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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As mentioned on http://www.datarecyclingne.com/2017/01/3... just deleting or formatting the drive is not enough information is still obtainable. If you are going to erase the hard drive make sure you erase the drive with a minimum 3 wipe pass with verify.

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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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While you can drill your holes and hit it with a hammer and the damage will be sufficient, there's another option at your disposal: Shoot the hard drive.

Obligatory warning: This is option is DANGEROUS if you do not take the proper precautions. Take the drive to a large acre of land or a open shooting range to ensure you don't accidentally shoot anything (or anyone) around you and can contain the slugs safely. This can be a problem in areas with a moderate amount of foot traffic. If you're under 18, take the hard drive to the range and do this while you are under adult supervision.

The first thing you should do is drill your holes and smash the drive with a hammer. Once you do that and decide you want to inflict further damage, then I would go ahead and shoot the hard drive.

The key thing here is making sure the gun type and ammo gauge will do a good amount of damage to the drive. I'd suggest looking into a .12 gauge shotgun for this, since it will do a fair bit of damage to the drive.

I'm not going to get into how to obtain a gun to do this - you're absolutely on your own here.

Ideally, this is what the drive should look like when you are done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pZD99lT...

Obligatory gun safety advice:

  • Guns are not toys. If you are not sure if it is loaded, assume that it is.
  • Take the drive to a place with lots of open land or a shooting range.
  • Wear eye protection.
  • Make sure everyone around you knows to keep a safe distance from you.
  • Make sure the slug can land somewhere it is not a risk to anyone in the area.
  • Follow your local laws.

Gun safety should be your #1 thing if you actually decide to shoot the hard drive to make sure the data is beyond data recovery. If you know this that's great but I need to put it here just in case someone who has little time around guns sees this answer and decides to shoot their old hard drive before they dispose of it.

Destruction without shooting the drive

If you are not comfortable around guns or think that shooting the drive is extreme, you don't need to go that route to destroy the drive. If you would rather drill your holes and smash the casing, this is often sufficient for the average person disposing of an old hard drive.

It also doesn't hurt to destroy the PCB just to be sure that data recovery is not worth the effort. All you really need to do with the PCB is smash the chips and interface and this should be sufficient to make the PCB unusable.

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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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