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How to Destroy an old Hard Drive

(31 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!

Visgir1 Mon 06-Dec-21 14:00:43

I was told get a drill and put a hole in the middle.
Ask someone to help with this if you don't have one.
Just one idea.

Oopsadaisy1 Mon 06-Dec-21 14:34:18

Sledgehammer

Auntieflo Tue 07-Dec-21 12:52:55

I think we put ours into a plastic bag, and whacked it, hard, with a big hammer.

M0nica Tue 07-Dec-21 13:52:29

Picked it up in tongs and held it over a gas burner until it began to shrivel.

I have also put magnets on it and left them on overnight.

Calistemon Tue 07-Dec-21 14:27:40

I have also put magnets on it and left them on overnight.

Oh, interesting!

It sounds easier than smashing it with a sledgehammer!

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.

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

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.)

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

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

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

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

My SIL took a hammer to it for me.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

Always the hammer …..repeatedly.

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

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 11:55:43

Ah right - yes, that makes sense

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………

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

Drive over them repeatedly? grin

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.

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.

😂😂😂😂