Greg Helledy on 25 Oct 2017 12:39:19 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Securely destroy and responsibly recycling hardware

For spinning hard drives, I believe that the overwrite methods implemented by software (Eraser, DBAN) are fine. A pass of 1s, a pass of random data, then a pass of 0s will take out anything, other than any remapped sectors as PaulNM mentioned.

If you insist on physical destruction, there are two methods which are fairly easy and fairly safe: 1. Gas torch, as used for soldering pipe: Open the cover, heat the platters to glowing. If the top one is glowing, ones underneath are hot enough to destroy data, no need to remove them all. A torch costs less than $10. 2. Wire brush or abrasive disk, attached to a drill or grinder: Remove the platters, put them in a vice, and grind the magnetic coating off. Nothing left but aluminum disks. The least-expensive Chinese-made drill or grinder can be had for $15 or so and is ok for this light work. A suitable brush or abrasive disk is a few dollars more.

I really recommend installing a user-friendly linux and giving away a working machine instead of worrying about someone stealing your data from a wiped drive.

Greg Helledy
GRA, Incorporated
P:  +1 215-884-7500
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