Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

clean hard drive before discarding computer how to


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 monticello

monticello

  • Members
  • 44 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:08:05 AM

Posted 06 December 2018 - 12:29 PM

I am ready to trash my Windows 10 desktop hard drive but need guidance on how to do it safely and thoroughly.

 

It is on an internal network--will it harm email, eg; how to transfer; wipe out; etc.

  10 yr old Dell with Windows 10 - power source dying   many thanks



BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 CmmTch

CmmTch

  • Members
  • 152 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:St. Louis, Missouri USA
  • Local time:07:05 AM

Posted 06 December 2018 - 12:46 PM

If the drive is still working just copy/transfer anything on it you want to keep to a USB, then remove it (the drive) and pound it with a hammer to prevent any data recovery.


Steve

#3 OldPhil

OldPhil

    Doppleganger


  • Members
  • 4,398 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Long Island New York
  • Local time:08:05 AM

Posted 06 December 2018 - 12:47 PM

I recommend destruction!  Yes you can do over rights ETC. but nothing beats a good beating with a HAMMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Edited by OldPhil, 06 December 2018 - 12:48 PM.

Honesty & Integrity Above All!


#4 JohnC_21

JohnC_21

  • Members
  • 24,846 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:08:05 AM

Posted 06 December 2018 - 01:26 PM

Depending on the size of the drive I would look at putting it in an enclosure but for a 10 year old drive it may not be large enough to be of use for image backups.



#5 monticello

monticello
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 44 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:08:05 AM

Posted 06 December 2018 - 01:59 PM

Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply to my query about discarding a hard drive--I am convinced that I will indeed opt for the large hammer approach--such a tangible and satisfying solution!  



#6 JohnC_21

JohnC_21

  • Members
  • 24,846 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Local time:08:05 AM

Posted 06 December 2018 - 02:20 PM

If you do destroy the drive remember to remove the rare-earth magnets.  :)



#7 Mason21

Mason21

  • Members
  • 463 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas
  • Local time:07:05 AM

Posted 06 December 2018 - 03:49 PM

!


Edited by Mason21, 07 December 2018 - 01:21 AM.


#8 britechguy

britechguy

    Been there, done that, got the T-shirt


  • Moderator
  • 9,873 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Staunton, VA
  • Local time:08:05 AM

Posted 06 December 2018 - 04:15 PM

Not that "hammer method," or, in the case of laptop and compact external HDDs, " drop it on to the sidewalk from head height, preferably several times method," will not both work, but there are many occasions where someone may not wish to destroy a HDD as part of the bargain.

 

Since I know that there are folks who'd like to pass their old computers on to friends or relatives or donate them, but don't want their data going with them, I will present my technique for data cleansing a computer that's been used.

 

1.  Create a new local account (Win10) or just account (earlier Windows) with admin privileges.

 

2.  Log in to that newly created account and use it to remove all other existing accounts.  Do not, of course, save the data from same to the desktop, as you're trying to get rid of it.

 

3.  Get CCleaner from piriform.com and install it if it's not already on your system.

 

4.  Open CCleaner, choose Tools from the controls column on the left, then Drive Wiper from the tools list presented.

 

5.  Accept the "Free Space Only" option, as that's where any of your old data of any significance is now located, and choose the Security setting based on your level of paranoia about the ability of an individual skilled in forensic recovery being able to recover data from a drive that's been wiped.  This would generally mean the 3-pass overwrite would be way more than sufficient, 7-pass almost certain to be beyond anyone's reach, and 35-pass almost being "the NSA couldn't get stuff back from this system's former user data areas."

 

6. When the wiper has completed, for most folks (and I include myself in that, as that's where I stop) - you're done.

 

7.  If you now want to be incredibly anal retentive do either a recovery back to "out of the box state" using the recovery partition that's been included on most computers for some time now or, if you're a Windows 8 or 10 user, a completely clean reinstall of those OSes.  Overkill in my opinion, but if it makes you sleep better, more power to you.

 

And, while I am sure that someone is going to come back and tell me that the NSA could recover something, I'm truly not worried that my used computer is ever going to be of interest to the NSA nor to come into the hands of someone with NSA-esque forensic recovery skills.  I prepare for the probable scenarios, not those so remotely possible as to not warrant serious consideration.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.

       ~ Mark Twain

 

 

 

              

 


#9 britechguy

britechguy

    Been there, done that, got the T-shirt


  • Moderator
  • 9,873 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Staunton, VA
  • Local time:08:05 AM

Posted 06 December 2018 - 04:40 PM

@Mason21:  What follows is a friendly suggestion coming from a fellow member.  I am not, at the moment, speaking in my role as a moderator.

 

BC tends to value technical topics staying on topic.  While the occasional interjection of humor is not frowned upon, per se, the injection of a click-through link with content many reasonable readers would consider inflammatory, potentially very inflammatory, is, and not just by "BC Officials."

 

Were this The Speak Easy your offering would have passed by largely unnoticed.   Alas, it has not in this particular forum.

 

Please consider the venue, please, when tempted to post such content.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.

       ~ Mark Twain

 

 

 

              

 


#10 CmmTch

CmmTch

  • Members
  • 152 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:St. Louis, Missouri USA
  • Local time:07:05 AM

Posted 06 December 2018 - 04:42 PM

Depending on the drive itself I have a 120G HDD IDE laying around somewhere, can you even find an MB with an IDE connection on it anymore? It may well be obsolete, there are ways of overwriting a drive, but as monticello replied, such a tangible and satisfying solution! There will be no possible data recovery after using the hammer method,  :grinner:

 

Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply to my query about discarding a hard drive--I am convinced that I will indeed opt for the large hammer approach--such a tangible and satisfying solution!  

 


Steve

#11 achzone

achzone

  • Members
  • 252 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia
  • Local time:12:05 AM

Posted 06 December 2018 - 05:38 PM

I have a drill press I keep in my garage back from my days working as a chippy that I'll often use for such tasks when a client asks me to permanently destroy a drive, leaving zero chance of recovery. The sound of the platters shattering when a 3/4" drill bit penetrates the drive is also strangely satisfying for some reason. Two or three passes with my drill press and I just dispose of the drive with the rest of our household garbage :)



#12 jenae

jenae

  • Members
  • 930 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:12:05 AM

Posted 06 December 2018 - 06:23 PM

Hi, In Auburn a Sydney suburb, many government computers come to die (up to twenty foreign govm'ts as well). it is a very high security location, the technique is very sophisticated and interesting to observe. If you want to keep the HDD, Brians method will work, as for an SSD, the manufacturers make a util to "erase" the drive, (Micron call it sanitize) then it can be safely passed on. Personally I like the tradesman approach from Andrew, do you still make cabinets?

 

Many of the re birthed computers that end up in poorer Asian countries come from this Auburn facility, after we refurbish them.



#13 achzone

achzone

  • Members
  • 252 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Melbourne, Australia
  • Local time:12:05 AM

Posted 06 December 2018 - 06:30 PM

do you still make cabinets?

 

Sadly, no. I often miss my old trade days, but some (lung related) health issues even keep my bum planted on a chair even when doing my IT work mostly remotely these days. I sometimes struggle when I need to pay an on-site visit to a client where I have to go up a couple of flights of stairs. It was frustrating as hell paying over ten grand for a guy to remodel our own bathroom a few years ago and I had to physically remove myself from the house to stop the temptation in telling him how to do his job a couple of times :)



#14 Mason21

Mason21

  • Members
  • 463 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas
  • Local time:07:05 AM

Posted 07 December 2018 - 01:21 AM

Ok. Will remove. 



#15 britechguy

britechguy

    Been there, done that, got the T-shirt


  • Moderator
  • 9,873 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Staunton, VA
  • Local time:08:05 AM

Posted 07 December 2018 - 08:36 AM

Ok. Will remove. 

 

Much appreciated.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.

       ~ Mark Twain

 

 

 

              

 





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users