Skip to main content

How to Dispose Your Hard Drives

Dispose hard drive

There will come a time when you feel that your computer is slowing down, becoming less efficient than it used to be, and what comes to mind is to either recycle or sell off the parts to get a brand-new computer. However, is it safe to do so? 

Most people would think that formatting the hard disk would completely clear the disk, so it would be safe to sell it off as a second-hand item. Unfortunately, with no proper precautions, someone can easily recover and extract personal or corporate data that was previously stored in the disk.  

What should I do?  

If you really need to sell off your computer parts, it is best to exclude the hard disk. You may still utilize the hard disk, either by converting it as backup or as a secondary drive. By doing this, you are not risking your personal data from being extracted especially if you have stored personal details and photos in it.  

Alternatively, here are 3 ways to safely dispose the storage devices: 

1. Destruction  

The easiest way to get rid of your hard disk is to physically destroy the drive using an industrial standard shredder. This method would turn the hard disk into bits of metal, making it impossible for it to be recovered.  

2. Degaussing 

This is an expensive approach to dispose your storage device as you require a specific degausser machine (which could cost up to US$10,000). However, this method eliminates magnetic fields on the hard disk, causing it to be permanently damaged and it would not be possible to read or write data on the storage media. 

3. Secure Data Deletion 

This method does not damage the hard disk permanently as it only wipes out the data by overwriting every sector of the hard disk. However, there is still a slim chance of recovering the data with the right tools and techniques. The process needs to be repeated 7 times to ensure the data is wiped out completely. This method is easy to do as there are several software that can help you wipe your data securely.  

Always back up your data before wiping out your data completely.