Easy way to erase/ destroy broken laptop hard drive?

By on April 10, 2014 10:51:05 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Borg999

Join Date 02/2006
+34

After 8 years of service my wife's laptop died.

I picked up a new one..and that's why I've been pissy lately about Windows 8.

We have an opportunity to dispose of it through an electronic recycling program, but I want to make sure all of the data is gone before I hand it over.

Since the laptop doesn't function at all, I can't just "format c:".

I don't have any powerful magnets, so is my only option to open it up and remove it?

If so, what does a laptop hard drive look like?

 

 

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April 10, 2014 11:06:04 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I don't have any powerful magnets

Wouldn't work, anyway....entirely a bigger order of 'powerful'...

Just snap the pins...and bin it...

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April 10, 2014 11:07:20 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Or better...slave it to your desktop PC and format it from there...for re-use...

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April 10, 2014 11:18:01 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Check with your recycler. Many will remove and crush the HDD while you watch.

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April 10, 2014 11:20:06 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Thanks guys!!

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April 10, 2014 12:13:03 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I'd definitely slave it if only to check it's viability.

If the 'death' was due to the hard drive going belly up, smashing it with a heavy sledge hammer should render it 'unreadable', without having to pay and stay to watch it being crushed.

Alternatively, opening it and removing the disks in the HDD body and peeling them/slicing them up would do the job.

There are DoD formatting programs for free which you could use as simple formatting won't destroy the data irretrievably.

http://www.diskwipe.org/

 

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April 10, 2014 12:27:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hard drives make good skeet shooting targets!

May not be environmentally friendly though...

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April 10, 2014 1:35:03 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting DrJBHL,
I'd definitely slave it if only to check it's viability.

If the 'death' was due to the hard drive going belly up, smashing it with a heavy sledge hammer should render it 'unreadable', without having to pay and stay to watch it being crushed.

Alternatively, opening it and removing the disks in the HDD body and peeling them/slicing them up would do the job.

There are DoD formatting programs for free which you could use as simple formatting won't destroy the data irretrievably.

http://www.diskwipe.org/

 

Thanks! I think I'll take the sledge hammer option.

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April 10, 2014 1:50:42 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I'm with Doc, just sledge hammer it for sure.

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April 10, 2014 2:58:57 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Drill press. Drill three holes in it.

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April 10, 2014 3:15:48 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting kona0197,
Drill press. Drill three holes in it.

Sort of like the hit man motto? "three shots in the head and they're dead"

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April 10, 2014 5:57:55 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I would have suggested getting an external enclosure for it but an 8 year old laptop harddrive has probably seen enough action to be at or near the end of its life cycle, not the best choice for keeping around for backups. If you want to be curious and take it apart, it has some super strong magnets in there that are a lot of fun to play with. (Fridge magnets from hell)  Take a hammer to the shiny metal discs inside and your data problems will be solved.

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April 10, 2014 6:07:50 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Yeah, I'd slave it to see if it is at all viable... could come in handy as an external storage drive.

If it is not viable, then the old sledge hammer trick usually works... or would you believe 2 small hammers and a punch being driven through the main casing

Quoting Jafo,


Just snap the pins...and bin it.

Not a very secure method at all... could still be opened to access the discs, which could easily be relocated to another casing for data recovery.

Too much trouble?  No, not at all!  When the ill-intended choose to do the wrong thing, they can and will go the extraordinary lengths to acquire that which they covet... other peoples stuff.  Not so long ago there was a gang here in Oz going through peoples rubbish bins and taping back together shredded documents to get bank account details, etc.

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April 10, 2014 6:32:21 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

 

^^^  @ starkers

 

Jafo suggested that because while you think it would be 'as easy' as swapping the platter(s) to another drive casing it is actually the controller that matters (and without pins.......well....)

 

I have (and I believe Jafo alluded to in a previous post that he has as well) tried my very best to do exactly that for a family member who had accidentally fried the controller board on a drive.  I even found I had a drive that was the same size, same firmware, same case lot even and even then when I swapped the platters I must have touched something wrong or allowed that single speck of dust or whatever but I essentially ended up with 2 non-functioning drives.

 

If the controller on the drive is borked in any way.........you have a better chance of winning the lottery........imo....

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April 10, 2014 8:01:17 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting starkers,
Not a very secure method at all... could still be opened to access the discs, which could easily be relocated to another casing for data recovery.

No...that's all you need to do.  Finding a controller that can read the disc again is next to impossible...even with identical drives there is no likelihood of them electronically matched.

....and opening the drive is as efficient as neone6's suggestion of drilling 3 holes...

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April 10, 2014 8:10:07 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Jafo,
neone6's suggestion of drilling 3 holes...

You mean my suggestion? No one named neone6 has posted in this thread...

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April 10, 2014 8:35:20 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

 Hard drives are hard.....hammers are harder.  

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April 10, 2014 10:29:31 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting the_Monk,

 

^^^  @ starkers

 

Jafo suggested that because while you think it would be 'as easy' as swapping the platter(s) to another drive casing it is actually the controller that matters (and without pins.......well....)

 

I have (and I believe Jafo alluded to in a previous post that he has as well) tried my very best to do exactly that for a family member who had accidentally fried the controller board on a drive.  I even found I had a drive that was the same size, same firmware, same case lot even and even then when I swapped the platters I must have touched something wrong or allowed that single speck of dust or whatever but I essentially ended up with 2 non-functioning drives.

 

If the controller on the drive is borked in any way.........you have a better chance of winning the lottery........imo....

Quoting Jafo,


Quoting starkers, reply 12Not a very secure method at all... could still be opened to access the discs, which could easily be relocated to another casing for data recovery.

No...that's all you need to do.  Finding a controller that can read the disc again is next to impossible...even with identical drives there is no likelihood of them electronically matched.

....and opening the drive is as efficient as neone6's suggestion of drilling 3 holes...

Okay, so it can't be done and slimy bastards hoping for vital data won't get a thing.  That's good to know, but neither of you are going to deprive me of some sledgehammer fun in the future... orright?

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April 10, 2014 11:52:12 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting kona0197,

Quoting Jafo, reply 14neone6's suggestion of drilling 3 holes...

You mean my suggestion? No one named neone6 has posted in this thread...

Altzheimer's ....

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April 11, 2014 2:01:29 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Jafo,


Quoting kona0197, reply 15
Quoting Jafo, reply 14neone6's suggestion of drilling 3 holes...

You mean my suggestion? No one named neone6 has posted in this thread...

Altzheimer's ....

Oi, stop pinching my excuse for eff-ups and other boo-boos.

And if you're thinking CRAFT Disease, that's an alternate name for Alzheimers... and mine, too.

It's like the 93 year old who said his doctor that his wife berated him for asking for a nookie.

The doctor then asks: "And what did she say?"

The 93 year old replied: "She said, 'don't be so bloody silly, you old fart, that'd be the fourth time today'"

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April 11, 2014 2:50:05 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

This is getting exciting...please...continue. 

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April 12, 2014 9:25:18 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yes, yes, yes, please continue.    

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April 12, 2014 9:30:50 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

It's funny how off-topic a thread can go.

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April 12, 2014 9:41:12 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Borg999,

It's funny how off-topic a thread can go.

Only mine. 

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