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#21244 - 03/27/12 03:05 AM Destroy hard disk - how to?
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
A long time ago I disposed of a G4 tower and removed the hard disk drive beforehand. It looks like this: http://www.upgradecomputermemory.com/images/subcategories/Apple-Hard-Drives.jpg

On a non-urgent note, I'm vaguely wondering how to wreck this hard disk before disposing of it, too. It's OS9 not that that makes any difference, and no was not wiped before physical removal from the Mac.

Smash it with a club hammer?
Immerse in bucket of water?

Both?

smile

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#21246 - 03/27/12 04:32 AM Re: Destroy hard disk - how to? [Re: Bensheim]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
When I was working with DoD material, we removed the platters from the drive enclosure and used an industrial strength grinder to reduce them to sand and dust sized particles.
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#21249 - 03/27/12 05:45 AM Re: Destroy hard disk - how to? [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Wow! That's extreme.

But I guess it's also guaranteed.
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#21254 - 03/27/12 01:11 PM Re: Destroy hard disk - how to? [Re: Bensheim]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Hitting it with a hammer works. So does drilling a hole in the case. The instant the inside is exposed to normal dust and air, it's done.
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#21275 - 03/28/12 02:34 PM Re: Destroy hard disk - how to? [Re: tacit]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: tacit
Hitting it with a hammer works. So does drilling a hole in the case. The instant the inside is exposed to normal dust and air, it's done.


I would not expect exposure to air or even dust to damage it, as long as you don't have the heads out on the platters.

It may require a trip to drivesavers to open and clean out first though.

It all depends on just how paranoid you are though. The grinder trick is guaranteed, but even drilling a hole or two in the platters won't stop someone with a lot of money. Banks have a variety of methods, but one I've seen is placing the drive on the bed of a drill press and dropping a few 1/4" holes into it. That takes care of just about everyone. A small amount of your data is physically gone, and the rest would require a great deal of effort to recover.

I think in most cases a simple one-pass zero is sufficient. I've seen two different tests where a group took a handful of drives and did one pass erase on them and then shipped them to several of the more mundane data recovery places, and not a single one was recoverable by them. But if they'd have had a few hundred k to drop they probably could have sent it somewhere to get the data back.

If you can't physically access the drive, and it's not an obvious head crash, there's about a 75% chance drivesavers etc can recover the data. This is based on a few dozen of our customers having to send in their failed drives for recovery. So if you can't zero it, you really should do something physical to it if it had seriously sensitive information on it. Take out the platters and smack 'em a few times with a hammer or gouge up the surface with a screwdriver, and that will reduce the odds of recovery to allowably small. It will cost around $2-5k to recover the data if you just throw it away without damaging it. If the data isn't worth that much in the right hands, then you are probably wasting your time taking it apart, it just wouldn't be worth anyone's effort.

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#21621 - 04/17/12 12:15 PM Re: Destroy hard disk - how to? [Re: Virtual1]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: Virtual1
Take out the platters and smack 'em a few times with a hammer or gouge up the surface with a screwdriver, and that will reduce the odds of recovery to allowably small. It will cost around $2-5k to recover the data if you just throw it away without damaging it.


I should amend that to say "It will cost around $2-5k to attempt to recover the data if you just throw it away without damaging it." But as stated previously, odds are better than 50/50 that a consumer-grade recovery place will be able to pull it off.
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