Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hard Drive Destruction: 100% Secure Method Of Removing Hard Disk Data

Confidential information stored in a hard drives are always a target of identity thieves because most people or organization knows nothing about data security. When organizations upgrade their computer, they often forget to do the security measures in making the files unrecoverable.

Normally formatting is a way to get rid of all the data in the HDD but this method doesn't make the files unrecoverable. It just makes room for free space, so your old files will be overwritten. This is where most business, companies, and organization fails. What they do is format the disk then they either send it to recycling centers or sell them to people.

Another mistake, which can compromise their data security is how people deals with broken disks. Did you know that malfunctioning disks still have files in them that can be recovered using straightforward techniques like using a file recovery CD or a more advance file recovery method like transferring a disk platter to another hard disk of the same make and model.

It is possible to wipe data in a disk. Wiping is a process wherein the erased file is overwritten several times, so the files will no longer be recovered. The wiping process is easy, but the result is unpredictable. Sometimes, no matter how many times a disk wiping is performed, a file recovery software will still be able to recover it.

A hard disk that contains personal information of customers can be recovered by thieves in which they can use to

That is why it is recommended to perform HDD destruction before throwing away hard disk drives. Before it is done, there are pointers to remember first:

List of files in HDD which will be prone to identity theft and data breach: social security number

    Financial records
    Personal information (complete name, birthday, address) credit card numbers
    Customer's database with a name, birthday, social security number, address, etc. medical records
    Tax records
    Trade secrets
    Strategic business plans

Verify if the hard disk is fully functional or not working. A fully functional hard disk can benefit from disk wiping method the best solution to make wiping unrecoverable is to do several passes. 7 pass is not enough, and 35 passes are a sure way to remove data. Make sure to perform a disk verification procedure to verify if all files are unrecoverable.

If the disk is broken, do the hard drive destruction procedure. Here, are some methods to destroy hard disk drives.

Disk Shredding. Disk shredding is a procedure where a drive is shredded into pieces as if it were a shredding paper. No files are recoverable when a disk is turned into bits of pieces. With disk shredding disks can turn into unrecoverable pieces in seconds.

Disk crushing. A machine that can deliver a hundred pounds of weight on the HDD. It can crush 60 hard drives in 60 seconds.

Degaussing. Degaussing does not physically destroy the disk; instead it makes the disk totally unrecoverable by using a magnet to leave the disk into its original state. The hard disk drive will no longer be usable the servo track will be affected, as well. Servo track controls the read and write process of the disk.

The above process requires a hard disk destruction machine for it to work. Hard disk destruction machines are extremely expensive to be bought by a small business, or an average user so they can benefit from hard disk destruction companies which will do the destruction service for a fee of about $20 to $100.

Hard disk destruction using the basic home tools. Any tools found at home can be used to destroy hard disk drives.


Use a hammer to hit the drive until it is deformed. A nail can also be used to make a hole in the disk.


Use a drill to bore as a lot of holes in the hard disk drive, the more holes it has the more unrecoverable it will be.

Angle grinder

Use the angle grinder to cut the drive into pieces. Dispose off the sliced pieces in separate places so nobody can recover it.

Safety Measures when using tools

It is crucial to wear protective gears when performing a hard disk drive destruction using common house tools. It may be tempting to remove the magnetism of the disk by burning it but doing so may emit toxic fumes, which is dangerous to one's health.


The reason hard disk destruction is the most effective method in destroying remnant and recoverable data in the disk is that it has a visual verification which confirms that the disk can no longer be recovered nor used. It is an effective procedure, but there are some considerations that must be taken into account first before a disk destruction is performed.