How to destroy a hard drive

how to destroy a hard drive

The right way to destroy an old hard drive

Mar 24,  · There are many more creative ways that you can destroy your hard drive such as setting it on fire, cutting it up with a saw or magnetizing it. However, simply scratching the hard drive disk and smashing it a bit with a hammer will get the job done! Mar 30,  · Microwaves are handy for destroying CDs and DVDs, but you'd have to cook a hard drive for a long, long time to blister the drive's platters. Several Web Author: Dennis O'reilly.

This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. The wikiHow Tech Team also followed the article's instructions and verified that they work. This article has been viewed 1, times. Learn more Do you have an inaccessible or otherwise worthless hard drive filled with sensitive data? Do you want to be sure that data never sees the light of day? This wikiHow shows you how to wipe data from your hard drive and destroy it to prevent any salvaging of data from it.

Support wikiHow by unlocking this staff-researched answer. Before wiping all of the data how to cook a new york steak in a skillet your hard drive, make sure you back up any data you want to keep.

Then, plug your hard drive into your computer and electronically delete all of the information. To access your hard drive, open the computer case, find the hard drive casing, which should be labeled, and remove the circular hard drive. You can then destroy your how to destroy a hard drive drive by hammering it, burning it, melting it, crushing it, or even shooting it! No matter what method of destruction you choose, make sure you do so safely and within the parameters of how to destroy a hard drive law.

If you want to learn how to safely take the hard drive out of your computer, keep reading the article! Did this summary help you? Yes No. Log in Social login does not work in incognito and private browsers. Please log in with your username or email to continue. No account yet?

Create an account. Edit this Article. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. By using our site, you agree to our cookie policy. Cookie Settings. Learn why people trust wikiHow. Download Article Explore this Article methods. Tips and Warnings. Related Articles. Article Summary. Method 1 of Back drivw your data. You will, however, want to make sure to back up all of your important and legal data, however, since the whole point of the resulting exercise is that those things will be Erase all of the data on the hard drive with software.

You can do this on your Windows or macOS without having to download or purchase any extra ho. Wiping your data and blowing up your drive, however? See How to Wipe a Computer to learn how to get started. A complete wipe of your computer will probably do the trick. Only someone with very serious forensics equipment could recover your data after a wipe.

Open the computer case and remove the hard drive. The hard drive can be located in different spots in each type of case, sometimes within a metal box. Remove the casing from the drive. To remove the casing, you'll likely need to loosen ti variety of screws, depending on your hard drive's make and model. Possibly cutting some tape. Be warned that there are often screws hidden underneath labels, so you might have to go poking around.

Remove the magnets. You will need to remove the arm and magnet structure in order to reach the platter rdive your real goal. There are screws involved. Remove the magnets carefully because they are seriously very strong and you can really hurt yourself with them. You can break fingers with these things. Remove and dispose of the platter s. This is the thing that looks like it would make a nice mirror. This is the thing that stores the majority at least of your data, so you'll need to destroy it.

Sometimes there is more than one platter, so pay attention to that. Method 2 of All rights reserved. This image may not be used by other entities drjve the express written consent of wikiHow, Inc. Incinerate the hard drive. Burning the hard drive guarantees that your data will be completely destroyed within minutes. It's best not to start a fire for the sole purpose of destroying your hard drive.

To safely burn the drive, contact a reputable data destruction service that performs safe, what player plays ogm files incineration services. Smash the drive with a hammer. Before doing this, insert the drive into a cloth bag so the pieces don't drivd flying everywhere.

Get a hammer how to destroy a hard drive one lying around your house or at a hardware store and smash your drive with it until the drive's broken into thousands of tiny pieces. Once done, divide the remnants up into multiple bags and dispose of each separately so they cannot be pieced back together.

Puncture the drive. If you have a sharp knife or any metal pins, you could push them through both sides of the drive itself in order to put holes in it and render it unusable. Did you know you can read destrly researched by wikiHow Staff? Unlock staff-researched answers by how to destroy a hard drive wikiHow. Not Helpful 3 Helpful Honestly no.

Real how to solve logarithm problems hackers can take the disc and replace the circuits. It will be corroded, but not gone.

I'd say blow torch, hammer and a couple of bullet holes. Even after that I'd bury it. Not Helpful 11 Helpful No, especially if it's destroyed fully. However, if you just wipe a drive, the contents inside won't be magically gone, they wait to be overwritten, but destroying a deetroy drive will annihilate everything inside and nobody will be able to access it, unless you're running from the government that is.

Not Helpful 27 Helpful Cole Moynihan. Method 9 would be the best choice for an SSD. If you can't do method 9, method 7 also works. Not Helpful 32 Helpful You need to use a file shredder and driv clean format to make the drive clean, usable slate. Not Helpful 17 Helpful No, it will just kill the circuitry, all of your data will still be there. Not to how to destroy a hard drive someone could easily just steal it if you leave it outside. Not Helpful 0 Helpful Is it possible to damage a hard drive without opening the tower case or taking it out from the cabinet?

You ddive damage the tower case, too, but it would take longer. Not Helpful 4 Helpful The one I use is DoD. It's a good method of wiping the drive, but it hhow take a while. I have a waste management truck coming here weekly, which crushes and compacts all waste from our cans. Will this destroy a hard drive effectively?

Most likely, but there is still a possibility of it being stolen from your trash bin. You should just scratch the platters of the drive, then send the other parts to an e-waste recycling plant. Not Helpful 2 Helpful 3. Include your email address to get a message when this question is how to make comics online. Submit a Tip All tip submissions are how to cheer up your boyfriend through text reviewed before being published.

Why You Need to Destroy Your Hard Drive?

Don't put it in the microwave, don't roast it on a spit, don't soak it in acid, and don't put it next to an industrial-strength magnet; the key is to make the drive's platters unspinnable. I'm a confirmed pack rat. I've got stacks of old utility-bill statements dating back to the s.

Alongside the boxes of ancient paper records in our attic are about a half dozen old PCs. The jewel of my "collection" is an original MHz Pentium PC, complete with the famous floating-point bug. Well, it was famous in One benefit of holding onto these PC relics is not worrying about their data falling into the wrong hands. OK, I suppose a determined thief could break into our attic and walk off with the computer antiques, but I wish them luck finding the cables and peripherals required to bring the machines back to life.

Not everyone is so attached to their old electronic equipment as I am. You probably know that you need to completely wipe or remove the hard drives from your PCs before you donate or recycle them. How to ensure that the data on the drives will be out of the bad guys' reach is another matter. On a related subject, don't ever let a computer repair shop hold onto your old hard drive if they replace it. And don't believe them if they say they returned the drive to the vendor. If they give you this spiel, call the cops and demand that they return the old hard drive to you, right then, right there.

The program's interface won't win any awards, but DBAN has a solid reputation among security experts. Attack the platter to render a hard-disk unreadable No matter how thorough a data-wiping program is, the only way to be certain that a hard-drive's data is unrecoverable is by rendering the drive's platters unspinnable.

I've heard and read all kinds of methods people use to destroy an old drive, some of which are downright dangerous. Put it in a fire? There are lots of toxic chemicals in that gadget. Do you really want to be breathing them or otherwise releasing them into the environment? Microwaves are handy for destroying CDs and DVDs, but you'd have to cook a hard drive for a long, long time to blister the drive's platters.

Several Web sites suggest soaking the drive in diluted hydrochloric or muriatic acid. This might work, but you run the risk of burning yourself or breathing toxic fumes. Lots of people recommend breaking out the power tools and drilling several holes through the drive.

You can achieve the same effect by pounding some nails through it, or simply by whacking the heck out of it with a hammer, sledge or otherwise. I'm normally a big fan of brute-force methods, for the vicarious thrill if for no other reason. But the goal is to make sure you can't spin the drive's platters. There's a more subtle approach that achieves this, without necessarily requiring safety goggles.

I found a great step-by-step tutorial written by David Gewirtz that describes how to disassemble a drive, remove the platters and other components, including the drive's magnets , and sand or grind the platter surfaces, which renders them unreadable. David's method requires the use of TORX driver bits to remove the small screws holding the drive's case in place. David also suggests degaussing the platters by placing them between neodymium magnets before grinding their surfaces, which obliterates the data they hold.

This strikes me as overkill, but I guess you can't be too careful when protecting your private data. Making wind chimes out of the degaussed and sanded platters, as David's wife did, is strictly optional. Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. We delete comments that violate our policy , which we encourage you to read. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion. Jake Paul vs. The right way to destroy an old hard drive Don't put it in the microwave, don't roast it on a spit, don't soak it in acid, and don't put it next to an industrial-strength magnet; the key is to make the drive's platters unspinnable.

Dennis O'Reilly. March 30, p. Discuss: The right way to destroy an old hard drive.

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