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Distruction

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,364
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Registered: ‎30-08-2007

Distruction

Like a lot of people no doubt, over the years I have disposed of a number of computers both desk and laptop. I always remove the hard disk first. Consequently, I have a drawer full of redundant HDD's

What is the best way to destroy the HDD's. There used to be stories that they can be restored after even the most determined efforts using huge magnets, sledge hammers, bon-fires, burying, throw over the side of the Isle of Whight ferry and many other, all at times claimed not to be fool-proof.

So what is the modern thinking on the disposal of unwanted HDD's?.

Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
26 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎16-10-2014

Re: Distruction

@petlew Unless, like the FBI you have access to an industrial shredder, then maybe you could do what I do and that is to drill through the platters in half a dozen places.

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Re: Distruction

Break them open.... remove the disc, and then destroy it by using two pairs of pliers to break it into pieces... then use several different locations for disposal of small pieces...

 

Send me a couple of swinging arms with the magnets and the pivot points please ! !  They will make a nice project for me !..  Especially if they are the desktop/tower computer size ones ! ! ... Wink

 

PM me for postal address ! !

 

 

Community Veteran
Posts: 5,666
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Registered: ‎16-10-2014

Re: Distruction

@shutter - Would you be making what I think you're making i.e. a Key?

Community Veteran
Posts: 18,011
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Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Re: Distruction

Yes, you guessed right !

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,364
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Registered: ‎30-08-2007

Re: Distruction

@shutter I currently have two such drives at disposal, I'll have a look-see how difficult they are to tear apart. Probably a few days yet.

Don't worry about the address yet, I'll contact you if successful.

Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,011
Thanks: 1,686
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Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Re: Distruction

ok ThanksSmiley

DaveyH
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Registered: ‎15-11-2012

Re: Distruction

The last couple of HDDs (laptop drives) I've destroyed have had glass/ceramic platters so a swift whack with a big hammer and they're done.

 

Though I've always used whole/full disk encryption on my devices, so never been too worried...

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎18-02-2013

Re: Distruction

10lb sledge does the trick just fine and dandy.

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎21-03-2011

Re: Distruction

When I used to look after Bank IT infrastructure we'd have the disk units shredded after we'd electronically wiped them. Here's an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsX1GnC8FQQ

Incidentally the newer solid state disks are difficult to thoroughly wipe.

Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎23-09-2010

Re: Distruction

It seems pretty universal that people seem to be concerned about the security in the disposing of their old hard drives.

I guess I buy and sell a far few old mobiles and next to no one seems to care about them. I've given up looking at their contents as I've seen it all. Memo's of various bank codes, very private text's that the wife or husband wouldn't like, picture wise if it's a ladies phone the mirror self portrait (not the one you want your mother to see) if it's a man's then its a picture of a young man doing what young men often do. What I find sad is when you see someone's almost life story of births, marriages, and funerals, just thrown away to the wind.  

So it seems strange to me so many caring about old hard drive security when so many care so little about old mobile security. A growing problem with large memory modern phones being used more and more for sole Internet access. Maybe younger people just don't care which would probably explain why "cloud storage" is getting popular.

No one wants to punch holes or hammer their few year old mobile. But even if you are careful and wipe the phones inbuilt memory don't kid yourself that it can't be restored with the right software just like any hard drive.

 

PowerLee
Rising Star
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Registered: ‎12-03-2013

Re: Distruction

Last hard drive I destroyed by driving over it with 5.5 ton of reach forklift truck.

 

Required a dustpan & brush to sweep up all the bits afterwards.

 

 

mage
Dabbler
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎03-09-2016

Re: Distruction

A couple of years ago a LACIE external HDD I used to swear by decided to develop the click of death. It had all the images I'd taken *ever* on there, and to make matters worse I'd just copied others there from a laptop and wiped them off the computer. Then the drive went t*ts up. Picked it's bloody moment!

I still have it, and occasionally fire it up in the hope that it might by some fluke read a sector properly and figure out the disk structure and make the files accessible for a quick copy away. In fact the drive died while I was trying to get the at-risk images off there (I'm a photographer, in many cases they represent my work).

You don't need to take a lump hammer to an HDD to lose all the data. No matter how much you might want to! Sometimes you can just wait long enough...

But when your data needs trashing absolutely and now, a big bloody hammer does the trick just fine.

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Distruction

When I first had a CDR drive, I decided to destroy a disc by bending it in half with my hands.
Ouch, wasn’t the best idea. 😬
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎06-11-2014

Re: Distruction

Optical discs are like russian roulette, some just fold in half and that's that, others just explode with shards of plastic and aluminium flakes flying everywhere...

 

As for HDDs, I've rarely thrown out HDDs, I still have ones I've had since about 2004, mostly because I'm just a hoarder, and the fact I can't bear to throw out things that still work despite being horrifically out of date (food excluded!!!!), and given the rise in retro computing with people buying p original hardware for "the experience", I'm sure they'll have some value to them soon enough... Grin