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How to Destroy an old Hard Drive

(32 Posts)
Sparklefizz Mon 06-Dec-21 13:56:23

I was clearing out my desk and came across 3 old computer hard drives which I need to dispose of.

A friend suggested bashing them with a hammer but that did absolutely nothing. I'm probably a weakling sad

How can I make them safe to dispose of? Help!

Sparklefizz Sat 11-Dec-21 18:40:17

My 3 old hard drives are no more!!! Friend's husband had to work hard with his sledge hammer as he said they were a ** to smash up, but they're done now.

OnwardandUpward Wed 08-Dec-21 17:11:04

Love the old lady with a hammer! grin

railman Wed 08-Dec-21 16:18:45

Chestnut - your second photo below looks way more capable of getting the job done than the first pic grin

railman Wed 08-Dec-21 16:16:56

Chestnut

I was going to suggest leaving it in water for a day or two. Would that do the trick 'railman or would it spring back to life when it dried off?

I have a hard drive and some memory sticks I need to smash. I keep trying to muster the courage to go outside with a hammer, but if water will do it that would be much easier.

I've also considered buying a fire pit and burning them. Might also be useful for old diaries and letters, of which I have a lot.

Chestnut Just to be sure - if you have a garden waste burner, or 'fire pit' that would also do the job well.

Some data can be recovered from dried out drives, so 'drowning' them will work to a degree, but ....

Chestnut Wed 08-Dec-21 16:07:18

Will an old lady with a hammer do? 😂😂😂

Sparklefizz Wed 08-Dec-21 16:02:07

A friend's husband is coming round with a sledge hammer on Friday!!

Chestnut Wed 08-Dec-21 15:54:17

Elegran

If you are a weakling, hand it and a sledgehammer to a disgruntled teenager and stand well back.

😂😂😂😂

Elegran Wed 08-Dec-21 15:44:21

If you are a weakling, hand it and a sledgehammer to a disgruntled teenager and stand well back.

OnwardandUpward Wed 08-Dec-21 15:29:25

Drive over them repeatedly? grin

Oopsadaisy1 Wed 08-Dec-21 14:38:50

Dottygran59

I might be a bit thick, but why do you need to destroy them before disposing of? Sorry if it's a daft question - I would have just put it in the bin

Most hard drives also contain passwords, credit card details if you have ever bought anything online, as well as personal photos, addresses, letters, emails sent and received, it’s all hidden away in there somewhere, even when you delete it, it’s still there lurking………

Dottygran59 Wed 08-Dec-21 11:55:43

Ah right - yes, that makes sense

Sparklefizz Wed 08-Dec-21 11:51:10

Dottygran59

I might be a bit thick, but why do you need to destroy them before disposing of? Sorry if it's a daft question - I would have just put it in the bin

I was thinking of identity theft amongst other things. It contains all my personal information, photos, etc.

Dottygran59 Wed 08-Dec-21 11:47:52

I might be a bit thick, but why do you need to destroy them before disposing of? Sorry if it's a daft question - I would have just put it in the bin

Grandmagrim Wed 08-Dec-21 11:41:54

Always the hammer …..repeatedly.

Jackiest Wed 08-Dec-21 10:16:26

Water will not get rid of the information on it. I have worked in computers a long time and have software to completely wipe a disc but if it is going to be thrown away I always use the large hammer approach. The older 3.5 inch ones are quite strong and do need several good hefty hits before they bend and break.

Sparklefizz Wed 08-Dec-21 09:42:52

Or put it in bleach? Would that do the job?

Chestnut Tue 07-Dec-21 23:57:41

I was going to suggest leaving it in water for a day or two. Would that do the trick 'railman or would it spring back to life when it dried off?

I have a hard drive and some memory sticks I need to smash. I keep trying to muster the courage to go outside with a hammer, but if water will do it that would be much easier.

I've also considered buying a fire pit and burning them. Might also be useful for old diaries and letters, of which I have a lot.

Esspee Tue 07-Dec-21 22:34:35

I deliberately left my old computer out behind the garage where it got rained on. When I next saw it it was put in the bin rather the worse for wear.

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 07-Dec-21 18:44:32

And a big log to put it on whilst you smash it up Sparklefizz

MayBeMaw Tue 07-Dec-21 16:23:30

My SIL took a hammer to it for me.

Sparklefizz Tue 07-Dec-21 16:22:30

Thanks everyone. Looks like I will have to buy/borrow a sledge hammer.

railman Tue 07-Dec-21 16:15:54

These are a couple of UK Government links that might be of interest:

www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/secure-sanitisation-storage-media

www.ncsc.gov.uk/section/products-services/all-products-services-categories?productType=Data%20sanitisation

railman Tue 07-Dec-21 16:14:12

As an IT professional, and having had a lot of experience with security of systems, data and hardware I'm going to come at this from the - "well it depends what sort of 'old hard drive' you have" position.

If it's magnetic it needs to be degaussed, if it is a solid state (SSD) drive - as in high end devices there are software tools that can do the job, but it depends on the computer and SSD maker. Some suggestions are described in the security bible (ISO27001), but ....

From experience I would advocate the sledgehammer route in every case, before obviously complying with the WEEE Directive and take it the local recycling centre or tip.

(The "magnets overnight" will not do the job securely I'm afraid - stick with the hammer approach.)

Oldnproud Tue 07-Dec-21 14:38:17

I bashed one up with a sledgehammer but I wasn't happy with the result so then I threw it on a garden bonfire. After that, I buried it in the garden.

No half measures grin

EkwaNimitee Tue 07-Dec-21 14:33:23

I also magnetised one and then buried it deep in the wild part of the garden. Maybe some metal detectorist will find it and be puzzled a century or so hence.