never mind.) But disassembly only got so far. Soon I had a unit and no instructions on how to take it apart. I could take a chance and go to the next step, but I doubted I could put it back together. So I put it back into the lid and now, months later, I live with residue of rain, but at least the display works well enough.