Repair information on hard drives or hard disks. Hard drives are magnetic data storage devices. They are used in most desktop, laptop, and server due to their low cost and high data density.

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Recommendations for where to shred a hard drive?

I have a small stack of dead hard drives I'd like to have shredded. I've found a few places online that provide that service, but the best quote I got was $10 a drive. I'm curious if anyone has any recommendation of anyone who provides the same service for a cheaper price.

(And I know I could just drill some holes in the drives, which is what I may end up doing, but I like the idea of total information destruction that shredding provides and I like the idea that they'll recycle the remains properly afterwards.)

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Since they are dead hard drives I would follow macheads advice. Ralph

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I agree with MacHead -- do it yourself in order to make sure it's been done.

Always be wary of recyclers that claim they will erase your data, because most don't bother (believe me, I buy hundreds of laptops a year from recyclers and on a daily basis I come across personal data that should have been deleted).

Another option is to use Disk Utility's "security options" under the erase tab to do a full write on the drive after formatting. I am not a shredding expert and I am not aware of how this compares to a 3rd party tool that does shredding, but Disk Utility with these settings turned on basically writes to the disk for a matter of hours, so it's hard to believe there would be much left afterward. And using this method you'd still have a usable drive afterward.

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The "do it yourself to make sure it's been done" thought wins. I didn't think through the notion that I wouldn't necessarily be able to observe the drives actually being shredded if I'm sending them in to a service.

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rdklinc use the disk utility as you describe or a 3rd party tool, have fun use both, repartition it, do what you like. If you haven't physically totally destroyed the hard drive the odds are I can recover what was on it. If you apply the order of operations from Algebra, technically those are laws, to the hard drive function you will know why. Everything on/in a computer is based on mathematical principles.

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Drill your holes

(or smack with a hammer) and take it to your local hazmat recycle site.

N.

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Hmmm - I answered first, my answer is agreed with, but I'm not the "accepted answer"? I guess this site is like High School - it's not what you know but who you know.

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You got four upvotes! Roadkill gave a more complete answer

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doesn't work that way for me..your answer is good but rdk's has better information in it. yours is a little succinct? no highschool shennanigans here...x

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Smack it with a hammer, but that's pointless, because 7 pass is what the DoD recommends, and Mac OS X let's you go all the way to 35-pass. More than enough.

However, another fun way is to take them apart with a star screwdriver.

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That does sound kind of fun. But is there anything inside the typical hard drive that could be toxic if I open them up like that?

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Nah, when I dissected an ancient PC of mine I took them apart no problem; you may want to wear gloves however for two reasons, 1)there are still strange powders around in there (not toxic, but still) and 2) two words: sharp and pointy.

It's actually really fun, you look at all the components and stuff.

And why not do a teardown of a HDD while you're at it for iFixit?

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Get a gun and shoot a few holes in it, drill holes in it, and whack it with a hammer for the best result

First, you will want to drill holes in the platters on the drive, then you will want to hot it with a hammer, then shoot the drive

I recommend a .12 gauge shotgun for this, as this produces a really large hole in the case and platters, and doing this a few times in different areas of the drive will easily prevent recovery

If you need access to a gun and don't have one, ask to go to the shooting range with a friend and shoot it, and get access to a gun in some way you can, should you opt for this method

A word of warning about using a gun: THEY ARE NOT TOYS! YOU NEED TO HAVE SUPERVISION IF YOU ARE NOT 18, OR HAVE A GUN PERMIT, OR UNFAMILIAR WITH GUNS! I REPEAT, GUNS ARE DANGEROUS IF YOU ARE NOT CAREFUL!

Here is a video on the 12 gauge slug thru a harddrive(this guy has the right idea where to shoot it), but shoot it more then him

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pZD99lTf...

Because I DID bring up the use of guns, I have to bring up some obligatory safety warnings

Do this in a shooting range if you possibly can(if you have lots of acres, I suppose that would work, but make LOTS OF room for the slug to land in a somewhat predictable spot), go with a shooting range tough as it's preferred if you can go to one that will allow you to shoot something like this

WEAR SAFETY GLASSES!

Keep who is watching behind you at ALL times and make sure they have safety glasses and hearing protection, if they come with you and watch

Make sure there is PLENTY of room for the slug to land so nothing is hit, or there is a slim to none chance of it happening

GUNS ARE NOT TOYS! YOU NEED TO HAVE SUPERVISION IF YOU ARE NOT 18 OR HAVE A GUN PERMIT, OR UNFAMILIAR WITH GUNS! I REPEAT, GUNS ARE DANGEROUS IF YOU ARE NOT CAREFUL!

Again, I cannot stress safety enough, follow my tips and warnings all over this post, they are all for your own good

I know some people know this, but some people don't know, so I had to put this in too

The non gun method

Being not everyone will agree with my other idea to destroy a hard drive, i will give a way to do it, and get similar results as the above method if my other method isn't to your liking

Get the largest drillbit you can get, and drill at least 6 holes in the platters evenly spread out, and make sure it goes all the way through, you can check by removing the drillbit or going through the back of the drive

Drill a hole in the IC's on the drive's controller board too

Hit the platters with a hammer enough to dent them deep, and put lots of little nicks in them too

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+ lmao, you do want to kill it. You also need to worry about where the slugs will go after they hit the metal. I've seen a number of STOP signs get shot and the bullet not go through the metal, but they went somewhere. With the rest of your scenario, hammers and drills, I think you have the right idea.

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just burn it

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that will release noxious chemicals into the atmosphere. better to just smash it

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In support of ifixit mind-set, though, it would sure seem preferable to WIPE your drives with an appropriate utility (DBAN (http://www.dban.org/) comes to mind), and then donate them to a re-use center, who could very well have great need for your drives.

I know that doesn't answer your specific question (which is over 2 yrs old anyway at this point), but felt that the wipe-and-donate option should be mentioned here, at the very least.

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mister790 will be eternally grateful.
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