For one or more reasons you may like to render your hard disk completely unusable. There are two factors to consider while destroying your hard disk and these include your safety and that of the environment. Destroying your hard disk completely is the only way to ensure your data will never get into the wrong hands upon some future date. It is widely accepted that the only way you can achieve this is through rendering it completely un-spinnable.
If you do not want to completely destroy the hard disk but want data totally erased you may need to use the Darik’s Boot and Nuke (DBAN). This utility can run off a CD or DVD or off floppy disks and USB flash drives. As much as it has not been recognized for any awards many data handling experts have highly credited it.
If you no longer are interested in using the hard drive you may have to mechanically destroy the hard drive’s moving parts. Do not soak the drive in chemicals to dissolve or try to burn it up, because this may expose you to many risks. If you soak in reactive liquids such as hydrochloric acid there are high chances that you will inhale the resulting toxic fumes which may affect your health. Burning is not advisable as well for it causes environmental pollution.
One of the easiest ways to achieve the same results is drilling many holes through the drives, driving nails through it, or beating up with a hammer or sledge. The major advantage with the last two methods is that you do not have to wear any protective gear, because it does not produce any emissions.
Another method suggested is to disassemble the drive and remove the platters and all other components, then sand grinding the platter surfaces to make then completely unreadable. You may as well place the platters between neodymium magnets before grinding them as this erases data completely. As much as this method may prove rather too expensive yet there is a way to destroy without incurring any expenses, some people still prefer it to the rest.
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Outsourcing hard drive destruction for large businesses
If you run a large business it will not be sound to go about destroying hundreds of hard drives by yourself. The best option is to outsource for destruction from expert companies, however, you have to be very careful when choosing a company to do this as some companies may falsely claim to do it. The major advantage with outsourcing is that the hard drives will be destroyed in an environmental-friendly manner and that they get mixed up with many others thus making it very hard for anyone to find them.
As much as this method is excellent for big companies that want to destroy their data, some homework needs to be done. The business should evaluate the service provider and find out the security protocols they use before signing the contract. You have to know who will pick the drives and transport to the destruction facilities, the life time of the contract, the time period the drives will stay before getting destroyed, whether the whole process is properly monitored, the destruction methods to be used, whether the facility has been approved by relevant authorities, whether they provide proof of destruction, whether they certify the destruction in writing, how they dispose of the waste, and whether the facility is insured and bonded and to what limits.
If you don’t impress by their answers you are free to seek the services elsewhere. Keep in mind that you want to destroy the drives because you want to safeguard your business data, meaning if at all the company seems like it cannot guarantee the same there is absolutely no need for trading with them.
Tools that can be used for hard drive destruction
Regardless of the level of experience you have with destruction or hard drives, you need the right tools for a perfect job. There are several tools to use in the destruction process and all of them depend on your approach to the destruction process.
If you would first of all like to completely erase the data, you need powerful tools that can guarantees this. Ensure you use high rated data erasing software because this gives you more assurance that the lowly rated one. There is much software for that in the market, and each of them may prompt different command, all that is needed is paying attention to details and patience. You can as well degaussed the drive in two major ways, the first one involves passing the hard drive through magnetic field of very strong rare-earth magnets, and the second one involves use of a powerful electro-mechanical pulse to wipe off the data.
If you would like to physically destroy the hard disk, you can use a shredder to rip the drives to shreds just like the paper shred does paper. You can as well mechanically disintegrate the drive using variety of tools such as knives, pliers and hammers.