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Is disassembing a hard drive enough to protect data?

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February 7, 2012 12:14:35 AM

Hello,

A while back I had a three-and-a half-year-old laptop that showed signs of problems with its motherboard. I had it repaired, but it died a while later. Since I couldn't run software to wipe the harddrive, I simply dissassembled the hard drive, took the cool little magnets , and tossed the bits into the trash.

Was that enough to destroy the data as well? I ask because I have another dead laptop to dispose of.
February 7, 2012 12:40:24 AM

If someone REALLY wanted to get that data that wouldn't be enough to destroy it. Assuming someone wanted that info if they had the equipment they could get it back. Either overwriting the disk with data multiple times or running an extremely powerful magnet over it is really the only way to get rid of the data. If you are worried about a casual individual though coming across your parts I wouldn't worry about it much though.
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February 7, 2012 12:59:05 AM

that should be enough unless you have info from the CIA or a big company like IBM on it. companies like those have machines like a paper shredder to destroy hard drives
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Related resources
a b D Laptop
a c 108 G Storage
February 7, 2012 12:59:36 AM

Even if the data was recoverable we are talking about spending thousands of dollars to try and recover it. If you really want to nuke one use a program like DBAN or even CCleaner has a drive wipe tool. It writes 0s and 1s to the drive randomly. Department of defense standards say 3 passes and the NSA says 7 passes. I think it also has a 32 pass option but that would take weeks. Even 3 passes takes forever.
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February 7, 2012 1:03:30 AM

Put it in the fireplace with a couple logs.
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February 7, 2012 2:07:26 AM

A 12lb. sledgehammer is a lot of fun as well as effective.
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February 7, 2012 2:20:18 AM

Fun disassembling, inspecting, then bend and scratch the disks with tools :)  Drill holes in it and what ever else you like.
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February 7, 2012 10:10:02 PM

I prefer a pound of thermite. Does the trick every time.
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February 9, 2012 2:24:14 PM

pour a little muriatic acid on the platters.
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a b D Laptop
a c 297 G Storage
February 9, 2012 3:27:35 PM

I use one of two methods.

If it's an older drive with metal-based platters, the Secure Erase command can be issued with Parted Magic. The Secure Erase, built into the SATA drives for some time, is considered adequate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Newer drives have glass platters. It's fun to put then in a clear plastic bag and smash them. Show someone the bag and, when you are asked what that is, reply "disk fragments."
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February 9, 2012 11:52:38 PM

What drives have glass platters? Links, to articles on it, because honestly I find that hard to believe. Not saying your wrong just haven't heard of that.
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a b D Laptop
a c 108 G Storage
February 10, 2012 12:05:46 AM

andrewcarr said:
What drives have glass platters? Links, to articles on it, because honestly I find that hard to believe. Not saying your wrong just haven't heard of that.



;) 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xe8fOCWL2sU

Hitachi became infamous for their " DeathStar " drives. In part these drives failed at such a high rate because of the new at the time glass platters.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hitachi_Deskstar

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard-disk_platter

"Platters are typically made using an aluminium or glass and ceramic substrate."
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Anonymous
a b D Laptop
a b G Storage
February 10, 2012 2:49:22 PM

Magnetic recording tends to be resilient. I still have some 7inch (yes 7) floppies that
were still readable last year- most without even seek errors.
Unlike some 3 year old DVD's that dont even start up in the drive.

In my experience:
If you have a serious archive never used DVD/CD/BluRay style technology. It rots.
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a b D Laptop
a c 297 G Storage
February 10, 2012 2:58:05 PM

Quote:
Magnetic recording tends to be resilient. I still have some 7inch (yes 7) floppies that
were still readable last year- most without even seek errors.
Unlike some 3 year old DVD's that dont even start up in the drive.

In my experience:
If you have a serious archive never used DVD/CD/BluRay style technology. It rots.


Any recording technology rots; perhaps the best solution is to make copies to new media every few years. Of course, this assumes that Adobe will still be around in 20 years so that PDF documents will still be viewable on our shoelace-tip computers that project a 57-inch holographic image.

The longest-lasting medium for preserving documents still seems to be chiseling them in stone.
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February 10, 2012 11:44:56 PM

WyomingKnott said:
Any recording technology rots; perhaps the best solution is to make copies to new media every few years. Of course, this assumes that Adobe will still be around in 20 years so that PDF documents will still be viewable on our shoelace-tip computers that project a 57-inch holographic image.

The longest-lasting medium for preserving documents still seems to be chiseling them in stone.


i still have CD's from 10 years ago and i am still able to access al data on them with no issue so there goes that theory
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