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Destroying a hard drive? [lock plz]

Aoi TsukiAoi Tsuki Registered User regular
edited January 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I have an old desktop HD (got it in the early 00s) off which I recently grabbed all my important old music, pictures, Word files, AMVs, hentai, etc., and as I understand it, my options for safely disposing of it are either to completely wipe the hard drive with DBAN or other measures, or physically destroy it.

My bf is all for selling it, but I'm all for wrecking the shit out of something for Science (and identity protection). But, I don't want to hurt someone attempting to set it on fire, or get shards of plastic everywhere by dropping it off a balcony or taking a sledgehammer to it. Is a huge magnet the way to go? How huge? Would I just kinda rub it all over the metal inside the casing and call it a day, or what?

DBAN and other wipes are all well and good, but I'd rather (safely) destroy the damn thing and salvage whatever parts someone else might buy or find useful. I just dunno where to start.

Aoi Tsuki on
Some people already have said stupid things, but I'm ignoring them because I just found a potato in my fridge that looks like it's smiling.
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Posts

  • AresProphetAresProphet It's so erotic when your make up runs Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Put it in a canvas bag and sledgehammer that fucker.

    I got wiring loose inside my head
    I got books that I never ever read
  • BarrakkethBarrakketh Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Thermite is good fun, just be careful.

  • MechMantisMechMantis Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    My computer tech professor once killed a hard drive by

    A : Removing the platters

    B : Running the platters through a degausser

    C : Rubbing the degaussed platters with coarse steel wool

    D : Smashing the steel wooled, degaussed platters with a sledgehammer.


    That's pretty much what you have to do to get total data destruction. But if you're just interested in smashing them, then remove the platters, but save the magnetic bearings and the really strong magnets in there.

    Cause the spinny bearing's fun to play with, ditto with the powerful magnets.

    UA1OmVB.png
  • RuckusRuckus Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Barrakketh wrote: »
    Thermite is good and illegal, just ban me.

    Raneados wrote: »
    so what SPECIFICALLY is the problem with my hole?
  • matt has a problemmatt has a problem Six pack on a dick Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Instead of destroying it, why not try making a speaker or a clock out of it?

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    All my fuckin life I lived a normal fuckin life
  • MechMantisMechMantis Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Thermite legality varies by state, FYI.

    Assuming the OP is in the US of course.

    UA1OmVB.png
  • TL DRTL DR Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Are you really worried about someone digging up your old AMVs on a hard drive you sell them? DBAN is more than sufficient unless there's something on the drive implicating you of a felony.

    eokNV.jpg
  • samsam7samsam7 Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    http://blogs.zdnet.com/storage/?p=129

    Apparently the Secure Erase command built into newer hard drives is the only way to truly wipe a drive without physical destruction. However it's also a pain to execute, with most motherboards locking out such a diabolical command.

    DBAN is fine unless someone is really out to get you. I.e. Grissom and the Las Vegas Crime Lab.

    But seriously, recreate the Office Space scene or ask a chem lab TA for an in class demonstration of acid corrosion.

  • EchoEcho very gravitas Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited January 2010
    The magnet in hard drives is really fun to play with.

    I once had one in my back pocket. Then I got stuck to the fridge and almost considered crawling out of my pants to get away.

  • AresProphetAresProphet It's so erotic when your make up runs Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I stand by my original suggestion.

    Nobody's going to get all CSI on your broken hard drive shards to get data. Especially if the worst thing you had on there was AMVs.

    I got wiring loose inside my head
    I got books that I never ever read
  • Aoi TsukiAoi Tsuki Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I did keep bank stuff on there when I was young and stupid, not just mah precious animes--I'm not going to argue whether it's worth bothering to wipe/destroy the hard drive; I'mma destroy it. Probably not with thermite, though. o_O

    Some people already have said stupid things, but I'm ignoring them because I just found a potato in my fridge that looks like it's smiling.
  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    You can always take it apart and sand the magnetic elements off (as in, use sandpaper and elbow grease). If you can heat it up to 1300 K or so you can also totally destroy it that way as you'll get past the Curie point for the magnetic elements (and may in fact melt the platters). Smashing the platters into a lot of pieces (the more the better) also works, although it is possible to recover data by physically reassembling the drive if you're really obsessed.

    We're talking contains-vital-information-from-the-future levels of obsession, though. Are you a time-traveler by any chance?

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  • nukanuka What are circles? Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I would smash it to bits and then turn it into a mosaic for a table. All you need is cement and and old coffee table and now you are nerd chic. 8-)

    Someone would have to be very desperate to tear plastic bits of broken things off a cement coffee table.

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  • FFFF Once Upon a Time In OaklandRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Warning: You could hurt yourself if you're not careful.

    1. Remove top cover
    2. Connect power to HD (only power, not data)
    3. Turn on
    4. Pliers
    5. Spin Art!

    Nothing to see here. move along...
  • TrentusTrentus Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    This is all very excessive... by all means, if you feel like destroying something, go ahead. If you'd rather keep or sell the drive though, a single pass of zeros with DBAN would be more than sufficient. I challenge you to find someone who has ever recovered any usable data after such a process.

  • BarrakkethBarrakketh Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    MechMantis wrote: »
    Thermite legality varies by state, FYI.

    Assuming the OP is in the US of course.

    Ah, we made some in a high school science class here in Florida. That was only about eight years ago <img class=" title=":lol:" class="bbcode_smiley" />

    I figured something like that would be federally regulated. Strangely enough Google seems to add results for termites in search results for state laws.

  • bwaniebwanie Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
  • SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 2010
    MechMantis wrote: »
    Thermite legality varies by state, FYI.

    Assuming the OP is in the US of course.

    Yeah, they throw that stuff around like sweeties at a pantomime on some TV shows like Brainiac in the UK. It can't be that illegal. Permit required perhaps?

  • CasualCasual flap flap flap wiggle wiggle wiggle Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    FYI destroying a hard drive with a sledge hammer is FUCKING DIFFICULT. Unless you're the hulk or something I wouldn't even bother with that option. I went bat shit on mine for 15 minutes with a sledge hammer and all I did was dent the fucking case.

    Seriously what the hell do they make those things out of? It's like a black box or something. D:

    i write amazing erotic fiction

    its all about anthropomorphic dicks doing everyday things like buying shoes for their scrotum-feet
  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Austin, TXRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Take it apart and melt the platters.

    camo_sig2.png
  • edited January 2010
    Casual wrote: »
    FYI destroying a hard drive with a sledge hammer is FUCKING DIFFICULT. Unless you're the hulk or something I wouldn't even bother with that option. I went bat shit on mine for 15 minutes with a sledge hammer and all I did was dent the fucking case.

    Seriously what the hell do they make those things out of? It's like a black box or something. D:

    you really should take the case off first and then pound the platters themselves.

    chevy.jpgsteve.jpgmartin.jpg
  • citizenMckeecitizenMckee Registered User
    edited January 2010
    Take it out shooting, they would make a nice plinking target.. Keep some distance though for ricochets,

    Drop it in the ocean!.. im sure some salt water would take care of it in no time.

  • embrikembrik Registered User
    edited January 2010
    Y'know, the polished surface of the platters make for excellent mirrors for small spaces. You'll just need some torx drivers to remove them.

    Otherwise, if you're super-paranoid, you could run DBAN's DoD standard wipe. And/or drill a hole through the drive. That'll do it too.

    "Damn you and your Daily Doubles, you brigand!"

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  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Take it out shooting, they would make a nice plinking target.. Keep some distance though for ricochets,

    Drop it in the ocean!.. im sure some salt water would take care of it in no time.
    Yeah, because what the ocean needs right now is *more* trash.

    And the shooting idea is just as bad. I've seen plenty of computers, hard drives, etc. blasted to bits and left to sit in the forest. It pisses me off like you can't imagine. Some people just have no respect.

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  • ArangArang Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Professional data recovery people can get data off pretty much anything. Stuff like six-inch spikes driven through the platters.

    But unless the fed is coming for your secrets, you should be safe with a pass of DBAN, then destroying the contacts on the back of the disk with whatever's close to hand. If you're still worried that people are going to look at your stuff, toss the fucker in the ocean.

    thenews.jpg
  • CasualCasual flap flap flap wiggle wiggle wiggle Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Casual wrote: »
    FYI destroying a hard drive with a sledge hammer is FUCKING DIFFICULT. Unless you're the hulk or something I wouldn't even bother with that option. I went bat shit on mine for 15 minutes with a sledge hammer and all I did was dent the fucking case.

    Seriously what the hell do they make those things out of? It's like a black box or something. D:

    you really should take the case off first and then pound the platters themselves.

    I tried, got all the screws out except one which was stuck in there so hard the screwdriver stripped the screw head. That thing was really built.

    When the nuclear war comes there will only be cockroaches and hard drives left.

    i write amazing erotic fiction

    its all about anthropomorphic dicks doing everyday things like buying shoes for their scrotum-feet
  • citizenMckeecitizenMckee Registered User
    edited January 2010
    Take it out shooting, they would make a nice plinking target.. Keep some distance though for ricochets,

    Drop it in the ocean!.. im sure some salt water would take care of it in no time.
    Yeah, because what the ocean needs right now is *more* trash.

    And the shooting idea is just as bad. I've seen plenty of computers, hard drives, etc. blasted to bits and left to sit in the forest. It pisses me off like you can't imagine. Some people just have no respect.


    Or ya know, you could not assume everybody doesn't pick up thier trash, because a few don't. It bugs me too! As far as the ocean is concerned, yeah that is a pretty terrible idea, but it could join its friends in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, you don't want it to be lonley, do you?

  • edited January 2010
    Casual wrote: »
    Casual wrote: »
    FYI destroying a hard drive with a sledge hammer is FUCKING DIFFICULT. Unless you're the hulk or something I wouldn't even bother with that option. I went bat shit on mine for 15 minutes with a sledge hammer and all I did was dent the fucking case.

    Seriously what the hell do they make those things out of? It's like a black box or something. D:

    you really should take the case off first and then pound the platters themselves.

    I tried, got all the screws out except one which was stuck in there so hard the screwdriver stripped the screw head. That thing was really built.

    When the nuclear war comes there will only be cockroaches and hard drives left.

    dremel tool would work, too, i guess. or a drill press.

    chevy.jpgsteve.jpgmartin.jpg
  • Aoi TsukiAoi Tsuki Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Yeah, I'm more out for the fun of smashing shit up than the security of knowing my data's safe. (That'd be nice, too. But mostly property damage. Whoo?)

    This IS Texas, but I have nowhere to safely shoot the HD to pieces. :(
    bwanie wrote: »
    it's full of fanfic right?

    *mops soda off laptop monitor*

    No. I was never into Inuyasha to the tune of an unfinished 300,000-word fic. The fuck is your problem, accusing people of random shit like that? :P

    (I'd actually forgotten about that. Now I really have to fuck up this hard drive. God only knows what'd happen if the terrorists got ahold of all those synonyms for hanyou dong.)

    Some people already have said stupid things, but I'm ignoring them because I just found a potato in my fridge that looks like it's smiling.
  • RuckusRuckus Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Aoi Tsuki wrote: »
    Yeah, I'm more out for the fun of smashing shit up than the security of knowing my data's safe. (That'd be nice, too. But mostly property damage. Whoo?)

    This IS Texas, but I have nowhere to safely shoot the HD to pieces. :(
    bwanie wrote: »
    it's full of fanfic right?

    *mops soda off laptop monitor*

    No. I was never into Inuyasha to the tune of an unfinished 300,000-word fic. The fuck is your problem, accusing people of random shit like that? :P

    (I'd actually forgotten about that. Now I really have to fuck up this hard drive. God only knows what'd happen if the terrorists got ahold of all those synonyms for hanyou dong.)

    Remember what I said about Thermite? Just ignore it.

    Raneados wrote: »
    so what SPECIFICALLY is the problem with my hole?
  • RhinoRhino Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    um.

    First over write the data: http://eraser.heidi.ie/

    Second: http://ata.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/ATA_Secure_Erase

    That should cover you. If you are really paranoid you can take it to a company that specializes in data destruction that will degauss the platters and then PROPERLY destroy and dispose of them.


    Also you should never burn any type of electronics (ie. with themate or the like). This can release highly toxic fumes into the air which can cause serious health problems (not to even mention ecological impacts).

    93mb4.jpg
  • Aoi TsukiAoi Tsuki Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Rhino wrote: »
    Also you should never burn any type of electronics (ie. with themate or the like). This can release highly toxic fumes into the air which can cause serious health problems (not to even mention ecological impacts).

    This is something I was wondering about, but forgot to ask specifically. Also, the only safe places to burn stuff around here are public, so I don't particularly want to leave smoking bits of plastic where animals could sniff out remnants and eat them and spontaneously combust or something.

    Some people already have said stupid things, but I'm ignoring them because I just found a potato in my fridge that looks like it's smiling.
  • MetalbourneMetalbourne Tube's Favorite Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Aoi Tsuki wrote: »

    No. I was never into Inuyasha to the tune of an unfinished 300,000-word fic.

    So what were you into to the tune of an unfinished 300,000-word fic?

  • CasualCasual flap flap flap wiggle wiggle wiggle Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Rhino wrote: »
    um.

    First over write the data: http://eraser.heidi.ie/

    Second: http://ata.wiki.kernel.org/index.php/ATA_Secure_Erase

    That should cover you. If you are really paranoid you can take it to a company that specializes in data destruction that will degauss the platters and then PROPERLY destroy and dispose of them.


    Also you should never burn any type of electronics (ie. with themate or the like). This can release highly toxic fumes into the air which can cause serious health problems (not to even mention ecological impacts).

    Heidi eraser is good software, I second that.

    i write amazing erotic fiction

    its all about anthropomorphic dicks doing everyday things like buying shoes for their scrotum-feet
  • SporkedSporked Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I usually just pound a philips head screwdriver though it, where I know it'll go through the platters. Most of the fun of hitting stuff with a hammer and the sound of breaking things but without the mess.

    (unless I want shiny, jangly rings and super magnets for something)

  • MechMantisMechMantis Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Arang wrote: »
    Professional data recovery people can get data off pretty much anything. Stuff like six-inch spikes driven through the platters.

    But unless the fed is coming for your secrets, you should be safe with a pass of DBAN, then destroying the contacts on the back of the disk with whatever's close to hand. If you're still worried that people are going to look at your stuff, toss the fucker in the ocean.

    My professor did add the caveat to his hard drive destruction mess: "And even then, if you had the money, you could get data recovered." :P



    But yes, if you're really really worried about data being recovered, get it done right by professionals.

    If not, just take it apart with torx bits, and keep the parts because they're pretty fun the play with.

    UA1OmVB.png
  • Aoi TsukiAoi Tsuki Registered User regular
    edited January 2010

    So what were you into to the tune of an unfinished 300,000-word fic?

    ...............................................A Beauty & the Beast version of Inuyasha DON'T LOOK AT ME

    I'm about to take the case off. Anyone have a handy guide to what's what in terms of what I need to smash, or will it be a self-evident chunk?

    Some people already have said stupid things, but I'm ignoring them because I just found a potato in my fridge that looks like it's smiling.
  • chupamiubrechupamiubre Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Arang wrote: »
    Professional data recovery people can get data off pretty much anything. Stuff like six-inch spikes driven through the platters.

    But unless the fed is coming for your secrets, you should be safe with a pass of DBAN, then destroying the contacts on the back of the disk with whatever's close to hand. If you're still worried that people are going to look at your stuff, toss the fucker in the ocean.

    Actually there has been a $100k prize for a while now for people to recover any real amounts of data after a single pass of zero's last i checked it has yet to be claimed. Much less drives that have been exposed to the elements and metal spikes. C.S.I is not real people also the size of a magnet needed and time to properly kill a drive is insane. The only reason its used is because you can stick 100 drives in a degaussing machine at once.

    But termite is fun and so is acid but a hammer and two trash bags is just as effective, oh and spray paint the platters for extra lulz.

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  • Captain VashCaptain Vash Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Aoi Tsuki wrote: »

    So what were you into to the tune of an unfinished 300,000-word fic?

    ...............................................A Beauty & the Beast version of Inuyasha DON'T LOOK AT ME

    I'm about to take the case off. Anyone have a handy guide to what's what in terms of what I need to smash, or will it be a self-evident chunk?

    the shiny circles inside?

    those are where the informations are at.

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  • CasualCasual flap flap flap wiggle wiggle wiggle Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Aoi Tsuki wrote: »

    So what were you into to the tune of an unfinished 300,000-word fic?

    ...............................................A Beauty & the Beast version of Inuyasha DON'T LOOK AT ME

    I'm about to take the case off. Anyone have a handy guide to what's what in terms of what I need to smash, or will it be a self-evident chunk?

    The shiny disc bit. They are quite tough though.

    i write amazing erotic fiction

    its all about anthropomorphic dicks doing everyday things like buying shoes for their scrotum-feet
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