Hard disks: if you read this, it’s pretty much certain you use one or more of the things. They’re pretty simple: they basically present a bunch of 512-byte sectors, numbered by an increasing address, also known as the LBA or Logical Block Address. The PC the HD is connected to can read or write data to and from these sectors. Usually, a file system is used that abstracts all those sectors to files and folders.
If you look at an HD from that naive standpoint, you would think the hardware should be pretty simple: all you need is something that connects to a SATA-port which can then position the read/write-head and read or write data from or to the platters. But maybe more is involved: don’t hard disks also handle bad block management and SMART attributes, and don’t they usually have some cache they must somehow manage?
All that implies there’s some intelligence in an hard disk, and intelligence usually implies hackability. I’m always interested in hackability, so I decided I wanted to look into how hard disks work on the non-mechanical level. Research like this has been done before for various bits of hardware: from PCI extension cards to embedded controllers in laptops to even Apple keyboards. Usually the research has been done in order to prove the hackability of these devices can lead to compromised software, so I decided to take the same approach: for this hack, I wanted to make a hard disk that could bypass software security.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.
Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!
Maker Business — To make it through a tough business cycle, layoffs should be a last resort
Wearables — EVA foam is like fondant
Electronics — I touched my circuit, and now it glitches!
Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: 300 CircuitPython Libraries, Python Turns 30! #Python #Adafruit #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF
Adafruit IoT Monthly — Upcycling Smartphones, AI Freezer, and more!
Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Arcade Turns One!
EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey
New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — New Products 2/24/2021 Feat. TPS62827 3.3V Buck Converter Breakout – 3.3V Output 2 Amp Max!
No comments yet.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.