How do you destroy a hard drive from an old computer?

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  1. bankscottage profile image90
    bankscottageposted 12 years ago

    How do you destroy a hard drive from an old computer?

    How do you destroy a hard drive from an old computer so that no one can ever retrieve information from it?

  2. duffsmom profile image62
    duffsmomposted 12 years ago

    A very strong magnet will damage it.  Then toss it into a very very hot fire.  That ought to do it.

  3. CWanamaker profile image94
    CWanamakerposted 12 years ago

    What a great question! There are many ways to permanently destroy a harddrive. Just off the top of my head you could use any number of methods including using a sledge hammer or thermite.  The key to destroying your hard drive lies in making sure that the platters can no longer spin or that the read heads can no longer read anything of value. A nice bench or angle grinder can also quickly turn an old hard drive into metallic dust. I'm not too fond of the fire method though because hard drives contain a plethora of toxic chemicals. Powerful magnets can also work but in the end I prefer the sledgehammer method.

  4. bankscottage profile image90
    bankscottageposted 12 years ago

    I was thinking about drilling some holes in it and then dropping it into a bowl of water (spilling a drink on your computer seems to ruin everything).  I'd place the bowl of water in a freezer and let the expansion of the ice do it's job.  Ice seems to be able to crack apart granite rocks, I am hoping it will do the same for a hard drive.

  5. forlanda profile image76
    forlandaposted 12 years ago

    You don't have to destroy the drive.  You can erase it clean using tools that can boot off a CD or flash drive, then write patterns on the entire drive so no one can read the original contents.

  6. MikeNV profile image66
    MikeNVposted 12 years ago

    The quickest easiest way is to just pound a nail through the platter.  Most platters are glass and will shatter, the metal platters will break as well.  I've destroyed my share of drives.  Sure you can run software, write zeros, etc.  But physical damage is insurance.  I like to take them apart to get the magnets out of them.... depending on the drive the magnets can be very powerful.

    If you are going to physically destroy it you should wear safety glasses as it's not uncommon for little pieces to go flying everywhere.

    If it's a Hitachi... they destroy themselves... just install a new OS and turn on your computer... they don't call them Death Stars for nothing.  smile

  7. fpherj48 profile image60
    fpherj48posted 12 years ago

    Whoa......sounds like a violent procedure!!!    Maybe one should wait until they are angry about something...and take it out on their hard drive!!!   Dual purpose activity!

    1. forlanda profile image76
      forlandaposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Fpherj48, I like your idea.  That is thinking out of the box!  The more angry you are, the better chance that you will completely obliterate the drive.

    2. fpherj48 profile image60
      fpherj48posted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Forland....Oh, trust me, I KNOW how to obliterate!!!  lmao

  8. RichardPac profile image77
    RichardPacposted 12 years ago

    Drilling hold is a great idea! Physical damage is the way to go.

  9. profile image53
    tahokmusicposted 12 years ago

    5 litres of Sulphuric Acid will do the trick to damage it.


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