ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Erasing Hard Drive Securely and Destroying Data

Updated on August 17, 2016

Erasing Data Forever, Point of No Return

In the world of data, typically one would be thinking mostly how to prevent data lose or have a disaster recovery plan in the event data is lost. Today, is the opposite, what do we do at the end of the life of hard drive or data storage device? One thing to know is, never let your data in the hands of another unless you have full assurance it will be destroyed. This hub will cover some of the methods used to ensure data is no longer recoverable on a hard disk drive or storage media.

How to Destoy Data on a Hard Drive

Many people get the wrong impression that when they press delete on their keyboard, a file is assumed gone, when it is still very easy to recover using even the simplest recovery programs. Erasing is a term used to mean utterly gone, not deleted. So below I am going to share with you a couple of ways to "erase" your hard drive.

First: Why would anybody want to erase data?

  • Your a criminal and want to cover your tracks.....hope not.
  • You are going to be giving the computer to someone else.
  • You are disposing of the computer and don't want someone to find personal files.
  • You are clearing the drive to reinstall the operating system and want a really clean slate to start over with.

So, onto the destruction, below is the order in which I recommend. Be advised that some of the methods below are considered dangerous, and one should exercise extreme caution and all safety measures when using them. Nobody, under the age of 18 should do the dangerous methods without adult supervision of an adult.

Types of Hard Drive Erasing Methods

Professional Service for Businesses:

  • There is no business that can afford to allow company or employee data fall into the wrong hands. That is why Drive Savers is highly recommended to securely, and effectively destroy you data. This company also recovers data (irony isn't it?) as well. You can contact them at 800-440-1904 with discount code DS16416 or visit them on the web.
  • Industrial Shredder Service, much like what they use for ripping cars to little morsels, this can be done with hard drives too. Check with your local recycling facility to see if the service is available.

Personal/Residential Methods:

  • If you plan on re-using the drive, then write all zeros back to the hard drive and format it to the operating system of choice. This is a basic, but effective method. The zero writing utility is provided by your specific hard manufacturer, normally in their downloads section on their website.
  • Torching the drive can be fun, but is dangerous. If you disassemble the drive, you can take a blow torch to the platters until they warp and melt. Somebody pass the marshmallows please?
  • Driving drill holes (prefer 3/8" min.) through the drive platters will render the drive useless, but still isn't as effective as torching it. This method isn't as dangerous as torching, but is still dangerous. Suggest clamping the drive firmly into a bench clamp, it isn't impossible to break a finger or wrist if the drive goes spinning as fast as the drill bit is spinning.
  • If you happen to have a degausser device (very expensive typically) then on a conventional hard drive, this can be used. This will demagnetize the drive, thus rendering data useless.
  • Target practice: In time or hunting season, why not use the drive to calibrate that scope you just bought?

So how did...

How did you end up destroying your data?

See results

Did You Destroy The Data?

Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    Elric 

    3 years ago

    Heck yeah this is exaltcy what I needed.

  • profile image

    Marden 

    3 years ago

    It's a joy to find somonee who can think like that

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)