how to destroy old hard drives

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by jmoffat, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. jmoffat

    Thread Starter Member

    Jul 18, 2012
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    I need to throw out some old hard drives. Not sure whats on them. What is a fast way to destroy these HDs? Should I just use a hammer?
     
  2. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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    Hello,

    Old harddisks should be opened easily.
    When opened scratch the platters and the data will not be recoverable.
    Also strong magnets may help.
    A hammer could also do physical damage to it.

    Bertus
     
  3. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
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  4. Robin Mitchell

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2009
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    Sledgehammer works for me. Gives me something I can channel my anger into!
     
  5. jmoffat

    Thread Starter Member

    Jul 18, 2012
    42
    1
    That Youtube video was awesome! I want me some termite. I don't think I will do a web search though. I don't want homeland security poking into my business.
     
  6. tshuck

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2012
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    ...not sure termites will do much with metal;)


    ..I usually go the route bertus described...
     
  7. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Bertus is right, but I enjoy putting a few bullets through them.:D
     
  8. Evil Lurker

    Member

    Aug 25, 2011
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    I usually scavenge them for parts. Mainly for tantalum caps and schottky barrier diodes and the magnets... those things are wicked strong. Took six of them one time and stacked them together, the could hold a 15lb sledgehammer to my belt loop. Unfortunately the platters make lousy frisbees.
     
  9. MrChips

    Moderator

    Oct 2, 2009
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    You could put it through the shredder:


    [​IMG]


    But not your regular document shredder:


    [​IMG]
     
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  10. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
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    Thermite and special burn-bags lined with thermite were the approved emergency destruction methods for sensitive equipment when you had to bug-out in a hurry.

    See page 47 in this old document. http://www.nsa.gov/public_info/_files/cryptologic_histories/history_comsec_ii.pdf
     
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  11. radiohead

    Active Member

    May 28, 2009
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    I don't think the average joe has thermite grenades lying around the lab. It would be fun to have one though.

    I would recommend degauss then drive a railroad spike through it or whack it a few times with a hand sledge. Make sure the plates inside are broken and rattling around in pieces. The data will not be recoverable.
     
  12. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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    Don't think any of the ideas will work. All the "CSI" type shows are able to read destroyed hard drives. :)
     
  13. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
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    Isn't complete formatting enough?

    What about writing garbage on every single byte in the disk?
     
  14. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
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    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  15. jaygatsby

    New Member

    Nov 23, 2011
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    Linux boot cd to prompt. Then:

    cat /dev/zero > /dev/sda1 where sda1 represents the hard drive to be destroyed.

    You can also use /dev/random, you can also do this three or four times depending on your desired level of paranoia.
     
  16. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
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    run dban on them if they work first.

    Then
    A) Mechanically shred to small chunks, Document Disposal services will usually have the equipment for both paper and drives.

    B) Thermite over soil outside (NOT IN YOUR HOUSE, in case you were wondering.

    C) Most Fun: half dozen or more 5.56 AP (green or black tip) or .308 Rounds tend to do the trick as well, and it's a lot more fun. Be sure to spread the holes around the entire enclosure surface. Whenever the drives built up, we'd have a "Range Day". Again ONLY ON PRIVATE RANGE, observe all safety practices, distance, eye and ear protection. These were shredded afterward as well, but this keeps the shredding company from attempting to read them.
     
  17. jaygatsby

    New Member

    Nov 23, 2011
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    Just do what I said. It's easy and secure. And free. I have a lot of experience in this area.
     
  18. gerty

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 30, 2007
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    They don't have to be AP for this, save them for something
    useful:D
     
  19. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    Drill 5 holes through the HD with a nice 1/4" bit. That's what most fortune 500 companies make my friends do that recycle electronics. They then sell the Pc's with no HD's
     
  20. maxpower097

    Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2009
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    This is what they have to do after they drill bit it. They make em drill bit it so its visual proof on camera the HD was destroyed. Then it goes on a conveyor into a industrial shredder.

    This is off their site

    HARD DRIVE & DATA DESTRUCTION:

    • We recommend and prefer total destruction of hard drives to ensure safe data removal. Today's data recovery techniques are becoming so much more sophisticated that the only guaranteed way of disposing all of the confidential information on hard drives is by completely destroying them.

    • White Canyon software to “wipe” hard drives and remove data.

    • Our complete physical data and media destruction is performed in highly secured, highly supervised monitored facilities.

    • Each customer shipment is assigned its own distinguished customer number for security and confidentiality. Materials are identified by using this distinct number. We also record and document serial numbers from the hard drives and all other materials to meet recording requirements.

    • Our methodology for hard drive and data destruction adheres to these regulations/acts:

    HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
    Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)
    Bank Secrecy Act (BSA)
    Patriot Act of 2002
    Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act
    US Safe Harbor Provisions
    FDA Security Regulations (21 C.F.R. part 11)
    PCI Data Security Standard
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
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