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The 'Three Ton' Hard Drive Destroyer

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the because-you-can dept.

Data Storage 206

Barence writes "Last year, PC Pro welcomed a DIY-style hard-disk destroyer into its Labs to wreak havoc on some unsuspecting platters. Now the technology has moved on, with the Ideal 0101 — a device that pierces disks with between 2.5 and 3 tons of force. 'It's not the quick cut-and-shut process you'd assume it is,' says PC Pro's reviewer. 'Instead, the 0101 seems to enjoy its particular method of torture.The punch emerges from the side of the bay, slowing piercing its way through metal, silicon and glass, before retreating once the disk is destroyed.'" I attached a video clip.

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Seagate? (0)

halfEvilTech (1171369) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867752)

did they commission this for all those samsung drives they are about to purchase?

Seagate? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35868242)

Burn the seagate flag [flagburningworld.com]

recycling (5, Interesting)

walshy007 (906710) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867762)

anyone else manually dismantle the things and remove the magnets because they're decently strong?

Re:recycling (4, Insightful)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867804)

I use them as fridge magnets. I've even made a few clocks with the platters, it's a fun project to teach the kids that just because something is useless for its original purpose it doesn't mean you can't use it for something else.

Re:recycling (2)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867878)

I've given the platters to my girl fiend as purse mirrors. I also keep one in my car for when people have their high beams on behind me. Not sure why, but the surface is a near perfect mirror. And since it's not really deformable (brittle, not elastic) the image is always near perfect. Minus the hole in the center.

If you can toss them correctly they also fly rather well, requires you to snap the wrist.

I just don't see how this destroys 'everything'. A small hole like than in only a portion of the disk will still leave quite a bit of data. I always thought the NSA 'approved' method required turning the hard drive into a small metallic dust.

Re:recycling (3, Informative)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867964)

I've given the platters to my girl fiend as purse mirrors. I also keep one in my car for when people have their high beams on behind me. Not sure why, but the surface is a near perfect mirror. And since it's not really deformable (brittle, not elastic) the image is always near perfect. Minus the hole in the center.

If you can toss them correctly they also fly rather well, requires you to snap the wrist.

I just don't see how this destroys 'everything'. A small hole like than in only a portion of the disk will still leave quite a bit of data.

There is a certain cutoff year where most of the pre-whatever drives are aluminum platter and the post-whatever drives are glass platter. Everyone whom does what we do, eventually has the "shattering" experience of discovering their first glass platter hard drive. And being precision ground surfaces they can't be prestressed like car windows, they leave some very nasty sharp jagged chunks of glass. Keep the 1st aid kit handy...

The large old aluminum ones (think 5.25 or bigger) also rang with a clang you cannot believe if dropped on a tile floor. Deafening, almost. Don't try with the glass platters.

Maybe for some models, but not all (2)

name_already_taken (540581) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868120)

There is a certain cutoff year where most of the pre-whatever drives are aluminum platter and the post-whatever drives are glass platter.

This does not seem to be true across all manufacturers. I dismantle all of our drives before disposal, and I've only come across glass platters in laptop drives (they seem to have been glass all the way back to the early 1990s, the earliest one I disassembled was from 1992 and had glass platters). All of the 3.5" drives have had aluminum platters, from the cheap 5400 RPM drives to 10000 RPM drives from servers.

It's possible that some manufacturers use glass platters in certain model lines of drives, but there doesn't seem to be an industry-wide changeover to glass platters. I have a stack of aluminum platters here to prove it - the most recent from a drive manufactured in mid-2010.

Re:Maybe for some models, but not all (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868268)

Now that you mention it, the one that chopped my hand up (didn't quite need stitches) was a laptop drive from the early 00s. Also found glass platters in double-digit-gig high RPM (for their era, anyway) SCA SCSIs.

For obvious reasons I don't try to pry stuck platters out anymore, so I don't know the ratios on modern drives.

Re:Maybe for some models, but not all (1)

skids (119237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868326)

I've only found glass in the sub-3.5" class drives, more often than not. I've never shattered a platter, because unlike everyone else I know, I prefer to unscrew all the screws first and take them apart that way, rather than the prying with a screwdriver approach. It's more satisfying, like a puzzle, to figure out exactly what order to take things out for a given model.

Re:Maybe for some models, but not all (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868530)

IBM Desk Star drives of the 20-30 gig size were the first 3.5 inch drives I encountered that were glass.
-nB

Re:Maybe for some models, but not all (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868432)

I have to destroy hard disks at work, I see glass platters in the higher capacity drives but it depends on the maker, just came across glass platters in a 20GB Deskstar from '03, but Seagates don't seem to have them till the 80-120GB family

Re:recycling (1)

Aboroth (1841308) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867922)

The best thing is that when they check the time they are also getting an eyeful of porn.

Re:recycling (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868480)

The best thing is that when they check the time they are also getting an eyeful of porn.

Brilliant. I'm saving that one for my son's wedding speech!

Re:recycling (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35867910)

Whenever I want to destroy a hard drive (or pretty much anything, really) I just get your mum excited and get her to leave a snail trail on the top of the disk. The incredibly potent, caustic nature of her 'discharge' quickly eats through the metal, obliterating and vapourising everything it comes into contact with.

Re:recycling (1)

skids (119237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868262)

Yes. I have a giant collection of jars full of various HD components. I have one of those giant plastic pretzel containers full of the heads. I can't fit any more in there, so I've been getting around to removing the bearings for later, and chucking the alloy, to make space. See! I threw something away! Please don't call the horder TV show people!

Re:recycling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35868360)

Got a pair of monster magnets from an old SCSI drive.

Kind of silly. (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867776)

A drill press works faster and is a lot cheaper. granted it does not have bright green lights and a lot of over-engineering, but hey.

Can they make it do some laser effects and add a smoke machine so it looks really cool?

Re:Kind of silly. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35867834)

I just use a 45 automatic.

Re:Kind of silly. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867940)

Bonus! that give the smoke effects as well as a LOT of personal satisfaction.
And you can easily add lasers!

Re:Kind of silly. (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867948)

"bullets cost money" -- The Magnificent Seven [imdb.com]

Re:Kind of silly. (1)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867976)

I prefer taking the cover off and gently applying an oxy-acetylene torch, warming the platters to between the curie temperature and melting point (to taste). Melting point is FAR more fun.

Re:Kind of silly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35868088)

Attach a video!!

Re:Kind of silly. (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868340)

Too much unscrewing, though you could "flux cut" the stainless using your torch by holding some carbon steel wire or welding rod between the flame and the stainless. It's the way industrial scarfing torches work.

Re:Kind of silly. (1)

skids (119237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868368)

If you have an old electric coil hot-plate, melting them on the coil can make some pretty interesting artistic patterns for wind mobiles. I would not recommend trying it on your cooking stove, however -- you have to keep an eye on it and turn off the heat right away or you'll slag the coil.

Re:Kind of silly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35868002)

If you get the smoke machine, you also need it to play "Final Countdown" when it's operating.

Re:Kind of silly. (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868058)

Arguably, if you really want satisfying over-engineering, an induction furnace would be the way to go: Just drop the drive into the intimidating coil, turn on the power, and watch all the metal components glow red and then slump into a molten mess of slag. Game over man. Game Over.

Re:Kind of silly. (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868308)

A drill press works faster and is a lot cheaper.

I would feel safer simply wiping the drive; punching a hole in it leaves most of the platter surface area intact.

But I suppose there's always option C, "both."

Re:Kind of silly. (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868444)

Punch a hole in a glass platter and theres not going to be much left intact.

Re:Kind of silly. (1)

jeffeb3 (1036434) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868348)

I use a hammer and nail...

Re:Kind of silly. (1)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868422)

Or if you were keen on the "crush" idea, you can pick up a 6 ton shop press for less than $100, or go overboard with a 20 ton press for around $200. They're handy to have around if you do any significant auto repair jobs too.

Just slag it, it's the only way to be sure (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867792)

After you recover the magnets of course.

guns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35867820)

usually i just take my hard drives to the cove and put some .223 through them.

Force? (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867832)

"disks with between 2.5 and 3 tons of force"

"That’s enough power, according to Duplo, to theoretically lift a truck, so you can be sure it’ll put a rather large dent in the average hard disk."

Now I'm rather confused. I'm pretty sure they mean pressure not force, since I honestly doubt that a 2.5 'ton' of force is needed to punch through a hard disk.

Now when the 'truck lifting' part got mentioned it only made things worse.

Re:Force? (1)

TheRealSchnelk (1626195) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867996)

Ton is a unit of force, fwiw. The tool is pushed with that much force, it exerts a pressure (in PSI for us Yanks) based on its contact area. The smaller the contact area, the higher the pressure.

Re:Force? (1)

bgeezus (1252178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868346)

In what contexts are tons used to represent force? As far as I am aware, tons are traditionally used for mass. While tons have also been used as a unit of volume (e.g., for ships) and a unit of energy (e.g., for explosives), I am not aware of tons ever being used to represent force?

Re:Force? (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868534)

I am not aware of tons ever being used to represent force?

Well, in a system of units where g=1...

Re:Force? (3, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868154)

I'm pretty sure they mean pressure not force, since I honestly doubt that a 2.5 'ton' of force is needed to punch through a hard disk

No they almost certainly mean force. Shop presses are sold by force. 1000 psi hydraulic tubing, fittings, pump, and o-rings vs some diameter (area is what actually matters) ram equals X tons. The shop press manufacturer has no idea what shape die you'll install. If its a wedge, I guess the area is theoretically zero at the point and the pressure is infinite. More likely limited by the compression strength of the metal in the die.

Here's a Harbor Freight Chinese 20 ton press, less than $300 delivered.

http://www.harborfreight.com/20-ton-shop-press-32879.html [harborfreight.com]

Chinese presses used to be famous for shipping with cast iron plates instead of steel plates. People die or are horribly wounded when the cast iron inevitably shatters. So be careful and/or buy or make your own steel plates. Another thing to look out for is Chinese "1000 psi" fittings and hoses might not actually survive 1000 psi when brand new, much less after years of abuse. So buying a press 10 times bigger than you think you need is not all that bad of an idea, assuming you can afford it.

Thermite. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867836)

Thermite is cheap. Granted, a device capable of actually holding a melting hard drive might be more expensive, but I have to imagine that taking a trip to an appropriate location several times a year would be relatively cheap. It'd certainly be a lot more fun.

Re:Thermite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35867898)

And you could try and sell the melted drives as abstract art...

Re:Thermite. (1)

Caradoc (15903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867932)

Or a bucket of liquid nitrogen and a sledgehammer. Don't forget to wear safety goggles.

Re:Thermite. (1)

Zeek40 (1017978) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868036)

A small crucible built out of brick, cinder blocks or pavers works, and is cheap. If you use pavers, you can even flip them over and re-use them in your lawn.

Re:Thermite. (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868228)

Does it not get between the joints and/or destroy the mortar? Maybe use firebrick materials?

Re:Thermite. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868206)

Firebrick, while not necessarily on offer at your local hardware store, is not too difficult to come by. Failing(or supplementing) that, sand exposed to thermite won't necessarily be in mint condition; but sand is extremely cheap, and there is nothing stopping you from just using a slightly thicker layer, and you can't beat the convenience of something you can get in big bags from most hardware/garden supply stores or by the ton from landscaping/construction contractor suppliers.

Just remember, though, Keep It Dry. Very little will ruin your day quite like molten iron being spattered into your delicate flesh by a steam flash..

Window or Trap Door (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35867848)

My dataserver is at the edge of a Japanese volcano. I prefer to just have it thrown out the garbage chute. The one connected to all the yellow trashcans there. Or fly it by #4 reactor.

Doesn't really destroy it. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35867860)

This hardly destroys the device. A simple puncture?

We have been able to reconstruct 60% of harddisk data when a bullet was shot through it. This example follows a very similar pattern.

Fun? Maybe. But a "Hard Drive Destroyer"? I'd rather play with thermite: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermite

Re:Doesn't really destroy it. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867960)

Really, you have? On a modern drive?

Because modern drives have glass platters and the gunshot shatters them into millions of pieces.

A drive from the 80's and early 90's? yes.

A drive from the past few years? no.

Re:Doesn't really destroy it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35867992)

Granted, this was "back in" 2004.

Re:Doesn't really destroy it. (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868318)

Granted, this was "back in" 2004.

Don't forget a lot of posters here weren't even born then.

Nope, still aluminum (2)

name_already_taken (540581) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868042)

Really, you have? On a modern drive?

Because modern drives have glass platters and the gunshot shatters them into millions of pieces.

A drive from the 80's and early 90's? yes.

A drive from the past few years? no.

I dismantle every drive that we are getting rid of, usually about five a year.

So far, the only glass platters have been in laptop drives. The most recent 3.5" drive was from 2010, and had aluminum platters. The laptop drives seem to have had glass platters all the way back to the early 1990s.

Re:Nope, still aluminum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35868316)

What this guy said, desktop drives are still metal

Re:Doesn't really destroy it. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868322)

I call bullshit on that. A bullet will make a mess inside a drive, shattering the platters. At least post a link to more information if you are going to make such claims.

Re:Doesn't really destroy it. (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868500)

.233 will often go through a drive without much deformation.

Now a 9mm, .45, .44, or 12 gauge slug will devastate them

I was expecting more than just a hole (1)

Mouldy (1322581) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867872)

This seems like a very expensive way to not destroy a hard drive.

Forensics buffs could probably restore a lot of the data on a hard drive that's just had a hole put it in.

Beating it senseless with a hammer & chisel will have a similar efficiency, but will be a lot cheaper.

Re:I was expecting more than just a hole (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868060)

RTFA. Is is economically not very feasable to recover the data. the hardware alone would set you back 10.000 dollar, before the first bit was recovered. You will find no commercial recovery service that will recover the data for you. search for MFM and you will find [runtime.org] "It is unknown if this technology is in use. It certainly is not "commercially available and affordable" "

Beside that, destroying the disk yourself is more reliable that outsourcing it. If the data is leaked it is your problem. The fact that the data destroying company might loose their reputation, does not give your company its reputation back. If you want to outsource this anyway, let them destry the archives on-site.

Re:I was expecting more than just a hole (1)

Zapotek (1032314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868156)

Probably everything, even from the sectors that had the holes (assuming no significant demagnetisation due to friction). Electron microscopy and other techniques can go a loooong way.

I'm not an expert btw.

Re:I was expecting more than just a hole (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868302)

I suspect that the real purpose of such a device(aside from the fact that white-collar environments, especially larger ones, often have a cultural distaste(at least during working hours) for solutions that involve just smashing stuff) is that it is probably "certified" to some or other standard, while just giving the janitor the night off and some beer money to take a sledgehammer to the junk drive box isn't, even if the degree of destruction is greater.

While smaller, more informal, shops can probably do whatever they want, I can definitely imagine some suits who could drone on about "Devices containing Secure Customer Information(SCI) were certified sanitized per industry standard practices by a monitored on-sight disposal contractor" in their sleep; but would freak out at "That IT guy with the the beard and the muttering took them to the shooting range over the weekend. Didn't you know that the FCSA [fcsa.org] annual get-together was last weekend?"

Estwing rock pick for $33 (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868506)

Forget the chisel, get an Estwing rock pick. These suckers can rain destruction upon almost any man made or natural object. Depending on how violent you are feeling, you can punch a dozen holes in something in seconds. Then flip it over and smash it flat.

Mine has been hammering rock, concrete, and metal for over 30 years and works as well as the day I got it. My great-grandkids will be beating the crap out of stuff with it long after I'm dead.

http://www.amazon.com/Estwing-E3-22P-22-Ounce-Rock-Pick/dp/B0002OVCMO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1303226325&sr=8-2 [amazon.com]

who builds something like this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35867904)

That's so sinister yet so cute, makes me uncompletely uncalled for think of the big lables and their lawyers.

Links... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867906)

Nice video, but the links from the video were almost more amusing. In particular one was

Why business intelligence matters in 2011

Because apparently, business intelligence did not matter prior to 2011.

Re:Links... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868416)

I'd be skeptical to, it implies that business intelligence exists in 2011.

This is how we do it.. Shredder! (5, Interesting)

Pontiac (135778) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867916)

OK folks.. this is how the government gets it done.
An industrial metal shredder. Nothing left bigger then a dime.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yd_O7-rqcHc [youtube.com]

Re:This is how we do it.. Shredder! (1)

Cap'n.Brownbeard (1092507) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868250)

There are clearly a lot of scraps left much bigger than a dime in that video.

Alternative. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35867926)

You could also put the platters in your $50 microwave oven for 15 seconds and get better erasure.

Hey now! (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867930)

That's no way to talk about my mother!

Why is dd not sufficient? (1)

tpotus (1856224) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867968)

dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/hd[x]

Re:Why is dd not sufficient? (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868078)

even if=/dev/zero should be enough, I don't believe the rumours of restoring data with AFMs and such. The magnetic pits on modern HDDs are too small to stable store more than one state (correct me if I'm wrong)

Re:Why is dd not sufficient? (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868462)

I have seen no evidence that dd if=/dev/zero is not enough. Only apocryphal claims to the contrary.

However, you can't verify just by looking that a disk has been entirely wiped, and drives are often discarded precisely because they don't work any more so they can't be wiped. Also, I think drives can re-map bad sectors so they are not visible to the OS and thus could not be wiped.

Re:Why is dd not sufficient? (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868126)

How long does that take?
Can someone interrupt the process?
Can you trust DD?

A drill takes less time, does not require a running computer that you trust, if it is interrupted in the short time, you'd know. DD can be stalled by bad blocks as it tries to write. A drill doesn't care.

re-allocated sectors (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868178)

dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/hd[x]

When a sector is about to go bad (not be reliable for writing), it's remapped to somewhere else on the disk. The original data is not wiped, and can be recovered with forensic readers.

Some SATA devices support an ATA Secure Wipe command that is designed to erase the whole drive, including re-allocated sectors. But Seagate refuses to tell people which drives successfully implement ATA Secure Wipe. I've tried, they flatly refused, even as a member of their 'Business Partner' program.

So, hard drives need to be physically destroyed instead of recycled or passed on to non-profits who could use them. Ubiquitous ATA Secure Wipe (and RAID-1) would do wonders for the environment and charity. I can only conclude that Seagate hates the planet. ;)

Perhaps when China's restriction of rare earth elements hits them in the pocketbook they'll see the wisdom of recycling.

Re:re-allocated sectors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35868386)

Many years ago, I wrote a popular piece of commercial software that would 'secure erase' harddisks by writing random data (generated by a modified Mersenne Twister) over the whole disk (including reallocated sectors, and areas locked out by the firmware) up to something like 200 times. I was never sure if the rumours about recovery of overwritten data were actually true though.

i think we should put old disk drives on rockets (3, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35867970)

not to destroy them, but to send them out into space, in a random trajectory, like voyager 1. 300 centuries hence, our distant children, or aliens, can find them, decipher them, and find all about the wonders of cookies, porn spam, twitpics, and excel 2003, among other digital detritus of our lives

Re:i think we should put old disk drives on rocket (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868064)

Heh, I can see all the subpoenas and arrest warrants coming back at us from place more prudish than Saudi Arabia

Re:i think we should put old disk drives on rocket (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868136)

excel 2003? i can only imagine the following response onboard the alien mothership:

"Nuke the site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure"

Re:i think we should put old disk drives on rocket (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35868234)

Why send them into space? Why not just bury them somewhere? "Sending stuff into space" is very costly and is the optimal solution to very few problems.

Re:i think we should put old disk drives on rocket (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868338)

the internet

1. where someone can be guaranteed to post a mindlessly negative and/ or cynical response to your comment

2. someone else can read into what you say with the most radical assumptions you never even remotely alluded to, and respond with an angry tirade as if you had said something totally different

3. someone else can take the most throwaway ridiculous joke... and consider it with the utmost seriousness

http://www.google.com/search?q=internet+serious+business [google.com]

Higher More Scientific Overengineering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35868004)

This method lacks some seriously more convoluted math. I mean, practically pure mechanics are fine, but... Well

A serious EMP "can-crusher", with caustic plasma torch "spikes" filling the (ceramic) chamber with molten magma in an instant. Now that would be technically and scientifically waaaaay more cool!

And the half-melted paperweight would look decisevly wicked. Sort of like hans Solo in carbonite (that the name?). Except for a mouse, or something.

If the containment were thick enough, a brisk liquid-nitrogen "pre-cooling" phase, would make things even mor spectatcular. Not t mention interesting.

Oh well. Back to the usual dull chores.

torch (2)

codepunk (167897) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868008)

I use my trusty oxy-acetylene torch, it takes but a second to pierce the top cover. Once the top cover is breached the disks are vaporized almost immediately with no possible chance of recovery.

Re:torch (1)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868376)

I have mod points today. I desperately wanted a mod option labeled "Sounds like fun!"

A single hole? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35868018)

I'd have thought that would leave plenty of room for recovery of at least some data.

Software shredding should be sufficient (multiple iterations of writing random data to the drive then wiping it again), and leaves the drive usable in the end.

Why does it matter how much force is used? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35868032)

If it makes it through the disk? I would much prefer a device that made several holes with whatever force was necessary versus one that makes one hole with as much force as possible.

Why does it matter how much force is used? (1)

AlphaBit (1244464) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868044)

If it makes it through the disk? I would much prefer a device that made several holes with whatever force was necessary versus one that makes one hole with as much force as possible.

A single hole? (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868062)

I didn't read the article, only saw the video, but the video shows the machine punching only one hole through the disk? That leaves all the other data intact. Or does the machine keep repeating this step for the whole area of the disk and did the video show only one of the punches?

Anyway, why does the force even matter? If it punches only one hole. Whether that hole was made with one gram or one teraton of force, it's still just one hole...

Re:A single hole? (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868164)

The platters warp as well, meaning that no head will travel over it.

Re:A single hole? (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868186)

Oh so the expensive machine is not intended to prevent forensics from reading the contents of the disk then?

This doesn't destroy data (1)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868070)

Only the data on the platter where it is pierced will be destroyed. I think that about 90% of bits is still readable on the platter, with proper equipment. I wouldn't trust my countries deepest secrets to this device.

Re:This doesn't destroy data (2)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868144)

The margins between the heads and platter are extremely small. The platters will warp making the disk unusable.

not impressed (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868090)

I expected to see the entire HDD crushed. Or maybe an array of spikes to thoroughly perforate the disk.

A single spike? A single hole in the disk?

I'd assume the controller and electronics are toast... But I bet that if you were sufficiently motivated you could mount those platters in a new box and recover a good chunk of data.

What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35868122)

There aren't any three ton hard drives any more, so I can't see the point in building something to destroy them.

Back in the old days ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868172)

... the big aluminum platters were great stock for machining parts. Just grind the oxide off the surface and you've got a nice blank to make stuff.

Don't be silly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35868174)

Don't anthropomorphize the machines. It makes you look silly, and they hate it when you do that.

Meh. We use a drill press (1)

The-Blue-Clown (1261404) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868188)

Re:Meh. We use a drill press (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868280)

Drill through the aluminum casting instead of the stainless plate. Less work, less bit wear.

Boring, (2)

no-body (127863) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868192)

really really boring....

Taking the thing apart is much more entertaining [google.com] ...

DBAN? Gauss Pads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35868354)

Seriously, has nobody considered Daren's Boot and Nuke? It's the same level as specified by military intelligence. And what about putting the hard drive on a Gauss pad for 30 minutes. I seem to remember those thoroughly "fixing" dirty data on a drive.

I use a drill press (1)

kannibul (534777) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868366)

I use a drill press, works wonderfully...if it's a metal platter, it gets a 1/2" hole through it...or two...or three...depending on the level of assured destruction the HDD needs to keep the data secure. The metal bits left over inside the casing are icing on the cake - a few dozen shakes with that and you're pretty much guaranteed that the data will be unrecoverable...or so much more of a pain in the rear to handle, that it'd just not be feasible at any cost. If it's glass, it shatters from the pressure of the drill bit, problem solved.

Why make it so hard? (1)

crf00 (1048098) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868388)

Can't we just blend it? Surely we all know everything can blend! [youtube.com]

Philosophycal question here (1)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868406)

Is public geek masturbation (which is essentially what this story is) indecent or just a waste if our time?

Discuss ...

The video is stupid (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#35868440)

Not even a shot of the drive after the crush. It gets withdrawn out the back of the crusher, no idea if it actually did anything butcrack the PCB. Lame.

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