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How to ensure no data can be recovered from a drive?

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January 7, 2013 4:13:56 PM

I have some old IDE 14-50GB drives that I want to make sure the data on them can not be retrieved. I started beating on them with a hammer and broke off the chips on the front, however the cases are much more durable than I anticipated. What is the best way to damage the drives to make it as unlikely as possible that data can be retrieved? Does soaking them in water do this?

Thanks.
a b G Storage
January 7, 2013 4:19:48 PM

hmm you can try cutting it up into pieces lol....or put a magnet to it since hard drives store data on magnetic platters
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a b G Storage
January 7, 2013 4:21:45 PM

Or take a brillo pad to the platter.
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a b G Storage
January 7, 2013 4:25:06 PM

Well you could have ran Fdisk on it which writes 1's and 0's to the drive overwriting anything on the drive making the old data non readable, or a hammer works to. I'm sure no one is really going to bother with a 50gb disk that has been hammered to death, unless you have a very pissed off wife and some incriminating pictures on there then she might try and recover them.
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January 7, 2013 4:25:44 PM

If I could get to the platter, I guess I would have no problem, the cases are really durable and use some type of screw head that I do not have a tool to open it with. I always assumed that beating on one of them with a hammer would be fairly easy. I beat on the case for at least 10 minutes and only dented it.
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January 7, 2013 4:25:54 PM

You can use what's called a Torx head screw driver. It's an 8 or 10 if I remember right for most drive (unless it's one of the few drives that have allen head or philips head). Open it up and break up the plates. You can also hammer in a philips head screw drivers through the case that will go through the plates inside. Hitting the case real hard (use eye protection) will also break one side of the case because one side of the hard drive is made out of cast aluminium. Hit it hard enough and it'll break, then you can crush the plates inside. This is the detructive way of making sure most people cannot recover your info.
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January 7, 2013 4:28:19 PM

faalin said:
Well you could have ran Fdisk on it which writes 1's and 0's to the drive overwriting anything on the drive making the old data non readable, or a hammer works to. I'm sure no one is really going to bother with a 50gb disk that has been hammered to death, unless you have a very pissed off wife and some incriminating pictures on there then she might try and recover them.



I did this with a 40GB drive and it took about 4 hrs, since I have multiple drives I thought it would be easier/quicker to just beat them, I guess I will do Fdisk to the others, though now I have a half beaten drive that I can not reconnect in an enclosure, so I'm just looking for a fairly easy way of finishing the job on it.

Thanks.
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a b G Storage
January 7, 2013 5:22:06 PM

Big hammer.... that is all....
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a b G Storage
January 7, 2013 5:22:39 PM

Big hammer.... that is all.... approximately 2 minutes per drive.....
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a b G Storage
January 8, 2013 9:54:07 AM

On the complete flip side of the issue, you could encrypt it with TrueCrypt and some non-sensical longest possible string of characters. Even the FBI is stumped trying to decrypt serious criminal activity (or suspicion, since they can't actually prove it).
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January 9, 2013 3:52:52 AM

As I know you could right click this drive in “My Computer” to format it and select the “full format” option.
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