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Posted: 3/13/2005 6:35:26 AM EDT
First---Don't laugh at my lack of knowledge here. O.K.--Go ahead if you want to.

I have a hard drive that went south on me, so I took it apart to destroy the disk. I had no idea the disk would be metal, so now I'm less sure about how to remove all data. I bent it a lot, but I want to destroy it. What's the best way?
One more question----Is any info stored in those chips on the circuit board, or just on the disk?
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 6:38:25 AM EDT
info is only on the disk. if you really, really want to destroy it throw it in a microwave that you arent too fond of. otherwise get creative, shoot it, drill holes in it, beat the everliving crap out of it with a hammer and make cool shapes with it.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 6:40:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2005 6:41:21 AM EDT by resq944]
Get a very large magnet and stick the platters on the magnet for a few days, then mechanically mutilate them. other wise call a hard drive shredder like the govt uses.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 6:49:37 AM EDT
Thermite?
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 6:51:58 AM EDT
My vote is for Tannerite. Of course, I think ALL problems can be solved with Tannerite, so...
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 6:53:58 AM EDT
You should have run a govt wipe disk on that. Run it multiple 3-10 times to wipe off any data. Then you can site it on degausser (magnet) to erase. Lastly Tannerite.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:01:22 AM EDT
See what a .223 will do to it and post the pics afterwards!
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:01:40 AM EDT
I've destroyed several broken down hard drives. The first one with a hammer and a lighter. Then, like prehistoric man, my use of tools evolved. The last couple got trashed with bullets and explosives.
Either way, I'm sure no one will be able to extract my plans for world domination from those drives.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:01:49 AM EDT
drill press and band saw, the same way I get rid of those pesky unwanted bodies
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:07:08 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:17:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By C-4:
Thermite?



+1
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:20:50 AM EDT
i use a cutting torch, but soaking them in salt water also works well.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:24:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By resq944:
Get a very large magnet and stick the platters on the magnet for a few days, then mechanically mutilate them. other wise call a hard drive shredder like the govt uses.


Won't work. The ordinary every day magnets are way too weak.

If you want to destroy the data on the HD, you should get one of those programs that write binary zeros on it mulitiple times. Even though you've physically destroyed the HD, if someone really wanted to, they can extract some left over data.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:25:10 AM EDT
not like u dont have a good reason to go through all these legnths to destroy it....

but data recovery off even a slightly damaged hard drive (internally, im not talking about hammer/screwdriver) is fairly expensive and hard to do. it can be done however, you must consider who is going to go through these legnths and are you really that paranoid.


now if you even open it up and bang the platters with a hammer once, consider it toast for just about the most expensive and time consuming attempt to read data off it. no one is going to do it, i doubt itd even be attempted unless you supposdily have proof of who killed JFK on there, but even then good luck to them.

once opened, hard drive platters do not like to be scratched (noticed the mirror finish)...
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:25:15 AM EDT
The official method of destruction where I work is destruction by hammer. You just flatten it as good as you can. If you are really worried, format it or degausse it first, then use the 10lb hammer.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:27:16 AM EDT
1) Wipe them with gdisk.

2) Sit them with strong magnets for a day.

3) Soak it in salt water.

4) Zap it with LARGE amounts of static electricity (tesla coil or something)

5) Find some way to put a hole in every quarter inch square on the platters.

Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:27:18 AM EDT
I used a .45 on one
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:28:26 AM EDT
Burn it, pour acid on it, throw it in the ocean/lake, shoot it, hit it w/ a magnet....shit, you really can't figure this out?
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:30:39 AM EDT
The data is is stored magneticaly on the coating of the disk surface. No matter what you do with software or magnets, the data still leaves traces. If someone wants to get it bad enough, say paying a technician to huddle over an electron microscope for hours on end looking in between the bullet holes, it can be done.

If I feel the need to destroy a drive, I will disassemble it and sand the disks to bare metal. You can get those little tiny torx tools at Sears
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:32:14 AM EDT
I doubt if very many of you actually need to protect your data that well. I just think you like shooting them, blowing them up, setting them on fire, and beating the crap out of them. Good job!
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:33:31 AM EDT
Sounds like if you bent the platters.....you are safe. No one is going through the trouble and expense of picking up bits of data of your porn excursions on the net from a taken apart harddrive....just my 2 cents.

I have sent back lots of harddrives for warranty.....I usually stick them to a large magnet for a few days.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:33:46 AM EDT
All you need to do is remove the actual disk part from the housing....with a 16 lb sledge.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:38:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2005 7:50:35 AM EDT by NAM]
i find firearms work real well. For added effect, shoot them while they are powered up. sometihng about getting shot whiel spinning at 4.5-10k rpms.

edited: IF you want a cool wall hanger, ship the HD to me, and i'll pot a .50 round through it for ya
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:40:59 AM EDT
toss it in a fire the heat will demagnetize it.
no data can be recovered .
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:41:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/13/2005 7:43:55 AM EDT by Curt1521]
Its funny, I just destroyed 7 from work yesterday, but I didn't take many pictures.
The .300 WSM did a real fine job on the one. It was an older HD, but the platters exploded inside there, and I was dumping out pieces for a long time. I shot it with 180 gr ballistic tips, from 100 yards.

On the other ones we used 9mm ball, .40 HPs, .223 fmj, and 7.62 x 39 fmjs.


The .223 and the 7.62 did the most damage. (mostly because my dad hit the spindle part, or the center point of the platters, and blew them out the back of the HD with the SKS)

The 9mm did the least, and the .40 hps made a mess.

The .300 WSM made one little hole in the front, and the size of the hole in the back was between a penny and a nickel.

Oh, it was fun. Much better then SledgeHammers, and did the same result.


Curt
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:51:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Arlis:
The data is is stored magneticaly on the coating of the disk surface. No matter what you do with software or magnets, the data still leaves traces. If someone wants to get it bad enough, say paying a technician to huddle over an electron microscope for hours on end looking in between the bullet holes, it can be done.

If I feel the need to destroy a drive, I will disassemble it and sand the disks to bare metal. You can get those little tiny torx tools at Sears



Yup...

Sand the platters...
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:54:24 AM EDT
I've got some movies around here somewhere of me shooting a box of HD's with a 44mag Blackhawk and a few 22's....

a 44mag will punch clean through!

-Jason
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 7:57:30 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 8:00:35 AM EDT
I dispose of mine in tragic boating accidents. platters only of course.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 8:02:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By resq944:
Get a very large magnet and stick the platters on the magnet for a few days, then mechanically mutilate them. other wise call a hard drive shredder like the govt uses.



Nuke it from orbit....it's the only way to be sure.

+1 on the magnet.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 8:02:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By warlord:

Originally Posted By resq944:
Get a very large magnet and stick the platters on the magnet for a few days, then mechanically mutilate them. other wise call a hard drive shredder like the govt uses.


Won't work. The ordinary every day magnets are way too weak.

If you want to destroy the data on the HD, you should get one of those programs that write binary zeros on it mulitiple times. Even though you've physically destroyed the HD, if someone really wanted to, they can extract some left over data.



+1 Encase is pretty damn effective thru most formatting or erasing attempts. Smash with hammer, burn it then throw it in a deep river, but still some fragment of data may be recoverable.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 8:04:17 AM EDT
Only a .50cal will do!
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 8:36:48 AM EDT
Woodchipper or heavy duty media shreader.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 8:54:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Curt1521:
Its funny, I just destroyed 7 from work yesterday, but I didn't take many pictures.
The .300 WSM did a real fine job on the one. It was an older HD, but the platters exploded inside there, and I was dumping out pieces for a long time. I shot it with 180 gr ballistic tips, from 100 yards.

On the other ones we used 9mm ball, .40 HPs, .223 fmj, and 7.62 x 39 fmjs.


The .223 and the 7.62 did the most damage. (mostly because my dad hit the spindle part, or the center point of the platters, and blew them out the back of the HD with the SKS)

The 9mm did the least, and the .40 hps made a mess.

The .300 WSM made one little hole in the front, and the size of the hole in the back was between a penny and a nickel.

Oh, it was fun. Much better then SledgeHammers, and did the same result.


Curt



Now we're talkin'!!!
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 9:15:08 AM EDT
no one cares about your porn collection. just toss it in the garbage.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 9:27:12 AM EDT
.50 BMG it!
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 9:35:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By redrider808:
toss it in a fire the heat will demagnetize it.
no data can be recovered .



+1

Good idea. Do that after whacking it with a hammer or sledge.

Bump fire from an AK wiff a 75 round drum oughta do it too
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 9:58:20 AM EDT
melt it down
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 10:11:51 AM EDT
+1 on the heat method .
Turn it red hot with a propane torch then drop it
in a bucket of cold water .
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 10:14:19 AM EDT
I had an old computer sitting in the spare bedroom for years, the county was having a cleanup day so I put it outside to be picked up, it wasn't out there an hour before someone picked up the main unit, I bet they were really dissappointed when they found out I had removed the hard drive!

I guess I could have given it to someone, surely someone can use a 33 mhz computer running Windows 3.1 with a 20 mb hard drive!

Link Posted: 3/13/2005 10:20:04 AM EDT
A Drill press works wonders
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 10:20:26 AM EDT
Bench grinder on the platter...
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 10:22:21 AM EDT
In regard to tannerite, it works very well indeed. I took one such dead drive. mixed up a bottle of tannerite, duct taped that bad boy to the hard drive and placed it out about 35 yards or so. When back and hit it with my AR10 and when the smoke cleared all I found was a 1.5' hole in the ground and a few small pieces of plastic. This is my preferred way of getting rid of hard drives. In fact, I may see if I have a dead hard drive somewhere. As they say, you cannot be too secure. :)
Mark
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 10:24:52 AM EDT
Hot fire.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 10:25:49 AM EDT
Sounds like either you have a lot of Dirty Pics or Love Letters you do not want the wife to find???
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 10:41:38 AM EDT
Actually there's no porn on it at all. I just worry about passwords and banking info that's on there. It's a Western Digital 80g that died at just over 30 days old. I asked WD about security for my info if I send it in, and they stopped replying to me.
It had quit completely, so I couldn't run anything to wipe it, so it's just been sitting in the tower unplugged.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 2:25:35 PM EDT
For wiping functional drives, I like to use Eraser--it's a free download. Has lots of wiping options, but for "the big one", you make a "Nuke Disk" floppy (yes that's what they call it) and then you boot off that, and it will overwrite randomly multiple times on the entire drive. Your data is pretty much gone for good.
www.heidi.ie/eraser/

If the drive doesn't work, then you just take it apart and melt the platters with a welding torch.
Or rubbing with a wire brush in a drill or some coarse sandpaper works well, if you aren't in such a dramatic mood. (Note: brushing/sanding is easier if you don't bend up the platters beforehand)
~
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 3:07:33 PM EDT
You can put it in another computer(as a second drive, or primary) and wipe it
Drilling a bunch of holes in it should suffice if you want an easy, low-tech, guaranteed method
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 3:20:58 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 3:25:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GoGop:
Actually there's no porn on it at all. I just worry about passwords and banking info that's on there. It's a Western Digital 80g that died at just over 30 days old. I asked WD about security for my info if I send it in, and they stopped replying to me.
It had quit completely, so I couldn't run anything to wipe it, so it's just been sitting in the tower unplugged.


I had a WD failure also, and they wanted the old one back.
Link Posted: 3/13/2005 3:34:36 PM EDT
I've had the same experience with WD. If a drive dies, they want the old one back. I can see both sides of the argument there...they want proof the drive actually died, and you want your data secure. About the only way you can have both is to degauss it before mailing it back.
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