Best way to wipe and destroy hard drives?

brightbright Icrontian

I have old laptops that I'd like to dispose of. What's the best way to wipe hard drives? Is it worth spending money to get them professionally destroyed? Paging @ardichoke‌.

Then I'd recycle the rest of the laptops at best buy's recycle thing? All but one of the power supplies seem to work, not sure what to do with those.


  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL Icrontian

    Um, take them to a police range and shoot them, after wiping/deleting all partitions with UBCD.

  • JokkeJokke Bergen, Norway Icrontian

    If you REALLY wanna wipe it, take it apart, crush everything inside with a big hammer, and then burn it with the hottest stuff you got, preferably until it's just ash left. If you want to be able to use it afterwards though, you might want to have a look at this site.

  • RequitRequit That one guy Somewhere over there, I don't know Icrontian

    We just hit ours with a magnetic drill, and SSDs get dropped in a shredder.

  • CBCB Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Der Millionendorf- Icrontian

    bullet, sledgehammer, bucket of water, etc. The only way to be certain sure that no one can ever recover anything from it, ever. never ever. is to physically destroy the drive.

    Now, that said: best way from an ease and economy v. practical security standpoint? An electromagnetic plate is the tool for the job. I used to have one when I worked in television (also useful for erasing magnetic video tapes so that no ghost of a past production winds up on your new production), but I'm not sure where an average cup-o-joe would get access to one.

    Is it worth spending money? depends on how valuable the info on the drives is. If it's just browser histories and porn, whateves, hit the drive with a hammer and drop it in a bucket, but if you're a government operative with classified info-secrets, you might want to hire someone, preferably someone you can trust. I'm sure the organization you secretly work for will allow you to put that on the business expenses card, though they might already have a team who handles this kind of stuff. Ask your supervisor.

  • Purely anecdotal but one of my old industrial accounts was the Dundalk MD ship yard where they used to decommission old Navy ships. I sold a special grinding wheel that was inserted into a small machine that would have the optimal angle and coating to reduce fowling from the metal particles coming from the face of a hard drive platter. See, that's the first thing they did, destroyed the data before doing anything else. They would grind the face of the platter before utilizing another machine to pulverize it.

  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian

    Drill through the disk platter. Barring that, a little program called dban.

  • d3k0yd3k0y Loveland, OH Icrontian

    I like the gun range method, multi use. Remember, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

    Reduce the data on the HD with dban. Reuse the Hard Drive for target Practice. Recycle whatever you can find left over.

  • Creeperbane2Creeperbane2 Victorian Scoundrel Indianapolis, IN Icrontian

    Shoot it, or possibly dissasemble it and strip out the precious metals.

  • TiberiusLazarusTiberiusLazarus Icrontian
    edited March 2014

    Another +1 for dban.

  • PinkPink Colour Sweden Icrontian
    edited March 2014

    Amusingly enough, my first job was to destroy harddrives for a company before they sent their computers to the trash. I unscrewed the casing of the harddrives and then I used a plier to bend the discs and scratch it as much as I could. If you choose to go about it this way, there are usually atleast two really strong magnets inside of it that you can extract and play with later, I had a bunch of like 40 magnets myself when I was done.

  • SignalSignal Icrontian

    Pound a screwdriver through the platters with a hammer. No chance of recovery. Careful playing with those magnets though. Hurts like hell when they pinch the tip of your finger.

  • PinkPink Colour Sweden Icrontian

    @Signal Yes... Fingers... Thats where I put them too <.<

  • GnomeQueenGnomeQueen The Lulz Queen Mountain Dew Mouth Icrontian

    What'd you do ray

  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian

    @GnomeQueen said:
    What'd you do ray

  • KwitkoKwitko Sheriff of Banning (Retired) By the thing near the stuff Icrontian

    We run over them with forklifts, then have the machine shop guy cut them into quarters. I'll have to record that one day.

  • oni_delsoni_dels Drunk French Canadian Montréal, Québec. Icrontian

    electro-magnet. saw that in a hacker movie once. pretty sure it works.

  • SignalSignal Icrontian

    @oni_dels said:
    electro-magnet. saw that in a hacker movie once. pretty sure it works.

    Make sure that once you do, the US flag displays on your monitors. Also, CDs in the toaster and microwave. Hotpocket anyone?

  • drasnordrasnor Starship Operator Hawthorne, CA Icrontian

    IT at my old college did DBAN and followed it up with two half-inch drilled holes through the drive.

  • trooster89trooster89 Are you from London? Icrontian

    Will it blend?

  • oni_delsoni_dels Drunk French Canadian Montréal, Québec. Icrontian

    go office space on it

  • SignalSignal Icrontian

    If you choose the shooting range option, pick up some tannerite. That will help.

  • JBoogalooJBoogaloo This too shall pass... Alexandria, VA Icrontian

    With old hard drives from my previous laptops I just removed them, opened them up and broke that glass like disc into a million little pieces and tore out every other piece of metal on that thing. With regular HD's I remove them, disassemble them, rip each piece of metal out and then remove the discs and (time consuming) took a hacksaw and cut them into fours and then bend the hell out of each quarter with two pairs of pliers. Overkill? Maybe. Effective? Extremely.

  • BlackHawkBlackHawk Bible music connoisseur There's no place like Icrontian

    As a courier, when I delivered storage from banks to be destroyed and all they did was send it to a recycling plant and do it in front of me while I took pics. I believe they had machines specifically for it.

  • I'm just going to leave this here... {

  • BandrikBandrik Elkhart, IN Icrontian

    Just take the platter discs out and give them to a couple of rednecks in Florida. Tell them they're frisbees. They'll have gator tooth marks on them in no time.

  • GattsuGattsu Orlando, Florida Icrontian

    One word, Thermite!

  • PinkPink Colour Sweden Icrontian
    edited April 2014

    I just realized that this must be the optimal way to destroy your drive:

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