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jopfef
Home of the BeaChi Boys
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Saint Louis, MO
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[Chat] How to wreck a hard drive???

I was handed a clicking hard drive to destroy. Ugh.

Shoved it in my external case, and it's got the LOUDEST clicking I've ever heard on a hard drive! So, no option to do a secure wipe on this thing. I took the drive completely apart so I could access the platters inside. Trust me, they are no longer shiny! I took a sharp screwdriver and scarred the living daylights out of both sides of the platters.




Question: Will this be enough damage to send them off to electronic recycling, or do I need to do more to mangle the data on here?

Any advice would be appreciated!
--

"...If the beasts were gone, we would die from a great loneliness of spirit." - Chief Seattle


Icarus
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1 recommendation

I usually just hit the enclosure with a hammer. It shatters the disks,its good exercise and I rarely feel the need to smack anyone when Im done.


leibold
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2 recommendations

reply to jopfef
Unfortunately the error correction codes on disk sectors are designed with consecutive bad bytes in mind and radial scratches like this might be automatically corrected (never mind the large number of completely unscratched sectors).

If there was sensitive information on the disk and you want to be sure that nobody can recover the data then you would have to take sandpaper or steel wool (or any other abrasive tool) to the surface to completely take off the recording layer from the aluminum disk. Either that or melt down the disks if you can.
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jopfef
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reply to Icarus
Ick, these are steel disk platters. So smashing them is out of the question. I've smashed the plastic platters before, but it ain't gonna happen on this drive!
--

"...If the beasts were gone, we would die from a great loneliness of spirit." - Chief Seattle


jopfef
Home of the BeaChi Boys
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reply to leibold
Leibold, thanks for your helpful info! I'll take sandpaper to those platters tomorrow, so that the recording layer gets nuked completely.

I'll be sure to wear work gloves when I do this, so that I don't mess up my fingers. Nothing worse than shortening your finger tips doing a job like this -- LOL!!!
--

"...If the beasts were gone, we would die from a great loneliness of spirit." - Chief Seattle


signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
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NanoParticle
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1 recommendation

reply to jopfef
At the labs they had a team that took care of this kind of thing. My understanding is that a SEM (scanning electron microscope) or some such device can see data enough, with a HUGE amount of trouble, to get data. Considering how much space it takes for a really tiny amount of data to sit, you want to destroy ALL of the platter.
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Join Teams Helix and Discovery. Rest in Peace, Leonard David Smith, my best friend, you are missed badly! Rest in peace, Pop, glad our last years were good. Please pray for Colin, he has ependymoma, a brain cancer, donate to a children's Hospital.


leibold
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reply to jopfef
They shouldn't be made from steel. Aluminum is common but glass/ceramic discs exist too (especially smaller drives). If the disks are metal chances are they are aluminum disks and that means that they have a low melting point
--
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jopfef
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reply to signmeuptoo
Mark, that's exactly what I intend to do tomorrow.


jopfef
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reply to leibold
They're very thick metal, but it's not magnetic; the magnet I have here wouldn't stick to these platters.

I'm not about to stick these things in my new microwave to see what would happen to them!
--

"...If the beasts were gone, we would die from a great loneliness of spirit." - Chief Seattle


Icarus
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1 recommendation

Try a hammer!


leibold
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reply to jopfef
I don't think a microwave oven would be an appropriate heat source for this purpose (chances are you'd kill the microwave in the process). I was thinking of something along the lines of a blowtorch (with the appropriate precautions).
--
Got some spare cpu cycles ? Join Team Helix or Team Starfire!


Icarus
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3 recommendations

reply to jopfef


jopfef
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reply to leibold
I don't have a blowtorch. Bummer.


Icarus
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4 recommendations

reply to jopfef
Hammertime?


signmeuptoo
Bless you Howie
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NanoParticle
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reply to jopfef
Indeed, probably a metallic type of sandpaper, and in the mean time, bend them so they can't be mounted and read easily.

Honestly, someone should sell kits on eBay for this (oops, another of my crazy ideas, forget I said it!)


jopfef
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reply to jopfef
Mark, I put a metal sander on my drill and had at those platters. Then I took two heavy sets of locking pliers, and bent them over a concrete wall. They are truly toast now!
--

"...If the beasts were gone, we would die from a great loneliness of spirit." - Chief Seattle


signmeuptoo
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Uh oh, I just remember, I've got some data on them, can you recover it still?


Icarus
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reply to jopfef
You need to find a better hobby!


leibold
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reply to signmeuptoo
That wasn't your harddisk was it ?


signmeuptoo
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NanoParticle
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Holy Cucamunga! I've done some dumb things, but wow, the poor guy!


leibold
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Before you schedule a vacation in Wales consider carefully how likely it is that the story is true. Sure, it has been widely published but there is no proof that he actually ever mined any bitcoins (let alone 7500 of them) or that they were on a harddisk that he threw away. There may be nothing to be found in that waste heap (well, at least no bitcoins).
--
Got some spare cpu cycles ? Join Team Helix or Team Starfire!


jopfef
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reply to leibold
said by leibold:

That wasn't your harddisk was it ?

Nope, not my hard drive!

Besides, I back everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. Multiple times. And I do off-site storage every time I back up. Better safe than sorry!
--

"...If the beasts were gone, we would die from a great loneliness of spirit." - Chief Seattle