how to destroy my hard drive

How to Destroy a Hard DrivePermanently

May 30, There are many more creative ways that you can destroy your hard drive such as setting it on fire, cutting it up with a saw or magnetizing it. However, simply scratching the hard drive disk and smashing it a bit with a hammer will get the job done! Dec 18, Start by removing the hard drive from your PC. If you have a desktop or tower PC, unplug it and remove the cover or side panel (some cases are toolless and you only need to .

Don't put it in the microwave, don't roast it on a spit, don't soak it in acid, and don't put dwstroy next to an industrial-strength magnet; the key is to hoq the drive's platters unspinnable. I'm a confirmed pack rat. I've got stacks of old utility-bill statements dating back to the s. Alongside the boxes of ancient paper records in our attic are about a half dozen old PCs. The jewel of my "collection" is an original MHz Pentium PC, complete with the famous floating-point bug.

Well, it was famous in One benefit of holding onto these PC desrroy is not worrying about their data falling into the wrong hands. OK, I suppose a determined thief could break into our attic and walk off with the computer antiques, but Deshroy wish them luck finding the cables and peripherals required to bring the machines back to life.

Not everyone is so attached to their old electronic equipment as I am. You probably know that you need to completely wipe or remove the hard fo from your PCs before you donate or recycle them. How to ensure that the data on the drives will be out of the bad guys' reach is another matter. On a related subject, don't ever let a computer repair shop hold onto your old hard drive if they replace it. And don't believe them deive they say they returned the drive how old to work at barnes and nobles the vendor.

If deestroy give you this spiel, call the cops hafd demand that they return the old hard drive to you, right then, right there. The program's interface won't win any ny, but DBAN has a solid reputation among security experts.

Attack the platter to render a hard-disk unreadable No matter how thorough a data-wiping program is, the only way to be certain that a hard-drive's data is unrecoverable is by rendering the drive's digiprog 3 how to use unspinnable.

I've heard and read all kinds of methods people use to how to destroy my hard drive an old drive, some of which are downright dangerous. Put it in a fire? There are lots of toxic chemicals in that gadget. Do you really want to be breathing them or otherwise releasing them into the environment? Microwaves are handy for destroying CDs and DVDs, but you'd have to cook a hard drive for a long, long time to blister the drive's platters.

Several Web sites suggest soaking the drive in diluted hydrochloric or muriatic acid. This might work, but you run the risk of burning yourself or breathing toxic fumes. Lots of people recommend breaking out the power tools and drilling several holes through the drive.

You can achieve the same effect by pounding some nails through it, or simply by whacking the heck out of it with a hammer, sledge or otherwise. I'm normally a big fan of brute-force methods, for the vicarious thrill if for driv other reason.

But the goal is to make sure you can't spin the drive's platters. There's a more subtle approach that achieves this, without necessarily requiring safety goggles.

I found t great step-by-step tutorial written by David Gewirtz that describes how to disassemble a drive, remove the platters and other components, including the drive's magnetsand sand or grind the platter surfaces, which renders them unreadable. David's method requires the use of TORX driver bits to remove the small screws holding the drive's case in place.

David also suggests degaussing the platters by placing them between neodymium magnets before grinding their hod, which obliterates the data they hold. This strikes me as overkill, but I guess you can't be too how to cook wild caught tiger prawns when protecting your private data. Making wind chimes out of the degaussed and sanded platters, as David's wife did, is strictly optional.

Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. We delete comments that violate our policywhich we encourage you to read. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion. The right way to destroy an old hard drive Don't put it in the microwave, don't roast it on a spit, don't dstroy it in acid, and don't put it next to an industrial-strength magnet; the key is to make the drive's platters unspinnable. Dennis O'Reilly.

March 30, hoow. Discuss: The right way to destroy an old hard drive.

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Mar 30, Microwaves are handy for destroying CDs and DVDs, but you'd have to cook a hard drive for a long, long time to blister the drive's platters. Several Web sites suggest soaking the drive in diluted Author: Dennis O'reilly. In the program, there are four options for your choice, each option is targeted for different wiping demand. Here, to destroy your hard drive, you should select the second one - " Wipe Partition/Device ". Then click the " Settings " button to select the right wiping method, the more wiping times you choose, the more time it will take. Dec 18, Indeed, opening up the drivea task easily achieved with a screwdriver and hammer in a few minutesand using brute force on the platter is the Author: Corinne Iozzio.

What can you do to make sure your tax returns, social security number, and all that banking information is unusable to the baddie scrounging at the electronics recycling depot? Make sure you back up all the data you need from that old hard drive if at all possible. Yes, the good old military. Like anything in the military there is a standard for data destruction as well as a decision-making flowchart. To clear the data means to use logical methods to render the data hard to recover.

Simply put, it means using some sort of program to erase the data on the hard drive. The Clear procedure should consist of at least one pass of writes with a fixed data value, such as all zeros.

Multiple passes or more complex values may optionally be used. You could do something like this by performing a zero fill using a Linux live disk.

Purging is a step up from clearing. It includes using logical methods, like above, and physical methods to make it hard to recover data.

It has to make it hard for even someone with a data recovery lab with all the fancy equipment. Do the Clear method. Then do a cryptographic erase, which overwrites with all zeros or a pseudorandom pattern.

Do this several times. Then hit it with a very strong electromagnet, also known as a degausser. Or take the hard drive apart and run the strong magnet over each of the platters, or disks, inside. At this point, you may as well go full destroy. Yes, this is the level where the data is obliterated and the hard drive is rendered completely useless for anything but scrap metal and modern art projects. The safest way is to take it to a company that specializes in data destruction.

Reputable companies will have full chain of custody documentation to ensure that your hard drive was destroyed. We recommend that you ask to see it be destroyed so that you can be completely certain it is gone. Data destruction professionals use a variety of methods. Puncturing, crushing, shearing, and actual shredding are the most popular methods. Incineration or destruction via acid are far less popular as they have their own hazards, both to people and the environment.

Pay attention, we do NOT recommend destroying a hard drive yourself. Even with proper personal protective equipment PPE and good home tools, the risk of injury to yourself is too much. However, some people have done it by putting on PPE like a face shield and goggles, a protective shop apron, gloves, and maybe even some ear defenders and then destroyed the hard drive. Some people have taken a high quality power drill or drill press, and a high-speed-steel or cobalt drill bit and made multiple punctures right through the hard drive casing and the platters inside.

It could be very noisy, and pieces could go flying. People have done it, but you should not. Even riskier, some have taken large nails and driven them through the hard drive with a hammer. That would do the trick too. Completely unsafe, though. Driving over the hard drive with a car is not an effective way to crush it. Driving over it with a steamroller is. But who has a steamroller at home?

People who have crushed a hard drive at home have done so using hydraulic presses capable of generating tons of force. Not everyone has one of these but if they had a friend who works on cars a lot, they might have used their press. This causes lots of sharp things to go flying. To help prevent that, some people have put the hard drive in a sturdy cloth bag, before pretending to be Thor. It is not wise or safe to do this. We implore you, do not do this.

Possibly even riskier is using a blow torch to incinerate the hard drive. This requires you to directly handle a torch and the hard drive. This is not safe at all and should never be done. There are folks who have a T7x50mm screwdriver and used that to remove the screws from the hard drive case. Then, using a hammer and a small pry bar, they have tapped the pry bar into gaps in the case and pried it open. Once the case is open, they would remove the platters and hammer them or step on them and scuff them around a hard surface, scraping the platters to the point of uselessness.

Again, do not do this. It is interesting to see the insides of a hard drive though, and there are some powerful rare earth magnets inside that are fun, but unsafe, to play with.

Guy has been published online and in print newspapers, nominated for writing awards, and cited in scholarly papers due to his ability to speak tech to anyone, but still prefers analog watches. Read Guy's Full Bio. Subscribe to Help Desk Geek and get great guides, tips and tricks on a daily basis!

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