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Socoder -> Off Topic -> Destroying a hard drive

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Posted : Thursday, 16 September 2010, 05:27
HoboBen
I need to destroy an old hard drive before getting rid of it (it's full of passwords for crap).

Right now I have it submerged in salt water and I am running a current through it. I also chucked an old battery into the water and it's fizzing merrily.

The hard drive looks untouched though. I think I may have to try Coca Cola..

Last time I attacked one physically I broke the drill, and I don't fancy playing with thermite.

Any other ideas?

-=-=-

Posted : Thursday, 16 September 2010, 05:46
mole
Fire.

Or bury it.
Posted : Thursday, 16 September 2010, 05:50
waroffice
just drop it, most cant stand more than 3Gs.

or open it, unless the person getting it is willing to spend hundreds on recovery!

I used to take them apart and use the disks as toys for my dog, she would chase them if you skimmed them across the carpet
Posted : Thursday, 16 September 2010, 07:31
JL235
I also recommend taking it apart, partly because the inside are pretty cool. The disc is ultra mirrored to the point where it looks like your not even looking at a surface. The magnet is also ultra powerful, capable of holding entire newspapers to a fridge!

Scratch the disk severely and then burn it. That will deter the majority of thieves.

-=-=-
PlayMyCode.com - build and play in your browser, Blog, Twitter.
Posted : Thursday, 16 September 2010, 08:41
mindstorm8191
I thought that, previously, holding a magnet near the drive would erase everything on it. Is that still true? You should be able to take the drive apart, and break the inner disks... though I've never seen the inside of a harddrive. Heck, drop the disks in a busy highway, they'll never figure out what it was in the first place then.

-=-=-
Vesuvius web game
Posted : Thursday, 16 September 2010, 08:44
spinal
Why didn't you just use one of those deep format programs that overwrite every single bit on the drive then erase it, meaning none of the previous data survives? Then you could sell it or give it to a friend.

-=-=-
Check out my excellent homepage!
Posted : Thursday, 16 September 2010, 10:31
Stealth
Spinal is right. A deep erase tool is the best route to go. Plus you can save the drive.

-=-=-
Quit posting and try Google.
Posted : Thursday, 16 September 2010, 10:32
shroom_monk
Do all of the above then stick it to a rocket and send it into the sun. Then go over it with a magnet again just for good measure.

-=-=-
A mushroom a day keeps the doctor away...

Keep It Simple, Shroom!
Posted : Thursday, 16 September 2010, 11:09
steve_ancell
1) Open the casing and remove the hard-drive platters.
2) Take the platters to your shed.
3) Switch on the bench grinder, if you have one, or an angle grinder and vice will have to do.
4) Press each platter against the spinning stone and watch the sparks fly (Have Phun) !

|edit| Remember to wear goggles ! |edit|
Posted : Thursday, 16 September 2010, 13:00
Stealth
The problem with physically destroying a disk is that it's not as thorough. Data recovery experts can recover data from hard drives that have been on fire. The only correct way to do it is to use data wiping software and give it about 10 passes. It will take days to preform on a large drive, but it's worth it.

-=-=-
Quit posting and try Google.
Posted : Thursday, 16 September 2010, 13:14
CodersRule
Do everything you've ever wanted to do to your evil sister's head after she did something bad to you. That should be enough damage.
Posted : Thursday, 16 September 2010, 16:38
steve_ancell
@Stealth.

As long as you grind those platters in to a pile of dust, that data is gone !. Unless they are determined to stick all the metal filings back together of course
Posted : Thursday, 16 September 2010, 18:17
CodersRule
Take a hammer to the discs, distribute the resulting fragments in far apart dumpsters.

Send half of it to a trusted relative on the other side of the globe and have them dump it in far away dumpsters as well.
Posted : Thursday, 16 September 2010, 20:00
dna

Fire would do it but I would open it with a screwdriver and put the discs into your salt solution.

Actually if you remove the discs, you should find that they are made of the same material as reel tape.

So, a little fire would be all you need.

Here's another way. Remove the discs, and use Citric Acid, a lemon or lime, and drop the juice onto the material.

The Acid should destroy the tape material but your salt solution should do it as well as long as the water is going into the seales drive.


-=-=-
DNA
Posted : Thursday, 16 September 2010, 20:17
JL235
Eat it!
Posted : Thursday, 16 September 2010, 20:22
Stealth
I love how everyone has these really elaborate ideas of how to destroy a disk. It's just as simple as a multipass wipe. It's obviously too late here, but if anyone else does it, just do that. You can reuse or sell the disk then.

-=-=-
Quit posting and try Google.
Posted : Thursday, 16 September 2010, 21:04
JL235
Actually even then your still not guaranteed to have it 100% wiped.

-=-=-
PlayMyCode.com - build and play in your browser, Blog, Twitter.
Posted : Friday, 17 September 2010, 01:57
steve_ancell
JL235 Eat it!

Reminds me of SMTV Live!

JL235 Actually even then your still not guaranteed to have it 100% wiped.

LOL... Another Paradox
Posted : Friday, 17 September 2010, 05:23
waroffice
put the platters in the microwave for 1-2 seconds
Posted : Friday, 17 September 2010, 05:34
JL235
There was an article last year on BBC News about how to best destroy your hard disk.

You could also try getting access to one of these:

View on YouTube

-=-=-
PlayMyCode.com - build and play in your browser, Blog, Twitter.
Posted : Friday, 17 September 2010, 06:50
9572AD
Fire will do the trick as long as the platters are burned (In other words, open it!)

A magnet has never been a way to erase a HDD (unless it's an ultra-powerful electromagnet being swept back and forth across the platters). They would play havoc with old 5 1/4" floppies, though. Someone even managed to magnetize several floppy drives in my high school computer lab. Wiped out quite a few floppies, that did.

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All the raw, animal magnetism of a rutabaga.
Posted : Friday, 17 September 2010, 06:53
JL235
Hard disks even contain a very powerful magnet.
Posted : Friday, 17 September 2010, 08:01
steve_ancell
Those magnets in a hard-drive apparently make a good components for a mini wind-turbine, if you can get hold of enough of them.
Posted : Saturday, 18 September 2010, 04:38
HoboBen
Well, the salt water + current + leaking batteries turned out pretty nasty:



Not sure if it did any damage to the HD, but... yuck!

-=-=-

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