Platters et al.
I think the judge was correct in identifying the disk subsystems as separate elements, even if it is a bit premature. Consider:
Search warrant is obtained to search "the house"
-- Does not include searching within "the computer"
Search warrant is obtained to include "the computer"
-- Does not include searching within any "virtual drive" not included within "the computer" case
A "virtual drive", such as storage provided by Google or another resource, is simply space allocated to the subscriber. That "space" may take up clusters on any number of physical hard drives. Does a search warrant encompass the entirety of all of those hard drives? No it doesn't ... it only encompasses that space being used by the defendant, exclusive of the space being used by other subscribers.
Therefore a search warrant that only specifies "the computer" cannot be presumed to apply to all of the data accessible from that computer. There may not even be a hard drive in "the computer", for that matter.
Therefore a search warrant must explicitly define the exact scope of the area to be searched, including any specific portions of any "virtual drives" so as not to infringe on innocent subscribers' "virtual drive" materials.
Similarly it cannot be assumed that the entire physical hard drive within "the computer" contains only the defendant's materials: There may be other users of "the computer" whose rights would be infringed by a blanket search of the entire hard drive mechanism.
Therefore the search warrant must specify exactly which parts of the hard drive(s) are subject to the warrant, in order to preserve the rights of innocent co-users.
Therefore the platters come into play, along with the FAT and any other allocation mechanisms that would specify the location of the data segments being searched for.
Speaking with defense attorneys, here in my office, it seems that they are doubtful any more of these challenges will succeed. I am strongly encouraging them to argue against the inclusion of evidence gathered pursuant to ANY search warrant that stops at the level of "the computer", because while that level of detail may have worked up until now, it can clearly be successfully challenged, and it needs to be, if the true nature of technology is to be recognized, going forward.