What to do with old HDDs

Soldato
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What do you do with your old hard drives?

I have a 1TB Western digital black, a 3TB Western digital black and a 130GB Crucial M4 SSD that now have no data on them and are outside my computer (in a cupboard)

If I sold them I would risk old personal data be accessed - pictures, documents, passwords to sites etc.
Do people generally destroy them - fire / crushed at the tip or something?

Old cables and worthless bits I just throw out but HDDs may contain recoverable data
 
Associate
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If you're going to throw them out, then I generally destroy them in some form. Be it a hammer+chisel through the case damaging the platter, or simply opening up the drive to see what it looks like inside ... then smashing the platters.

By that time, the recovery of the data would be so difficult, it would be pointless.

The 3tb drive would still be usable though surely ? For example, it would use something like that to upgrade my CCTV drive which is 1TB at the moment.
 
Soldato
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Leave them in a drawer normally. I've also destroyed a few platters in the past by launching them at speed at a wall.
Don't people use software to wipe hard drives multiple times to make them safe for selling.
 
Associate
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I use FileShredder to run a DoD seven pass randomisation of the drive, then sell it on. The data are completely unrecoverable.
 
Associate
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I've used Darik's, FileShredder and also Blancco in the past. Not had to wipe a drive in a while but all 3 are viable options.
My previous place of work use Blancco for all drives that function well enough to be wiped, any that either don't function at all or fail the wipe process (generally due to an exceptionally high volume of bad sectors) get physically destroyed.
 
Soldato
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What do you do with your old hard drives?

I have a 1TB Western digital black, a 3TB Western digital black and a 130GB Crucial M4 SSD that now have no data on them and are outside my computer (in a cupboard)

If I sold them I would risk old personal data be accessed - pictures, documents, passwords to sites etc.
Do people generally destroy them - fire / crushed at the tip or something?

Old cables and worthless bits I just throw out but HDDs may contain recoverable data

Just use bitlocker to encrypt the drives, then delete the partitions (or don't). Then sell on or bin.
 
Associate
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I usually just keep mine, the small SSD could be popped into a caddy and you’ve got a nice portable drive that can be used to transfer files across to other devices (I’ve got a 64GB one that I’ve done exactly this with, although that was when 64GB flash memory wasn’t as cheap/available).
 
Man of Honour
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I have the same problem really - though I'm reluctant to dispose of stuff like this until I'm 100% sure I won't need them - pretty sure bet I think for some of the sub 1GB/s drives which are well over 20 years old :o

I've got a really useful box full of them which weighs a ton and just taking up space needlessly I really have to get around to disposing of - I don't have a huge amount of personal data on them but do have a little commercially sensitive data on some - enough I'm a little leery even after multiple wipes.
 
Permabanned
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Whack them with a hammer. I mean you can security erase them but most people just can not afford to trust erasing no matter how secure it's supposed to be. Old drives are really not worth any money so the risk compared to the gain just means - hit them with a hammer.

The Government uses something that looks like a paper shredder, except it takes the entire drive and reduces it to dust.

iu


 
Soldato
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I usually just keep mine, the small SSD could be popped into a caddy and you’ve got a nice portable drive that can be used to transfer files across to other devices (I’ve got a 64GB one that I’ve done exactly this with, although that was when 64GB flash memory wasn’t as cheap/available).
If you are at all worried and want to just simply destroy the hard drives and data, Take them apart and use a hammer on the platters ;) Scrap man will take them after you are finished. Problem solved.
I thought the only real way to destroy drives & data is fire - a very very hot fire.
That or an an industrial shredder like a engine / gearbox shredder


edit - beaten to it
 
Last edited:
Associate
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No need to be so destructive.

Fill it full to the brim with pron then format.
All anyone will recover is some pron.
 
Associate
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If you're binning a mechanical drive and are paranoid, bitlocker, delete the partitions, then snap off the power and data connectors. For an SSD, the secure erase command should do the trick (provided the drive supports it).

I usually stick old SSDs in a caddy and use them for backups.
 
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