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Thread: Disposing old hard drives

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    HSK
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    Disposing old hard drives

    prolly a silly question, but with all this data theft & fraud that happens in this day and age, what is the best way to dispose of a broken old hard drive. althought they are broke, and even i can't fix em, there prolly is people out there that might give em ago without enough, or no reason.

    I had 2 80 WDC drives set up in raid 0 a while back, they went caput - windows chkdsk tried to fix them, but froze, after the reboot they never worked again, said something about smart cache failure.

    anyways, best way to make sure they are totally unaccesible? just to be on the safe side?

    leave em in a bucket of water?

    i have quite a few old drives aswell that do work, but are just not needed.

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    Re: Disposing old hard drives

    Drill through them? Basically rip them to pieces, throw them out in part Physical damage rules!
    .: Rishi :.

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    The King of Vague Steve B's Avatar
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    Re: Disposing old hard drives

    put the platters in boiling water, usually damages the surface of the disks

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    Re: Disposing old hard drives

    I find a drill is always a good bet. Either that or remove the platters to make flashy drink coasters.
    I made a mobile out of them for my youngest when she was a baby. Physical damage is good
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    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: Disposing old hard drives

    Brute force method - a large sledge hammer

    More subtle - remove the platters and take an angle grinder to the surfaces.
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    Re: Disposing old hard drives

    I know the OP’s drives do not work, but if they did would writing zeros to the drives be sufficient to delete all data. Or the “Physical Damage Rules” rule must be applied?

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    Get in the van. Fraz's Avatar
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    Re: Disposing old hard drives

    Hitting them with a hammer until they fall apart is fun. They make a surprising good ringing noise if you whack em hard enough.

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    Herr Doktor Oetker, ja!!! pollaxe's Avatar
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    Re: Disposing old hard drives

    ^They do indeed!

    I usually rip the cover off and scratch the platters to hell then hammer them too.

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    Re: Disposing old hard drives

    Quote Originally Posted by 0iD View Post
    Either that or remove the platters to make flashy drink coasters.
    I read this a few years ago, and had an opportunity recently to try it.
    Couldn't get into the bloody things, really p'd me off! I still have a couple of old drives lying around if anyone can suggest a good way to open them up.
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    Re: Disposing old hard drives

    Quote Originally Posted by Beowulf1100 View Post
    I know the OP’s drives do not work, but if they did would writing zeros to the drives be sufficient to delete all data. Or the “Physical Damage Rules” rule must be applied?
    There are varying circumstances of course but for most domestic and business purposes something like Darik's Boot and Nuke (Hard Drive Disk Wipe) would suffice.
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    Re: Disposing old hard drives

    Hit them with hammers!

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    Re: Disposing old hard drives

    dig a hole in the garden and bury them ......

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    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: Disposing old hard drives

    Quote Originally Posted by Beowulf1100 View Post
    I know the OP’s drives do not work, but if they did would writing zeros to the drives be sufficient to delete all data. Or the “Physical Damage Rules” rule must be applied?
    Usually the wipe programmes write all 0 then all 1 and then gvarying random patterns and repeats the process several times.

    GHowever that only overwrites data on sectors that are in use at the time of the overwrite. Data that is on sectors that were inn use, but have become faulty and remapped by the drive controller will be left alone, so in theory data could be recovered from them, using specialised equipment and techniques. For domestic use though the risk is pretty small - but physical destruction is the only certain way.

    Incidentally - hard drives are surprisingly surviveable - I have heard of instances of them being submerged in water and the data on the platters still being recoverable - though not necessarily by plugging it back into an ATA or SATA controller!
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    Re: Disposing old hard drives

    Quote Originally Posted by killie99 View Post
    dig a hole in the garden and bury them ......
    Hard drive tree anyone?
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    Re: Disposing old hard drives

    Post them to yourself using TNT, you'll never see them again that way and according to future investigations they won't have fallen into dodgy hands

    I use KillDisk a few times on working and take apart non working, the platter make some serious injury giving frisbees

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    Re: Disposing old hard drives

    Thanks for the information godsdog and peterb much appreciated

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