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Thread: Destroying Hard Drives

  1. #1
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    Destroying Hard Drives

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/hi/te...00/7910073.stm

    I watched this and thought, well one hole isn't much if someone wanted to they could get fragmented data of the other non damaged parts. Which led me to another question.

    Say you bought a new hard drive and you copy your stuff across. A year later it dies and you can't get any data off it. A nuke program won't run because it can't be accessed. Now you are within your rights to send it back under warranty and get a replacement, but what guarantee is there your data would be wiped clean or the old one destroyed? Or would you destroy it yourself and splash out £50ish quid on a new one?

    Oh you also pray your backups work!

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    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    Re: Destroying Hard Drives

    I think the question is: How paranoid are you and just how important is the data on that disk?

    And be honest here. Would you be of interest to the FBI/CIA/MI5/MI6/KGB or do you just have a bunch of embarasing photos of you drunk, some MP3s and a couple of very bad softcore porn videos?

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    Re: Destroying Hard Drives

    Well the PCBs are easy enough to replace, and that's all you'lll be damaging externally.

    If that hole goes through the platters then you won't be able to get anyhting off it.

    They should have told you where to drill (you can see the spindle from the outside)
    as putting a hole through the casing won't affect your data unless it goes through the platter

    Use truecrypt if you are worried about this...

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    Re: Destroying Hard Drives

    Quote Originally Posted by mikerr View Post
    Well the PCBs are easy enough to replace, and that's all you'lll be damaging externally.
    That is really true - I fried a PCB on an old 60Gb hard disk by shorting it (I was trying to quickly connect it up to a friends PC ) - A different friend had a 10Gb drive from the same manufacturer that was suffering bad sector problems. I just swapped the PCBs over and het presto - working drive (Its still working 8 years later!)
    Trust

    Laptop : Lenovo G505s A8-5550m 8Gb 240Gb SSD Radeon HD 8550G + Radeon HD 8570M dual graphics

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    Re: Destroying Hard Drives

    Already made various comments on this elsewhere, and complained to BBC resulting in the modification of that article.

    There's software out there that will make the data more difficult to recover than by smashing it with a hammer several times, even directly to the platter. In which case, and in the days of reusing/recycling as much as possible rather than slapping those drives, most of which is not recyclable into landfill - this should take precedence.

    Plenty of software around capable of doing it, and for the extra piece of mind there's plenty of expensive software with the paperwork to show it's credentials as being HMG certified. The BBC were idiots for printing that article, and the original one was even worse, saying that taking a hammer or other physical destruction was the ONLY method of safely killing any data. But it's not a first for the BBC, their technology authors are fairly inconsistent and/or generally biased or not very good at their job. Bit like ZDNet really.
    Moo.

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    Re: Destroying Hard Drives

    probably better to use a very powerful magnet to destroy the data on the drive rather than using a hammer and risk something flying into your eye

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    Re: Destroying Hard Drives

    take it apart & shatter the platters easy

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    Re: Destroying Hard Drives

    A hammer on it's own needs a bit of work to get past the outter casing to damage the platter inside.
    A hammer and chissle or bradel or punch is far better to get through the casing.
    You can crack the baring with a hammer blow which will jam it and effectively kill it.
    On older drives a high energy impact shock (like a good sharp hammer blow) could shatter the platters inside.

    However the simplest methord is the humble Screwdriver, one with a swapable head and a set of star shaped torque heads.
    Star shaped torque screws are commonly used in hard drives as well as standard cross head.

    Peel away any foil sealing strips from the aluminum cover (sometimes screws are hidden under them)
    Remove all screws from the aluminum cover and lift/prise it off.
    You can now scratch up the platters or run a magnet over them.
    If you remove the read/write arm you'll find a handy powerful magnet as part of the assembly.

    Must say that report was very lacks, you can draw no information other than "Probably" as there expert didn't actually try to recover any data.

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    Re: Destroying Hard Drives

    Quote Originally Posted by mikerr View Post
    Use truecrypt if you are worried about this...
    or http://www.freeotfe.org/
    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

  10. #10
    I R Toff Pandi! TAKTAK's Avatar
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    Re: Destroying Hard Drives

    my preferred method would be make one into an angle grinder to destroy your other ones

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  11. #11
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    Re: Destroying Hard Drives

    Give them to me, I'll put it in one of our steel grinders, HDD to so much swarf in about 5 seconds. Apparently particle size has to be less than 5mm square to come under gov't guidelines.
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    Re: Destroying Hard Drives

    My favourite method? This

    For the true paranoiac, combine it with Truecrypt's option of a hidden operating system whilst the drive still works.
    If you can't keep up, stick with reality...

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    Re: Destroying Hard Drives

    Personally I don't see what's wrong with the "throw it in a lake of red hot magma from the rim of an active volcano" method...?
    ____
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    (")_(")

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    Re: Destroying Hard Drives

    And hope you don't get burned in the process.
    Deo Adjuvante non Timendum

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    Re: Destroying Hard Drives

    Use Darik's Boot and Nuke Simple....!

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    Re: Destroying Hard Drives

    Far better things to do be done with drives.

    Backup devices. IDE drives great for slapping in an xbox to softmod and use XMBC with. Not enough of us back up as it is, and even then it's often on the likes of DVDs - well kept hard drive will serve much better and be far faster with far more capacity too

    But if you must be intent on destroying them, the magnets are always useful

    And for what it's worth, what exactly is on the drives that you need to securely shred for anyway? It'll cost several thousand pounds to recover from smashed platters or decent software data destruction. Who will be spending several thousand pounds to, at the absolute worse, grab a couple of hundred from a bank account/credit card which is hard work on top of the data recovery. If you had military plans, details of swiss bank accounts with several million pounds in or the likes, then maybe it'll be worth it








    Oh, and platters from 5 1/2" drives make great coffee mug coasters. Bastard to keep clean, mind
    Moo.

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