• Guest, The rules for the P & N subforum have been updated to prohibit "ad hominem" or personal attacks against other posters. See the full details in the post "Politics and News Rules & Guidelines."

Question How to make old hard drives unreadable for easy disposable?

JEDI

Lifer
Sep 25, 2001
26,300
781
126
i have a bunch of old IDE and SCSI hard drives from years ago.

i dont know whats on them. (might have my tax returns.)
i also dont want anyone looking into them either when i throw them away.

i no longer have a machine that has IDE or scsi connections so i cant format them.
i was thinking of drilling a hole through them. (maybe 4 holes?)

Whats an easy way to make them unreadable?
 

mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
5,494
655
126
Just throw them on the concrete ground hard.

The read/write head and disc will be damaged.

==

I will take out the strong magnets inside the HDDs first before throwing them away. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: aigomorla

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
18,165
915
126
open them up and dismantle them if you are not going to recycle it.
 

Steltek

Platinum Member
Mar 29, 2001
2,394
285
126
If you don't want to take them apart, I've found that a 10 pound sledge (along with appropriate safety glasses) is a very useful tool to use for decommissioning hard drives.

It also helps with stress relief at the same time....
 

mikeford

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2001
5,368
80
91
Wow, you are talking a lot of fun out of buying recycled drives.

For about $5 you can buy a USB adapter for IDE, and for that modest amount you can take the most green option, REUSE, give or sell the drives to people that need them. SCSI looks like it might need a $10 PCI card.

Bonus for doing a software wipe, MAYBE you find some old file etc that you would like to keep.
 

sdifox

No Lifer
Sep 30, 2005
80,571
7,313
126
i have a bunch of old IDE and SCSI hard drives from years ago.

i dont know whats on them. (might have my tax returns.)
i also dont want anyone looking into them either when i throw them away.

i no longer have a machine that has IDE or scsi connections so i cant format them.
i was thinking of drilling a hole through them. (maybe 4 holes?)

Whats an easy way to make them unreadable?
Take them apart. You get good magnets out of them and use the platters for a hanging wind chime
 

thecoolnessrune

Diamond Member
Jun 8, 2005
9,443
375
126
If you need to know there is no recoverability, most Data Asset companies will charge around $10 per drive in low quantities to shred and dispose of them for you.
 

dlerious

Senior member
Mar 4, 2004
818
169
116
I know a few people who use them for target practice. If you have the money, a degausser like the Proton 1100 ($515).
 

WilliamM2

Golden Member
Jun 14, 2012
1,702
79
91
I know a few people who use them for target practice. If you have the money, a degausser like the Proton 1100 ($515).

If you have to go to all the trouble of disassembling the drive to use the degausser what's the point in spending $500 on it? At that point it's easy to just break/bend/smash the platters. The drives not re-usable once opened anyways.

I just use a sledge, or sometimes squeeze the entire drive in a huge vise we have at work. Either way, the platters will never be read again, and it's much quicker. Maybe 10 seconds.
 

dlerious

Senior member
Mar 4, 2004
818
169
116
If you have to go to all the trouble of disassembling the drive to use the degausser what's the point in spending $500 on it? At that point it's easy to just break/bend/smash the platters. The drives not re-usable once opened anyways.

I just use a sledge, or sometimes squeeze the entire drive in a huge vise we have at work. Either way, the platters will never be read again, and it's much quicker. Maybe 10 seconds.
How much does a good bench vise cost today? I've seen something similar in a machine - Aleratec HDD drive destroyer, but it's not cheap at $1500. For whole drive degaussers like the Verity V91, Datastroyer 105, or Proton T-1 you're going to pay $2400-$6000. I saw a few places that used to rent the machines but I'm not sure if they're still around. There's an add-on for the datastroyer for SSD, flash, phones that uses 95 spikes

Found a video where someone tried hammer, sledge, and nail gun. Found a drive that suffered a crash at about 8:05.
 

WilliamM2

Golden Member
Jun 14, 2012
1,702
79
91
How much does a good bench vise cost today?
Mine was about $50, but I was referring to one at work that is probably 40 years old, and huge. At home I use a sledge for old IDE drives, or drives that won't function. I use software for any sata drives, never know when you will find someone who needs one.

The guy in the video sucked with a sledge. He was just hitting the drive anywhere. You want to hit it on the edge, not the spindle. One or two hits and it's destroyed, all platters.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dlerious

Ajay

Diamond Member
Jan 8, 2001
7,264
2,491
136
I used to just take them apart and use tin snips to cut the platters in half. If you're paranoid, dip them in a strong solvent (MEK?) for an hour and then toss them.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY