magnets+magnetic media=lost data
While strictly speaking this is true, it takes one hell of a magnet
to do so (slide 24, to save you time ~5000 Oersted). BTW, next time a hard drive dies, take it apart and you'll see multiple very strong magnets used to control the heads.
he rigged the fan to run off the HD spindle
It's hard to see from the picture (for me at least) but if that were the case, why would he be running those two wires to the fan? And if it were connected to the spindle, that'd be a sure-fire way to kill the drive more quickly.Edit:
Gah, others beat me to it, oh well.