ideas on how to erase (dead) laptop hard drive with household items?

supernova87a

Senior member
Dec 6, 2000
261
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0
Hi all, maybe you can give me some clever ideas about how to do the following --

an old laptop at home, no longer boots due to mem/cpu issues, and I have just sold it for parts. (relevant thing is that the hard drive works and is sold with this part said working) Before I ship it off, want to make sure that the hard drive is wiped, but without the laptop working, this is a challenge.

I tried to think of things at home that have large magnets in them to run the drive over a few times. How about the back magnetic part of stereo speakers? A degaussing coil (which I do not have).

Aside from that, I'm not too sure what else is handy and will do the trick. I thought about taking it to the library or some store where I could swipe the drive a few times over the checkout de-securitizing magnetic thing, you know, but that's also a little bit involved.

Any ideas? Thanks!
 

DarkRogue

Golden Member
Dec 25, 2007
1,243
3
76
I would say to just run out and buy an external enclosure, or one of those USB/SATA cables and do it that way.

Edit:
My friend has one of these which I borrowed to recover data off a hard drive for a dead laptop, and it worked quite nicely.
http://www.usbgear.com/SS-123ASD.html
It's not that exact one, but it was similar. I don't know about that site either, I was just pulling up random Google searches for the product.
 

oynaz

Platinum Member
May 14, 2003
2,448
2
81
Despite popular belief, HDDs are very to scramble with the magnets in a typical household. At best you can corrupt a few files that way. Darkrogue suggestion is better.
 

0roo0roo

No Lifer
Sep 21, 2002
64,862
84
91
yea u need a drive degauser to wipe a drive.
magnets do squat unless you take the platters out:p

3.5" ide to 2.5" adaptor is all you need.
~3bucks at frys etc.
run wiping program, done.
 

RebateMonger

Elite Member
Dec 24, 2005
11,588
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If you actually applied a strong enough magnetic field to scamble a hard drive, wouldn't that also destroy the built-in hard formatting information that's applied by the drive maker? That'd make the drive inoperable.
 

0roo0roo

No Lifer
Sep 21, 2002
64,862
84
91
Originally posted by: RebateMonger
If you actually applied a strong enough magnetic field to scamble a hard drive, wouldn't that also destroy the built-in hard formatting information that's applied by the drive maker? That'd make the drive inoperable.

yea probably, effectively drive shredding.
 

supernova32

Banned
Jun 30, 2008
1
0
0
You can use data cables for connecting your hard drive to other pc or laptop. and use of SPAM LINK REMOVED drive wipe utility you can wipe your hard drive or you can physically damage the HDD. You can use this utility CD on other pc and connect your laptop HDD with this pc and run the utility,

Thanks
 

corkyg

Elite Member | Peripherals
Super Moderator
Mar 4, 2000
27,370
238
106
If you want to keep the drive or give it to your laptop buyer, then your best bet is to get a 2.5 to 3.5 adapter and connect it to your desktop. Or, as was suggested, get an external USB case for it and then wipe the drive. That way it can be reused. And, you can then use it yourself as a portable storage for digital imagery, etc.

There are many drive wipers out there - in effect, they write zeros across the entire drive. If you are going to keep the drive and use it in an external USB case, then you really don't have to do anything drastic to it.

If you are going to throw it away - you can destory it with a heavy hammer, a blow torch, an acid bath, an electric drill - a saber saw, etc.