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  1. #1
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    Question What to do with old HDD from laptop

    Thought I should start a new thread since it is not about replacing the laptop drive. The HDD I replaced was not functioning at all...it had died. Is it safe to recycle as is? Or do I need to smash it with a hammer first? Linda

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    If you do not have access to a very strong magnet, smash it.
    Joe

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Joe. We don't have a magnet of any kind, so guess I'll get out a hammer. I'd hoped the data was unretrievable with a dead disk, but guess I was wrong! Appreciate the advice.

    Linda

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    I'm sure nobody will bother to attempt to recover data from a disk that is already dead - it's an expensive process and your data just isn't that valuable. If you want to have some fun, take the top off the disk to see what's inside, then bash the disk itself if you are still feeling paranoid.

    cheers, Paul

  5. #5
    Administrator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    I use a small, narrow chisel and drive it through the top lid of the drive and into the platters rather than just use a hammer.

    666998527e759f5b2238ae7beaf73deb.jpg

    It concentrates the force into a very small area so means less effort on my part.

    Having said that, any old large flat-blade screwdriver will do the same.

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    Well at least, have a fun! I had vain attempts to revive HDD but neither driver nor anything else didn't help at all, well hammer, it means a hammer ...

  7. #7
    5 Star Lounger RockE's Avatar
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    I disassemble hard drives and keep the platters (i.e., disks) and magnets. The magnets are toys for great-grandchildren and I use the disks as parts for wind chimes. It's mostly more trouble than it's worth.
    If you don't have the proper screw driver bits you can always try drilling the screws out.
    Clone or Image often! Backup, backup, backup, backup...
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    Administrator jwitalka's Avatar
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    I'm with Paul here. The odds of someone going through the trouble of recovering data from a dead disk are slim to none. I recycle my old disks at the local recycling center.

    Jerry

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    All your replies were such fun to read and full of great suggestions! After all of your input, I'm tending to agree that the data on this HDD is not worth anyone's trouble to "steal" it. When I thought more about it, I realized that any of our sensitive data was on my PC and not the laptop anyway. So, I'll take it to our local recycling center...although I might see if I can get a peek inside, just because I've never seen the inside of a hard drive. It could be fun because I will have no nerves about messing anything up!

    Thanks so much guys...as always! :-)

    Linda

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    You can take it apart and use the platters as coasters for your coffee table. Really geeky looking stuff!

    Or take the cover off, then hang the now-open drive on your wall. Looks really cool!

    If you live out in the country, attach it to a tree and use it for target practice with your shotgun!

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    If you have space, its worth keeping on the off-chance that someone you know suffers a control board failure (on an identical drive), and your board can come in useful. I just fixed a friend's Humax TV recorder that way (but I had to buy a drive for 10 on ebay to get the board). It seems that almost no-one backs up their recorded TV (and how would they - Humax does not make it easy).

    The platters do make good bird scarers (but so do old CDs and we have many of them).

  13. #12
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    Thanks again for these fun replies! Great reading on a Monday morning! Right now, it sits quite happily in my office closet, taking up very little room. Mind you, these suggestions are very tempting! :-)

    Trust all of you have a great week! You all deserve it!!

    Linda

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    I drill my drives. Typically I'll put 3 holes right through the platters. It's Good Enough security for home purposes (note that I'll perform a software wipe too, if the drive hasn't died first).

    At work one year we disposed of a large pile of used drives. Our Building Services dept. used a chop saw and cut the platters (IIRC they only chopped half way through, still good enough).

    The CIA and police could still recover data (maybe) after such treatment, but they'd have to be super motivated to try. And there's no recovering the actual destroyed areas of the drive.

    Still, if you desire the full Top Secret treatment, I saw a video on a company specializing in permanent disposal of old computers. They guaranteed no recovery was possible and I believe them! They ran the computer through a grinding mill that reduced the computer to pieces sized somewhere between a grain of rice and a Cheerio. Then they sorted the remains, entirely automatically, for recycling.

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    Use DBAN (Dan's Boot And Nuke) if the drive works and you are extremely paranoid.

    cheers, Paul

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