20
   

BEST WAY TO DESTROY A HARD DRIVE

 
 
Foxfyre
 
Reply Tue 26 May, 2009 02:05 pm
We have some old computers that we need to dispose of but want to be sure that any personal information on them is unrecoverable. How can we disable a hard drive using ordinary tools around the house?
 
Francis
 
  2  
Reply Tue 26 May, 2009 02:29 pm
@Foxfyre,
You can play around with a screwdriver, open the enclosure, take the disks out and bend them so their data will be almost irrecoverable.

In addition, you can take out the powerful magnets inside, they are really useful..
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 May, 2009 02:31 pm
Disassemble and take a hammer to the platters. Save the magnets per the above suggestion, they are super strong and quite useful.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 May, 2009 02:35 pm
Thanks guys. Now all we have to do is figure out how to get them out of the computers, but I think we can manage that.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 May, 2009 02:37 pm
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:

Thanks guys. Now all we have to do is figure out how to get them out of the computers, but I think we can manage that.


Philips-head screwdriver. Should be about the size of a paperback book. If you don't absolutely have to break the platters, they are interesting to keep - size of a CD but WAY more reflective, super-polished and perfect mirrors. Extremely easy to leave permanent fingerprints on.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 May, 2009 02:40 pm
@Foxfyre,
Since you don't want to reuse either hard drive or computer again, it should be a piece of cake.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 May, 2009 02:46 pm
Businesses that dispose of hard drives typically drill straight through the (hard drive) case and platters in at least three places.

Easy-peasy.
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 May, 2009 02:47 pm
@Foxfyre,
Good suggestions here. Also, if you can do a complete reformat of the hard drive before you disassemble it (reformatting it twice is even better), that is preferable.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 May, 2009 02:49 pm
50 cal BArrett from 500 yds.Use pyrophoric shells and watch em burn when you hit. Also you can make TAnnerite and when the bullets hit, IT BLOWS UP THE PUTER REAL GOOD. Yeh Save the magnets. When you shoot just look for the shapes in the air
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 May, 2009 02:53 pm
@Ticomaya,
Ticomaya wrote:

Good suggestions here. Also, if you can do a complete reformat of the hard drive before you disassemble it (reformatting it twice is even better), that is preferable.


Make sure that you don't stop with re-formatting, even twice; data is in some cases recoverable from HDs which have been overwritten several times... I was surprised to find this out.

Cycloptichorn
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 May, 2009 02:58 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Agreed, but bending the platters makes it almost impossible to read the data..
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 May, 2009 03:07 pm
@Ticomaya,
Usually, a format only re-writes a very small part of the disk. There is commercial software to write random data to the entire disk multiple times in order to make the data unrecoverable, but physical destruction of the media is preferable.

Storage is cheap nowadays; unless the drive is particularly rare or in demand, it's much cheaper to junk the disk than to resell it. (Older, legacy computers sometimes drive demand in the resale market, because they won't take newer equipment.)
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 May, 2009 03:08 pm
@Francis,
Francis wrote:

Agreed, but bending the platters makes it almost impossible to read the data..


Can you bend platters on a Hard Disk? I've disassembled them before and seen solid glass platters. Which scratch and break easy, but don't bend.

Cycloptichorn
Francis
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 May, 2009 03:11 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
I bent all the ones I wanted to discard..
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 May, 2009 03:12 pm
@Francis,
Francis wrote:

I bent all the ones I wanted to discard..


Hmm, perhaps the technology has improved since I busted a hard drive. I'll break an old one I have tonight and check it out.

Cheers
Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 May, 2009 03:12 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Depends on the brand, but they use glass, ceramic, or aluminum with a very thin layer of magentic medium.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 May, 2009 03:17 pm
I would take a sledge hammer to it. Besides protecting my data, I would get a great catharsis, to boot.

I have always wondered if soaking it in Clorox would do the trick!
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 May, 2009 03:22 pm
Make it a learning experience for your grandkids to learn how they work next time they come to visit. Hand them the toolbox and the hard drives and let them to explore the inner workings of a disk drive by tearing it apart. When they're done, proceed with all the other suggestions offered above.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 May, 2009 03:25 pm
@Butrflynet,
Butrflynet wrote:

Make it a learning experience for your grandkids to learn how they work next time they come to visit. Hand them the toolbox and the hard drives and let them to explore the inner workings of a disk drive by tearing it apart. When they're done, proceed with all the other suggestions offered above.


Good idea, but be careful with kids and the magnets - they are really, really strong, I've pinched the hell out of my hand before playing with them.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
Ticomaya
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 May, 2009 03:26 pm
@DrewDad,
What I was advocating was a complete reformat, followed by physical destruction. Reformatting is not sufficient, by itself, to keep prying eyes armed with the right specialized software from the data, but it will work for most people. But, yes, a disk-wiping software program is better than reformatting, and there are shareware options available.
 

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