1. **ATTENTION ALL DEVILS** If you are still having trouble logging in, (Resetting your password should do "the trick") Optimum Online is blocking JD emails for some reason*, OR if you are not technically capable of doing this; use the "Contact Us" form utilizing your current, valid email address. If your email address is 'lost' to you, simply providing some account details will get us on the correct path together. THERE IS NO NEED TO CREATE SECONDARY ACCOUNTS, STOP BEING SO LAZY! YOU WILL BE BANNED! (Yelling/impolite voice implied there for *maximum effect*)
    Dismiss Notice

Hard Drive Destruction / Disassembly

KaptainKürbstomp Dec 31, 2017

  1. KaptainKürbstomp

    KaptainKürbstomp Little Member

    106
    221
    53
    Hey devils, an old PC of mine recently hit the end of its life and I figured it might be cool to document the process I do whenever this sort of thing comes around. A big thing to consider is how to get rid of your hard drive - the place where all of your data is stored. I wanted to start out by tearing one down to show off the insides. Here are 2 different hard drives - little ones like the ones on the left are usually found in laptops, while the bigger ones on the right are mostly found in larger desktop PCs.

    [​IMG]

    Flipping them over shows the controller. This is the little circuit board that is in charge of letting the hard drive communicate with your computer.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    For the teardown, I'll just be focusing on the larger one since it's easy to see. This particular one is sealed with torx screws. There are also a number of hidden torx screws under the anti-tamper stickers and the large white sticker on the back with all of the information about the drive

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    After you've pulled the top off (which will likely be sealed by a mega heavy duty O-ring type seal), this is what you'll see inside. Shares a lot of functional similarity with a record player, albeit a different appearance.

    [​IMG]

    It's a general practice in the industry to wipe data from hard drives with a utility like DBAN before you start physically destroying them (I would definitely recommend doing both), and the route I usually take is just to grab a power drill and to poke some holes through it. Realistically, there are a ton of computers in the trash and someone going through trash probably won't bother with a hard drive that's got holes in it. Unless you're under some serious government surveillance then this will probably be enough.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    If you've just got one of the little guys to deal with, then drilling usually causes the platters inside to break up into pieces. This was the case with the one I was working on today.

    [​IMG]

    After that they're usually good to go! There are several ways to be more absolute about destroying them, but this is pretty quick and dirty way to do it. Thought it might be something cool to post on the forum in case anyone ever wondered about it or was curious about what hard drives looked like on the inside. Have a happy new year!
     
    ded i, Guillermo, Kelper and 2 others like this.
  2. crogers

    crogers Magnus advocatus diaboli Super Moderator Brigade Member

    26,061
    43,999
    123
    I just shot the shit outta the last few I needed to get rid of. They were out of laptops, so the disc itself is made out of some glass-like material and a bullet turns it into little worthless shards.

    More fun too! Unfortunately, I didn't take any photos.
     
    ded i, Guillermo, Kelper and 2 others like this.
  3. KaptainKürbstomp

    KaptainKürbstomp Little Member

    106
    221
    53
    I've definitely used that method too :bwah: I'll grab some pictures the next time I employee it!
     
    ded i, Kelper, desmodus and 1 other person like this.
  4. Guillermo

    Guillermo 7th Man of the 7th son Super Moderator

    5,667
    738
    123
    Great post. My little brother did data recovery a few years ago and told me the same thing about throwing out your old computer.
     
    ded i, Kelper and crogers like this.
  5. Thanos74

    Thanos74 Hillbilly Deluxe JDBA Official Member Brigade Member

    2,403
    8,484
    123
    I know I'm a little late to this party but I would also like to point out that there are at least one but , in the older hard drives, most of the time two very useful things inside your hard drives. That being "rare earth magnets" or ,if you like the technical name, neodymium magnets. These are extremely powerful magnets that have a unlimited range of uses. They come in many different sizes but don't let size fool you these things are the most powerful magnets you can get besides electro magnets. Here's a few of mine, the larger ones are found in desk too hard drives and the smaller ones in lap tops. Even as far apart as they are they are still affecting each other.....
    1516544310916-1419708166.jpg 1516544344778-376853627.jpg 15165443761391827057009.jpg
    Now for any example of their strenth, on my finger is a very small magnet, of the same type that also came out of a hard drive, you can see how small it is...
    1516544535738-1542107540.jpg
    Please ignore my red oak stained finger lol, now I have two large steel Chinese meditation balls....
    15165446456021741823046.jpg
    Now witness the power of these awesome magnets...
    1516544727076-1357355267.jpg 1516544727076-1357355267.jpg 15165447711311876884058.jpg
    Now when taking into account the size of that magnet imagine how strong the larger ones are. I use them every day for a variety of uses, they make great fridge magnets, if you can get them off that is lol!!! Anyway getting them out of the hard drives requires one of two types of bits, either a Phillips bit for the oldest of drives or a torx bit for the newer ones. They are generally glued to a plate and I have found that a couple of pairs of pliers to bend the plates usually is enough to break it loose.
    I hope this was useful to you guys, oh and you can also find this same type of magnet in CD roms CD players and the like. But anyway I figured if your going to destroy old hard drives you might as well get some kind of use out of them :D
     
  6. $earch

    $earch Tiny Member

    9
    19
    3
    I had the bright idea to attempt to use a hard drive magnet as an easy way to stop my keys from jiggling while on a lanyard. It turned out to be too much of an encumbrance to carry around, and too strong to easily fasten or carry in a way where keys wont randomly stick to it and protrude in annoying directions. Not to mention they are also quite fragile. I ditched the idea immediately but they are still great toys to play around with, just be careful with the larger ones.
     
    KaptainKürbstomp and Thanos74 like this.

Share This Page