It is a good idea to make sure your hard drive has been completely destroyed before you throw it away. This will ensure that no one can access any of the data from the device and use it against you or anyone else in some way.
Be careful when disposing of old computers, as they could contain sensitive information about yourself and others. If someone gets their hands on this data, they may be able to commit fraud or steal identities by using personal details found on these devices.
From smashing the computer with a hammer to using simple tools like a screwdriver, this article will give you some ideas on how best to dispose of your old data storage devices.
Table of Contents
Method 1: Hammer
To destroy a hard drive with a hammer, you will want to locate the hard drive within the computer. It is usually located on the bottom of the computer case. Slide your hand in between the side of the case and the frame of the computer, and find where it is located.
You will then want to use a hammer or any other heavy object to smash it into pieces. Be sure to keep some distance between you and the hard drive when machine-gunning it, as fragments of metal flying through the air could put your eye out.
Lastly, remove all pieces from inside your computer case before reassembling it. This will prevent any shrapnel from causing further damage or injuries in the future use of the device.
Method 2: Drill
Another way to destroy a hard drive is by using a drill and bit to create thousands of small holes in the metal platters, thus making them unreadable. You should be able to do this with any type or size of drill.
We recommend doing it slowly as you may end up accidentally destroying your computer. This method may not be the most aesthetically pleasing, but it is very effective.
Here is how you do it:
- Place the hard drive on a protective surface so that nothing bad happens while you are drilling.
- Pencil in where you would like to drill on your hard drive. If you want to keep some of your data for later, do not drill on the platter or any other sensitive electronics.
- Drill into your hard drive with a power drill. Be careful not to drill too deep, as this may cause the screws to loosen on the bottom of your hard drive, which will compromise any data being stored inside. Too little force can also make it easy for people to repair it, so be strong with your drill.
Method 3: Blowtorch
A blowtorch can do wonders for destroying a hard drive. If you have ever wanted to use one of these dangerous tools in an unconventional way, this method will show you how.
- Decide on the size of the hard drive. Larger drives will require a blowtorch with a bigger flame, while smaller sizes can be destroyed with a smaller torch.
- Make sure the area is well-ventilated. You don’t want to be breathing in any fumes from chemicals.
- Turn off the power and remove the hard drive from your computer and set it on a flat surface (preferably outside). For safety reasons, you might want to wear gloves and keep some type of protection over your eyes while doing this, as blowing up a hard drive could produce sparks and flying metal.
- Slowly bring the flame towards the hard drive until it starts to catch fire. If you’re using a propane blowtorch and the flames start to get too big, move further away from it.
- Turn off your blowtorch once all of the metal is melted and let everything cool down for about an hour before trying to touch anything again. The heat will distort any data on there.
The key here is to heat your hard drive until it is red hot, then let the platters cool for several minutes. This will melt and warp them so they are unreadable.
Method 4: Angle Grinder
The method for destroying a hard drive using an angle grinder is to cut through the disk vertically in order to completely destroy it so that no one else can use or read from it ever again. This ensures complete destruction of the data storage device and prevents those with ill intentions from gaining access to the data that was once held on it.
Once you have turned off your angle grinder and unplugged all connections, ensure that there is no danger of electrocution before touching the hard drive again. Be sure to take extra caution as this can be a dangerous step if not handled correctly.
Method 5: Screwdriver
To destroy a hard drive with a screwdriver, the first thing you need to do is open up your hard drive. This can be done by taking out all of the screws on the back of the hard drive and carefully pulling it apart.
After you’ve successfully opened up your hard drive, you need to dismantle it by unscrewing all of the internal components. Next, take your screwdriver and make sure that it’s sturdy enough to be able to smash through the hard drive in one strong hit.
If necessary, tape or glue it onto another object like a piece of wood for maximum sturdiness before using it on the hard drive platter. Then, slowly but firmly attempt to smash the hard drive with your screwdriver.
The goal is to destroy it as quickly and efficiently as possible, so try not to hesitate or you might end up ruining all of your work. Repeat this process at least ten times before throwing your hard drive away, making sure that every part has been well-smashed.
This is important because if you leave any of the components intact, it could still be possible for someone to retrieve your files.
There are many ways to destroy a hard drive, and this article has provided some of the most popular methods. With any luck, these suggestions will help keep your data safe from prying eyes.