How to Recover Platinum From Hard Drives

By Rochelle Leggett

Updated September 28, 2017

Items you will need

  • Hard drive

  • Screwdriver

The disc of a hard drive contains platinum.
i hard drive image by BigDog from

Platinum is a precious metal that has become a major component in electronics, such as hard drives. A hard drive is a permanent storage device that contains the operating system of a computer, and uses magnetization to store its data. Platinum helps stabilize the magnetization of a computer hard drive, thus making it essential to keeping a computer functional. The usefulness and rarity of platinum make it very appealing for recycling.

Find the hard drive. The location of a hard drive varies from one model of computer to the next, and will most likely require you to take the computer apart using the screwdriver. It resembles a small, rectangular box, and contains a disc that looks like a CD. This disc is the component that contains the platinum.

Look for a company that specializes in recycling computer parts. While it is possible to extract the platinum yourself, the coating on the disc is actually an alloy that contains only 40 percent to 50 percent platinum and is very thin, meaning that the total amount of platinum is extremely small. The cost and danger of the chemicals required for extraction makes it less profitable to do it yourself than to take the hard drive to a professional recycling plant.

To increase your profits, try collecting multiple hard drives or other computer parts that contain platinum. There are many online guides that can help you learn what other components contain worthwhile amounts of platinum for recycling.