Hard Drive Disposal

Big Don

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I just got a new computer. What steps should I take to protect myself in disposing of my old hard drives? I do, by coincidence, have a couple of Rare Earth Magnets, should I randomly rub them over the cases or in a pattern, or take a hammer to them (the Gallagher method) or what?
 

Bob Hubbard

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fdisk, format, fdisk, format, disassemble, magnet, sand, grind, shred.
 

MA-Caver

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fdisk, format, fdisk, format, disassemble, magnet, sand, grind, shred.
After all that, shoot it several times with your favorite caliber. Punching holes in it pretty much finalizes it... oh then you can toss it in the campfire for an all night roasting. Oh wait Bob said Shred... never mind. But if you can't shred it then shoot it.
 
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Big Don

Big Don

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I fdisked and formatted 3 times. I just got a nice new wire wheel for the bench grinder...
Thanks
 

Bob Hubbard

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shoot then shred. Doesn't help destroy the data but boy it sure feels good.
 

Xue Sheng

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As a guy from the NSA told us during a security seminar;

If you want to make sure that most people will not get any data off of your hard drive, repartition, reformat and then shred it and burn it. And even then, per him, someone like the NSA MIGHT still be able to get data off of it. But unless you are a threat to national security of some major country (USA, Russia, China, etc.) it is not likely anyone is going to get a hold of your hard drive that actually has the money to purchase the hardware and software necessary to do that type of recovery

You could run Derek’s boot and nuke with 6 iterations and that is good enough for most in the offices I deal with but you could set it up for a lot more passes then that. But then the NSA is not after us…. Don is there something your not telling us :D

EDIT

For bad hard drive, not bootable, use a bulk eraser and then get them shredded. But you could always bulk erase them and run a spike through it several times. It is not as secure as shredding but it will make it rather difficult to recover any data off of for the average person.
 

Dao

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Just open the hard drive and scratch the platters. In most cases once you open up the hard drive it's pretty much gone. I had a friend's son who did that once lol
 

jarrod

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i forgo the fdisk & format, but i do encase old drives in concrete then throw them in the ocean or launch them into space. this ensures that sometime down the road a super villian will locate it & decode my plans for a weather dominator.

it's fun to be evil :headbangin:

jf
 

The Last Legionary

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Shred. Then scatter pieces across a wide area. Platters only. No need to shred the motor.
 

cdunn

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If you're going to use heat/fire, aim for north of 2200 degrees Farenheit. You need to hit the Curie temperature (the point at which thermal effects overcome magnetic alignment) of whatever the film on the surface of the hard drive platters is, or you're just wasting your time - depending on how old your drive is and who manufactured it, this will vary between about 400F and 2300F.
 

tellner

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Open the drive. Save the magnets 'cause they are so much fun to play with.

Do one of three things to the platters:
  1. Heat them to bright orange (well past the Fermi temperature)
  2. Take an angle grinder to them
  3. Walk into a high-field MRI facility. Spin them around a few times. Not as secure, but good enough for all practical purposes.
 

tellner

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If you're going to use heat/fire, aim for north of 2200 degrees Farenheit. You need to hit the Curie temperature (the point at which thermal effects overcome magnetic alignment)

That would be right in the middle of "heating it to orange".
 
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