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The Homemade Hard Disk Destroyer

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the if-you-can-recover-that-you-earned-it dept.

497

Barence writes "All businesses have sensitive data they need to destroy when they replace PCs, but disposing of hard disks properly can be an expensive business. This has led one IT manager in the UK to come up with his own, homemade solution — Bustadrive. It uses a powerful 'hydraulic punch' to physically deform a hard disk, rendering it virtually unreadable, and requires nothing more than a pull of the lever on the front — similar to a drinks-can crusher. PC Pro tested the Bustadrive, and also sought the opinions of data destruction companies as to whether the device was really as effective as hoped, or just a fun way to mangle a hard disk or two."

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Overkill? (4, Insightful)

Miros (734652) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090303)

Why not just use a degausser? or DBAN?

Re:Overkill? (2, Funny)

BobZee1 (1065450) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090321)

Because using anything less than "Bustadrive" is just asking for a mocking. Come on! The only thing cooler is FIRE!!!

Re:Overkill? (2, Interesting)

Barny (103770) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090795)

Which would be the better solution.

A small terracotta pot without a hole in the bottom of it + a small amount of thermite is the cheapest way, thermite is cheap and reasonably easy to make.

Nothing says "no data recovery" like a drive reduced to its elemental components.

Re:Overkill? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090351)

I left DBAN erasing a drive on Friday and it's still going...

Re:Overkill? (5, Informative)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090425)

Thats probably because you used some silly setting like Gutmann. Just use pseudorandom and be done with it. (esp since gutmann isnt really relevant anymore....)

Pseudorandom wipe can apparently do an 80gb drive (hooked up via usb) in about 40 minutes.

If youre doing multiple passes, you may want to make sure that doing it via overwrites (rather than destruction) is really good enough for your data :)

Re:Overkill? (2, Insightful)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090353)

The paranoid crowd will argue that either method might still be able to be recovered. I thought I saw an article once here that in the real world basically debunked this myth. Physical destruction just takes the process one step further. Plus it's quicker then running some type of a disk wiping program.

Re:Overkill? (3, Insightful)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090411)

Some places still require both. When it comes to extremely sensitive (classified, etc) data, "absolutely unreadable" must be absolute. Even if only one technician in the entire world, with a billion-dollar lab, is capable of recovering the data from a zero'd drive, it's too much of a risk. What if that one technician is Chinese?

Re:Overkill? (2, Insightful)

emocomputerjock (1099941) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090535)

Then you'll be called paranoid and accused of FUD.

Re:Overkill? (0, Troll)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090649)

Some disks contain information that is worth far more than the billion dollar lab or the one-in-a-billion scientist. Why do you immediately spout off with a trollish "Durhh, FUD?" Just because your scat porn collection and LiveJournal rants are useless to any intelligent being doesn't mean that everyone else's data is just as pitiful.

Re:Overkill? (4, Insightful)

emocomputerjock (1099941) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090703)

I was agreeing with you.

Re:Overkill? (1)

PainKilleR-CE (597083) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090541)

But in those cases you wouldn't turn it over to the drive destruction company in a readable state, anyway, and would still end up saving money using a device similar to this one after you wiped the data from the drive.

Re:Overkill? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090357)

I'd just use my rifle and a few rounds of .308 Winchester (or .303 British, 7.5mm Swiss, 8mm Mauser, whatever). Problem solved...

If you really want to go low tech, a sledgehammer would do fine.

Re:Overkill? (3, Informative)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090687)

Buy a package or 2 of sparklers, scrape the magnesium off onto the hardisk (encased or not, if cased maybe 2-3packages), light a sparkler and stick the end into the pile. Done.

Re:Overkill? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090443)

DBAN is good shit. I use it on my friends computers, and tell them they got a virus!

Re:Overkill? (5, Interesting)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090493)

Where I used to work (~5 years ago), we used an erasure tool that wrote random data over the entire drive (10 times), then introduced the drive to "Mr. Band Saw" in the machine shop, to quarter the platters, on any DoD/DoE stuff

Re:Overkill? (2, Insightful)

Miros (734652) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090529)

Someone should suggest that the Mythbusters "put this to the test," assuming their production company has the financial resources to pay for even modest data recovery services.

Even that might be effective. If you have like, a dozen drives, all of them similar, all of them wiped, one of which contains good data (or worse, a group of which once comprised like, a RAID 5 array so you need at least a few of them) you would be looking at a hypergeometric distribution, and the actual probable cost of recovering the data could grow extremely rapidly to something quite impractical. If instead, you had a big box full of used drives, five of which had been bent in half, it might actually be cheaper

Re:Overkill? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090573)

Not a whole lot of people know about DBAN. Disk wiping software is a known technology but not many people have actually sat down and looked for it. Plus, certain modes of DBAN take a very long time. The DoD 5220.22-M implementation of DBAN, for example, can take up to 24 hours (in my experience) to finish shredding a 500GB hard drive.

Degaussers are very expensive because they're mostly used by the government and military.

All things being equal, the point of intersection of speed, cost, and reliability appears to involve physical destruction of the drive, making use of physical advantage as appropriate.

Re:Overkill? (4, Interesting)

mellon (7048) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090619)

A degausser weakens the magnetized regions, but it's still at least theoretically possible to read it if it's not done thoroughly enough. What I don't get is why you don't just take it apart and sand the platters clean. There's zero chance of reading it after that, and it's a lot less energy intensive than actually chunking the platters. Extra credit if you use the disk drive motor to spin the disk so that you can sand it without any actual effort...

Re:Overkill? (1)

Reece400 (584378) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090623)

If the drive is failing, DBAN often doesn't work properly. a Degausser would probably work, but this is likely much more effective in showing management that a drive has been destroyed...

Re:Overkill? (5, Funny)

jonadab (583620) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090733)

Because for a system administrator, paranoia is a basic job requirement. Consequently, when it comes to data security, there's no such thing as too much overkill. Even when you have subjected the drive to a thermite reaction, let it cool, and ground the whole resulting mess down to the consistency of talcum powder, you still have to scatter the ashes over at least a thousand square miles of ocean, just to be sure. Ideally, you'd scatter half the ashes over the central Pacific, some of them over the north Atlantic, and the rest over the southern ocean.

Extra bonus points if you scrub the platters with fluorine trichloride before putting it through the thermite reaction.

Even then, you'll never be fully comfortable with the job until you destroy the entire galaxy that the drive was in. Maybe the whole universe. You can't be too sure.

I'll fuck it up good. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090323)

I use a hammer, then I pee on it.

Re:I'll fuck it up good. (5, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090675)

the topic is hard drive destruction, not sex.

Zero Challenge (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090333)

http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/09/06/189248

Stand drill (5, Informative)

Nikademus (631739) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090335)

I just use a stand drill. I goes through all the platters and the circuitboard.
Fairly easy to find and purchase.

Re:Stand drill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090433)

For the price and effectiveness, a drill press can't be beat.

Re:Stand drill (1)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090503)

Whatever happened to just taking ride to closest foundry and throwing disk to molten iron vat?

Re:Stand drill (5, Funny)

BenevolentP (1220914) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090589)

Whatever happened to just taking hike to closest Mt. Doom and throwing disk to molten lava hole?

Re:Stand drill (4, Insightful)

mellon (7048) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090669)

Dude, haven't you read the Trilogy? It takes half a book just to cross Mordor, plus there's Orcs and shit. That's way more trouble than it's worth. And have you ever tried to find Middle Earth on a map? Sure, lots of people have theories, but what with continental drift and such, it's all pretty obscure. How can you be sure the volcano you use is *really* Mount Doom in this late, degenerate age?

Re:Stand drill (1)

ZarathustraDK (1291688) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090741)

Whatever happened to just taking hike to closest Mt. Doom and throwing disk to molten lava hole?

I would, but disregarding the occasional unpredictable eruptions and the grey little fucker that keeps bothering me whenever I go near, I just can't seem to let go of the disk when it comes down to it.

Re:Stand drill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090807)

One does not simply taking hike into Mordor.

Re:Stand drill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090611)

I have no idea where the "closest foundry" is ... but I suspect it's really far away.

Re:Stand drill (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090625)

I'd guess the foundry people would object to contaminating their carefully selected alloy...

Re:Stand drill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090653)

Whatever happened to just taking ride to closest foundry and throwing disk to molten iron vat?

Most of us don't live in Pittsburgh.

Oh, wait a minute, all the steel mills shut down in Pittsburgh...

Re:Stand drill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090553)

Burn it... melt it down to nothingness... you won't be recovering anything then. Anyone who can start a bonfire can probably manage this...

Re:Stand drill (4, Funny)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090571)

I goes through all the platters and the circuitboard.

IM IN UR GARAGE GOES THRU UR HDDRV.

Re:Stand drill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090697)

I work at a college, so granted, our data doesn't tend to be ubersensitive...I like to blast things with electricity. So I take our old drives out to the maintenance shop and crank up the welder to MaXiMuM PoWeR (375 AMP) and blow holes in the drives.

Unless it's one o the newer 15kRPM drives, then you just take the top cover off and shatter the platter (they explode into a bunch of glass-like pieces when you try to pry them out).

Re:Stand drill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090803)

Yeah a drill works but what is more fun is a nice rifle from about 50 yards away. I know this isnt an option to most people, but it is for me. I stacked 7 hard drives together and one shot from a 22-250 (using target crap bullets) made it into the last drive. It was also cool to see how the hole expanded as it got deeper. Hole starts off at .22 cal (about the size of a pencil eraser) by the end it was about 2 inches.

This is just a controlled hammer (4, Funny)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090337)

Just give the hard drive to your kid with a hammer, tell them to go nuts, come back 10 mins later with a dustpan and brush and you are sorted.

Re:This is just a controlled hammer (3, Informative)

Miros (734652) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090489)

dont forget the safety goggles!

Re:This is just a controlled hammer (5, Funny)

zygotic mitosis (833691) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090559)

Well, if you like the kid, sure..

Re:This is just a controlled hammer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090643)

The goggles do nothing!

Re:This is just a controlled hammer (5, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090755)

Good safety advice! Never go close to kids without protective gear.

Re:This is just a controlled hammer (1)

Seth Kriticos (1227934) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090499)

You could also give it to some trainee employees with the same tool, works like a charm. Eventually you can also hover above the exposed platters with a strong magnet, just to be sure. (Yes, I witnessed this, lot's of fun).

For folks that want to destroy huge number of HDD's on a regular basis, just get a proper degausser as those do not cost a fortune and get the job done well, without doubt. You may even be able to reuse the drives afterwards.

Re:This is just a controlled hammer (4, Informative)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090521)

If they're reusable afterwards, you didn't use a proper degausser.

Re:This is just a controlled hammer (2, Insightful)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090771)

Until they go to town on drives you didn't want destroyed. "Look daddy, I fixed this one all by myself!"

Underkill? (2, Insightful)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090347)

Sounds like you could fix it with... Pops-a-dent!

Jokes aside, from the FA: "The Bustadrive, then, looks like itâ€(TM)ll thwart all but the wealthiest and most determined of hard disk hackers"

So what they're saying is, this doesn't do the job as well as something like one of those DOD disc scraper/shredder things, but it is more fun, which I guess makes it news worthy?

lots of options out there! (4, Insightful)

farnham (160656) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090355)

My drill press makes for a very effective drive killer.

Use what you got!

7.62mm holes (4, Interesting)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090359)

I have always preferred putting some 7.62mm holes through old hard drives at a distance of 50 to 100m. Just remove the electronics so you don't end up with circuit board debris all over and old hard drives make great targets.

Re:7.62mm holes (1)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090391)

Yeah, I used some hard drives for 9mm practice about 2 years ago... It makes a GREAT desk ornament, because of the funny faces people make when they see a hard drive with bullet holes.

Re:7.62mm holes (1)

Miros (734652) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090445)

Would you do this at a range? I'd imagine there might be a few that would take some issue with you shooting at something other than paper; it's pretty cool if they're cool with that. What were you using, an M1?

Re:7.62mm holes (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090609)

I have a large plot (40 acres) in northern Minnesota so that is where I do this. You are correct in that I don't know of any ranges that would allow you to shoot at what are termed garbage targets. Also to answer your last question I use either my SKS (a 1948 Romanian one) or my M91/30 (an unissued Russian main battle rifle from WWII accuracy grade 1 made at the Tula plant). Both are fairly accurate the SKS has 4 inch groups at 100 yards and the M91/30 has 1.5 inch groups at 100 yards. A buddy of mine has both a M1 Garand and a M1 carbine that he uses up at my property for the same thing.

Re:7.62mm holes (1)

Miros (734652) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090657)

Nice. I just wanted to also correct my own error before someone else does it for me, M1s fire .30-06, I was thinking of an M14 (which does shoot 7.62x51mm NATO). If you're familiar with both guns, you'll understand the "monday" error.

Re:7.62mm holes (5, Funny)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090509)

7.62mm seems like an unusual size for a drill bit, and what kind of drill are you managing to use at up to 100m? Seems like a longer distance than I've seen any normal pillar drill move over.

I do agree that not removing the circuit board causes lots of debris, though, and is especially dangerous when it spins off at an angle!

Re:7.62mm holes (2, Informative)

Miros (734652) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090563)

7.62x51mm NATO, aka .308 Winchester, is a standard cartridge round developed before WWII which (contrary to my earlier post) is not shot from the M1 (which shoots far more common .30-06) but is shot from the far more entertaining M14.

Re:7.62mm holes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090689)

and 7.62x39 are shot from the AK47 and SKS but WHOOOOOOSH anyway for missing the obvious joke

Re:7.62mm holes (1)

Miros (734652) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090793)

I actually just had to get rid of about 880 rounds of 7.62x54 which I had purchased by mistake (believing it to be 7.62x51; didn't read the page carefully enough). Ended up selling to to a guy for, I kid you not, $100, just to take it off my hands. Hungarian made surplus, still in one of those annoying as hell sealed tin cans with what could liberally be called a "can opener."

Re:7.62mm holes (1)

Weird_Hock (571445) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090665)

Although the 7.62mm is fun, I prefer 00 buck at somewhat closer range. More holes in minimum time!

Not 100%, but otherwise cost-effective given risk? (1, Insightful)

operator_error (1363139) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090361)

As the RTF states, data can be re recovered, given a financial budget & time.

But I wonder. I posed the same question to a buddy awhile back, and he suggested baking the disks in an oven at 250 degrees C for an hour. The idea being that well, yeah, sure the magnetic platters can theoretically be recovered given time, budget, and determination. But still, the printed circuit board, etc. would be melted and thus ruined. Seems just as sensible, and more cost effective given readily available tools, (and sufficient ventilation!!!)

Re:Not 100%, but otherwise cost-effective given ri (3, Informative)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090463)

Raise the drive to the curie point. All magnetic domains are destroyed, and recovery is impossible with currently known methods.

Re:Not 100%, but otherwise cost-effective given ri (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090471)

Then you have to spend a day cleaning melted plastic off the sides of your oven and fumigating it. Hmm , I think I might be seeing a flaw in your friends plan...

Re:Not 100%, but otherwise cost-effective given ri (1)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090473)

250C would destroy the PCBs, but I'm not sure whether or not just swapping them out would yield a readable drive.

Re:Not 100%, but otherwise cost-effective given ri (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090533)

he suggested baking the disks in an oven at 250 degrees C for an hour. The idea being that well, yeah, sure the magnetic platters can theoretically be recovered

Not a chance. Once it goes above the Curie temperature it isn't magnetic anymore and when it cools down the magnetic domains are going to be arranged in completely different ways. Bullets, explosives etc also work since a shock wave through the material can raise the temperature at the wave front up to as high as the Curie temperature - which means it's not magnetic when the wave goes through and the magnetic domains that for afterwards have no reason to make them reform in a similar pattern.
There has been speculation that magnetic dust could settle on the surface and mark where the magnetic domains were but that doesn't really sound likely since the drives spin.

Re:Not 100%, but otherwise cost-effective given ri (1)

jonatha (204526) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090699)

He'll need a hotter furnace (Curie temperature for iron is over 700C)...

Re:Not 100%, but otherwise cost-effective given ri (5, Informative)

Peter Steil (1619597) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090595)

This is not effective, I've successfully recovered drives where the PCB had been smashed, broken, etc. You just need to find the same model and replace with that.

Re:Not 100%, but otherwise cost-effective given ri (1)

IceFox (18179) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090705)

Mod parent up. The board is not where the data is and replacing the board with a good one or swapping the disks into a case+board that is good is a common practice.

Re:Not 100%, but otherwise cost-effective given ri (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090631)

Why not just turn it up to 400 degrees and totally melt the platters? No way they're recoverable then.

Oblig... (4, Funny)

rumith (983060) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090369)

Nuke your old hard drive from the orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

Destroy the data, not the drive (1)

rcb1974 (654474) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090393)

By destroying the drive, you make it so that the drive cannot be re-used. Why not just secure erase the entire drive? I bet it takes less time to plug the machine in and boot off a CD than it does to open the case, remove the drive, and then smash it. Isn't there some free software that you can use to securely erase all the data on a drive with minimal effort?

Re:Destroy the data, not the drive (4, Interesting)

chill (34294) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090469)

I bet it takes less time to plug the machine in and boot off a CD than it does to open the case, remove the drive, and then smash it.

Not if you actually let the software RUN, it doesn't. Using DBAN on a 500 GB drive can take days, whereas this solution takes a few minutes at most. Your solution is only practical if you have one hard drive to destroy, and it is attached to a machine. The usual situation is the hard drive died and you replaced it with a good one, now need to make sure the dead one is REALLY dead before you toss it. Or, you have a batch of them that need to go because you're refreshing PCs.

Re:Destroy the data, not the drive (1)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090477)

RTFA. This is about drives that they don't want to use again. They're being thrown out. They just want to make sure no dumpster-diving hacker gets all their data.

Re:Destroy the data, not the drive (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090671)

I recently ran shred /dev/sdb on a hard drive I wanted nuked and left it overnight. On a 60GB drive, it only managed 6 out of 25 passes, and I don't know for a fact that that drive allows access to sectors it has marked as bad.

Re:Destroy the data, not the drive (1)

hydroponx (1616401) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090745)

while ($i 10) { dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/sda $i++; }

Re:Destroy the data, not the drive (1)

hydroponx (1616401) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090763)

Ehh, apparently slashdot didn't like my less than symbol

The Columbia test (0)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090399)

Data from scientific experiments was recovered from the wreckage of the space shuttle Columbia. If your destruction process is less violent than an uncontrolled re-entry into Earths atmosphere, you haven't placed your data beyond recovery. Perhaps you could use thermite; however I suspect that method would cost more than $10 per drive if you wanted to be sure of melting every square millimetre of the disc.

But I say we should just take off, and nuke the entire site from orbit. Its the only way to be sure...

Re:The Columbia test (3, Insightful)

Miros (734652) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090421)

I think it would be easy to melt the disk into a nice puddle of slag, what might be harder is not burning the building down in the process.

Re:The Columbia test (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090475)

Hence the 'more than $10' comment. Thermite is a piece of piss to make and you would probably use less than $1 of it to destroy a hard drive. The cost would be the pit you would need to build, outside of your office building, where you could carry out the cremations.

Re:The Columbia test (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090753)

Do it outside?

Re:The Columbia test (4, Interesting)

dbIII (701233) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090663)

You don't need to melt the platters. You just need to get them hot enough to no longer be magnetic - that is above the Curie temperature for the alloy, which will be somewhere around 200C or so. When the magnetic domains reform there is none of them to be in the same place as they were before with the exception of a few edges on grain boundaries. Get even hotter and you'll change the grain size or even completely change the crystal structure and get grains in completely different places and sizes when it cools down.
That means heating the whole drive for long enough that the platters get hot and not just heating the outside of the thing the drive is in for a few minutes.

Re:The Columbia test (2, Informative)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090789)

If the thermite is on top of the drive, it won't just heat the outside; it will rapidly melt the outside then fall into the interior of the drive. Thats the point. Youtube abounds with vidoes of thermite burning down through car engines, and hard drive cases are a lot less substantial.

Dirtboy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090405)

Two holes in the case and a bucket of ocean water.

Why people keep unencrypted data? (1)

Czubaka (132534) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090455)

I keep wondering why do people keep disks with unencrypted data. I have all my disks encrypted with AES and I'm not worried when my laptop or server needs to be serviced.

BTW, I had some disks with very confidential data. I decided to make a nice big bonefire. We had both hot sausages, cold beer and safe data :-)

Re:Why people keep unencrypted data? (1)

Miros (734652) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090613)

Where do you keep your keys? I've given that same idea a lot of thought, but I always run into a few issues. A) reduced disk performance [typically, unless you're using some very expensive hardware] B) more data storage devices whose failure could result in the complete loss of the data (i.e. whatever is storing your crypto keys)

Chainsaw. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090485)

Or use another similar tool. 'nuff said.

The only way to be sure is (1)

jointm1k (591234) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090513)

to throw the hdd into hot, molten lava.

Re:The only way to be sure is (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090617)

"The hard drive cannot be destroyed by any means we here possess. It must be cast into the fiery chasm from whence it came. ... I now dub the The Fellowship of the Hard Drive."

Waste of Time, Money and Good Equipment (2, Insightful)

littlewink (996298) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090531)

Wipe the drive with software. Do it several times with different programs if you're paranoid. Set up an assembly line to do it if you have many, with each individual responsible for a separate step. Test drives prior to re-release.

People are so badly mistaken about how recoverable disk data is: they believe the same way they believe in Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster. What a waste of good work.

Re:Waste of Time, Money and Good Equipment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090569)

Waste of Time, Money and Good Equipment

Using software is a waste of time.

Re:Waste of Time, Money and Good Equipment (1)

phil reed (626) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090695)

(1) Software can take hours.

(2) If these drives are intended for scrap, there's no need to worry about re-release. (When was the last time you re-used a 10 gig drive?)

Gross Overkill (3, Insightful)

kingsack (779872) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090545)

A ball pean hammer applied vigorously to the drive spindle will render all but the most wealthy and determined effort to recover data fruitless and even then it is highly unlikely that all or even most of the data would be recoverable.

Not eco friendly (1)

superphysics (1619033) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090561)

The method is not at all eco-friendly - there's the wasted disk. It could potentially be used by others if you simply used something like Eraser or DBAN (which wipes data to beyond recovery by most means)...

Re:Not eco friendly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090747)

Some Companies require physical destruction of the hard drive. Such as any place that deals with medical records.

Gutmann was wrong (5, Informative)

feenberg (201582) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090575)

There is no need to physically destroy a drive to prevent data from being read. The claims of Gutmann that it was possible to read overwritten sectors were never sustained by his sources. I investigated this years ago and reported in Can Intelligence Agencies Read Overwritten Data [nber.org] that he was very much overwrought. I see he has gone on to tilt at other windmills since he propagated that myth.

Remove the magnets (0)

dalmiroy2k (768278) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090577)

Remove and make use of the magnets.
They are valuable and extremely powerful, so make sure you don't put them near your watch or cell phone.
Here is a DIY knife hanger I made a few years ago:

http://cablemodem.fibertel.com.ar/dalmiroy2k/3dg/HDDmagnet.JPG [fibertel.com.ar]
http://cablemodem.fibertel.com.ar/dalmiroy2k/3dg/HDDmagnet2.JPG [fibertel.com.ar]

Laziness producing waste (1)

toby (759) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090585)

Don't encourage him. :/

Blowtorch! (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090587)

I have an oxy-acetylene torch in my home workshop. I've used it to turn platters into molten slag.

it's cheap too!

Easier home made method (3, Informative)

will_die (586523) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090599)

Here is an easier method [hackaday.com] (version that may make from work [gizmodo.com] ).
There are commerical version that do alot better bending job, try http://www.garner-products.com/ [garner-products.com] for videos and pictures to gladden your hard drive destroying heart.

heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090725)

Slow news today?

breaker bar (1)

gorfie (700458) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090743)

I disposed of some old hard drives a few months back. I wiped all of them (not just formatted) but I wasn't satisfied. I found that a breaker bar (a large iron bar meant to break up rocks) performed well. Just hold the bar over the drive and let it drop - repeat. The IBM deskstar was truly easy to destroy - the casing deformed quickly and the platters literally shattered into hundreds of pieces. Quantum fireballs however were sturdy little beasts. I thought I had protected the surface of my garage floor but I found that the breaker bar pushed the hard drive through the cardboard protection and into the garage floor... oops. Eventually the casing opened and I was able to use pliers to tear the platters. Yes it was all overkill - but it certainly was satisfying. :)

But.... (1)

dieselpawn (1302503) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090751)

Will it blend?!

Mini-grind the platters... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090791)

Mini-grind the platters...

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