Hardware

Published on September 22nd, 2021 | by Bibhuranjan

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How to Securely Dispose of Old Hard Drives and SSDs

Hard drives and SSDs are a very useful part of a computer. However, when you are about to give away your old computer, you might want to dispose of them to make sure none of your data is left on your computer after you let go of it. The problem here is how to securely dispose of old hard drives and SSDs. Well, the most secure way of disposing of them is to destroy them properly. It makes sure none of your data is left behind for retrieval.

There are a number of other ways to securely dispose of your old hard drives and SSDs. Let’s have a look at them.

How to Disassemble and Destroy Hard Drives?

The first and the most useful way to dispose of old hard drives and SSDs is to disassemble them and destroy them properly. Disassembly is the first step. For this purpose, you will need some tools such as screwdrivers and a pair of pliers to unscrew all the screws present on the cover of the disk.

The platters of different hard drives vary with respect to the size and ages of the hard drives. For example, a 2.5″ hard drive has glass platters. Shattering these platters can help destroy all the data stored in the hard drive. The same process can be done with the SSDs, as there is no other way of destroying data from SSDs other than destroying the whole thing or the device itself if it cannot be separated from it.

On the contrary, 3.5″ hard drives have aluminum platters, such as an hms5c4040ble640 Hitachi HDD 4TB, with a platter head ratio of 3/6 that is three disks and six read/ write heads. For such hard drives, you can destroy the data by either soaking them in the acid, scratching them with the help of a screwdriver, demagnetizing them with the help of a high-power magnet, or sandblasting them.

How to Professionally Dispose of Hard Drive?

Hard drives can also be disposed of professionally to ensure the destruction of the data present in them. Some of the ways to do this are mentioned next.

Degaussing

Degaussing is a very fast and reliable way of disposing of data from hard drives. In this process, the hard drives are sanitized for the purpose of disposal or reuse. The shapes and types of degaussers vary and so does their effectiveness.

Shredding

Shredding, as the name implies, is a way of breaking down the hard drive into smaller parts or in simple words, shredding the hard drive. The shredded parts are so small that it is nearly impossible to integrate them together to restore their original form.

Hard Drive Disintegration

Hard drive disintegration is similar to shredding except for the fact that the shredded pieces are finer and smaller in size, thus making data retrieval impossible.

Melting

Melting is often referred to as the last step of disposal of hard drives. In this process, the hard drive is melted into molten steel, in a metal recycling center, thus ensuring a 100% disposal of data stored in the hard drive.

So, these were some of the worth trying ways for securely disposing of old hard drives and SSDs. You can use one or more of these ways independently or in combination to get the desired results.


Cover image by FreePix

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About the Author

Editorial Officer, technofaq.org I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.



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