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Posted on August 20th, 2009 by Mike Jennings

PC Pro’s top 10 hard disk destruction methods

The work of the Bustadrive It appears that our investigation into the Bustadrive, a home-made hard disk destruction device, has unleashed the latent violence that lurks within the average PC Pro reader: several folk entered into detailed discussions in our comments section and over on Slashdot about which calibre of bullet would do the best job of ensuring that no-one could get their hands on your credit-card details, and countless other readers have suggested similarly violent methods for disposing of your data.

We’ve been so impressed with the calibre of comments that we’ve compiled a list of our top ten hard disk destruction methods – although, since we’re ever so slightly scared of some of these people, they’re in no particular order.

1 – The classic hammer was suggested by several readers, including David, Nick, Stuart and the enigmatically-named “Waste of Money”, who suggested that we “just hit the drive with a hammer” before branding the Bustadrive a “stupid invention”. After seeing this video detailing the precise method to use when hammering a hard disk, we can’t deny that it looks plenty of fun.

2 – “What’s wrong with an angle grinder?” asked Simon – a fair question considering that one of these fearsome tools could be used to instantly slice through hard disks rather than being used as a prop on Britain’s Got Talent. If there’s anyone out there with an angle grinder going spare, then we’re keen to see precisely how many sparks fly when disc meets platter – grinders to the usual address, please.

3 – The average welding torch, meanwhile, is a fully paid-up member of the “life-threatening but enormously enjoyable” club – and there’s no denying that a 3,000-degree flame would reduce the average hard disk platter to a pool of reflective liquid quicker than you could say “data protection”. It’s a superb suggestion from Steve, who also put forward the angle grinder for consideration. We’re worried about him.

Bustadrive

4 – Several other readers, most of whom named themselves as “anonymous”, suggested various forms of weaponry, from 12-gauge shotguns to high velocity rifles – and, as Beard showed with a link to this video, it looks like somebody has beaten us to it, proving that it takes precisely 18 hard disks to stop a serious piece of ammunition.

5 – Science fans will be pleased to see an electromagnet on the list, which was suggested by the effervescent Wes, who explained that he takes his old hard disks “en masse to the local scrap yard”, where they’re subjected to the whims of an electromagnet “at the end of a crane”. Apparently, this destroys the drive heads and wipes all data from the drives simultaneously and also makes the disks fly ten feet into the air, suspended by the sheer power of the magnets. All we know is that we’d really, really like to try this out before we shuffle off this mortal coil. Presumably it’s a little bit like this, only far larger, far more dangerous and much more fun.

6 – Another solution inspired by electricity was far simpler: use a drill. While it may not have the physics kudos of an electromagnet, there’s no denying that drilling through a hard disk would be deeply satisfying – and a very efficient method for erasing your data.

7 – Hard disk platters are generally made from aluminium, which melts at 660.32°C and can be recycled into all manner of objects, from drinks cans to brand-new computer components. Monkeyship was the reader urging us to do our bit for the environment, then, by slinging used hard disks into the nearest furnace, salvaging the liquid aluminium for future generations and getting rid of your sensitive data at the same time.

8 – Electric log splitters may be good for, well, splitting logs, but these powerful devices surely have other uses, with reader John suggesting that splitting hard disks in half could be just as rewarding. There can’t be many disposal methods that let you recreate a pivotal scene from 1995 James Bond flick Goldeneye, either, even if you won’t be able to finish off Pierce Brosnan at the same time.

9 – An industrial shredder must be one of the most effective and satisfying ways to destroy your data. If you don’t believe us, take a look at this video and watch as the relentless machine churns its way through hundreds of gigabytes of data with nary a care in the world.

Bustadrive

10 – Finally, another method that scores valuable points for science: Thermite. Even its Wikipedia page sounds tantalising, describing the “short bursts of extremely high temperatures” that result from its use and detailing how some types of Thermite reaction can heat victims to 2,500°C. Also tempting is the list of tasks that Thermite is normally used for: welding railway tracks together, disabling artillery pieces on the battlefield and as a key ingredient in some types of hand grenade. Suffice to say that there’s enough power here to blow the average Caviar Blue to smithereens.

These ten methods are the best that our dear, violent readers have managed to come up with so far – but, now that we’ve got a taste for it, we’re hungry for more. What other fantastically destructive methods would you use to take out your hard disks, and how would you ensure that your data could never be recovered, no matter how many scans with an electron microscope?

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127 Responses to “ PC Pro’s top 10 hard disk destruction methods ”

  1. palox Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    What about putting it on the front of a firework? You could have a firework display and destroy your HDD at once!

     
  2. Paul Ockenden Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    I have a “Can you fix my PC again please Paul” neighbour. I reckon if you installed an unwanted hard drive in this neighbour’s PC it would probably be dead within a week.

     
  3. Bluespider Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Why not just install Windows ME on it?

    You’ll never see your data again.

     
  4. Duncan Disorderly Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Recycle! You could attach a string of hard drives to a length of fabric to make a weights belt to go scuba diving with.

    You could also use them as replacement angle-grinder blades.

    How about painting the plates gold, framing them and selling them on eBay as the official gold album awards for Michael Jackson?

    Take the HDDs to Cape Canaveral and throw them in the pit below the space shuttles just before launch.

    Just let me know if you want me to stop yet…

     
  5. Sooz Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    My landlord found that putting an axe through his hard drive worked rather effectively, and had the added effect of working off all the days frustrations!

     
  6. hjlupton Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    i have to confess to being a fan of the hammer method. several good hard hits and the drive is finished.

    it does leave me wondering one thing, will it blend? given blend tech blenders can blend just about anything else (golf balls, ipods, rake handles etc), will a hard drive be reduced to a pile of dust as well? hard drive smoke… don’t breathe this!

     
  7. Jobby Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    I’m guessing the temperature mentioned at 7. should be 660.32°C, otherwise 3. and 10. don’t make much sense

     
  8. Daniel Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Paint it orange and take it to an artillery range.

    Wire together some insane capacitors and repeatedly discharge enormous sparks through it.

    Throw it in a volcano.

     
  9. Mike Jennings Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Jobby – thanks for alerting me to that typo; I’ve corrected it now.

    Daniel – good suggestions!

     
  10. Daniel Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    I like the volcano best. Unfortunately, I don’t know where my nearest one is… Etna maybe?

     
  11. Bluespider Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    give it to a toddler. guaranteed data unrecoverable.

    I’ve got 3 i could hire out if anyone is interested? they work for rusks…

     
  12. Bioreit Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 8:39 am

    Can’t believe I’m the first one to ask this about a HDD, but….

    “Will it blend?”

    Only one way to find out, really.

     
  13. Bioreit Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 8:41 am

    Apparently, looking at an old cached version of this page does nothing for my powers of observation! Apologies to hjlupton who thought of it first!

     
  14. hosokehepe Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 10:22 am

    hosokehepe…

    Police Myspace Layouts

     
  15. Marcus Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    microwave? a ‘dealer’ i once frequented kept his external hard drives in a microwave. if the cops were coming in, he had a trip switch to start the microwave.

     
  16. Mike Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    A hammer, as mentioned, takes multiple hits. I found a normal weight hammer virtually useless to destroy 50+ hard drives. Next up was a 4lb sledgehammer. Effective, but it still took multiple hits to ensure disk destruction. My final solution (and very effective) was an axe. I went out in the yard, spread the drives around, and voila! One hit per drive and they’re done (and I aerate my lawn too).

     
  17. Pig Hogger Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    I think it’s hard to beat death by locomotive for unusabilitification…

    I have a friend whose brother is a locomotive engineer, so whenever I have a bunch of drives to destroy, we head for the railroad yard when the brother works the night shift (no bosses at that time), and we merrily lay down the drives on the track, and the brother brings along his engine we watch the crunch crunch crunch crunch action. His brother can enjoy the action too, as the engines are remote controlled (like toy cars)…

     
  18. George Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    I prefer the ½ inch drill bit. It is not necessary to drill thru magnets, usually one can find a spot that drill will penetrate the platters while only having to drill thru cover and or soft aluminum housing.
    For the truly paranoid I suppose one could remove the disks and take them to a belt sander. Once they are sanded down to shiny aluminum on each side I would suppose all of the “NSA” data recovery techniques might be difficult to implement.

     
  19. Rev. 80 Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    I was thinking a little liquid nitrogen bath. Given the average aluminum case in most hard drives, a nice little cold bath should make em pretty brittle. The control board would be thrashed. My only wonder is what of the platters? I know that heat will eventually cause the magnetic coating to detach, but what about ultra-cold?

     
  20. Mark Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    1) BBQ
    2) arc welding
    3) soaking in nitric acid

     
  21. Goober Natorial Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Thermite can also be used to make 3 towers fall in an almost symmetrical fashion at freefall speeds! No lie! I saw it live on CNN about 8 years ago!

     
  22. Goober Natorial Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Thermite can also be used to make 3 towers fall in almost symmetrical fashion at close to free-fall speed! No lie! I saw it live on CNN about 8 years ago!

     
  23. anony mouse Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    Place it on train tracks, or let a road crew use it for asphalt filler (steam roll it in).

     
  24. Jeng Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 7:29 pm

    How about giving them an acid bath?

     
  25. trafford Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Yes…but…will it blend?

     
  26. Sean Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    Pop the cover on the drive and do a little sandblasting. It would be hard to recover data from magnetic media after it’s been scrubbed off the platters.

     
  27. P. Dawson Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    How about good old bleach poured into an orifice and left there to corrode a couple of days?

     
  28. Jonathan Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    I have always taken them apart for the super strong magnets. Magnets are great for out in the shop or on the frig. The platters are great modern looking coasters. Once the platters are separated…meh.

     
  29. Koshchei Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Inject a syringe of gasoline into the breather hole, then turn the drive on. Simple. Elegant.

     
  30. Didier Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    The axe is the best method. It is very fast (a single blow is sufficient), does not require any preparation or removing of covers and such, saves energy, and more effective than drilling. The only method that would be more effective is Thermite, but it is both slower and more costly (the axe can be reused).

     
  31. isama Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    just do a dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/drive

    easy as pie.

    ow! you wanted violent? how about a small atom bomb? or a trebuchet?

     
  32. isama Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    @30. you do have to sharpen the axe :)

     
  33. Special Ed Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    When I was a kid, I would put my match box cars in the street and wait for cars to run over them. So that gave me the idea of putting my hard drive in the street and letting cars run over it. The first car drove up to it, stopped, picked it up, and drove away, yelling “Thanks for the credit card info kid!”

     
  34. Bart Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    I don’t understand why people don’t just overwrite the data. What I do is take a directory full of mp3s or other similarly big files and just make copies of it until I run out of disk space. Wouldn’t that overwrite every bit?

     
  35. rasalon Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Just write random data to it, then sell it.

    There is not a data recovery company in the world that claims to be able to recover data from a modern disk drive, after a single write pass with random data.

     
  36. baconlover Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    None of the “top ten” is nearly as much fun as using a thermal lance…
    preferably made of bacon.
    http://www.popsci.com/bacon

     
  37. Bill Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Drop it in a bucket of water. The discs are aluminum, but they’re coated with iron. It rusts up very nicely. Yes it’s boring. Yes, it’s not likely to be environmentally friendly. Yes, it destroys the drive. Crack the case first, if you can. They not air tight to begin with, but they’ll spoil quicker.

    I like to take the drives apart for their neodymium magnet components. It seems, the older the drives, the bigger the magnets. They’re very powerful and fun to play with. Keep out of reach of children. If they swallow two, it’ll destroy their colons. Other than that, have fun!

     
  38. alphawavesven Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    armor a crappy old car with hard drives and enter a demo derby.

     
  39. rasalon Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    Propagating the myth that you need to physically destroy the drive will just mean millions of perfectly re-usable drives being needlessly destroyed.

    Write random data to it once, and NO ONE can get the original data back.

    If you think overwritten data can be recovered from a *modern* disk drive, please provide examples of people who can do it, and their methods.

    Otherwise, this is a myth that is bad for the environment.

     
  40. Jonatan Andersson (jonix) 's status on Friday, 21-Aug-09 21:03:00 UTC - Identi.ca Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    [...] http://www.pcpro.co.uk/blogs/2009/08/20/pc-pros-top-10-hard-disk-destruction-methods/ [...]

     
  41. fjb Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    You can’t recover data from an overwritten drive, but neither can you overwrite a drive if the motor or the circuit board has failed. Those drives *are* recoverable, unless you destroy them.

     
  42. dmh Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    Will it blend?

     
  43. Zordrak Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    I just don’t get what all the fuss is about. Use a screwdriver. Remove the platters, scratch & bend, discard.

     
  44. Alan Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    An old method I heard about consisted of drilling holes into a hard drive, then pouring concrete on it. It’s not as fun as a 12-gauge, but it is a method that security professionals use.

     
  45. george Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    simply drive a car over it

     
  46. Mark W Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    First off pretty much all methods listed on here aside from the Drill are worthless. The hammer requires too much effort. The blowtorch… Come on, how many IT shops have a blowtorch sitting around? Thermite? Unless you stole it from the military, you won’t have access to that either. Seriously… electric log splitter? 8 out of 10 suggestions on here are just asinine and serve no purpose. The drill and shredder are the only viable options. This was a waste of time for me to read. Try posting something constructive…

     
  47. Mark W Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    Alan… what security professional would that be… that’s just retarded. The data is still recoverable. And the whole statement in the article about platters being aluminum… god where do they get these people to write these articles? Most platters are actually a high grade plexi-glass… not aluminum.

     
  48. Old MSgt Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    The torch cutting suggestion would work but is kinda slow and requires actual skill. Use a stick welder cranked to max instead. Quick, sparky, and thoroughly destructive.

     
  49. Charles Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Give it to my 3 yr old son, wait a day, data and drive destroyed and in little bitty pieces all over the house.

     
  50. Aaron Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    …PULL!

    Problem solved.

     
  51. Kipper Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    The “eco-friendly” thing to do is simply recycle them, drop them off at a depot ( though I know one in my city that offers a “data-destruction” service for a mere FIVE dollars … per drive — or , wipe it, overwrite it yourself before you send it off )

     
  52. Anonymous Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    What ever happened to good ol’ fashioned drive slagging?
    http://driveslag.eecue.com/

     
  53. sionus Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    @rasalon You sir don’t know what you are talking about. There have been cases in which data was recovered from supposedly wiped drives. It’s not enough to ensure non-recovery.

     
  54. Kevin Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    Mark W, you do realize that Thermite is only aluminium, iron oxide and magnesium to light the mixture.

     
  55. rasalon Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    @sionus

    I asked about recovery from *modern* drives.
    Perhaps with twenty years old drives it was practical, and with ten year old ones just about possible if you could afford it, but not with modern hard drives.

    The older recovery methods relied on a number of techniques that can no longer be used, as hard drive technology has changed so much. The people who first pioneered the electron microscope and error mapping techniques agree with me. If you have a new method, I’d love to hear it.

     
  56. Nick Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 11:29 pm

    @markw

    Platters aren’t plexiglass. I’ve never seen one that was anyways.

    most are metal, some are glass.

    A drill works well, a drill press works better.

    A very large hammer works well too.

    A standard sized one, not so much. too much effort.

    I usually just pull the drives apart, add their platters to my big platter pile, and the magnets to my big magnet pile.

    not the fastest, but if you strip them down properly, you can send the aluminum cases for recycling.

     
  57. dude-mannn Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    to mark w
    thermite is comprised of aluminum and iron oxide (aka rust) add spark and step back
    no army experience needed – I use DBAN if you think that might me a worthwhile read

     
  58. Eric Says:
    August 21st, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    well, some buddies of mine got a pile of HDs together and sent them to a friend in the military (his specialty is ordinance). He got a shaped charge and put it on top of them. After he set it off, there was a hole in the ground and no evidence that the HDs ever existed.

     
  59. anon Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 12:35 am

    You don’t need to reach the melting point, you just need to reach the curie-temperature, at which metals lose ther magnetic properties.
    The data isnt stored on the Al itself, its coated with a small layer of various materials, but its always in the range of 200°-400° C (SSDs will fail at about 250°).

     
  60. Stewart Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 1:01 am

    A Plasma torch would be waaay more fun than all the methods mentioned so far.

     
  61. Kim Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 1:01 am

    Seriously? Doesnt anyone own a Torx screwdriver? The easiest way to make sure the drive is dead (sans wasting money on the crushinator) is to just dismantle it and scratch / bend the platters. First off aligning the platters is hard enough let alone trying to recover data from wrecked platters. It literally takes 5-10 minutes per drive. Plus, you get cool super strong magnets for the fridge. You cant go wrong.

     
  62. Shingo Tamai Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 1:04 am

    A lot of nonsense idiotic methods in my opinion.

    Just get a syringe filled with bleach orwith your favourite solvant, and fill the hard drive through the breathing hole or the rubber between the body and the top cover and the hard drive is ready for disposal.

    No flames, no bullets, no heavy machinery…

     
  63. Juan perez Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 1:10 am

    Physical methods look rather brutal, and in many cases leave some info which could in theory be recovered. To reduce aluminum to mere ions you can dissolve the platters using a sodium hydroxide solution, no noise, flames or sound, and no way to read anything .

     
  64. Need To Destroy A Hard Drive? Here Are 10 Ways « The BS Review Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 1:31 am

    [...] via PC PRO [...]

     
  65. Darren Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 2:10 am

    @MArkW — Egads. Have you never heard of TRANSPARENT ALUMINUM???

     
  66. dokjest Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 2:59 am

    I’ve always fancied using a nail gun and nailing the drives through the platters onto a wall. How’s that for the latest wallpaper?

     
  67. Johan Krüger-Haglert Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 4:00 am

    What about a black hole or a jar of antimatter? ;/

    Throw it down an active volcano?

    Slowly disolve it into a liquid?

    Drop it into aqua regis?

     
  68. Johan Krüger-Haglert Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 4:02 am

    I would personally be interested in seeing what happens with the aqua regis approach, and it’s quite managable to I guess.

    Volcano would be kinda cool to ;/

     
  69. links for 2009-08-21 « My Weblog Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 4:03 am

    [...] PC Pro’s top 10 hard disk destruction methods | PC Pro blog (tags: hardware) [...]

     
  70. runswithscissors Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 4:18 am

    send it to Iraq.

     
  71. kalessin Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 5:14 am

    Has no-one thought of the cracks of doom in the mountain of fire?

    (Now that’s what AH’M tolkein about…)

     
  72. Daniel Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 7:27 am

    Why destroy the hard disk, write it full of useless data, and then format, good as new, and you still have your hard disk. It’s what DoJ and DoD do. Why physically destroy it to get rid of the data? Once you do the write over on the whole disk any subsequent reformatting will make the disk 100% useable and nonrecoverable (ie, every byte in every sector shows value 0).
    That said I got to destroy computers once at a job I had, preferred method, sledhammers and crowbars.

     
  73. Anonymouse Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 8:04 am

    Connect a tube to the hard drive vent with tubing leading to brake fluid- it turns the magnetic material to slush when injected running. Also wiping/sending to NULL/formatting the data once will not remove the data from the drive. The data exists, the pointers to the data are gone. Bit analysis of drives that have been wiped can bring back the data. The program Eraser (free) has 6 Erasing options from Erasing only the first and last 2KB (roughly a normal deletion) to Gutmann which is 35 Passes. US DoD standards, depending on the standard are 3 or 7.

     
  74. Russell Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Poor Man’s Thermite: Obtain a jar of potassium permanganate (at one time you could buy this off the shelf at the drugstore, but this was in an earlier, more innocent time).

    Make a pile of it on top of the hard drive, leaving a “bowl” in the center. Then pour household glycerin into the “bowl.”

    Stand back and behold the miracle of rapid redox. [This is not instantaneous, so give it some time, ok?]

     
  75. ANON Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    1.eat chilli
    2.open hard drive
    3.crap on platter post on youtube
    4.?????????
    5.PROFIT!!!!

     
  76. redgi bowen Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Me, I’d kill my drive with kindness! I’d make sweet, sweet love to it, and blow my greasy wad all over it.

     
  77. redgi bowen Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    or drop it in a porta-potty, anyone who could get it and recover the data deserves to have it if for nothing more than persistence and fortitude.

     
  78. redgi bowen Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    take it to the ocean, shove it into a dead fish and feed it to a killer whale.

     
  79. redgi bowen Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    give it to an astronaut, have him toss it toward the earth during an EVA.

     
  80. redgi bowen Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    strap it to the bottom of a humvee on patrol in Afghanistan

     
  81. redgi bowen Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    put it on a 5th wheel then drop a trailer on it.

     
  82. redgi bowen Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    throw it into a tar-pit.

     
  83. redgi bowen Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    drop it into the sea over the mariana trench.

     
  84. redgi bowen Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    tie it to the back of a lemming

     
  85. redgi bowen Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    wear it under your shirt, tell the CEO of blackwater you’ve got “the documents” and are going to turn him in.

     
  86. redgi bowen Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    put it in a large rock polisher

     
  87. redgi bowen Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    cover it in clay and make a crude ashtray out of it and bake it in a kiln, you hippie!

     
  88. redgi bowen Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    get yo mamma to sit on it!

     
  89. redgi bowen Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    get an old plug, sodder the wires to the drive and plug it in.

     
  90. Fun hard drive destruction methods « Storage News Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    [...] hard drive destruction methods PC Pro has posted ten fun ways to dispose of old hard drives. The top [...]

     
  91. redgi bowen Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    duct tape it to the bumper of a car about to be in a demolition derby.

     
  92. Boogerman Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Just quick-format ‘em and give ‘em to my friend Taktical. In under 24 hours they’ll be full or porn ^_^ up to the last kilobyte

     
  93. Abraham George Washington Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    It is an magnetic media. Get the media past Curie temperature, and the information is no more. Disassemble the disk, recover those nice and strong magnets and remove the plate. Heat the plate into orange glow with a torch, and you’re done. Recycle the materials.

    Some, specially the small HDD’s have disks made of glass. They just can’t resist the will of the already mentioned hammer.

    My personal favorite for not-so-important data is couple of shots with 9mm.

     
  94. kenmcfa Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    The bacon lance:
    http://www.popsci.com/bacon

    Need I say more? I will anyway: heat destroys magnetism. So kiss your data goodbye. Along with some fine Italian prosciutto.

     
  95. Reb Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    markw: “Most platters are actually a high grade plexi-glass… not aluminum.”

    Not plexiglas. Plexiglas is a plastic and would not be rigid enough. They’re made of actual glass, or glass/ceramic composites.

    Nick: “Platters aren’t plexiglass. I’ve never seen one that was anyways.
    most are metal, some are glass.”

    Most (all?) drives made within the last 5 years should have glass platters. The transition to glass started sometime around 2000. It was driven by several factors, including surface smoothness (to allow the heads to fly closer to the platter), weight (glass platters are lighter than aluminum), and thermal stability (glass doesn’t expand or contract as much as aluminum).

    For this reason, please, everyone, if you’re going to destroy a hard drive, be careful. It is possible to generate some wickedly sharp glass shards. I know from personal experience – I recently destroyed an old (ca 2005) 80GB laptop drive which had failed. Its platters shattered into large, sharp pieces when I bent them too far. (I was being careful and did it in a plastic bag, but still almost cut myself because the glass sliced through the plastic.)

     
  96. Francisco Javier Tsao Santín (tsao) 's status on Saturday, 22-Aug-09 22:00:51 UTC - Identi.ca Says:
    August 22nd, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    [...] http://www.pcpro.co.uk/blogs/2009/08/20/pc-pros-top-10-hard-disk-destruction-methods/ [...]

     
  97. Common Man Says:
    August 23rd, 2009 at 2:27 am

    On the office table, use the aluminium disc as a mirror .

     
  98. Omar Says:
    August 23rd, 2009 at 5:00 am

    I’ve heard the company that does our county’s computer recycling uses a nail gun.

    I’ve tested shooting hard disks with .38 special, .357 magnum, and 30-06. The .38 wouldn’t go all through; the .357 would (and tears it up pretty bad. The 30-06 rifle punched a perfect hole through the drive as if it had been made with a drill press.

     
  99. Ed Gould Says:
    August 23rd, 2009 at 5:00 am

    Send it in a rocket ship to the nearest black hole

     
  100. Top 5 Maneiras de Destruir um HD | O Fim da Várzea Says:
    August 23rd, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    [...] Adaptado dessa matéria da PC Tools. [...]

     
  101. Larry R Says:
    August 24th, 2009 at 2:56 am

    I am a fan of weaponry for HDD destruction. Its very interiesting to see what penetrates and what gets stopped. Oddly enough the toughest drive I have found against pistol calibers is are those old thin 30-40gb maxtor IDE drives. A .40 or .45 will literally just leave a dent in the face of the drive.

     
  102. Stan Says:
    August 24th, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Fill the drive with fake credit card accounts and watch the “hacker” self-destruct

     
  103. MrEd Says:
    August 25th, 2009 at 12:55 am

    Some great idea. removing the disc coating with an acid bath sounds great but messy, I use a microwave for just 3-4 seconds to trash CDRoms- that should work on HDDs. But I am reminded of what happended to the BBQ in the LOx video. Try putting the drive on top of a 10 pile of hot BBQ coal and dump 1gal of LOX on it.

     
  104. ryan foster Says:
    August 26th, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    angle grinders are like $10 n00b

     
  105. Electric Log Splitter Says:
    September 9th, 2009 at 3:49 am

    Electric log splitter? I think it is very helpful, not only for disposal. it is every useful for the persons who lives in a place where mostly need woods.

     
  106. anas Says:
    September 10th, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    very nice.
    http://www.etechguide.net.tc visit for pc tips latest gadget reviews pc trouble fixes virus removal download latest free full version softwares and more how to create your own website and promote it.

     
  107. Richard Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    If you visit the above site, you’ll see details of our onsite shredder service for destroying hard drives if you have a high volume.

     
  108. Richard Says:
    September 29th, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    http://www.eolitservices.co.uk/pages/harddrivedestructionfromEOL.php If you visit the above website, you’ll see details of our shredder service for destroying hard drives if you have a high volume.

     
  109. HDD.xmc.pl Odzyskiwanie Danych Odzyskiwanie Plików Programy Linki Porady Says:
    November 24th, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    HDD.xmc.pl Odzyskiwanie Danych Odzyskiwanie Plików Programy Linki Porady…

    In my view, the lack of follow- on selling for the USD indicates that the dip seen yesterday was likely a panic move driven by the surprise in US GDP. If the bulls are gaining control of the market then the dip would be seen as a strong buy opportunity…

     
  110. Hard drive Says:
    December 9th, 2009 at 7:20 am

    can i burn it? well, then let me take some hard drive first from http://micropartsusa.com , because i don’t want to do experiment with the my current using hard drive!..

     
  111. Heated Towel Rails Says:
    December 17th, 2009 at 7:31 am

    Posts like this are what make the internet great, thanks for sharing.

     
  112. Data Destruction Says:
    January 25th, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Professional degaussing would be our option, but its boring compared to some of the ideas here albeit more environmentally friendly!

     
  113. Data Securtiy Expert Says:
    March 20th, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    Data disposal is really important to get right. There are standards set by UK and US federal governments to ensure that data is kept secure.

    If you are looking at options for disposing of IT equipment there are a number of services you can use who will take care of this for you, for example, Remploy eCycle – they conform to these standards.

     
  114. nix nash alan Says:
    November 4th, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It’s very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.

     
  115. james Says:
    January 19th, 2011 at 12:15 am

    submerge the drive in liquid nitrogen for a few minutes, then take it out, and hit very hard with a hammer! watch that drive shatter into millions of pieces :D

     
  116. Pa Koenigsman Says:
    November 9th, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Hey hey hey, take a gadenr at what?¯ you?¯ve done

     
  117. Kristin Says:
    June 13th, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    A word of warning for anyone using number 5. If the magnetic field isn’t strong enough it could leave data and its a lot harder to do with new computers since they have better shielding. The company I work for learned that the hard way. Now we have it professionally done by http://datakillers.com/. Of course any thing that could lift a car should be more then enough.

     
  118. George HIll Says:
    January 22nd, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    For people who doesn’t fully understand what each component of the hard drive actually does, if someone really wanted to they could piece it back together. As a business owner, I wouldn’t risk losing any confidential information to outsiders, which is why I get it professional destroyed by Shred-It.

     
  119. David Says:
    February 14th, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    We use Environmental Computer Recycling in Birmingham. They destroy all of our hard drives and backup tapes.

     
  120. kris Says:
    April 6th, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    put it in a jug/sink/container of hot water and add all manner of chemicals you find around the house, any and all liquids you can get your hands on the better! not so violent but quick and simple and you never no what kind of reactions you might get in the process, though i advise a gas mask and/or out side!

     
  121. Phil The Engineer Says:
    April 27th, 2013 at 2:08 am

    I’m so lucky…
    I have access to liquid nitrogen, thermic lances, arc arc gouging equipment, large industrial arc welders, a lathe, drill press, marine pyrotechnics, oxy-acytelene and all manner of heavy tools and toys… But no hard drives :/ as soon as I find one I’ll point every available resource at the case and film the result :)

     
  122. Chaos297 Says:
    July 3rd, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    This is great and I have two methods of destroying a hard drive that will impress you.

    One I plan to use myself is a Wood Burner filled with good wood, Charcoal and some excellent since I live with someone that would end up with unsavory types sifting through the garbage if their surveillance teams saw me dumping a raw hard drive which won’t be the case since I’ve removed the disks and plan to burn then.

    The other method was used by a relative who was born a ghost and chose to remain one for her chosen occupation and to do that she had to grantee that only she could get her personal data and how she did it was she kept it all in a slag safe with 3 layers of destructive force 1 being Thermite 2 being Napalm and 3 being C4 and as you can guess a highly illegal combo but she’s long dead so too late to prosecute her besides her former employers would protect her.

    If you want a video of the inferno that destroys the disks for your site then just ask I’ll give you a link to the recording if I manage to make one.

     
  123. Hayath Says:
    October 9th, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Guys, dont take that much tension, for get data security, it doesnt exist now a days,
    just open the HDD, retain motors, rub plates with Normal Magnets, data is gone forever, and than use 4 plates as 4 wheels of rover and fix its own motors , power it with battery and than you have excellent rover to drive all over your locality and your kid can win school project prize.

     
  124. Raj Singh Says:
    October 15th, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    is there a computer program that will erase all the data in a second or automatically self destruct by heating the hard disk from electricity which computer is getting from main supply?

     
  125. cleaning Says:
    February 28th, 2014 at 7:27 am

    Check the model’s PSI rating so that you know its pressure strength.

    Synthetic waxes and polishing products tend to have more dangerous chemicals than other cleaning products.
    There is also a housewarming cleaning kit, dorm room cleaning kit, floor care cleaning kit, specialty surface cleaning kit, hand and dish care kit,
    cleaning kits for pets, baby, laundry, auto
    and more.

     
  126. Craig Says:
    April 9th, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    You dont have to go to these extremes. All you have to do is put a couple scratch on the platers (both sides) from middle outwards.

     
  127. http://www.dragonflame.us/ Says:
    October 1st, 2014 at 1:41 pm

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    day for ideas on the very best rattan furnishings for our home and in our back garden. This site truly
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