How many of us have old computers or laptops lying around, maybe in a cupboard, attic or garage? Maybe they don’t work, they’re too old or they’ve become obsolete, well for whatever reason you just haven’t got rid of them because you’re worried about somebody stealing the data off the drive or have concerns about identity theft.
Simply reformatting or erasing the drive does not always guarantee your data can never be recovered if it got into the wrong hands. That’s why for many people they hang onto old devices, many don’t even know what the hard drive looks like let alone the correct way to dispose of a hard drive to render it totally useless.
So this is what we are talking about …
We’ve come up with some fun ways to destroy your hard drive and annihilate the data stored on it!
5 Ways to destroy your hard drive
Whichever method you decide to use you should always wear protective goggles. Some methods are more dangerous than others and we wouldn’t advise you to attempt them unless you know what you are doing.
DRILL – This has been my choice for many years and is a quick and easy way to destroy your hard drive. Remove the hard drive from the computer of laptop and drill several holes into the drive using a sturdy, powerful drill and drill bit. Its best to put about 5 or 6 holes in the drive to ensure you damage the platters inside the case. There is not much coming back from this!
A BLOW TORCH – Make sure the area is well ventilated and simply pull out the hard drive and burn it to a cinder with a blow torch. You’ll be left with a smoldering pile of metal and an end to your data protection worries.
HAMMER – Smash the hard drive up until your heart is content! It’s a great stress reliever and an easy way to destroy your hard drive and all that is on it. Ensure you damage the platter on the inside as that is where your data is stored. It may take a while but its worth it!
DISSECTION – Take a look inside! Why not take the hard drive apart and have a look inside. Your hard drive is made up of several magnetic disks, these can be made of aluminium or in some case a combination of ceramics and glass. They are quite easy to destroy once they are out of the metal enclosure. You will likely need a torx screwdriver to take some drives apart but these can be found on amazon.
SUPER STRONG MAGNET – Granted we don’t all have an industrial strength magnet laying around and it would need to be a very powerful magnet but a strong enough magnet can destroy the magnetic platter that stores the data. Ironically the type of magnets we are talking about are called neodymium magnets (which are rare earth magnets) and your hard drive will contain 2 (smaller versions) of these magnets. So yes the magnet needs to be VERY powerful.
Remember to take all your components to your electronics recycle centre.
Or alternatively get creative and upcycle your old hard drive, Up-cycling is a way to give something a new lease of life. This could be a quirky clock, unique wind chime, sneaky safe or even a candy floss maker. There are so many things you could make.