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  #1  
Old 10-05-2012, 12:44 PM
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Question hard drive destruction

I was wondering what the best way to destroy a hard drive is?
I want quick,easy and mess free

They are in some old broken computers that need to get tossed
the data isnt top secret or craziness like that but still needs to get destroyed

Someone suggested running magnets over the computer and that would render the hard drive dead.

Thank you
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  #2  
Old 10-05-2012, 12:55 PM
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The best way is to send them for shredding. My employer does this when our customers return their servers for upgrades/replacement.

We use this company: http://www.esolutionsusa.com/index.php

It is not expensive, I think mostly because they can sell your shredded HDD as scrap metal and prices for scrap is pretty high at the moment.
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  #3  
Old 10-05-2012, 1:03 PM
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yeah if you've got a lot of them you need disposed off its probably easiest to send them away for shredding like bigbear suggests.

if its just a couple drives you need to wipe you could use DBan's bootable cd and shred the data electronically. Assuming the drives still function.
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Old 10-05-2012, 1:04 PM
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Big drill bit & small sledge hammer.
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Old 10-05-2012, 1:06 PM
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I have a rock hammer... pointy end does a great job. If you dont have one a cheap #2 phillips and a hammer works just as well.
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  #6  
Old 10-05-2012, 1:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bjkearns View Post
I was wondering what the best way to destroy a hard drive is?
I want quick,easy and mess free
9mm & 45ACP both work fine and don't really make that big of a mess.
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  #7  
Old 10-05-2012, 1:12 PM
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It would have to be a huge magnet to have any affect just 'running it over the computer'. Most people don't have an electro magnet big enough, laying around.

If you just have a few, rip the hard drives out and smack em with a sledge hammer. Since it's not top secret critical data that someone would be willing to spend thousands of dollars to piece back together, that's sufficient.

If you have dozens or hundreds bigbears suggestion is best.

On the other hand, the United Way campaign is in full swing. Offer employees a chance to smash computers with a sledge hammer for a buck a swing and donate the money. You'll be surprised at how many people will give $5 to smash a computer!
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  #8  
Old 10-05-2012, 1:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bjkearns View Post
I was wondering what the best way to destroy a hard drive is?
I want quick,easy and mess free

They are in some old broken computers that need to get tossed
the data isnt top secret or craziness like that but still needs to get destroyed

Someone suggested running magnets over the computer and that would render the hard drive dead.

Thank you
Depends on your personality.

Are you a hoarder or a "frugal" type? If so then dissassemble them. You get to get a few small screws that you can possibly use to fix things like glasses or laptops or just hold in a pill bottle for a rainy day. AND the best part is that you get to get some WICKED strong magnets. Then when you are done you can dump the leftover parts into a box for recylcing the metal or just toss it all in the garbage.

Are you a neat guy that does things by the book? If so then get a good software wiping program that wipes per DOD spec xxxx and run it, it will take a while - like several hours or longer per drive possibly, but you can rest assured that you did your part, when you are done, put the drives into a computer case with a motherboard and other parts and sell it or give it to a library if they collect e-waste. You might get a tax write off too.

Are you a REAL cal gunner? Take them to the range and adjust them with an ak or AR. I adjusted my Belkin Omniport pro with my Deagle 44 and made a movie for you tube about it.

Personally, it is in your best interest to take them apart, remove the magnets and then maybe save the platters and chuck all else. The platters are what you need and you can destroy them at a range or tie string to them and hang them in your trees to scare away the birds.

GL & HF!
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  #9  
Old 10-05-2012, 1:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by therealnickb View Post
Big drill bit & small sledge hammer.
That's about it. When I worked for a bank going through conversion, when the drives were pulled they were drilled right through the plates. Shattered the plates and kept from making too much of a mess. Not sure if they went to shredding after that or some sort of recycler.
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  #10  
Old 10-05-2012, 1:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stilly View Post
Depends on your personality.

Are you a hoarder or a "frugal" type? If so then dissassemble them. You get to get a few small screws that you can possibly use to fix things like glasses or laptops or just hold in a pill bottle for a rainy day. AND the best part is that you get to get some WICKED strong magnets. Then when you are done you can dump the leftover parts into a box for recylcing the metal or just toss it all in the garbage.
^ This is what I do. I disassemble them and scratch/ bend etc the platters.

Strong magnets.... ha ha ha! I've got two sets in my desk that I'm keeping for "something". Not sure what, but they're too "useful" to throw out.
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  #11  
Old 10-05-2012, 1:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casual_Shooter View Post
^ This is what I do. I disassemble them and scratch/ bend etc the platters.

Strong magnets.... ha ha ha! I've got two sets in my desk that I'm keeping for "something". Not sure what, but they're too "useful" to throw out.
Do what I did and make a pistol mount!
I screwed two of the magnets into the bottom of my desk (one was strong enough, but two made it extra secure) I covered them with cloth so they didn't scratch the finish.



Yes, that's a fully loaded Glock 20sf in 10mm.

The Glock actually holds tight enough that you have to twist the gun a tad to get it to loosen up.


The 1911 doesn't hold as securely because of the rounded top of the slide, but it still holds.
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  #12  
Old 10-05-2012, 2:27 PM
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Encrypt with cascading ciphers.
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  #13  
Old 10-05-2012, 2:32 PM
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yea a drill press is easiest
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  #14  
Old 10-05-2012, 3:00 PM
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I do like Turo, and salvage the magnets. If you have a lot, that might get a bit tedious though.

Note: not all the magnets are the same size, small to large and powerful.

Kyle
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  #15  
Old 10-05-2012, 3:02 PM
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sledge hammer is the quickest and easiest...now if you want to save the mags take them apart
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  #16  
Old 10-05-2012, 3:37 PM
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The last few that I've cleared I used a mig welder. Placed the ground clamp on one edge and struck a few arcs on the opposite edges. From appearances it fully fractured the integrity of the entire platter.
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  #17  
Old 10-05-2012, 3:47 PM
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Open them up and take the magnets out; those are awesome and have many uses... very strong magnets too…

Drive platters, save a few, they make awesome emergency signal mirrors, especially from the 2.5" hard drives. (Friends idea)

Take a drill / drill press to the rest of the platters…

If you don’t care to salvage any cool stuff from the drives… just drill a bunch of holes into it and give them to an e-waste company for recycling. Most of the reputable companies I give e-waste to also send drive to a commercial data destruction facility.
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  #18  
Old 10-05-2012, 8:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turo View Post
Do what I did and make a pistol mount!
I screwed two of the magnets into the bottom of my desk (one was strong enough, but two made it extra secure) I covered them with cloth so they didn't scratch the finish.
You might want to consider PlastiDip instead of cloth. And yes, those magnets are insane. Do not get your skin pinched between two of them.
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  #19  
Old 10-05-2012, 8:44 PM
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What you want to do is keep the computer running with the HDs and do a proper boot to sector wipe of all the data on it. With the data you mentioned properly wiped over several times, you are going to be GTG.

As mentioned, there are disk "shred" services around. However I have seen notable problems with those services, one example is in that your drive is often not kept secure while it sits in wait at a lot of places that service the public.

A 10 pound metal hammer works wonders too.

As far as magnets, it has to be a special degauss tool - which most people don't have around.
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  #20  
Old 10-05-2012, 8:58 PM
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i drill at least 4 holes in em. All the way through. If i want to really
make sure nothing is ever pulled, i pour some drain cleaner
like Muriatic Acid inside and shake it up with a little water.

That works pretty well.

Last edited by bg; 10-06-2012 at 6:08 PM..
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  #21  
Old 10-05-2012, 9:36 PM
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The best way to destroy hard drives is to cook them or torch them. Once the platters get hot enough any data that was recoverable is gone for good.
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  #22  
Old 10-05-2012, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by therealnickb View Post
Big drill bit & small sledge hammer.
I have a friend who does e-recycling for a living. Drill/drill press is what he uses, he recently did a bank and all they required was one hole threw the HD to be considered destroyed.
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  #23  
Old 10-06-2012, 6:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by therealnickb View Post
Big drill bit & small sledge hammer.
+1 unless you expect someone with BigBucks (Government) trying to recover the drives.
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  #24  
Old 10-06-2012, 8:14 AM
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Target Practice. Depending on the platter material (aluminum or ceramic) they will either punch through or shatter. In either case, the data layer flakes off. Data destroyed even from a super evil government level.

It is also fun. The magnets are better in the older drives, newer drives use cheaper and lighter materials and smaller magnets to save on cost. Older drives have ones strong enough to crush the bones in your finger (don't try it).
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stilly View Post
Depends on your personality.

Are you a hoarder or a "frugal" type? If so then dissassemble them. You get to get a few small screws that you can possibly use to fix things like glasses or laptops or just hold in a pill bottle for a rainy day. AND the best part is that you get to get some WICKED strong magnets. Then when you are done you can dump the leftover parts into a box for recylcing the metal or just toss it all in the garbage.

Are you a neat guy that does things by the book? If so then get a good software wiping program that wipes per DOD spec xxxx and run it, it will take a while - like several hours or longer per drive possibly, but you can rest assured that you did your part, when you are done, put the drives into a computer case with a motherboard and other parts and sell it or give it to a library if they collect e-waste. You might get a tax write off too.

Are you a REAL cal gunner? Take them to the range and adjust them with an ak or AR. I adjusted my Belkin Omniport pro with my Deagle 44 and made a movie for you tube about it.

Personally, it is in your best interest to take them apart, remove the magnets and then maybe save the platters and chuck all else. The platters are what you need and you can destroy them at a range or tie string to them and hang them in your trees to scare away the birds.

GL & HF!
^ this guy here.

i personally would keep the magnets.
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  #26  
Old 10-06-2012, 10:49 AM
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Microwave.

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  #27  
Old 10-06-2012, 5:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meaty-btz View Post
Target Practice. Depending on the platter material (aluminum or ceramic) they will either punch through or shatter. In either case, the data layer flakes off. Data destroyed even from a super evil government level.

It is also fun. The magnets are better in the older drives, newer drives use cheaper and lighter materials and smaller magnets to save on cost. Older drives have ones strong enough to crush the bones in your finger (don't try it).
Oh REALLY???????

I JUST happen to have TWO seagate MFM type drives (before there was IDE there was MFM) Are those old enough? Imma take one apart and have a lookie.

I have some SCSI drives too along with the some PATAs
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  #28  
Old 10-06-2012, 5:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stilly View Post
Oh REALLY???????

I JUST happen to have TWO seagate MFM type drives (before there was IDE there was MFM) Are those old enough? Imma take one apart and have a lookie.

I have some SCSI drives too along with the some PATAs
The stronger magnets will require significant strength to separate from each other and that is with a 1/2" metal support framework keeping them apart. You will know if you have them. These are not a toy moron. Large neodymium magnets are not a joke.

Stilly is gunning for the play stupid games win stupid prizes category of the week: Magnetic Idiocy- idiots are magnetically attracted do dangerous stunts. Who knew?
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  #29  
Old 10-07-2012, 11:44 PM
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If they are functional I would DL CCleaner and use the DoD or Gutmann wipe
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  #30  
Old 10-08-2012, 9:21 AM
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I had to have data recovery for a client's HD a few years ago. The company that did the recovery also worked for the Post Office, CIA, and a few other alphabet agencies. The specialist who worked on my project answered that exact question.

Take the HD in your hand and SLAP it down onto a flat hard surface, like a formica countertop. Impact like a belly-flop. Won't make any marks on the exterior but it crashes all of the platters into each other, much like the demolition process of a high-rise building. He said the platters would be so crystalized that it's their "worst case" scenario. There are small pieces, then there are REALLY SMALL pieces that break every time you touch them.

This guy had recovered data from child pornographers who cut their discs into pieces, burned their drives, hit them with hammers, etc. The recoveries required reading each segment of the platter and were very time consuming, but each resulted in a criminal conviction so they were successfully recovered.

I would think that for the very paranoid, sit a couple pound magnet on the drive overnight, then slap it.
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  #31  
Old 10-08-2012, 9:49 AM
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If they function and don't tick:
Boot to a Linux distro (Slackware install CD1, or DVD are some of the quickest booting).

From the cli do a "fdisk -l|more"

Note the /dev/*'s(, check drive sizes if you have a USB drives plugged in for verification if you get multiple results).

If /dev/sda, then:
"dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda BS=1M"

You can even wipe many at a time if needed.
"dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda BS=1M &"
"dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb BS=1M"

It doesn't take that long, and after the data is overwritten, just give them away. No data that has been overwritten on magnetic media HDDs has ever been successfully recovered, EVER. DoD, or any other wipe is completely a waste of time...

This usually takes about 45minutes of wait time per, say 80GB-160GB HDDs on an IDE, or SATA (<3) bus...
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Last edited by the86d; 10-08-2012 at 10:00 AM..
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  #32  
Old 10-08-2012, 9:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the86d View Post
Boot to a Linux distro (Slackware install CD1, or DVD are some of the quickest booting).

From the cli do a "fdisk -l|more"

Note the /dev/*'s(, check drive sizes if you have a USB drives plugged in for verification if you get multiple results).

If /dev/sda, then:
"dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda BS=1M"

It doesn't take that long, and after the data is overwritten, just give them away. No data that has been overwritten on magnetic media HDDs has ever been successfully recovered, EVER.
This is no good. There has been many studies that writing zeros still leave enough
magnetic signature for the determined to recover.

If you want to do it proper, use Boot and Nuke. http://www.dban.org/
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  #33  
Old 10-08-2012, 9:53 AM
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I shoot mine. Several times.
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  #34  
Old 10-08-2012, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazyworm View Post
This is no good. There has been many studies that writing zeros still leave enough
magnetic signature for the determined to recover.

If you want to do it proper, use Boot and Nuke. http://www.dban.org/
Please post a link to a successful attempt, other than just theory.

Soooo, like I said:
Quote:
No data that has been overwritten on magnetic media HDDs has ever been successfully recovered, EVER. DoD, or any other wipe is completely a waste of time...

"There is not even a proof of concept of this theory. It's a pipe dream. No commercial data recovery or forensics firms offer any services that can recover overwritten data." and "Yet there is not a single example of overwritten data having ever been recovered using the method described by Dr. Gutmann. " - one person states
Tinfoil_hat_paranoia:http://www.noah.org/wiki/Dd_-_Destro...l_hat_paranoia
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  #35  
Old 10-08-2012, 10:10 AM
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Saw this on TV so it must be true. Turns out you need a really big electromagnet. Be sure you don't have any ferrous metals on you.



Actually a drill will do it, but so will repeated applications of a 20lb sledge.

-Mark
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  #36  
Old 10-08-2012, 3:07 PM
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magnets and a drill with a bit that can go through the hard drive, quick and painless, and not that messy.

That or you can disassemble one, and just smash the crap out of it lol
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  #37  
Old 10-08-2012, 3:21 PM
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the86d the86d is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hcbr View Post
magnets and a drill with a bit that can go through the hard drive, quick and painless, and not that messy.

That or you can disassemble one, and just smash the crap out of it lol
Many people do that, but if it ain't broke, just ZERO it...

Platters on most drives (that I have seen in the last few years of the magnetic variety, notebook, and desktop) are made of something like glass with a metallic coating. They shatter into little shards and can cut pretty easily, and get EVERYWHERE.

I wouldn't do any smashing, as it is a REAL pain to cleanup...

Most of the time you CAN pull a sealed (would-be) vent sticker (silver & concave) and tap a screwdriver that you don't care about in there, then tape it up when you know the platter is indeed broken (you can see inside). If I recall correctly, most of them I disassembled lately were a single platter. If the drive is functioning, why not just use it on another box that you give away after a zero (sell at a yard sale, on the cheap)?
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  #38  
Old 10-15-2012, 12:54 PM
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Default Charcoal Sandwich

Lay down a 50 lb bag of Kingsford.
Lay disk() on top.
Lay down a second bag of Kingsford on top.
Spray with lighter fluid. Light.
Come back next day.

Do this outside.
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  #39  
Old 10-15-2012, 1:13 PM
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00 Buck
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  #40  
Old 10-15-2012, 2:41 PM
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sugi942 sugi942 is offline
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I like to take them apart for the magnets as well. My garage fridge has them stuck all over it.
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